A bill in the Idaho Legislature is targeting public lands. Image: Brian Brooks/IWF
BOISE, Idaho – Two sportsmen’s groups and a landowner are taking aim at a bill that not only would force Idaho state agencies to decide which public lands to get rid of but would prevent willing landowners from selling property to public agencies.
The Idaho Wildlife Federation, Trout Unlimited and landowner Erik Cetovick said Monday that Senate Bill 1065 in the Idaho Legislature could end up locking the public out of lands they have hunted and fished for generations. The bill also tips lawmakers’ hand in showing that the goal of taking over public lands is to sell them to private parties, dismantling Idahoans’ public-lands heritage, they added.
"For years now, our politicians have said that the transfer of public lands to the state is about better management. Well, now we have them flat out advising all state agencies to prioritize their land parcels for sale to private owner ship any lands that might not be fulfilling a 'public purpose,’” said Brian Brooks, executive director of the Idaho Wildlife Federation.