Former Legislator Questions Land Board Action

Former Idaho Representative Bob Forrey has been an ardent opponent of recent Land Board actions regarding cottage leases, trades of state land for commercial property, and the Land Board going into commercial business operations like the storage unit venture in Boise.
The following is a guest opinion from him.


Despite a constitutional mandate to hold an auction and a previous ruling by the Idaho Supreme Court, the five members of Idaho’s Land Board voted Tuesday, Nov. 12 at a special meeting to extend 188 cottage leases at Priest Lake and Payette Lake without an auction.”

In 2012 the Court ruled: “…the Board breached its duty as trustee when it failed to lease endowment lands to the highest bidder in a public auction.”

This Court opinion went on to say, “…it is clearly unconstitutional as – in eliminating the conflict auction procedure and instead requiring “market rent.”

Market rent is established by holding an auction and the Court says the auction is mandatory.

In spite of theses requirements, all five of the Land Board members voted to extend the expiring leases for one year without holding an auction. All of the current leases expire on Dec. 31, 2012. In order to extend or write new leases, the Board is required by the Idaho Constitution to hold an auction. (Art IX, Sec.8).

Another problem facing the Land Board is the lot appraisals conducted during 2012 – 2013. Many of the lessees complained about the values of the appraisals and refused to sign new lease agreements. The Board is now spending more money to re-appraise the properties. One must question the competence of the appraisers in the first place.

EDITOR NOTE–The GUARDIAN offers equal space for any opposing positions on this and any other issues.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Richard Evensen
    Nov 14, 2013, 1:15 pm

    Thank you Mr Forrey.
    The failure to hold an auction and the attempted swap of lease land for commercial property are gross violations.
    It is obvious that current lease holders got together and criminally conspired to obtain an option on property, and then proposed to swap it for the state property they are currently leasing. Dirty deeds indeed.

  2. Mr.Evensen- Here is process as proposed by the IDL for the swaps. It looks like the lease holders were just following the proposed process.

    Mr. Forrey- The state did publish qualifications for appraisers. Section XII covers it.

    The extensions may be legal without an auction. They were for a period of 1 year and may be allowed under the misc. section in the Cottage Lease Contracts. A renewal of the an expired lease would of needed a conflict auction per Wasden v. Landboard.

    Here a good difference between the renewal vs. extension.
    “Most people, including judges and some real estate professionals, confuse lease extension with lease renewal. From a technical perspective, the parties have to sign a brand-new lease in order to renew a lease. A lease extension is extending the term, which implies on the terms and conditions of the existing lease. A lease can be extended by a brief instrument which recites the new term and any changed term, which usually is the rent payable in the extended term.”

    I thought the process was odd in that the swaps were to be conducted prior to the auctions. At least they would of had hard sales date(market value) of these properties.

  3. Grumpy ole guy
    Nov 14, 2013, 10:25 pm

    It confuses me as to how the appraisals are to be made, and by whom. County Assessors,the State Land Board, or State Parks? To what comprable properties are these lots compared? Each other or private property which is within the same county? Or, some other status?

  4. Richard Evensen
    Nov 15, 2013, 7:10 am

    Clancy- It is obvious that a group a renters is trying to avoid the auction process. The “process” is the IDL acting improperly to let the renters achieve ownership through a closed process. That is simply wrong, period. The problem remains that current lot renters feel they are a priviledged group with special rights to our land. No matter how much they want that to be so, it is not.

  5. Richard, That exchange process is authorized via the State Constitution (Article 9, Section 8): “The legislature shall have power to authorize the state board of land commissioners to exchange granted or acquired lands of the state on an equal value basis for other lands under agreement with the United States, local units of government, corporations, companies, individuals, or combinations thereof.”

  6. chicago sam
    Nov 15, 2013, 9:10 pm

    Clancy — The key words are lands for lands–not lands for real estate or buildings upon lands . Over time lands could be expected to appreciate while buildings have a finite life and would depreciate

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