No "Widespread Violations" of Idaho State Constitution
Idaho Department of Lands Trust Sales
BOISE, ID – The Idaho Department of Lands finished up a 21-month review of endowment trust land sales to see if the state had “widespread violation” of the Idaho constitutional limit on how much land can be sold to one individual, company, or corporation.
In February 2017 the Wilderness Society and Idaho Conservation League issued a news release with that claim. They also claimed “the state of Idaho has a history of breaking its own constitution to hand public land to private ownership.”
The next month Idaho Department of Lands started the review of historical documents on the land sales. The study determined that at least 98 percent of acres sold since statehood did not exceed sale thresholds in the Idaho constitution, and the other two percent couldn’t prove overages because historical records are unclear or don’t exist.
"The examination of more than 100 years of historic endowment land sales confirms there is no basis for claims by environmental advocacy groups that past Land Boards engaged in widespread violations of the Idaho Constitution,” IDL Director Dustin Miller said. “Considering the lack of modern computer tracking systems in the state’s first 100 years and the difficulty of manual record keeping statewide, it speaks well of the commitment to managing endowment lands for the beneficiaries.”