Category: politics

New interactive tool available. A new interactive online tool called “Data Explorer” now is available on the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (OGCC) website, enabling Idahoans to search, review and download oil and gas well information as it is available in the State of Idaho.  

The application is available at:

House Bill 301 as amended during the 2017 legislative session changed Idaho Code § 47-326 to require the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL), which houses the Oil and Gas Division that serves the OGCC, to “provide internet access” to certain documents pertaining to oil and gas wells in Idaho by Dec. 31, 2017. The new website was unveiled before the deadline.

Users can click on any active well and access detailed information on the well’s surface location, construction, various events in the well’s history, and any documents, images, bonds, inspection reports, or production data.

“The new Data Explorer web application goes beyond providing the documents we are required to make available under law. It is interactive so users can click on the location of a well in a map and easily access all information about the well with just a few clicks,” Oil and Gas Division Administrator Mick Thomas said. “The ease and accessibility of the new Data Explorer web application is part of Idaho’s commitment to transparency in oil and gas regulation.”

The IDL worked with the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) to complete the new web application. The GWPC is an organization of state ground water regulatory agencies that work together to protect groundwater supplies in many states, including Idaho.

Members appointed to Idaho Forest Practices Advisory Committee. The Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) director appointed Dr. Timothy Link of Moscow, Kelly Riggs of Glenns Ferry and Paul Buckland of Coeur d’Alene to fill positions on the Idaho Forest Practices Act Advisory Committee (FPAAC).

The purpose of FPAAC, as established by Idaho Code, is to provide technical assistance to IDL and the Idaho State Board of Land Commissioners in matters relating to the Idaho Forest Practices Act. The committee typically meets two or three times per year depending on current issues. It is comprised of nine voting members appointed by the IDL director for three-year terms. Members include a fisheries biologist; a nonindustrial private forest landowner; two resident forest landowners (one each north and south of the Salmon River); two resident forest operators (one each from the northern and southern forest regions); and three residents (one from northern Idaho, one from southern Idaho and one at-large member).

All three appointees will serve three-year terms.

Dr. Timothy Link is a professor of hydrology at the University of Idaho. He will be the General Public North Representative. Dr. Link’s research focuses on forest hydrology, snow-vegetation interactions, and effects of climate and land-cover changes on watershed systems. Dr. Link received a B.A. in Geology from Hampshire College in 1991, an M.S. in Geology from Oregon State University in 1998, and a PhD in Environmental Sciences with a focus on forest hydrology from Oregon State University in 2001. 

Kelly Riggs is the owner/operator of Double Anchor Ranches, Inc. He will be the Landowner South Representative. The Double Anchor Ranch was founded in 1929 by Riggs’ grandfather and has remained family operated since then. The ranch totals nearly 10,000 acres with approximately 5,000 of those acres timbered. The ranch also has federal and state grazing permits on almost 10,000 acres. Riggs has demonstrated a strong commitment to stewardship and implemented a number of Clean Water Act-funded Best Management Practice projects. 

Paul Buckland is a member of the Idaho Forest Owners Association (IFOA) and an employee of Inland Empire Paper (IEP). He was reappointed as the At-Large Representative. Buckland is the Forest Resource Manager for IEP and a forest landowner in northern Idaho. He has served as president and vice president of IFOA and as vice chair of FPAAC.