People who purchased permits for recreational access to PotlatchDeltic forest land in northern Idaho will receive automatic refunds because of a recent access deal between the timber company and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Last week the department announced it had finalized an agreement to lease recreation access to more than 567,000 acres of PotlatchDeltic land and is on the verge of reaching a lease agreement for another 300,000 acres in northern Idaho owned by Stimson Lumber Co., Hancock Forest Management and the Molpus Woodlands Group. That agreement is expected to be finished early next month.

The lease with PotlatchDeltic secures free public access for activities like hunting, fishing, hiking, trapping, wildlife viewing and travel on the company’s open roads.

“As the largest private timberland owner in Idaho, we recognize the importance of public access for recreational activities and the benefits for sportspersons and outdoor enthusiasts,” said Darin Ball, vice president resource, PotlatchDeltic.

People who want exclusive camping leases, firewood cutting permits or to ride all-terrain vehicles on PotlatchDeltic property will still be required to get a permit from the company. People who have purchased 2019 passenger vehicle permits will receive automatic refunds, according to a news release from the company.

More information is available at

Under the terms of the agreement between the department and PotlatchDeltic and the pending deal with the three other companies, the state will pay $1 an acre for public access to the private land. Parcels with log yards, mill sites and some that are for sale will be excluded.

The department will use money made available from 2017 legislation that placed a $5 surcharge for residents and $10 for nonresidents on the first hunting, fishing, trapping or combination license they purchase each year.

Last year, the department used money from the surcharge and other funding sources to protect public access to 2.3 million acres of Idaho endowment land managed by the Idaho Department of Lands.

Barker may be contacted at or at (208) 848-2273. Follow him on Twitter @ezebarker.

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