Idaho Lawmaker Seeks Eminent Domain Relief



Lawmaker Jim Guthrie seeks eminent domain relief from the acquisition of property for trails and paths. The legislator recognizes the risk and threat to the property owners under such a circumstance. What is not recognized is that this type of threat occurs for any owner facing the threat of condemnation.

Eminent domain is the catch-all term for condemnation of private property by a government entity. Sen. Jim Guthrie, R-McCammon, is seeking to clarify existing law so the threat of eminent domain is not used for trails, paths or greenways unless specific circumstances are in place…….

Guthrie says it is not necessarily the action of eminent domain being used against private property owners that worries him, but the actual threat of eminent domain facing landowners. “People know that threat is there, so they yield to the sale. The fact of the matter is every bit as much as a gun in a robbery where somebody goes in and says ‘stick ‘em up.’ The person maybe didn’t fire the gun, but the threat was there and so the store owner yields to the demands.”

The Pocatello foundation insists “In the more than 20 years since its inception, the Portneuf Greenway Foundation has continually attempted to work fairly and equitably with landowners neighboring the proposed trail areas. We are still, once again, working diligently to have an open, diplomatic conversation and establish a dialogue with the landowners to address their concerns.”