Response to Fred Birnbaum on Public lands (April 7 Podium):
North Idaho fire season on Idaho lands in 2015 burned 75,000 acres that cost Idaho taxpayers around $60 million. Around 740,000 acres burned on Idaho federal public lands in 2015. Timber on 1,500 acres of Idaho land was not salvaged because the terrain was too rocky and steep. How much of federal forestland in Idaho is rocky and steep? You are telling me Idaho has the resources and expertise yet 75,000 acres of prime state timberland burned? Remember the Bunker Hill Mining incident? It took till June 13, 2011 to get a final settlement of $263 million. Did Idaho or the federal government float the loan to pay for the cleanup? How many Idaho citizens were impacted in the deal? In Idaho County two Texan brothers bought up ranches and now only privileged locals have easy access to prime hunting areas. Fred, I want to see a budget to manage the lands, where the revenue will come from, and a breakdown of that revenue. What will remain as multi-use and accessible through easements? Do you know something the University of Idaho doesn’t? Show me the details, not empty promises.
Todd Montrose, Meridian