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Our History and Accomplishments

What Idaho Conservation League has accomplished since we were founded in 1973.

Lupine in the White Clouds. John Robison photo.

The Idaho Conservation League is working to protect the air you breathe, the water you drink and the land you love. Here's a sample of what we've accomplished so far.

2010 to Present

  • Won a court decision that pushes EPA to enact the provision of the nation's hazardous waste cleanup law—the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, 1983)—that requires bonding by several industries including hardrock mining, chemical manufacturing, petroleum and coal products manufacturing and electric power generation, to cover cleanup costs
  • Permanently protected one of America's most pristine and wild landscapes, the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains, as wilderness
  • Organized opposition coalition in response to the Idaho Legislature’s proposal to take over 28 million acres of federally administered public lands in Idaho
  • Spearheaded a campaign to make the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail continuous and accessible by turning lakefront property linking the cities of Sandpoint and Ponderay into public land
  • Worked with phosphate mining companies to dedicate profits to improving habitat in the Blackfoot River
  • Defeated a proposal to burn garbage at the Ada County landfill which would have resulted in tons of toxic air pollution and ash
  • Engaged in active collaborations throughout the state to build support for landscape protection by working with locals who live, work and play in Idaho's special places
  • Worked with private donors and ranchers to permanently remove cows from the fragile Owyhee wilderness area


  • Helped move the Owyhee Canyonlands wilderness bill through Congress, the first new wilderness designation for Idaho in 29 years
  • Passed Idaho's first countywide open space measure for Blaine County
  • Stopped the single largest source of airborne mercury pollution in the United States
  • Joined a diverse coalition to defeat the Sempra coal-fired power plant in Magic Valley
  • Helped private landowners exercise their property rights and conserve their land by enhancing tax incentives for Idaho conservation easements
  • Worked to make sure all Idahoans' concerns were heard as the state planned to manage wolf populations


  • Made sure state officials and agencies lived up to the Clean Water Act, guaranteeing that Idaho's water remains fresh and clean
  • Improved the Idaho Forest Practices Act and made sure logging plans on state and national forests balanced timber harvest with clean water, healthy habitat and recreation
  • Preserved the Owyhee Canyonlands prized wildlife habitat and solitude from plans to expand a bombing range
  • Protected Boise's popular Hulls Gulch from an unnecessary and destructive dam
  • Created an endowment that, by the end of the 1990s, was valued at over $1 million. For a permanent home for Idaho conservation, we purchased a historic home within walking distance to the Statehouse for our office


  • Conserved Idaho's clean water through creation of the Idaho Clean Lakes Act and Water Quality Anti-degradation Act
  • Fought for healthy air through the reinstatement of the Idaho Air Quality Bureau
  • Preserved Idaho's wildlife habitat, rivers and recreation areas by amending the Idaho Surface Mining Act


  • Preserved the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, a 2.3 million-acre wilderness paradise
  • Helped Idaho communities plan for prosperity and growth while maintaining their unique character, through the Idaho Local Planning Act
  • Guaranteed Idaho's overtaxed rivers and streams maintain enough water for fishing, boating, and other uses through the Idaho Minimum Stream Flow Act

What You Can Do

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