POCATELLO, Idaho — The Bannock County Commission has again postponed a decision on a proposal to forcibly validate a private farm road as a U.S. Forest Service public access.

The vote, which had been set for Dec. 3, is now scheduled for Jan. 14 at the Bannock County Courthouse. No public testimony will be allowed.

The commission has hosted two lengthy public hearings on the issue. The commission was expected to act following a Nov. 19 hearing, but chose to schedule a Dec. 3 vote in order to devote more time to evaluating public comments. According to a secretary for the commission, members delayed the vote into January in order to conduct more research before rendering a decision.

The county’s attorney initially endorsed validating the access under a prescriptive easement, arguing a public access existed due to a long history of public use of the farm road to reach the Bell Marsh area of the forest. The attorney said during the Nov. 19 hearing he no longer advises validation, due in part to concerns of law enforcement about patrolling the area.

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