August Land & Water News

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The Inflation Reduction Act has passed the Senate. 

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 has passed the Senate, and is expected to go through the House of Representatives later this week. Included in the $369 billion in climate provisions is $700 million in forest conservation funding. This is a big win – climate, clean and safe drinking water, habitat resilience, and increased access to nature and recreation will all benefit from this legislation. The bill is also a win for popular land conservation tools like the Forest Legacy Program, which encourages collaborative conservation measures between the USFS, state agencies, and private working forests. While the Inflation Reduction Act hasn’t been signed into law yet, the biggest hurdles are over. President Biden is expected to sign the bill into law no later than next Tuesday, August 16. 

This historic legislation is a win for land and water conservation advocates across the country. From increased investment in public lands and restoration to forest resilience, urban green spaces, habitat, and neighborhood access and equity grants, the positives will impact Americans in every state. 

Sportsmen and women now have access to Myrtle Creek Preserve in North Idaho 

Myrtle Creek Preserve is a 23,000-acre area in North Idaho. Located near Bonner’s Ferry, the Preserve is prime habitat for nearly all game species, large and small, living in the Panhandle region. For the past 85 years, the area has been off limits for sportsmen and women. The parcel includes large burn areas, timber cuts and large, uninterrupted swaths of forest – prime habitat for Idaho wildlife. The initial intent of establishing the game preserve, way back in 1937, was to protect wildlife from over harvest, which would cause declines in overall population. Hunting has changed in the decades since, and over-taking from the area is no longer a concern for Idaho Fish and Game. Anglers will also be allowed access into Myrtle Creek. The drainage hosts a variety of trout species and high quality water. 

Sportsmen and women and anglers will benefit from improved access to the nearly 36-square mile Preserve, but will still be required to follow all hunting, fishing and trapping regulations set by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. You can read more about Myrtle Creek Preserve and the decision to restore access here

Update on the RETURN ACT

Last month we let you know about a bill co-sponsored by Idaho Congressman Russ Fulcher. The RETURN ACT would essentially defund wildlife conservation programs by removing the tax on firearms, archery equipment and ammunition. CVI and our partners have called on the Congressman to halt his pursuit for passage of the RETURN Act, but he has chosen to double down in his support for the misguided bill. The tax on hunting equipment was self imposed by sportsmen and women back in 1939. Our wildlife populations are a defining feature of Idaho – culturally, economically, and environmentally. Let Congressman Fulcher know you support conservation and wildlife by taking action here. The CVI team has already made over 700 calls to Idahoans across the state. Let’s make sure the Congressman gets the message — Idahoans care about our wildlife.