Idaho officials reject grazing-fee increase, costing schools

FILE PHOTO: grazing cattle

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho officials have rejected a plan to raise grazing fees on state-managed land, costing K-12 public schools more than $530,000 annually.

The Idaho Land Board on Tuesday voted 2-2 to defeat the proposal, with Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra voting against the plan. The move calls into question whether the state’s top elected officials on the board are meeting their constitutional mandate to maximize profit from state lands over the long term.

The current grazing-rate formula has been in place since 1993, leading to concern that ranchers aren’t paying their fair share. But Ybarra and Republican Secretary of State Lawerence Denney say they need more information.

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