Western Pacific Timber wants to exchange 39,000-acres of heavily roaded and cut-over private lands in the headwaters of the Lochsa drainage for undeveloped public lands on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. From 2008 – 2013 the Forest Service produced two environmental impact statements offering different exchange proposals, with both generating strong opposition from citizens.
In 2013, the Idaho Congressional delegation sent a letter to the Forest Service requesting they cease the current administrative process and to instead assist with the legislative process. Since then, Western Pacific Timber has worked with various entities to craft legislation.
Senator Jim Risch wants to hear from the public, and is accepting written comments up to December 11. Please email them to Mr. Darren Parker. firstname.lastname@example.org
Talking points to consider:
- The 39,000 acres owned by Western Pacific Timber needs to return to public ownership.
- A land exchange does not serve the public interest, however, and is not the way to regain ownership.
- A complete purchase option through the Land & Water Conservation Fund, or another vehicle, is the way to go.
- Purchasing the land is a win-win because it begins the process of restoring those badly roaded and logged lands, but saves thousands of other acres on the national forest from being roaded, logged and developed.
- The public vigorously opposes an exchange of any kind, whether it be through the administrative, or legislative process.
Consider reading the recent editorial by Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune.
Watch video 1 of the public meeting in Grangeville with US Senator Jim Risch.
Watch video 2 of the public meeting in Grangeville with US Senator Jim Risch.