City Government

Foothills Lockout Not Popular With Neighbors On Eve Of Levy Celebration

Some neighbors in the eastern foothills area purchased by Boise City at a cost of $4 million last year are joining forces to protest a lockout by Idaho Fish and Game on the public land.

No two ways about it, Boise has been less than transparent with the expenditure of public funds and the subsequent management of the land. A year ago after the GUARDIAN revealed the city was acting as “straw man” for the purchase, the city admitted they had agreed to sell the Hammer Flats area to the Idaho Fish and Game Department.

Hang glider enthusiasts were unhappy about denied access and have met with Team Dave and IDF&G over the issue. Now we are told there is a growing discord among neighbors–some of whom have signed a petition asking for admittance to the city land. They plan to present the signatures to the mayor and city council in the near future.

One insider tells us there has been discussion to allow access during hunting season–not a good idea for children and pets. That is probably because Gov. Butch told the GUARDIAN a year ago he would not allow sportsman funds to be used for the IDF&G purchase from the city unless hunting were allowed. Boise does not allow hunting on city land.

So far IDF&G has not come up with the cash to purchase the land and they have locked the public out of the area under an agreement with the city.

We applaud the idea of open space, conservation easements, and good stewardship of the land. However, one must acknowledge the Fish and Game purchase deal was conducted in secret for no apparent reason and it consumed 40% of the levy money for what amounts to a city funded loan to the State of Idaho.

Ten years ago the levy was spearheaded illegally using city assets–including staff and cash resources–to promote one side of a ballot issue. Also, the ballot was prepared by the committee of proponents and printed without city council approval, contrary to law. City council was not informed of $50,000 spent on a video promoting the levy by the former mayor who ultimately resigned in shame and went to jail.

Meanwhile the latest crop of City officials is throwing a party at the Boise Depot Saturday afternoon from 2-4 p.m. to celebrate the foothills and the $10 million levy passed by voters 10 years ago. Before we get too excited about another levy, the conservation idea needs to be expanded to the rest of the city. Also before any more annexation in the Southwest portion of the city is allowed, we need to set some rules about purchases of land and its use.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. It never ceases to amaze me that the hardest places for the public to get access to are owned by the public.

  2. A “sale” is the exchange of goods or property for an agreed sum. How can there be a sale when no one has paid anything for the property involved. Until there is an exchange of money, it seems to me that the property is still owned by the city and F&G has no right to lock it up!! This whole thing just stinks to high heaven!

  3. I want to know if the IDF&G is going to be responsible if there is a fire the area they want to open to hunting? I can remember when there was a hue and cry when it was mentioned that sheep graze the foot hills to lessen fire danger. Now guns, potentially drunken hunters and, in some cases, their sidekick dogs are welcome just so bambis can be shot, gutted and DRUG out. My how times have changed. Where are you PETA?

  4. I’m sure they will do what’s best for The City of Boise. We silly children should just trust in the city fathers to do right by us. We are not smart enough to spend wisely in our best interests. They will do better for us, each time every time. Their vision and judgment is beyond our capacity. Ye have little faith. Shame! So fortunate they no longer witch hunt!

  5. If it weren’t for the intrusive neighbors and their homes none of this would have happened or been necessary. The land would have continued to be winter range, unthreatened by human encroachment. Granted Boise allowed those homes, which was wrong in the first place, and City Fathers have got themselves in a muddle now when they tried to somewhat rectify it. But frankly, with so much human pressure there, it probably should be marked for little or no access.

  6. Public means Us the tax payers.

  7. Karen-I don’t think hunting or the sportsman deserve the stereotype you just placed on them.

    Cyclops- You may be on to something. What if there were a reason the sale could not go through.

    EDITOR NOTE–The only “reason” the sale hasn’t gone through that we have heard is that F&G can’t come up with the cash to buy it.

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