July Land & Water Update

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Written by Courtnie Dawson, CVI Communications Coordinator. To receive this monthly update directly in your inbox, sign up for the Land & Water email at cvidaho.org/sign-up/

We are excited to support Idahoans For Public Lands’s new initiative, “ID Rather Be Outside”, an effort to thank Idaho decision makers for passing record funding for outdoor recreation, and to encourage them to pursue ongoing funding for the future of the state lands that are Idaho’s pride and joy.

As you may remember from the 2023 legislative session, Governor Little signed S1196 into law. S1196 allocated a historic $95 million to the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation to address the backlog of maintenance and capacity-building projects in our state parks. In the past, chronic underfunding has led to many popular sites degrading from overuse and lack of improvements to facilities. It’s a shame to see some of our most beloved places falling into disrepair despite all they give to Idahoans and visitors alike.

The outdoor recreation industry infuses $4.4 billion annually into Idaho’s economy, with over a quarter of that coming from our state parks alone. With visitation of these parks hitting record numbers over the last few years, it’s become glaringly apparent that we need to invest back into the places that give so much to Idaho’s economy, culture, and way of life. 

While the $95 million allocated by the legislature and Governor Little is substantial and deeply appreciated, one-time funding is not enough to secure these priceless recreation areas for future generations of visitors. In light of this, CVI is joining our partners in Idahoans For Public Lands in advocating for ongoing state funding for our state-managed lands and waters. 

TAKE ACTION: Write Governor Little, IDPR Director Buxton, and key legislators to thank them for passing S1196, share your favorite outdoor places, and request their support for ongoing funding for Idaho’s state-managed lands.

Our lawmakers need to hear just how important our state parks and other lands and waters are to their constituents. We are asking public lands lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, sportsmen – anyone who enjoys our public lands – to contact their representatives and Governor Little. We want to show our appreciation for the passage of S1196 and the substantial one-time investment into outdoor recreation. We also want to encourage our legislators to pursue ongoing funding so that these lands and waters can remain in pristine condition for the enjoyment of current and future Idahoans and visitors alike. 

Visit the Idahoans For Public Lands website for more information and to use the action tool to contact your lawmakers on behalf of your most beloved state lands.

Looking for more land and water news? Here’s a few of the latest news bites that have caught our attention – –

Spring Chinook runs…disappointing (but unsurprising) declines continue (Trout Unlimited)

TRCP Applauds U.S. Department of Agriculture Announcement for Habitat Funding (Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership)

Program uniting wildlife and ranches expands to Idaho and Montana (Boise State Public Radio)

Ridge to Rivers trails: What to know about hikes, etiquette, rules for dogs and more (Idaho Statesman)

That’s it for this month! Thank you for being a supporter of Idaho’s beloved lands and waters.