Fight over public lands brewing in statehouse

Posted at 2:23 PM, Mar 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-17 16:23:34-04

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Idaho lawmakers are once again reviving efforts to convince the federal government to relinquish control over public lands throughout the Gem State and much of the West.

Disagreement over management of federal land has spanned decades. However, tensions between the competing interests have peaked in the wake of an armed takeover of an Oregon wildlife refuge that lasted 41 days, multiple arrests and one death earlier this year.

Rep. Judy Boyle, a Republican from Midvale, traveled to Oregon twice during the standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to show support for the armed protesters. She has since introduced two public lands proposals to the Idaho Legislature.

The first measure would remove past consent of land sales to the federal government -- an argument repeatedly struck down in courts. The second bill would create a management framework in the unlikely event it acquires federal lands.