Lobbies reopen across the state; support of natural resource-based businesses successfully maintainedWednesday May 27, 2020
(Boise) - After nine weeks of lobby closures at Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) offices statewide, reception areas opened again Monday. Despite these closures, and with about 70 percent of IDL employees working remotely, critical support of Idaho’s economy has continued successfully.
IDL helps the economy with sustainable management of Idaho Endowment Lands, providing timber sales and opportunities for land and mining leasing, among other things. Important funding for schools and other beneficiaries generated from business on endowment land has also been maintained during the COVID-19 crisis.
IDL’s 16 offices statewide are open to the public with proper safety guidelines. All office locations are also accepting appointments to help limit exposure to COVID-19 for high-risk groups.
“Our lobby openings are consistent with the Governor’s Idaho Rebounds plan to safely and responsibly open up more businesses in stages,” said Director Dustin Miller. “I congratulate our talented staff who, despite the closures, have ensured that endowment lands have been managed during this time for sustainability, as well as for the economic opportunities it provides to so many businesses across the state.”
“Endowment lands generate millions for Idaho public schools and other institutions, but also play an important role in supporting small, local businesses,” said Governor Brad Little. “The ability of the Idaho Department of Lands to support businesses during the COVID-19 crisis will help Idaho’s economy rebound.”
Online services were expanded during the closure, helping IDL to continue to serve customers across the state, and will continue to be a benefit to the public. Contracting opportunities for forestry work, seedling planting, janitorial services, road maintenance and equipment acquisitions were also successfully offered and accepted.
As an example of IDL’s endowment land management and how it contributes to the economy, in fiscal year 2019, $1.3 billion in services and goods (including Idaho-produced toilet paper) were generated from timber harvests alone. Timber sales generated $77 million in revenue, supported more than 6,600 jobs, and more than $270 million in wages.
Editor’s note: Download broadcast-quality video and images of people working in the timber industry for use in news coverage: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wpzx2s8hhtq0v0a/AAAfHFyqRUofIKkYeX-inBIwa?dl=0
PIO – Idaho Department of Lands