September Land and Water News

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Public Lands Day is this week. How will you celebrate? 

September 24th is National Public Lands Day! Protecting Idaho’s incredible public lands and open space is at the heart of our work here at CVI. From the iconic splendor of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, to your local park down the street, all Idahoans desire and deserve places in nature to be – to rest and to recreate, creating lasting memories with their communities. We are proud to serve our state by championing these spaces on behalf of Idahoans, against threats to reduce them to dollar signs.

Learn more about National Public Lands Day here, and follow or join in the public lands-love on social media using the hashtag #NPLD.

The Great American Outdoor Act continues to benefit Idaho.

Recreation infrastructure on public lands across the state will benefit from federal legislation passed late in 2021. Funds from the GAOA will be spent on a variety of projects including boat ramps, trail heads, campgrounds and more, helping to address nearly 75% of backlogged maintenance requests. 

Proposed projects for funding include maintenance at Wolf Flats Recreation Area east of Idaho Falls, and upgrading campgrounds at the Sage Hen Recreation Area in the Boise National Forest. Check out the list here

Changes in land management on the horizon. 

The way some of our public lands are managed is changing. For decades, America’s land and water has been under the care of several federal agencies. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced last week that land managers will begin collaborating with Indigenous Tribes on stewardship of our public lands. The change towards collaboration comes to the Tribes after many decades of fighting for a seat at the table. Over the course of America’s history, Indigenous Peoples were systematically removed from their land, as well as from decisions about the management and maintenance of the places that are now designated public lands. Extending this collaborative stewardship will be beneficial to our lands management, and the people who enjoy them;Last week’s announcement is a step towards recognizing those injustices and reintegrating generations of stewardship knowledge back into land management practices. 

Similarly, efforts to return stolen lands to Indigenous Peoples are getting noticed and gaining traction. If you’re curious, #LandBack explained by High Country News gives some insight into the movement. Another article, more close to home as it focuses specifically on Yellowstone National Park, also lends perspective to returning people to their ancestral homes.