Land & Water in Idaho: August News

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Written by Courtnie Dawson, CVI Communications Coordinator. To receive this monthly update in your inbox, visit

ID Rather Be Outside – Thanking Our Leaders for Supporting State Parks

As I shared in last month’s newsletter, CVI supports Idahoans For Public Lands’ initiative, “ID Rather Be Outside”, a campaign to thank Idaho decision makers for their historic investment in outdoor recreation. . S1196 allocated a record $95 million to Idaho state parks like Bruneau Dunes, Ponderosa, Henry’s Lake, and more to address a backlog of maintenance, expand outdoor recreation opportunities, and to support further conservation of lands and waters. 

So far, Idaho leaders have received almost 50 comments from Idahoans who support the record funding for our beloved state parks. If just 10% of the people reading this email submit a comment today, we’ll more than triple that number. With a few clicks, you can  help us show leaders like Governor Little and Director Buxton of the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation that investing in our state parks and other lands and waters is a top priority for the people they serve. 

TAKE ACTION: Submit a comment to Idaho leaders thanking them for supporting S1196 and investing into Idaho’s state parks and our outdoor recreation economy.

$50 Million for Open Space on the Ballot in Kootenai County

On November 7, voters in Kootenai County will vote on a $50 million bond to acquire open space for recreation, resource protection, and scenery, in response to high growth and development within the area. The solutions presented by the bond include addressing traffic and congestion, designating more parks for public use, enhancing and expanding trail networks, preserving priceless open space, and protecting the drinking water supply provided by the Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer. The taxpayer dollars going towards this bond will  be used to purchase open space properties within Kootenai County and to fund the amenities for recreation in these areas. Learn more about the specifics of this bond here.

Celebrating a Monumental Win for Southwest Indigenous Communities

For our conservation friends in the Southwest, last week was a time of celebration. August 8th marked the official designation of the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument. This new monument not only preserves the natural beauty and cultural significance of nearly 1 million acres in northern Arizona, but represents decades of struggle of Indigenous communities who have fought to protect their sacred lands. The monument includes cultural sites that are valued by over twelve Indigenous tribes across the Southwest. We at CVI applaud the dedication of these Indigenous communities and organizations like the Grand Canyon Tribal Coalition and Chispa Arizona in fighting to secure these priceless lands in honor of past, present, and future generations of Indigenous peoples and other visitors.

Endorsing Conservation Champions

Protecting land and water at the community level is vital for our health and wellbeing, not to mention our economy and culture. Municipal leaders – your county commissioners, city councilors, mayors – play a significant role in protecting natural spaces in our cities. That is why CVI identifies and endorses candidates statewide to protect not just our statewide-acclaimed public lands, but your local parks, trails, greenbelts, canal pathways, and more. Our endorsement application for the 2023 municipal election is currently open until September 8th, the candidate filing deadline. If you feel a candidate in your community has demonstrated their commitment to open space and land and water conservation, send them an invitation to apply for our endorsement. Learn more about our endorsement process and what it means to be endorsed by CVI at our website.

News Bites

Public lands have many uses. Management has to prioritize landscape health | Opinion (Idaho Statesman)

Voluntary Public Access Improvement Act Introduced in the House  (Theodore Roosevelot Conservation Partnership)

Trail between popular Sawtooth sites is finally open 8 years after approval (Idaho Statesman)

Billions spent on hatcheries, habitat fails to help native Columbia River salmon, study finds (Idaho Capital Sun)

Youth Groups Wrap-Up Summer of Hard Work in Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests (Big Country News)

Idaho’s largest wilderness area just got a tiny bit bigger. Here’s how that happens (Idaho Statesman)