I am pleased to see the Idaho Legislature distance itself from the proposal to grab control of federal lands. These lands are important to me and many Idahoans because of the important values they possess. Whatever the reasons, our public lands deserve to be protected for future generations, not transferred to the state and then sold off to the highest bidder for exploitation.
I appreciate that several Treasure Valley legislators opposed House Bill 265, which would have committed Idaho to an Interstate Public Land Seizure Compact for years to come. We would’ve been forced to pay a high price for lawyers and consultants to promote this futile public land grab. Thankfully, these legislators had the wisdom to see through the smokescreen. While it passed in the House, Reps.Chew, DeMordaunt, Erpelding, Gannon, King, Kloc, Luker, McCrostie, Rubel and Wintrow opposed the bill. In the Senate Resources and Environment Committee, Sens. Bair, Cameron, Heider, Lacey, Siddoway and Stennett voted down the bill.
Instead of agitating for a takeover of federally administered public lands, the Idaho Legislature would be better served to focus on issues that they have control over. Perhaps they can start by considering what legacy we are leaving Idaho’s children.
Mike Todd, Twin Falls