The Wilks brothers, two Texas billionaires, purchased 172,000 acres of private property in Valley County that was previously owned by Boise Cascade and then Potlatch. That hit the news and the uproar began. The media certainly didn’t help by jumping to many incorrect assumptions! Albert Einstein was right when he said, “Assumptions are made and most assumptions are wrong”.
Here is what is Correct:
• DF Development LLC which is owned by two gentlemen from Texas purchased the property.
• All logging contracts were cancelled. They will be reissued according to the guidelines of the new owners.
• Most public access through their property is done through cost share agreements or easements. The new owners are willing to work with Valley County on any access concerns.
• Representatives of the company are currently having regular conversations with Larry Laxson, Valley County Parks and Recreation about future use of their land.
• This company owns property in Idaho County and according to a County Commissioner there, they are fine landowners and good partners.
• The owners of the property are not experienced with recreation needs but they are more than willing to listen and learn.
• While touring the land before the purchase, they became concerned about over-logging, the size and condition of the elk herds and the amount of GARBAGE in and around the dispersed camping sites.
If we are going to be allowed to continued access to their property beyond what is covered by easements, we are going to have to prove that we can be good neighbors and dependable partners. We will need to demonstrate that they can trust us to use their land in a responsible manner. Remember they are under no legal obligation to allow public access anymore than you have to let people use your property. It is truly a privilege and we must respect their right to determine how their property is used.
A good lesson for all of us. Verify our easements. Make sure they are Easements Appurtenant so they last into perpetuity.
Another case of bad information from the media! If you believe everything you hear on TV news, you would think that all grooming has been shut down for this winter near Idaho City because of the Pioneer Fire. That simply isn’t true! No decisions about grooming have been made. The fire will soon be 100% contained. At that time, the Forest Service will be able to tell what needs to be done before grooming can begin. I plan on attending a FS tour of the area at the end of the month and will be able to see firsthand what the problems are and how we can resolve them.
It is hard to find good news when it comes to catastrophic fires but there is some. The District Ranger in Idaho City, Brandt Petersen, is one of the most dedicated fair-minded Rangers with whom I have ever worked. He understands how important the area is to sledders and to the local economy. ISSA will work closely with the Forest Service and IDPR to get as many areas as possible opened.
Public Land Director
Valley County Parks
and Recreation Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2016
Daines: Montanans Know Best How to Protect our Resources
U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today worked to protect Montanans from the Obama administration’s unilateral efforts to designate large areas of land as national monuments.
During a Committee on Energy and Natural Resources legislative hearing, Daines pressed the Obama administration to ensure that any monument designation secured the input of Montanans who live and work on the land and know best how to protect those resources.
“Too often, unilateral designations completely ignore the needs of the local communities, farmers and ranchers, sportsmen and small business owners directly impacted by new monument designations,” Daines stated. “Any designation that has the potential to impact land management must be made locally, not by D.C. bureaucrats.”
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The bills considered in today’s hearing include:
- 437: Amends the Antiquities Act to require, before the President could designate a national monument, 1) Congressional approval of the proposed national monument; and 2) notice from the Governor of the State in which the proposed monument is located that the State legislature has enacted legislation approving the designation. The bill also prohibits the President from designating a national monument in marine waters unless: 1) the monument is specifically authorized by Congress; 2) the President has certified compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act; and 3) the Governor of each State located within 100 nautical miles of the proposed national monument submits notice that the State legislature has approved the proposed designation.
- 1416: A bill to limit the President’s authority to reserve water rights in designating a national monument: Requires any water rights reserved associated with a Presidentially-created national monument be reserved only in accordance with state laws in which the water rights are located.
Daines has long worked to protect Montana from administrative abuses of the Antiquities Act. Daines introduced an amendment to S.1, legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, that would express the sense of Congress that all future national monument designations should be subject to consultation with local governance and the approval of the Governor and legislature of states in which designation would occur. He also introduced an amendment to S.Con.Res 11 to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to ensure states’ and local governments’ voices are heard in all new national monument designations under the Antiquities Act.
In the House, Daines introduced the Montana Land Sovereignty Act to prohibit the establishment of new national monuments in Montana without Congressional review and approval. Daines also supported the Ensuring Public Involvement in the Creation of National Monuments Act, which requires that the President secure public participation and local support before any new monuments are declared.
2012 ID F&G ATV Internet Impact Survey
Take <5 Minute Survey at:
Idaho Fish and Game Commission is in the process of revising its rules on use of motorized vehicles off road while hunting, and it is seeking public input through an Internet survey. A survey is asking participants about their experiences using and encountering OHVs (Off Highway Vehicles aka ATVs) while hunting, and how they feel about restrictions on the use of OHVs while hunting.
The questionnaire has been mailed to a random sample of 4,000 people who are either hunters or OHV owners in Idaho. Any interested persons can take the survey online at: