City Government

Guv Says “Possible Deal Only” On Hammer Flat

Guv Butch Otter made news on Thursday when he called the GUARDIAN birthday gathering broadcast live on KBOI AM 670’sNate Shelman show to tell us, “There is no deal on Hammer Flat. There is only a possible deal.”

He said no Fish and Game funds would be used unless hunting is allowed on the 700 acres. Meanwhile the Daily Paper reports the city of Boise wants a “no hunt” deed restriction in any sales of the city land to the State.

Otter called to congratulate us for 5 years publishing on-line. He also advocated the GUARDIAN stance on public hearings and transparency for things like land deals between government agencies. The issue has been the topic of many news reports after the Idaho Statesman broke the story.

EDITOR NOTE–The GUARDIAN has covered HAMMER FLAT more than four years. We have been consistent in opposing development in the area as a glance at the posts will reveal. We also applaud the avowed INTENT of supplementing wildlife habitat. We abhor secret meetings to discuss how to spend the public’s money. There can be no justification to go into executive session when two public agencies are discussing a land deal.

Boise officials have not been so consistent. They have made numerous exceptions to land use agreements with regard to Harris Ranch and facilitated development of residential and commercial property on farmland that was previously shared by wildlife. The East Park Center Bridge also played into the deal with Harris Ranch.

The office of Mayor Dave Bieter (Team Dave) refused to answer our media questions two weeks ago, forcing us to resort to a public records query of “20 questions.” They provided the info to the Daily Paper and now seek $86 from the GUARDIAN for what we can get free at the Statesman…despite our written request to call if it was to cost more than $25. Hence the rant in the previous post.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. (The sounds of crickets) Where are all of those who lambasted the Guardian in the previous post?
    I guess ya’ll are out to dinner and will post your apologies when you return! I am really looking forward to your apology Elaine!
    “Hey Clem!! ya want to go up to that Hammer Flats place and git us a deer? Real close to town. We be back in town by noon”. Yet again, Bieter looks the fool!!

  2. Blazing Saddle
    May 27, 2010, 7:21 pm

    Otter, the king of the back room shady deal, siding with Frasure,the king of whatever logic works so long as it is against Bieter, in opposition of the single most popular event that has happened in Boise in a decade.


    It keeps getting nuttier, and nuttier.

  3. BG,
    Thanks for the party tonight. Glad I got to say hi. Sorry I couldn’t stay longer. Keep up the good work.


  4. Thanks for the hospitality at your party and good meeting you. Hopefully Butch will bring a little common sense and transparency to the table if a deal does go through.

  5. Thanks for the hospitality at the party.

    Nice bunch of folks showed up and I met up with a coworker from long ago at the party.

  6. Government “transparency” does not immediately leap to my mind with Clem “Butch” Otter. It’ll be interesting to observe the transparency with which the guv ensures that “no Fish and Game funds would be used unless hunting is allowed on the 700 acres.”

  7. Blazing Saddle, you are kidding, Right? Do you really believe that the deal between Boise and IFG came about in the last two weeks? You really don’t see where this has been a “deal” since Boise bought Hammer Flats? You actually don’t have a problem with Boise operating as a “bank” and, in effect, giving IFG a loan until they can find the money to pay for it? Do you have the remotest idea what the interest is on $4,000,000.00? That money is gone from the citizens. And you think Bieter is “clean” on this whole charade? Please tell me you didn’t vote last Tuesday!!

  8. Casual Observer
    May 27, 2010, 9:58 pm

    You were endorsed by Butch! Who’s next, Palin, Rand Paul, and Vaugn Ward?

  9. You’re kidding me. Fraud on the internet? No way!

    Seriously, I applaud the effors of the Guardian to shed some light on this deal. Speaking from experience, I know this isn’t the only example of city officials acting in a shady manner.

    So as a conservative gun owner and hunter I’m allowed my own conspiracy theories too right? Somehow I think this land deal is going to impact hunters’ use of the area in a negative way.

  10. I don’t agree with the secrecy (and that’s Dave’s main grip here). However, IDFG is supposed to be independent from politics (as Gov. Batt conceded) and statute allows for preserves. Not sure what Butch thinks he is doing. See Idaho code 36-103.Wildlife property of state — Preservation.

  11. I am so pleased that you are out front on supporting the environment over suburban development that only adds to the urban sprawl problem that was evident over 40 years ago when I was a reporter at the Statesman. On an unrelated topic, my high school buddy Harold Vossen in Sandpoint says Canadians are illegal immigrants in the Panhandle. This is quite amusing. Maybe they are escaping from free health care in Canada. Vossen claims they are dealing drugs. Northern Idaho was always interesting.

  12. Dave:

    Heard Governor Otter’s comment live last night. It was welcome news.

    I also thought it was pretty gracious of Virgil Moore to appear on behalf of IDFG.

    Keep doing what you’re doing. Someone needs to hold these rascals responsible for their execrable behavior.

    EDITOR NOTE–since Muck has been the 2nd reader to slip in a new word we have to explain to non library types (EXECRABLE: “extremely bad or unpleasant”).

  13. Dr Spiegelvogel
    May 28, 2010, 11:32 am

    Two points: Regarding transparency: Otter didn’t mention the closed Republican caucuses which set the agenda for the State Legislature.

    And hunting on Hammer Flat is a non-issue. The deer and sometimes elk are not there until hunting season is over, after being driven down by snow cover.

    Most hunters know that using Hammer Flat to help preserve the Boise River herd (25,000 mule deer) will increase the deer population, especially after hard winters. This herd spreads out all the way out to Grandjean before coming down for the winter.

    What is the real reason for the hunting issue. I don’t know but there is a whiff of politics is in the air.

    EDITOR NOTE–Perhaps that “whiff” is like the smell of napalm.

  14. Various observations:

    – SORRY I missed the hootenanny! I attended a previous anniversary party, and it was enjoyable to put faces with names. Congrats, Dave! (I hope you weren’t left holding a huge property-damage bill, on account of your rowdy readers.)

    – Does the Guardian merit criticism for being generally critical of local-gummint practices? I’d say not… after all, it’s the Guardian! Very clearly-defined mission. If it’s puff pieces you want, there are plenty of news outlets with pretty talking media heads, talking to gummint PR flaks who were formerly pretty talking media heads.

    – No matter who ends up holding the deed for “Hammer Flats,” I wish we could all agree here and now to cease with that name, and start calling it the “Ernie Elk Memorial Wildlife Refuge” (or alternately the “Ernie Elk Memorial Huntin’ Ridge”).

    Cheers, everybody! Here’s to another five years!

  15. These creative high financing schemes are way too common with local governmental entities. I have long decided that it comes from having small-time policos succumbing so easily to the lobbyists and chamber busy bees, falling under their money and flattery spells and desperately trying to prove that they also wear suits and can engage in complex financing deals. It really is tedious, but more than that, it is wrong and should be punished. Local government is the most corrupt and unaccountable form of government we have.

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