Climate March draws 1,000 to Idaho statehouse

About 1,000 Idahoans gathered at the Idaho Capitol on Saturday, April 29, to join the People's Climate March, a nationwide event designed to bring further awareness to the dire threats posed by climate change.

"It was really encouraging to see so many Idahoans coming together for something that means so much to our rivers," said IRU Membership Coordinator Jenni Jordan. "There was a lot of energy and enthusiasm and productive conversations about how to help communicate the threats posed by climate change to our elected leaders."

District 18 state Rep. Ilana Rubel, D-Boise, was among the speakers. She discussed how difficult it is working at the Idaho statehouse to get bills addressing climate change into consideration. She said it's tough to get them printed, let alone heard by a committee. 

They literally think it's a hoax, she said. It's important not to be complacent. 

The Idaho march, organized by the Idaho Sierra Club chapter, included a huge diversity of people ranging from the very young to very old. Other speakers included Boise City Council Pro Tem Lauren McLean, environmental engineer Walker Grimshaw, Celia Espinoza of Idaho Stands with Standing Rock, Anser School student Soren Pierce Hartman, and Rev. Sara LaWall of the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

"Climate change threatens everything about Idaho's rivers, and we have to acknowledge the huge bevy of science that confirms our role in that change," said IRU Communications Director Greg Stahl. "Our rivers rely on snow for season-long flows. Our salmon and trout depend on clear, cold water for survival. We've already seen evidence of shifting seasons and warming rivers here in Idaho, and that's a direct threat to Idaho's rivers and fish. It's also a threat to our farmers and fishermen."

Photos by Jenni Jordan.