Idaho Lands Officials Request 8 Percent Budget Increase

Feb 2, 2015

State lands officials are requesting more money for wildfire suppression and a better public records keeping system for fiscal year 2016.

Idaho Department of Lands Director Tom Schultz asked legislative budget writers Monday for $100,000 for the first phase of a system that will make it easier to fill public record requests. Overall, the department is seeking roughly a $3.7 million, or 8 percent, budget boost.

Officials requested $17.5 million to cover the cost of fighting wildfires in 2013 — more than the two previous years combined, and more than double the 10-year average. An additional $27.7 million will be required next year to fund wildfire suppression in 2014.

He also requested $250,000 for a study on navigable waters, which is not included in Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's budget.