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HB 104: Bulldozing Public Lands – 2019

Summary: HB 104 seeks to assert state control and oversight over federal lands in apparent violation of the U.S. Constitution.

ICL's position: Oppose

Current Bill Status: Committee

Issue Areas: Public Lands

Official Legislative Site

House Bill 104, introduced by Rep. Giddings (R-White Bird) seeks to have Idaho assert power over the federal government when it comes to constructing or repairing roads on public lands. One of the problems is that it appears to fly in the face of the U.S. Constitution.

The bill would attempt to have the state, local counties or even individual landowners take authority over right-of-ways, which could be historic service roads, wagon roads or Native American trails. It goes on to state that all federal land, resource and travel management plans must be shared with the state and governor at the earliest possible point in order for them to ensure coordination with local, county or state plans.

Finally, it purports to allow private land owners residing in national forests the authority to construct and maintain roads leading to their property.

House Bill 104 seeks to undermine the authority of the federal government and would appear to violate both the U.S. Constitution’s Property Clause and Supremacy Clause, which state that Congress shall “make all needful Rules respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States” and that federal laws will the “the supreme Law of the Land.”