Gov. Otter makes pitch for state control of public land in Idaho


BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter says giving Idaho management control of some federal land in the state would make forests healthier and potentially reduce the size and intensity of wildfires.

Otter testified Tuesday in Washington D.C., urging a House subcommittee to create a pilot project giving the state control over 2 million of the more than 20 million acres of national forest in Idaho.

Otter said the land would be managed by a trust board focused on increasing revenue and improving management.

The hearing hosted by the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation. The Idaho Statesman reports the committee is looking at forest trust programs in 22 states.

Republican Subcommittee Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, argued that it’s time for a paradigm shift for national forests.

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