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Idaho Briefing – April 23

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for April 16. Interested in subscribing? Send us a note at stapilus@ridenbaugh.com.

Campaigns for major office in Idaho roared ahead this week, with a number of major debates in many of the top contests held, and a string of new television spots released. Little additional polling has surfaced, however.

The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management has approved routes for segments of the Gateway West electric transmission line project on public lands in southwestern Idaho, connecting previously authorized routes in southern Wyoming and eastern Idaho. The project will improve the nation’s energy infrastructure and boost the economy in the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West.

State regulators have approved a settlement agreement in a case involving the relicensing of Idaho Power’s largest hydropower complex. The settlement allows approximately $216.5 million in expenditures related to the relicensing of the Hells Canyon Complex to be designated as prudently incurred and eligible for inclusion in customer rates at a later date.

The Idaho State Board of Education on April 19 voted to increase tuition and fees for fulltime undergraduate resident and nonresident students at each of Idaho’s four-year institutions effective in fall 2018.

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dipped to 2.9 percent in March, ending a six-month run of 3 percent and remaining at low levels last seen in 2007 and 2008. The state’s labor force – the total number of people 16 years of age and older working or looking for work – increased by 1,646 from February to March for an all-time record high of 848,097.

The Salmon-Challis National Forest announced they will be extending the comment period on the Wild and Scenic River Draft Eligibility Report to July 16, 2018. The Forest was originally seeking comment by May 4.

Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter has been very open about his support for Lt. Governor Brad Little, and on April 10 he makes his endorsement official.

One of Pocatello’s busiest intersections will be getting a facelift. Starting April 23, crews will begin work on the intersection of East Alameda Road, Jefferson Avenue, Hiline Road, and Pocatello Creek Road.

PHOTO As soil temperatures rise and snow melts, reforestation efforts are underway on private lands burned in the 2015 Clearwater Complex Fire. The Idaho Department of Lands in partnership with the Idaho County Soil and Water Conservation District is leading the tree replanting effort. Approximately 27,000 Ponderosa Pine seedlings were just planted on 90 acres of private land in the Lolo Creek drainage. The seedlings are part of a larger project that will bring more than 130,000 seedlings to private forestlands hardest hit by the 2015 catastrophic fires in the Clearwater basin. The project targets non-industrial private lands that are at extreme risk of landslides, insect and disease outbreaks, and weed invasions post-fire. (image/Department of Lands)
 

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