Idaho: Retired forest service employees denounce corrupt Upper Lochsa Land Exchange

“The public, whose land you manage in trust, is once again about to get the shaft from someone who is supposed to care for the land and serve the people,” the letter said. And late last year they sent a letter to the Latah County commissioners stating, “Our clear and urgent concern is that the proposed Upper Lochsa Land Exchange will trigger the eventual loss of a significant amount of readily accessible public lands for the citizens of Latah and other surrounding counties.”

Get full text; support writer, producer of the words:

Seven former administrators of the Palouse Ranger District are
blasting a U.S. Forest Service plan to trade 28,000 acres of managed
forest for about 39,000 acres of logged-over timber company land in
northern Idaho. John Krebs, a retired Forest Service employee, said
the plan is fundamentally flawed because much of the public land has
been carefully managed for the public’s use. “The whole Palouse is
prime,” he told The Lewiston Tribune.

“It’s got old growth in it, riparian protection. It is the prime example of management. And the Forest Service has never told the public this story.” Western Pacific Timber, a logging company based in Portland, Ore., is offering to trade land it owns that includes portions of the Lewis and Clark and Nez Perce National Historic Trails.

Krebs and the others have written letters to local and national officials detailing their concerns about the proposed Upper Lochsa Land Exchange. The timber company is owned by lumberman and developer Tim Blixseth, who bought the land in 2005 from the Plum Creek Timber Co. and then announced he was interested in trading it for public land.

Get full text; support writer, producer of the words:

The Forest Service has recently entered into an agreement to initiate
a land exchange with Western Pacific Timber (WPT), LLC. In the
proposed land exchange the Forest Service would acquire approximately
39,371 acres of former Plum Creek Timber Co. lands in the upper Lochsa
River drainage (see Western Pacific Timber map below) in exchange for
approximately 28,212 acres of National Forest System (NFS) land. The
NFS lands are located on the Clearwater, Nez Perce and Idaho Panhandle
National Forests (see Forest maps below). The lands included in this
proposed exchange are located within Benewah, Clearwater, Latah,
Shoshone, Bonner, Kootenai and Idaho Counties.

The Clearwater National Forest recently completed a feasibility analysis (see below) of the proposed exchange as a first level screen to; review forest management plans, identify public benefit, identify availability of resources to complete the proposed exchange, identify title and property description problems and identify potential support and opposition.  The next step in the exchange process is to complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. The EIS will be prepared to describe the proposal and disclose the effects of the land exchange. The EIS includes a public involvement process which will begin this fall. For more information on this proposed exchange please contact Teresa Trulock at  208-935-4256. Questions can be directed to Western Pacific Timber at  the following email address:

Get full text; support writer, producer of the words:

Download now or preview on posterous

Upper Lochsa Land Exchange.pdf (3401 KB)

Comments (3)

stickApril 9th, 2009 at 12:01 am

This is the first time I’ve heard of this. The feds should re-claim the public Lochsa lands and not give them an acre of anything off the palouse/clearwater districts. That’s bs. I’m really curious to see what the county commissioners have to say in the fall.

Cheryl D HalversonApril 26th, 2009 at 2:23 pm

We were just alerted to this by a neighbor. Then I checked the information on the website. Most of the land in the Potlatch Ranger District and for that matter in the whole of Latah County and lower Benewah County is land that is used by the public for recreation, hunting or is watershed. Mary McCroskey State Park is accessed by Skyline Drive. I don’t think most of us realized how small the actual state land was. If his deal goes through it will be an isolated piece in the midst of clear cuts. Our land and that of several of my husband’s family members abuts directly north of an affected lpiece on West Dennis. There are access roads which are well used. People huckleberry up there, they hunt deer and grouse, they snowmobile there. And in wet years our creek begins up there. In fact the water right section lists our water right-I am not sure why. Potlatch just did a clearcut to the North and east of here and owns land directly to the west. Needless to say we are not thrilled with the idea of clearcuts all the way around us nor are we thrilled with who Tim Blixseth is (anyone hear of the Yellowstone Club?

Boise Idaho NewsDecember 1st, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Wow, the land looks beautiful. Love the photos. it woud be a shame to lose this great resource for fishing and hunting. Sad!
.-= Boise Idaho News´s last blog ..Tour Boise Idaho =-.

Leave a comment

Your comment