Much has been discussed and debated about the management of federal lands within the state of Idaho. The federal government has controlled and managed these lands since Idaho became a territory. Since the beginning the federal government realized the need to have these lands available for the many diverse uses the citizens of the state need in order to provide a viable economy for its citizens. Idaho’s economy grew and thrived based on its natural resources.
In recent years the federal government’s philosophy has changed and we are now seeing the results of its changed focus. Logging, mining, and ranching uses have been severely curtailed. Even recreational pursuits have been limited. Some of the most devastating wildfires in our state’s history have occurred in the last 10 years.
By allowing the state of Idaho rather than our federal government to properly manage our public lands we can restore our lost resource based industries, perhaps revive struggling rural communities, and provide the opportunities outdoor enthusiasts desire.
Properly managed lands can help us provide a diverse economy supporting our vital resource-based industries as well as offering recreationists plenty of opportunities to enjoy their varied activities.
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Let us strive to allow Idaho to manage our public lands sustainably and provide a win-win result for all Idaho citizens.
Carl Montgomery, president, Jerome County Farm Bureau