Former Idaho U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, who limped away from office following a 2007 arrest for lewd conduct, has been hired as a lobbyist for Western Pacific Timber to represent its interests in a controversial land swap in north-central Idaho.
The Upper Lochsa Land Exchange would see a massive swap of territory between WPT and the U.S. Forest Service. If approved, WPT could gain ownership of 14,000-18,000 acres of land spread over Benewah, Bonner, Clearwater, Kootenai, Idaho and Latah counties.
Idaho County Commissioner (and former Republican State Sen.) Skip Brandt confirmed that WPT had tapped Craig and Craig's former chief of staff Mark Rey to boost the prospects of a trade.
Brandt has publicly supported a deal with WPT. In a January editorial, Brandt dubbed environmental groups as "radical" and said a land swap would be an economic boost:
"You want jobs? Here it is," wrote Brandt.