BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Gov. Brad Little and other statewide elected officials have approved a northern Idaho conservation easement as part of a program that has protected from development about 156 square miles (400 square kilometers) of private timberland. The Republican governor and other Land Board members on Tuesday unanimously approved the deal giving Idaho the easement title to 166 acres (67 hectares) in northern Idaho under the federal Forest Legacy Program. In return for the easement, the non-industrial family landowner, Hartland LLC, will receive a $275,000 payment. That money comes from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a popular federal program that supports conservation and outdoor recreation projects across the country. …For Idaho, the objective of participating in the Forest Legacy Program is to help maintain the cultural and economic stability of rural communities by conserving timberland. Other objectives include enhancing water quality and protecting wildlife habitat.