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Butch Otter

Idaho eyes closing some state forest lands amid fire danger

Officials need to consider closing public access to some state forest lands because of private timberland owners' concerns about extreme wildfire danger this year, Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter said. Consultant Jim Riley told Otter and other members of the Idaho Land Board on Tuesday that a million acres of private land has been closed to the public this year due to potential wildfire. "We think it's time that the state at least array for itself the options that you have to effect more closures of perhaps state land and other land that's adjacent or in particular volatile places," Riley told the Land Board. "Public safety is at risk here." He...

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