Idaho Department of Lands Achievements for FY21Monday December 6, 2021
(Boise) – Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) had many positive achievements made possible because of its dedicated employees. Those achievements can be seen in IDL’s FY21 Annual Report.
Employees met Idaho’s constitutional mandate to maximize endowment land revenue with a record $84.5 million distributed to endowment beneficiaries. IDL planted about 2 million seedlings, harvested 302 million board feet of timber, provided 2,160 forest practice notifications and 1,278 inspections.
Making these achievements even more remarkable is the fact they occurred in a year of catastrophic wildfires.
“Our achievements are only possible because of the hard work and dedication of each agency employee,” said IDL Director Dustin Miller. “This was especially true when the unprecedented fire season hit this past year, staff from all fields and specialties stepped up to assist any way they were able.”
IDL protects 6.3 million acres of private and state lands from wildfire. This year fire conditions were worse than when the “Big Burn” of 1910 devastated more than 3 million acres in northern Idaho and western Montana. Limited fire resources presented additional challenges and IDL called for a statewide Fire Emergency Declaration.
“We worked together to align state resources to support aggressive but safe wildfire suppression, which included declaring an emergency and calling up the National Guard to assist where possible,” said Governor Brad Little. “I’m proud of the firefighting efforts of IDL. Despite a nationwide shortage of resources and fighting more than 400 fires, they held 88-percent of fires to 10 acres or less.”
To help stay a step ahead of future wildfires, employees surveyed 951,786 acres for gypsy moth infestation and another 95,838 acres for Douglas-fir tussock moth.
IDL also provided 1,512 private landowners forestry training in 56 sessions. Addressing forest health issues across ownership boundaries is crucial for wildfire prevention.
The agency also acquired 73 miles of road easements which increases the financial productivity of isolated parcels of endowment land, in turn increasing funding for public schools and other beneficiaries. Employees managed 2,150 leases that generated $7.3 million for the beneficiaries; 1,112 of these leases allowed ranchers to graze 260,239 AUMs on endowment rangeland. IDL issued 542 encroachment permits on public trust land, bringing the statewide total 10,578.
The IDL FY21 Annual Report can be found at https://www.idl.idaho.gov/about-us/. The fiscal year for IDL is from July 1- June 30.