Idaho politics: Otter blames federal 'management' for fire season

In a sharply worded guest opinion, Gov. Butch Otter placed the blame for Idaho's $189 million firefighting season on the feds.

The Republican Otter suggested, without detail, that Idaho's all-GOP congressional delegation stood prepared to help "pave the way for change." He said federal land managers hamstrung by lawsuits, bureaucratic inertia and laws "that try to be everything to everyone on every acre."

And here's another snippet:

This year will be one of Idaho’s worst fire seasons since the Panhandle’s deadly “Big Burn” of 1910. To date, 1.7 million acres have burned in Idaho during a fire season that likely will extend for several more weeks. And it’s important to remember that 93 percent of the acres burned in Idaho this year are owned and “managed” by the federal government.

Here's a link to the full Otter guest opinion, issued today.

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"Catastrophic wildfire is a Western issue that needs Western leadership to find a solution. Idaho’s congressional delegation knows the challenges federal land managers face, and Idaho wants to pave the way for change. We have a history of working together and a desire to see public lands in Idaho managed under the principles of active stewardship. It’s the right thing to do, not only for enhanced economic opportunity but also to protect our people and property from the shortsightedness of absentee federal landlords.

Idaho and the nation can’t afford the enormous and unnecessary costs of another fire season like 2012. It’s time for a new dialogue and a new approach to federal land management."

Read more here:

Really- with Otters war on public employees and budgets?

he comes out and says that? - the reality is that Idaho wouldn't have had the resources to fight the Idaho wildfire season - the only way the state could manage lands on it's own would be A.) higher taxes and/or B.) federal welfare programs - and even then - they'd beg the feds to come running to the rescue - think the state would ever declare something a natural disaster area if IT had to pay for it? - in theory, state control sounds good - but in reality it can't work - states are already going bankrupt as it is - or else they're cutting back on programs - look at our state parks as an example of state control - look at our school system - anyone still think it's a good idea for Idaho to take control? - I don't

Otter is right

At one time, the USFS was the largest road building agency in the country. Taxpayers paid for roads to host money-losing timber sales that trashed our public lands and made them more vulnerable to wildfires (and increased the damage when they did burn).

I blame poor voter management for Otter. Touche.


You fry wants with that?


I guess Otter hasn't been apprised of the arson factor.


I think I blame mother nature. Maybe the GOP should "pave the way for change" what change the way mother nature works? If anyone could spearhead an effort to do that it would be OTTER. While your at it could you please change Idaho's climate, maybe to Semi-arid climate that would be nice.

I blame Fire for the

Fire Season....

What a joker

Otter loves to pick and choose his blame game.

I thought he was all for smaller government. Guess not. Idaho is still one of the biggest federal welfare states in the country.

That is because

The federal government owns most of the land in this state and prevents most of it from being used for productive economic purposes, Alpha-Marxist.


The federal government owns all the farms and ranches that are getting over $450 million a year in subsidies and other programs? My we are good socialists aren't we? Thanks for clearing that up. By the way, the federal government owns far more land percentage in Nevada than here, and they are NOT a federal welfare state. Your land ownership argument = fail.

"From 1990 to 2009 the federal government spent $148.4 billion in Idaho. That came in roads, school funding, the Mountain Home Air Force Base the Idaho National Laboratory, the Forest Service the Bureau of Land Management Social Security payment, farm subsidies, Medicaid, Medicare, federal housing grants, economic development grants, fish and wildlife management, tribal health programs, federal employee salaries and benefits...

Read more here:"

You, your source, and your comment

Have no validity or relevance to my comment, Marxist. Go bang a drum in an echo chamber, you might either go deaf or find "enlightenment". More likely go deaf.

Drumming can be very therapeutic.

Unless, your a mutterlicious dude, tripping your life away, on some other brothers dime.


Enviros hold the blame for big fires.

Otter radical rhetoric is

Otter radical rhetoric is nothing more than an partisan GOPer's anti-government agenda to allow him to award the control of forest lands to corporate entities who support the republican movement to access the public resources for private profit.

Otter should address the facts........ many of the fires can be directly or indirectly caused by humans who reside in the state he rules. Idahoans have started over half the fires, on purpose, by accidents or with gun fire.

Otter should talk to Crapo, Risch Simpson and the tea partier Labrador about there congressional votes to gut the federal budgets.

These publicly elected Idaho politicians are just as much to blame as any one, as they refused on more than one occasion to properly fund the federal government agency's who provide fire fighting.

He's right, though

If there were no trees and no plants, we wouldn't have any of those darn fires.