Idaho’s abundant healthy rivers are a direct result of the state’s wealth of publicly-owned land. With the headwaters of every major river system in the state originating on Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands, any threat to public land in Idaho is a direct threat to the Gem State’s clean water, wild fish and thousands of miles of rivers that attract floaters and anglers from around the planet.
Unfortunately the Idaho Legislature has continued to press the issue of a state takeover of the 32.5 million acres of federal land in the state. Proponents have invented arguments to make their case that federal land belongs to the state and that Idaho would do a better job managing them while experiencing an economic windfall from doing so.
Federal lands, however, belong to all Americans, and this Saturday, March 4, the citizens of Idaho will rally in support of their public land, a uniquely American resource that is a distinct part of every Idahoan's identity and culture. The rally will begin at 11 a.m. on the south steps of the Capitol.
Idaho is 62 percent public lands, including lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service. Thousands enjoy Idaho’s 32 million acres of public ground daily, fueling a vibrant, self-sustaining economic driver.
Despite being treasured by outdoor enthusiasts, public lands consistently are under attack from private interests who want to turn public lands over to the states. At any given time, there are a number of legislative attempts – both at the state level and nationally – to give away public ground.
- Banner photo of East Fork Owyhee by Michael Melford.