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Idaho Land Board to see presentation on idea to move McCall-area lands to private control

After several quiet months, a wide-ranging idea to transfer a significant chunk of land controlled by the State of Idaho to private hands will move back into public view.

As BoiseDev reported in a Deep Dive story in July, Trident Holdings hopes to execute a complicated swap to obtain control of 44 square miles of land in and around Payette Lake and McCall. The concept, as outlined earlier this summer, would see Trident purchase timberland in North Idaho and execute a trade with the State of Idaho and its land endowment.

Trident, founded early this year, is fronted by Alec Williams. Williams said he grew up spending time in and around McCall, before attending Yale and serving in the military.

[Deep Dive: What’s the future of the Payette Lake region? Huge land swap proposal spurs action]

On the agenda

The Idaho Land Board will consider two key items on its agenda next week – an update on “Payette lands strategy” and a presentation from Trident.

The Land Board asked staff to put together the strategy update after an earlier meeting this summer where the Trident idea first came into public view.

An “OPPOSE” sign in McCall. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

The proposal, though not fully articulated by Trident, caught immediate and fierce pushback from McCall residents and public officials. Homes and cabins across the area are dotted with red and white “OPPOSE” signs, and testimony at past public meetings has been significant and mostly in opposition.

“We are trying to put together a solution which tries to use the power of markets and the private sector and private industry to solve problems,” Williams saidduring a taping of the BoiseDev podcast last summer. “Our family has been in McCall for a long time and we want to be part of the solution.”

Williams said he hopes to put large portions of the land into conservation easements, and fund the effort by putting together “development clusters.”

Williams told BoiseDev last summer that he could not yet share a formal, detailed proposal. Documents for the Idaho Land Board meeting next week outlining what Trident may show have not yet been made public.

How to comment

The two proposals will be informational in nature, and the Land Board will not take action, according to a spokesperson.

The board will accept public comment – but anyone wishing to have their say must register in advance, by Friday, November 13th at 2pm. Anyone hoping to provide comments in written form can email it to [email protected]. Folks hoping to testify either in person during the hearing or via remote connection must send an email to [email protected] in advance of the deadline.

The state set the meeting for November 17th at 9am in the Lincoln Auditorium at the Statehouse. The meeting will stream live on Idaho PTV In Session.

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Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

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