Study: Federal Lands Transfer Could Cost Idaho $111 Million Annually

Dec 8, 2014

Credit Miguel Vieira / Flickr Creative Commons

A new report says Idaho could lose up to $111 million a year if the state took control of its federal public lands.

The University of Idaho's Policy Analysis Group report was requested by a legislative committee tasked with studying a state takeover of federal land in Idaho. The panel will finalize its recommendation Tuesday.

The nonpartisan researchers found that Idaho could lose millions of dollars in eight out of nine different scenarios. Researchers based their findings on the assumption that Idaho's timber industry would benefit under state management, but Idaho would face increased fire suppression costs and other management expenses.

Researchers saw a profit of $24 million a year under one scenario where Idaho had the highest harvest levels sold at the highest prices.