We’ve got a lot of work to do

I’ll be honest. We have a lot of work to do.

On Feb. 27, the League of Conservation Voters released its 2017 National Environmental Scorecard. It scores all members of the U.S. House and Senate on votes placed for or against the values of conservation and the environment.

I bet you’re wondering how Idaho’s two House members and two Senators did.

The answer is: not very good. On a scale between 0 and 100, with 0 being anti-environment and 100 being a conservation champion, three Idaho lawmakers scored zeros and one scored a 9. Here’s the breakdown.

Rep. Raul Labrador    0

Rep. Mike Simpson    9

Sen. Mike Crapo         0

Sen. Jim Risch            0

Let’s get to the good news. Rep. Simpson voted against defunding the EPA, voted against slashing the EPA’s budget and voted for an amendment that would protect public lands from privatization.

And that’s about all there is for the good news from our Congressional Delegation. Yet there is good news when we look at the people who vote for these individuals. In February, Colorado College released its annual Western States Survey that found Idahoans are overwhelmingly in favor of protecting public lands and the environment. A whopping 76 percent of Idahoans consider themselves conservationists and 84 percent are outdoor recreation enthusiasts.

Clearly there is a very large divide between the people of Idaho and Idaho’s elected officials. And that’s where Conservation Voters for Idaho comes in. It is our job to do two things:

  1. Educate our elected officials about their constituents’ strong attachment to the values of conservation and their connection to the environment
  2. Get a new job for the politicians who refuse to listen to their Idaho constituents

As you can see by the scores above, we have a lot of work to do. But we’re up for it. And with your help through volunteering, donations and membership, we have the tools and the mandate to make a change. We won’t quit until Idaho politicians and the people of Idaho see eye to eye on the important issues of conservation and the environment. We’re up to the task. Thanks for being part of it.