Idaho officials OK big increase in logging state lands

The Idaho Land Board on Tuesday voted to ramp up harvest on the state's forests over a four-year span to bring in about $20 million more annually for beneficiaries, mainly public schools. (Image source: MGN)
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BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Idaho officials are increasing logging on state lands by more than 30 percent and plan to build a seed orchard in northern Idaho to plant trees to replace those cut down.

The Idaho Land Board on Tuesday voted to ramp up harvest on the state's forests over a four-year span to bring in about $20 million more annually for beneficiaries, mainly public schools.

Officials with the Idaho Department of Lands told Idaho Republican Gov. Brad Little and other Land Board members that a better method of inventorying the state's timber holdings found significantly more timber available for cutting.

The Lands Department says cutting mature stands will reduce the risk of loss due to disease, insects and wildfires.

The board also approved a $165,000 plan by the Lands Department to start a seed orchard near Lewiston to provide western larch and Douglas-fir seed.

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