Residents of a small Idaho community lost another round in their fight against a rich neighbor on Wednesday, after local commissioners rejected an appeal to shut down his private airstrip. As The Daily Beast reported earlier this week, the controversy centers on Michael Boren, who has been landing private aircraft on his property inside the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Members of a local protest group have alleged that Boren misled authorities over his plans to build the landing strip, initially claiming that he was just doing irrigation work. Last month, they were miffed to find out that Boren had registered the group’s name with the Idaho secretary of state, forcing them to rebrand. Boren has denied any wrongdoing.
“The property rights of one landowner, a well-connected and wealthy Boise tech mogul, trumped those of the more than 125 longtime Sawtooth Valley property owners, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, and Stanley community leaders,” the protest group said in a statement. “While we are not surprised, we are deeply disappointed.” They are evaluating possible next steps.