Idaho Economy

Hard times linger in Council amid slow federal timber sales

Forested Idaho communities like this one struggle as federal timber rules slow the harvest. Government gets the blame.

Boise State Public RadioMay 22, 2014 

0522 biz Council Main St.JPG

Council’s Main Street is a segment of U.S. 95. The town of 839 has more hills than buildings.


COUNCIL - Outside a small office on Main Street, big trucks rumble through this tiny town in west-central Idaho on their way to somewhere else. They all have one thing in common: None of them carry logs or lumber.

Third-generation logger Mark Mahon says that's a far cry from when he grew up in town in the 1970s and 80s.

"I remember sitting in elementary school, and my dad was driving a log truck," Mahon said. "I'd get up out of my desk and watch the truck go by and sit back down. It's very rare that we see log trucks going through town anymore."

In some Idaho mountain communities, distrust of the federal government has deepened over time as environmental regulations have helped decimate local economies.

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