Winning bidder announced for communications site lease in Blaine County

Thursday December 3, 2020

(Jerome) Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) held a virtual auction for the Blaine County Buttercup communications site lease (M700084) today at 11 a.m. MT which lasted about 30 minutes.

The lease site is on an 80-acre parcel owned by the University of Idaho endowment, with the parcel being auctioned totaling .23 acres. There were two bidders at the table: Sun Valley Media Group, LLC & Newmax, LLC. Because communication site lease rates are set by the State Board of Land Commissioners, the live auction was for a bonus payment which is an amount above the set lease rate that will be paid to the University of Idaho endowment fund at the end of the auction.

The winner of the auction was Newmax LLC, which bid $15,500 as the highest bonus payment.

The first year of rent will be $18,969.03 with annual 3% increases for the life of the 20-year lease. The rent will increase if co-locators are added in the future. The tower is expected to be 120 feet tall. Including the premium bid, over the 20-year life of the lease, $525,204.94 gross revenue will be generated for the University of Idaho.

In December 2019, IDL advertised the lease application for four weeks. The media and the public were invited to watch the auction.

IDL is responsible for generating revenue for the endowment beneficiaries by leasing and authorizing the use of approximately 2.5 million acres of available state endowment trust land. Land use leases and permits include grazing, farming, conservation, residential cottage sites, and commercial sites that include cell towers, ski resorts, and air strips.

For more information regarding the leasing process please visit




Media Contact - Robbie Johnson, PIO, Idaho Department of Lands

208-908-1786 -