Conservation in the Idaho Capital, Keep Public Lands in Public Hands

The Idaho Legislative Session has started and we’re excited about the possibilities and nervous about the political realities in Idaho.

So, what about the Governor’s State of the State? Gov. Otter lightly touched on fire, sage grouse and water, he made no real commitments to conservation. We have our work cut out for us in getting our elected officials to reflect the values of Idaho voters.

One of our biggest legislative priorities is the protection of public land. We are hopeful that the legislature will abandon efforts to take them over and work to protect public access. Idaho’s public lands are a birthright that is our responsibility to pass on to future generations. If we lose access to public lands, our unique quality of life goes with it. Right now some politicians are working to put our public lands into the hands of a few wealthy interests. Conservation Voters for Idaho is working to stop this effort, Idaho is not for sale.

And what about those crackpots in Oregon? As I’m sure you are aware, an armed group is occupying the Malheur National WildScreen Shot 2014-11-13 at 12.58.39 PMlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon. Led by out-of-state ringleaders, this militia group is determined to seize national public lands to their own use. This action is outrageous to anyone who values democracy and the rule of law. It is important that we speak up and denounce these actions, and even more important that we hear these denunciations echoed by our elected leaders.

Did you know one of our congressmen is siding with this militia group? This issue has been and will continue to be a hot button issue. While Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador is defending the armed protesters, Gov. Otter said, “It’s the rule of law, and there are peaceful and legitimate ways to do things, and one of the ways you’ve got to do ‘em is without infringing on anybody else’s rights.”

Stay tuned as this important issue and others arise in the Idaho Capital! Click here to sign up to receive insider news on what is happening on conservation at the capital.