Regarding Anne Hurst’s “Is Idaho development following California’s overgrown path?” Some facts ... .only 5 percent of California’s land is considered urban (newgeography.com). Granted, Idaho’s ratio is only 0.6 percent, but that’s hardly on the cusp of overgrown. Anne states, “Believe me, when they (land developers) are finally through, there will not be an inch of open land left in Southern Idaho. Think locusts.” Given the data above, I think that’s a bit of an overstatement. In fact, while much faster development in California has depleted farmland acreage, still only 3.4MM out of the state’s 43MM total agricultural acreage is urbanized — less than 10 percent. Significant, but not catastrophic.
I applaud Anne for moving here to take advantage of Idaho’s opportunities. Opportunity means economic development in all forms: technology, agriculture, services, etc. Credit to state leaders for leveraging unique circumstances (educated populace, great climate, outdoor lifestyle) to fuel growth and development to enhance financial security with job opportunities (unemployment is 2.9 percent). Lots less security in slow or negative growth places with little economic diversity like Wyoming or Montana.
The debate is not whether to limit new residents and development; it’s how to grow and develop with smart consideration for the future.
Kent Rasmussen, Boise