Great Seal of the State of Idaho

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September 27, 2016

CONTACT: Jon Hanian
(208) 334-2100





            (KAMIAH) – The State of Idaho auctioned a U.S. Forest Service timber sale for the first time today as part of a State-federal partnership to increase management activities on federal lands in Idaho.

            The Wapiti Timber Sale on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests is the first project developed under Good Neighbor Authority (GNA), a federal law that enables the Forest Service to partner with the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) to achieve restoration and resilient landscape objectives across ownership boundaries in Idaho.  A second GNA agreement signed earlier this month will authorize IDL to conduct timber sale layout and administration activities on the Payette National Forest in west-central Idaho.

            “Good Neighbor Authority makes it possible for the State of Idaho to leverage our support and land management expertise with the Forest Service to augment management activities happening on federal lands in Idaho,” Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter said. “These projects will reduce fuels on federally managed forests and reduce threats to communities and watersheds from catastrophic wildfires, improving forest health and creating jobs and economic benefits for our citizens.”

            McFarland Cascade submitted the winning bid to purchase the Wapiti Timber Sale, a plan to harvest 4.44 million board feet of timber across 216 acres on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. Approximately 110 mature trees per acre will be left in the harvest area after completion of the timber sale. The company paid a net amount of $1,418,675 for the timber. There were multiple bidders, resulting in the final net bid amount coming in more than $620,000 over the appraised price.

            The timber sale already has been evaluated and approved through the National Environmental Policy Act public process.

            Today’s timber sale auction and other projects planned for the Payette and Idaho Panhandle National Forests are the result of more than two years of work between the State of Idaho, Forest Service, timber companies, and other partners. GNA will help to increase the pace and scale of forest and watershed restoration activities on national forests in Idaho.

            The 2014 Farm Bill expanded GNA to all states. The Farm Bill also authorized Governor Otter to identify national forest system lands in Idaho in greatest need of treatment due to high risk of insect and disease mortality. Governor Otter submitted 1.8 million acres of designations to Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, and the designations were accepted in May 2014. Going forward, some GNA projects will be focused on treating the acres identified through this process. IDL hired a contractor in 2014 to facilitate GNA efforts between IDL and the Forest Service. 

            In 2015, the Idaho Legislature passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 126 aimed at increasing management activities on federal lands in Idaho. And in 2016 Governor Otter and the Idaho Legislature approved the hiring of three positions within IDL and contracts with professional foresters to prepare and administer GNA timber sales in Idaho.

            “The Idaho Department of Lands forestry professionals are well equipped to support efforts to increase management on federal forests in Idaho because of their extensive knowledge of timber sale preparation and administration and their familiarity with the federal lands in need of treatment,” IDL Director Tom Schultz said. “Hats off to the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests for working with Idaho to put up the first Good Neighbor Authority timber sale in the state.”

            “We recognize the need and benefits of resource and vegetation management on all lands,” Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest Supervisor Cheryl Probert said. “I am very proud of the foresight and collaboration of employees on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests and Idaho Department of Lands Maggie Creek Area as they forged the way for other collaborative efforts across the state. A long list of restoration projects has been identified to be completed as a result of the revenue generated from the sale, and benefits will be realized far beyond this initial effort.”

            The Wapiti Timber Sale will put 88 people to work, produce more than $2.9 million in wages and salaries, and generate more than $16.9 million in the sale of goods and services. The figures are derived from a 2016 study by the universities of Idaho and Montana on the Idaho forest products industry that states, “today each million board feet of timber harvested and processed in the state provides approximately 20 jobs (12 in the forest products industry plus eight indirect or induced jobs in supporting industries), $667,000 in wages and salaries, and generates $3.85 million in sales of goods and services.”

Additional information about GNA efforts in Idaho is available on the IDL web site here.


Sharla Arledge, Idaho Department of Lands | 208-334-0286 | pio@idl.idaho.gov
Jeannette Dreadfulwater, Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests | 208-512-9445 | jmdreadfulwater@fs.fed.us

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