Land & Water in Idaho: April Update


Our Voter Outreach Team provides opportunities for young professionals to engage in the political environment and civic action through a number of projects and tasks. This month’s Land and Water Update was written by CVI Voter Outreach Specialist Elaine Zabriskie.

April usually feels like a landmark month to me – a turning point where the goals I’ve been setting and projects I’ve been planning finally hit the freshly thawed ground. But perhaps that’s because I (your resident landscape designer) get to celebrate World Landscape Architecture Month, a time to remember the great designs that have brought humanity closer to nature. Landscape architecture is founded on the idea that we can negotiate successfully between humanity and environment to create beautiful, thriving spaces for all, a belief that fills me with hope every time I look out at the Boise foothills, the north Idaho prairies, or the Sawtooth range.

To see how landscape architects bring people and planet into alignment, check out these designs that have stood up to hurricanes, created culturally-informed housing, and educated a new generation of conservationists!

Conservation Events in April

If you’re looking for more ways to enjoy humanity and nature working together, Earth Day is coming up on April 22. The National Park Service is commemorating the occasion by opening admission to all national parks – free of charge. There is even more reason to celebrate with the addition of a new national monument. We at CVI would like to welcome Avi Kwa Ame to the national register, and we applaud the monument’s provisions for collaborative stewardship with regional Tribes.

Locally, CVI will be celebrating Earth Day at a few community events:

  • The 2nd Annual Shade City Brewfest combines drinking delicious beer and engaging with your local, sustainable business practices and ideas. We’ll have a booth for both days, April 21 from 5 to 9 p.m. and April 22 from 1 to 6 p.m.
  • On the other side of the Treasure Valley, we’ll also be at the Nampa Public Library for the All Things Green Fair from 12 to 5 p.m. on April 21. 

Earth Day is also an excellent time to remember that as much as we enjoy our natural lands, we also have a responsibility to protect them. Remember that wildlife conflicts are still heightened in spring months when animals are protecting their young. Treasure Valley residents in particular are urged to keep their dog leashed in the foothills or near river corridors, as coyote attacks on pets have already been reported when denning coyotes felt threatened. It’s also always a great idea to recreate thoughtfully, especially as more people than ever enjoy our public lands, and embrace methods to keep these lands healthy and thriving for generations.

Sine Die for the Legislature

In other conservation news, the legislature reached sine die last week – an achievement worth two handfuls of biodegradable confetti! CVI would like to thank the legislators who worked to prioritize our lands and waters in their decision making this session. Some highlights – the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association won a major victory to keep their profession secure for future generations, and the legislature even managed to kill a bill that would prioritize billboards over trees. 

Most notably, the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation was allocated a whopping $95 million to address the needs of our most beloved outdoor recreation sites. This funding will go towards increasing capacity, addressing the maintenance backlog, and improving the accommodations to better support the influx of recreators that have been enjoying our state lands.

Throughout it all, CVI has been here to support conservation goals for a greener, cleaner Idaho for all. Whether battling SJR101 inside the statehouse or knocking neighborhood doors to support clean energy, our team is ready for every new challenge. There is always more to do, and we appreciate all your support as a Conservation Voter! 

Bonus Factoid: Did you know Idaho once parachuted beavers into new habitats to reduce human-animal conflicts? Idaho has plenty of challenges in the future, but we have a pretty amazing past to build on.