Legislative Committee on Possible Idaho Takeover of Federal Lands Hits the Road Again

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Idaho lawmakers are taking their debate over whether Idaho should manage its federal lands on the road.

Beginning with a Thursday, Sept. 11, session in Kamiah, the Idaho Legislature's Federal Lands Interim Committee will air out the controversial topic in a series of public sessions. Other meetings will be held in St. Maries (Sept. 11), Sandpoint (Sept. 12), Soda Springs (Oct. 9), Idaho Falls (Oct. 9), Hailey (Oct. 10), and Twin Falls (Oct. 10),

The committee is made up of five Idaho senators and six state representatives and is co-chaired by Republicans Sen. Chuck Winder and Rep. Lawerence Denney.

This will be the second year of the two-year appointment of the interim committee. In October 2013, the same group of lawmakers heard from sportsmen, tribal leaders, environmental organizations, grazing interests and timber industry representatives.

"Most took a generally skeptical view of state ownership," wrote the Lewiston Tribune's Bill Spence in reporting on a Lewiston session. "Although the ranchers and timber representatives expressed a hope that some type of solution could be found to the cumbersome and ineffective federal land management process."