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Idaho seeks to increase assessment for private forest owners

Posted at 3:49 PM, Jan 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-23 17:49:47-05

BOISE — Lawmakers have introduced legislation that will for the first time in 16 years raise the assessment private forest owners pay the state to make sure logging is done in a sustainable way and in compliance with Idaho laws.

The House Resources and Conservation Committee on Tuesday unanimously advanced the legislation put forward by the Idaho Department of Lands.

State Forester David Groeschl told the committee that the state will run out of money next fiscal year for activities involving the state's Forest Practices Act.

The act allows the state to offer landowners assistance programs and logging consultation involving best practices for water quality and reforestation.

The state is asking for the cap on the fee to be raised from 10 cents to 20 cents per acre (.4 hectare).

If the cap is raised, the Department of Lands later this year would recommend that the five-member Idaho Land Board raise the fee to 13 cents an acre.