Editor’s note:  ICL works hard to protect Idaho’s clean air, clean water and beautiful wild places. As an Idaho-grown group, we rely on the generosity of our members in order to do our work. This month, we are hosting our annual High Five Member Drive, a fun month-long event when we encourage people who love Idaho to take the next step in protecting it by becoming an ICL member. Thanks to an anonymous donor, all new membership gifts will be matched dollar for dollar up to $10,000. Become a member today to double the impact of your gift and do something great for Idaho!  

Today, we invite you to meet the Gooden-Heltons! Justina, Rob and Cole are members of the ICL family and care deeply about this special place. See why their family chooses to be a part of our conservation community.  

Justina Gooden-Helton, her husband Rob Helton and their son Cole moved to Idaho two years ago and were immediately struck by the captivating beauty of the state! They began exploring places like Craters of the Moon, Mesa Falls and Targhee National Forest. Soon, the trio took up flyfishing and discovered more Idaho treasures.

When they lived in Virginia, they benefitted from all that the Chesapeake Bay had to offer, and to give back, they were active with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. At the end of last year, the family began looking for an Idaho conservation organization, similar to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, that they could support.

That’s when they found the Idaho Conservation League. "Imagine my surprise when I received a call from Aimee Moran, thanking me for my donation!" Justina said. "We had a lovely conversation and Aimee offered to facilitate a meeting with another Idaho Falls ICL member and her husband." Since then, it’s been full speed ahead for the Heltons!

Justina and Rob attended their first Wild Idaho! in May at Redfish Lake Lodge and had a wonderful time. Not only did they find the ICL community welcoming and engaging, they also learned about a number of conservation issues, including many specific to Idaho.

After spending the weekend with the staff and board, the Heltons are impressed and grateful for the work that ICL is doing to keep Idaho’s environment vital for generations to come.

For their latest adventure, the three floated the main Salmon River with ICL in August!