Land and Water: April Update

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Happy Trails to the Idaho Legislature

Another legislative session has come and gone with legislators returning back to their home districts.

Despite countless polls showing the majority of Idahoans support public lands and conservation policy, it would appear that lawmakers still haven’t gotten the memo. Over the last few months, many legislators demonstrated their contempt for Idaho’s natural resources and wonders through numerous bills fighting public lands and open space. But, thanks to voters like you who spoke up, many of these bills failed to advance through both chambers. You can read our take – including the wins and the losses – on the 2022 legislative session here

Voting Our Values

This year’s session once again highlights the importance of electing pro-conservation candidates to office. And, this year’s elections are a pivotal moment for Idaho with every top-ticket and statewide office up for election from the governor to all 105 legislators. 

On May 17, voters will head to the polls to choose the candidates they want on their party’s ticket for the November general election. If you are a registered Republican, you can vote in the closed Republican primary. The Democratic primary is open to all registered voters. Unaffiliated voters can declare their party on or before election day to vote in the Republican primary. For more information about this upcoming election, and for helpful resources to guide you through the process, check out our Voting Resources page.

Next week, CVI will be releasing an election guide to help Idaho voters see which candidates show support for public lands and other conservation topics – stay tuned! Of course, we can’t cover the entire state so we always recommend researching the candidates running for office in your area. Reach out to them and ask for their positions on public lands and conservation policy. A good question is to ask whether or not they support keeping public lands in public hands. 

It’s going to be up to all of us to be informed conservation voters as we head into a historic election year, but we know we can count on your support to make sure public lands and conservation policy remain a top issue for Idaho voters. 

Land & Water News

On March 28, the President’s Budget Proposal was released, which includes projects funded through the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). You may recall the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is a permanently funded program that directs non-taxpayer revenue streams to projects that support the outdoors across America. 

Idaho is slated to receive funding for three projects:

  • The International Selkirk Loop is a 280 scenic area that crosses borders between Idaho, Washington, and Canada. This area is notable for its outstanding scenery and its established population of grizzly bears. The Forest Service will receive $7 million to make improvements to the area. 
  • Additionally, the Bureau of Land Management requested funding for a proposed project on the Upper Snake and the South Fork of the Snake River Special Recreation Management Area, as well as for the Tex Creek Wildlife Management Area. These two conservation projects are expected to receive $6,250,000 in federal funding.

It is heartening to see federal support for conservation initiatives in Idaho continue. Idaho relies on strong partnerships and cooperation between federal and state agencies and a variety of on-the-ground stakeholders. 

Thank you for being a conservation voter.

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