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Mixed Public Reaction on Idaho’s Bid to Take Federal Land

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Lawmakers mulling the merits of taking control of millions of acres of federal land are getting mixed reviews on the plan from the public.

Proponents of a state takeover said Wednesday state management of public lands would be a critical first step to rejuvenating Idaho’s logging industry and reinvigorating rural communities. Supporters also argued the state would be a better steward of the resources.

Earlier this year, the Legislature approved a resolution demanding that the federal government cede most of the public land it oversees to the state. Wednesday’s meeting of the Interim Committee on Public Lands gave the public its first chance to weigh in. Critics countered that a state takeover would create a financial burden and could lead to a massive sell-off of public acreage.

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