Leadore Republican Rep. Merrill Beyeler
stood before his colleagues in the Idaho House Thursday morning to set the record straight: an email with his name on it didn't come from him.
In particular, the email references House Bill 265
that calls for the creation of an interstate compact on the transfer of federal public lands. In 2013, the Idaho Legislature passed a concurrent resolution calling for an interim committee to study the transfer of federal lands to Idaho, and one of the recommendations was to pursue a compact with other Western States concerning the issue.
The bogus email, which put Beyeler's name at the bottom, urged other legislators to vote "no" on HB 265.
"This did not come from me," said Beyeler. "One of the things I hold sacred is freedom of speech, and when others speak for us, that is offensive to me at the very core."
About 64 percent of land in Idaho is federally owned – the third-highest percentage of any state – and most of it is managed by either the Bureau of Land Management or the U.S. Forest Service.
HB 265 is one of four different bills making their way through the Idaho Statehouse, all of them calling for increased state control of the federal lands.