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Forest wars echo through Idaho public land transfer debate

Idaho County Commissioner Jim Chmelik is one of the most passionate voices for a state takeover of public lands. He can provide chapter and verse for the obscure legal argument that a Utah lawmaker developed with states-rights legal scholars showing

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Posted in Letters from the West

Should we replace multiple use with dominant use on public lands?

The term multiple use grew into a powerful phrase that signaled the long-time consensus view for managing public lands. It first appeared in a 1933 U.S. Forest Service report describing the five major uses of forests; timber production, watershed protection,

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Posted in Letters from the West

Vote against Fish & Game’s Hurlock reveals rural-urban divide in Idaho GOP

It’s no surprise that Monday’s Senate’s rebuke of GOP Gov. Butch Otter’s Fish & Game Commissioner Joan Hurlock included a hint of the urban-rural divisions that have long defined Idaho politics. Of the nine Republicans who supported Hurlock in a

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Posted in Idaho Politics