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County sends letters seeking Lochsa landowner objections to Nez Perce Tribe’s nomination

— The Idaho County Commission – which met Monday, Jan. 7, due to holiday scheduling – approved sending direct mail that seeks formal objections to a nomination the Nez Perce Tribe advanced last year. The commissioners approved sending the letters to owners of property within the boundary of an area the Nez Perce Tribe nominated last year for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

“If listed, federal undertakings in the area – including undertakings associated with your private property – are subject to a historic review process that may include consultation with the tribe,” the commissioners’ letter states. “This process is burdensome, and can delay or prevent projects that have any federal involvement, such as road permits, federally funded projects or construction projects that require a federal stormwater permit.”

The letter states that if the nomination succeeds, “the listing is effectively permanent.”

The letter points out that the nomination fails if more than 50 percent of property owners formally object, and it says that for a formal objection to count it must be signed, notarized and received by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) before March 2, 2019.

The county’s letter says it encloses form letters owners may fill out and send in, as well as a list that “identifies people or entities that SHPO considers to be property owners in the area.” A list provided by the county in response to public record request indicates which owners have filed an objection and which have not; an underlined portion of the county’s letter states “a signed, notarized objection is required from each and every person listed as an owner.”

The letter also states that a notary will be available during the meetings scheduled Jan. 9 in Grangeville and Jan. 14 in Kooskia, “so you can have letters notarized there if it is most convenient.”

According to the list provided to the Free Press by the county, 123 property owners within the nominated area have say over the nomination and 36 have already objected.


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