Idaho officials approve purchase of N. Idaho forest land

Idaho officials on Tuesday approved buying about 2,400 acres in northern Idaho from a timber company as part of a plan to get rid of commercial property and add more forests to state endowment land.

The Idaho Land Board’s 4-0 vote to pay Potlatch Corporation $2.5 million is the first timberland purchase under the board’s new strategic reinvestment plan approved in May.

The plan calls for using about $160 million from commercial real estate and residential cottage site sales to buy timberland and agricultural land.

The land east of Kamiah meets several requirements, including that it exceed a minimum financial return of 3.5 percent.

State officials say existing mature stands could be harvested within five years, producing money for public schools.