There was an impressive turnout for U.S. Sen. Jim Risch's public meeting on the proposed upper Lochsa land exchange this week at Grangeville, and it wasn't just the more than 300 people who attended on a snowy November night to both comment and listen.
It was also the heavy law enforcement presence at the meeting. Idaho County sheriff's deputies and officers from the Grangeville Police Department were out in force for the presentation about a proposed land swap between Western Pacific Timber Co. and the U.S. Forest Service. Officers and deputies patrolled the perimeter of Grangeville Elementary School, stood guard at the door and asked to look in the bags and backpacks people carried. More officers were posted at the back door of the school's gymnasium, where Risch entered and exited, and a ring of officers and deputies stood on the gymnasium floor scanning the audience during the meeting.