BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter says closing public access to some state forest lands amid wildfire concerns by private timberland owners is an option that has to be considered due to extreme fire danger this year.
Consultant Jim Riley on Tuesday told Otter and other members of the Idaho Land Board that a million acres of private land has been closed this year to the public due to potential wildfire.
Riley says the private owners are concerned about human-caused fires starting on state land and spreading to neighboring timber stands.
The Land Board oversees about a million forested acres in Idaho and is constitutionally required to produce the maximum long-term return with the money mainly benefiting public schools.
Fire restrictions are already in place for most of Idaho's forested areas.