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Idaho officials delay possible increase in grazing fees

The state’s top elected officials have put off a possible increase in grazing fees on state lands due to potential litigation.

The Idaho Land Board on Dec. 5 voted 5-0 to delay a decision about grazing fees but didn’t set a timeline.

Secretary of State Lawerence Denney said after the meeting the board likely won’t take up grazing fees again until spring.

In public comments, ranchers mostly were against raising the rates.

Western Watersheds Project, an environmental group, says the rates are too low but it hadn’t contacted the state about a lawsuit.

The Idaho Department of Lands lists 1.8 million acres of the state’s 2.4 million acres of endowment lands as being leased for grazing.

The agency says that in 2017 rangeland generated about $1 million.

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