2020 was a year like no other: a global pandemic, divisive politics, an awakening on social and racial justice, challenges to science, and efforts by some to overthrow many of the norms around honor, respect, compassion, and decency on which our nation depends. But even in the midst of all of these challenges, 2020 was also filled with significant victories for conservation in Idaho as ICL’s staff, board, and members stood together to protect and restore Idaho’s special places. As the New Year arrives, we count our blessings and are optimistic that 2021 will be filled with many more successes.

While COVID-19 kept us from physically gathering, it did not keep us from collective action. In 2020, we helped pass a federal law to fund habitat restoration and protect access to public lands throughout the nation, including Idaho. We worked to shut down another coal-fired power plant and promote a quicker transition to 100% clean energy in order to combat climate change. Together, with conservation partners and Tribes, we built new momentum for removing the lower Snake River dams that are killing Idaho’s salmon and steelhead while pushing for infrastructure investments to make communities whole. And we strengthened our efforts to tackle polluted runoff and restore water quality in the Snake River throughout southern Idaho. 

All of us at ICL will harness this momentum of success as we look forward to the New Year. Already, we have much to be thankful and hopeful about for 2021. 

A new Biden administration has announced that combating climate change is a priority and has nominated U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland, who will be the first Native American cabinet member, to head the Department of the Interior, which oversees over 12 million acres of Idaho’s public lands and fish and wildlife habitat. Gov. Little’s salmon workgroup wrapped up its formal meetings, the group’s recommendations and the spirit of collaboration among diverse stakeholders will carry over into 2021 to bolster the State of Idaho’s role in regional and nationwide efforts to restore wild salmon and steelhead as well as enhance water quality statewide. 

2020 emphasized how lucky we all are to live in Idaho and have as our backyard the state’s beautiful forests, mountains, rivers, and other outdoor spaces. We live in a special place and with your partnership, ICL will continue to accomplish our shared goals on behalf of Idaho’s environment in the New Year. Thank you.

For Idaho, 

Executive Director

P.S. Please consider making a special New Year’s contribution to support the work of the Idaho Conservation League.  Together we are making a difference.