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Endowment lands in southern Idaho closed due to misuse

Posted at 5:41 PM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 19:41:26-04

POWER COUNTY, Idaho — An area of endowment land at the east for of Rock Creek in Power County has been closed due to people abusing the recreation parcel.

The decision was made after trash, human waste and large tread marks were found left over. The large divots pose a safety threat and are a cost to refurbish back to normal.

Endowment lands are significant in the funding of public schools last year, earning over $54,000,000 and also supporting universities and colleges in Idaho.

“We had to close the land and that is really a last course of action that we wish to take. In a perfect world folks will respect endowment land. Treat it like their own backyard. Not leave garbage, not leave human waste piles for others to counter or have to pick up,” said Scott Phillips, policy communications chief at Idaho Department of Land.

Endowment lands make up over 2.4 million acres of land in Idaho stretching from the Canadian border to southern and eastern Idaho. most of the money generated by endowment lands help Idahoans.

Related: Idaho gears up for wildfire season with bolstered crews

“Money that’s generated from the management of endowment land directly reduces the tax burdens that citizens would otherwise have to pay to support these institutions,” said Phillips.

One other concern is potential wildfire risks caused by campers leaving smoldering fires, and as Idaho heads into hotter weeks, this risk can't be taken lightly.

“Its going to be an extreme fire season in the southern and eastern portions of the states where we have a lot of range land and grass development form the wet spring so its something very serious for folks to keep their eye on,” said Phillips.

For more information on Idaho's endowment lands, click here. For more information on the closure, click here.