Kahle Becker, former Deputy Attorney General for the Idaho Department of Lands, has been fighting hard to protect Idaho’s public lands from what he (and the Idaho State Attorney General) thinks is misguided legislation. House bill 582, the public lands multiple use sustained yield act, seeks to move ownership and management of the federal lands in the state of Idaho to the state. Among Becker’s many concerns with the bill are loss of public access, sale of public lands to private interests, and state budget shortfalls from the costs required to manage the lands. Becker notes that one severe fire year can result in hundreds of millions of dollars in fire fighting costs, a figure that would decimate Idaho’s current budget. Becker also expresses concern with the expedited path of the bill which has precluded sufficient public comment for a proposal with such far reaching impacts in a state that is 63% federal lands.
The bill made it past it’s first hurdle today as it was voted 12-3 in favor in the House Resources Committee. But the bill is still a long ways to go before being passed as law. If that does happen, so begins a costly legal battle between the state of Idaho and the Federal Government.
Use the player below to listen to the interview with Kahle Becker and learn more.
My interview with Kahle aired on Radio Boise Tuesday 3-15-2016. You can listen to live shows by tuning in to Radio Boise Tuesdays @ 3 PM on 89.9 FM or 93.5 FM in the Treasure Valley. Or stream online @ http://www.radioboise.org.
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