2016 Legislative Recap
The 63rd Idaho Legislature came to an end in late March. Over the course of the seventy-five day session we saw several attacks on clean water, wildlife and public lands. However, with the help from supporters like you and our community partners, we were able to come together and fight for our natural environment- ensuring that Idaho’s wildlife, clean water and special places continue to thrive for future generations.
Thank you to the over 1,000 supporters who called and emailed generating almost 700 emails and 455 calls to elected officials, to the 300 public lands advocates who packed the Lincoln Auditorium in opposition to a state seizure presentation, and to the 4,000 Idahoans who recently joined our Public Lands Advocates Network. With your help, we were successful this session in stopping a bill that would have opened up 80,000 miles of Idaho’s iconic rivers to year round, unregulated suction dredge mining. We also effectively defended against Rep. Judy Boyle’s (R-Midvale) three pieces of legislation that targeted our public lands late in the session.
After hearing from hundreds of Idahoans from across the state who opposed Sen. Sherry Nuxoll’s (R-Cottonwood) catastrophic public nuisance bill, it passed both chambers and was signed by the Governor. The bill serves to undermine the collaborative land management strategies that are currently underway and emboldens rogue County Commissioners and sheriffs to take matters into their own hands- putting our public lands in jeopardy.
We also saw legislation that undermines local control by cities, banning local ordinances that prohibit plastic bags and an Oil & Gas bill that shortened timelines and codified the industry’s policy of violating mineral property rights.
The attack on our public lands came fast, furious and didn’t cease until the very end. Unfortunately, state seizure advocates are turning to tricky political maneuvers and messaging to push their agenda of taking over our public lands. These tactics include bringing out-of-state lawyers to hock their faulty legal theory, attempting to get Idaho to sign on for half of a $14,000,000 lawsuit.
Thankfully CVI is uniquely positioned to work with our public lands action network, our statewide coalitions and with YOU to ensure that we hold our elected officials accountable to their votes and to elect pro-conservation leaders who will ensure that our natural heritage remains protected for our families and for future generations.
To check out more of what’s been going on at CVI- download our 2016 Spring Newsletter.