A Little Context - Idaho has had 3 anti-public lands bills advance from the House to the Senate and one pro-public land bill fail to make it out of committee in the past couple of weeks. It’s time for Idahoans to put their State Representatives and Senators on notice! I will be publishing a more in depth blog post on this soon, but for now here is what I sent to my Senator this afternoon. If I have to I’ll run against her myself, we need to establish more pro-public land representatives in Idaho. #conservationisconservative
I appreciate your response, though it feels somewhat dismissive of the issues. I realize very well that there are those within the Republican Party who have been taking a stand against Federal Land Management. I also know that you were not, in fact, elected to your seat, but instead were appointed by Governor Little, and that you are replacing your son who is now Chief of Staff for Congressman Fulcher. Fulcher’s stance on federal lands is concerning, as is his recent Nay vote for the Natural Resources Management Act (an extremely bipartisan conservation bill that passed with a vote of 92-8 in the US Senate). Forgive me if, as your constituent, even though I was not able to vote for or against you, I am somewhat concerned as to where your loyalties are: to your constituents, or to your party, or to the big money donors Fulcher is alligned with.
I grew up in this beautiful state. I understand the concerns many folks have with Federal Land Management, and I believe we need to hold our Federal Managers’ feet to the fire. That said, as you know, there are multiple bills in the Idaho Statehouse right now whose goal is to undermine the importance of these public lands and prevent the Federal Government from further acquisition. These bills are shortsighted and seem to be pandering to out of state money and interests. The Wilks brothers’ personal lobbyist testified against S1089 for example, and it is very disheartening to, for the second year in a row, see our state legislature seem to be taking special interests and big money more seriously than the majority of Idahoans who value our public lands.
We, your constituents, don’t need you to simply “study” these bills carefully as you said in your response, we need you to stand up for our public lands and our environment. Republicans have a poor track record on these issues, which is unfortunate because Republicans tend to claim that they are advocates of freedom. To many Idahoans freedom is very much associated with our relationship to our public lands and the activities that we are able to freely pursue here in Idaho. I don’t want my kids growing up surrounded by “no trespassing” signs and ranches where the only hunting, fishing and camping is a pay to play system.
Please stand up for our public lands or consider your position to be put on notice.