Forest Service retirees oppose N. Idaho land swap

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) - A group of about two dozen retired U.S. Forest Service employees has sent a letter to the U.S. Senate and Natural Resources Committee decrying a proposed northern Idaho land exchange.
   
The Spokesman-Review reports  the group is concerned that Idaho's congressional delegation is pushing the land exchange through Congress.
   
The deal involves a combination of purchasing and trading public land to obtain about 40,000 acres of private land owned by Western Pacific Timber Co. in the upper Lochsa River basin.
   
The land includes habitat for threatened steelhead and bull trout, Canada lynx, elk and portions of the Nez Perce National Historic Trail. Explorers Lewis and Clark trekked the area in the early 1800s.
   
The group says the deal trades away popular recreation areas for inaccessible timberlands on the Idaho-Montana border.
   
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Information from: The Spokesman-Review,