Payette Endowment Lands
Partner: Idaho Conservation League
Airport Origin : McCall, ID
Endowment lands are state-owned lands that provide income receipts for state beneficiaries like schools, state hospitals and veterans homes. A private developer wants to exchange 20,000 acres of McCall area endowment lands for 21,000 acres of cutover private timber lands in Northern Idaho. A coalition of partners (United Payette) is working to create an alternative conservation-based plan that allows the Department of Lands and the Land Board to retain their properties and still see financial benefits without selling them off to developers.
These lands are critical for watershed protection, and ensuring the high standard of water quality that local communities enjoy. Several tributaries contribute their waters to major streams which empty into the Payette Lakes. Allowing high end residential development would severely alter the character of the lake and increase sedimentation. These endowment lands are also heavily valued by the community for hunting, fishing, mountain biking, hiking, wood cutting, huckleberry picking and morel gathering. These lands also support traditional uses like grazing and timber production, the proceeds of which support state beneficiaries.