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Remote mine site to be part of Frank Church wilderness



— The Idaho County Commission received three letters from the Payette National Forest last week, including one dated June 19 that disclosed the Payette’s talks of acquiring about 40 acres across the Salmon River from Tepee Creek and Jersey Creek in the southern part of the county.

The purchase is anticipated during the 2017 fiscal year and would be made with money Congress provides for the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. It would make the dormant Painter Mine part of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness – which would remove it from Idaho County tax rolls. The county assessor’s office has the land valued at about $360,000, with tax bills of about $2,400 per year.

The second letter, dated June 20, concerns a special use permit under which the county maintains a solid waste transfer station site that consists of the four-dumpster site in the Warren area, for which the Forest Service is charging the county $600.

During the June 27 county commission meeting, the letter sparked a broader discussion of solid waste issues in that area, which concluded with commission chairman Skip Brandt asking assessor James Zehner to tabulate how much the county collects from Warren-area property owners and commissioner Mark Frei asking Brandt whether the county may charge landowners in different parts of the county different solid waste fees.

Disposing of trash in the area has long been problematic. County road and bridge department head Gene Meinen told the board recent cleanup at the dumpster site cost the county $3,845 to remove 8.69 tons solid waste.

The third letter, dated June 21, highlighted the Payette’s proposed “South Fork Salmon River Restoration and Access Management Plan,” which concerns the Krassel Ranger District mainly in Valley County, but also parts of Idaho County east of Warren.



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