Idaho’s 34.5 million acres of national public lands are our natural inheritance, treasured for their access to recreation, hunting, fishing as well as their importance to local economies. Unfortunately, an out of state scheme to “transfer” these public lands into state or private hands has gained some traction around the West, including several legislative attempts here in Idaho. There are many reasons why this is a terrible idea, including the potential loss of access to these lands, huge management and wildfire costs, and a shift from management for multiple-uses to management for making maximum revenue off the land. Conservation Voters of Idaho is leading the effort to Keep Public Lands in Public Hands.
Investing in our public lands and waters
Idaho’s legacy of public lands is what makes Idaho special. Each of us cherishes time spent outdoors, from urban parks to the deepest wilderness. Our outdoor way of life isn’t an accident: Idahoans over the years have worked hard and spoken up to protect and invest in our shared heritage. Today, our state is home to miles of protected rivers, vast swaths of Wilderness, and prime habitat for game and nongame species alike. More of us recreate outdoors than folks in almost any other state.
For nearly 50 years, one of the best tools for the protection of our public lands has been the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). This federal program generates its own revenue from offshore drilling royalties, and then reinvests in America’s public lands and waters — from ballfields to river put-ins to land preservation. In 2019, after years of kicking the can, Congress permanently reauthorized the LWCF in a broad bipartisan push. This enormous victory leaves us with only one last hurdle: making sure the program has full, dedicated funding. Click here to learn more and take action.