Land Board Memo Recommends Denial of Grazing Lease to IWP


Friends of Idaho Watersheds Project:

The Idaho Department of Lands has issued staff memoranda to the Idaho Land Board in preparation for the Board's regular November meeting on Tuesday November 9, 1999.

The memos make staff recommendations in regard to auctions recently held on expiring grazing leases including one where Idaho Watersheds Project was an applicant and the high bidder at auction.

IWP won the auction for expiring lease G-6359 on September 28, 1999 with a bid of $1500 to Highland Livestock's final bid of $1050. The lease is for 777 acres of Idaho school endowment land located in Ada County about 4 miles north of Boise, Idaho and includes about 1 mile of Cottonwood Creek.

Brad Little, the multimillionaire owner of Highland Livestock, did not appeal the auction; however, in a staff memo without precedent, the Department of Lands has recommended that he be awarded the lease anyway ! Nowhere in the staff report is any mention of the Idaho constitutional requirement that Idaho's school endowment lands be managed for "the greatest long-term financial return" to the beneficiaries (the public schools).

IWP suggests readers may want to consider attending the Land Board meeting in Boise on the 9th to enjoy and savor the sight of high public officials in the act of violating their own state constitution ! The meeting commences at 9:00 A.M. at the East Conference Room at the Joe Williams Office Building (the Hall of Mirrors) across from the Statehouse.