During its history, the state of Idaho has sold off more than 1.7 million acres of land to private interests, according to an analysis of land sale data by The Wilderness Society released this week.
On Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands and National Forests, the agencies are mismanaging the use of off-road vehicles (ORVs) such as dirt bikes, snowmobiles, and all-terrain vehicles, resulting in unnecessary damage to watersheds and wildlife, and conflict with other recreationists.
For this report, The Wilderness Society reviewed data from more than 16,000 parcels auctioned off by the state. The analysis details more than a century of land sales that have privatized and closed off an amount of once-accessible lands nearly the size of the entire Sawtooth National Forest.
According to the report, Idaho’s 1.7 million acres of sold-off state lands have included more than 100,000 acres sold since the year 2000. In many cases, these sales have cut off public access to cherished outdoor recreation spots or even allowed lands to become industrialized.