Dear public land owners,
Just in time for Thanksgiving, Idaho Senator Jim Risch has announced that a public meeting regarding the contentious Upper Lochsa Land Exchange will take place on Tuesday November 24 from 6 – 8 pm at the elementary school gymnasium in Grangeville, ID.
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, bringing us up to the November 24 meeting.
The two hour meeting will be split into two halves. The first half will consist of three panel discussions offering viewpoints from various positions. The second half will allow for public comment. In attendance with Senator Jim Risch, will be Idaho Governor Butch Otter, members of Western Pacific Timber, the Forest Service, the Nez Perce Tribe, and others.
If you would like to carpool with us from Moscow on Tuesday November 24, call our office at 208-882-9755. We intend to depart from the south end of the Safeway parking lot at 3:30 pm, and return after the meeting.
Senator Jim Risch is also accepting written comments up to December 11. Please email them to Mr. Darren Parker. Consider telling Senator Risch that any land exchange is against the public interest and bad for the future of public lands! The best solution to this may be for Congress to work with the Nez Perce Tribe and others to complete a purchase option that will bring the upper Lochsa back in to public ownership.
Education & Outreach Director