As we move into the holiday season, we think about all we are grateful for. While this year has been much more challenging than any of us could have imagined, at ICL we have much to be thankful for, and you are at the very top of the list. Thanks to your support, your partnership, your questions, your enthusiasm, and your friendship, we have accomplished many great things for Idaho together.

Back in the early 1970s, ICL was founded by a tight-knit community of conservationists and friends who made a commitment to protect Idaho’s environment. Many of the founders are still ICL members, 47 years later! Their innovation and dedication to this special place laid the groundwork for the conservation work that followed nearly five decades later  . . .  and, we hope, for many decades to come. 

Since 1973, you — the members and supporters of ICL — have made so much possible. Your support has helped in protecting millions of acres of Idaho’s wild places as designated wilderness, ensuring that ICL has a place at the table to advocate for clean air and water, upholding clean air and water standards, protecting threatened fish and wildlife and their habitat, sending an ICL representative to the Idaho Statehouse every single year since our founding to represent all of us and the conservation values we cherish, and so much more

We’ve grown a lot since the early days, but we are still a community, working together toward a shared goal that we are all deeply committed to. Thank you for standing strong with us, showing support through your gifts, your actions, and your notes to staff encouraging us to “keep up the good work!” 

On behalf of the whole ICL staff, THANK YOU, we are deeply grateful. Conservation work in Idaho can be tough, but knowing you are with us allows us to push forward, and we are honored to do this work. 

On a personal note, although I wasn’t even a thought in my parents’ minds when ICL was founded (thanks Mom and Dad, ICL members since 2015), I benefit now from all the efforts that have come before us. I have become the “future generation” that our founders talked about when they said they wanted to protect this place for future generations. 

As such, I’d like to share that I cannot thank you enough for what you’ve helped to accomplish so that my generation may experience the profound peace that comes from spending time deep in Idaho’s wilderness, the passion I feel for protecting our rivers and streams, and my dedication to fighting for the health of the climate. I cared about these things before, but through ICL and organizations like it, these values have been imprinted onto my very being. 

And now, I am fortunate to have the deeply moving experience of seeing the next generation of kids, high schoolers, and young adults connecting with ICL because they too share these values. Seeing them motivated to make a difference, and witnessing what they are capable of is truly inspiring. I’m in it for Idaho, but I’m also in it for them, like some of you were in it for my generation and their children and grandchildren.   

My point is, all of us — new members, longtime members, staff, board, community supporters, youth, and elders — we’re in this together. We’re making a difference now, and for future generations. We all play a role.  

That is something to be grateful for.

From all of us at ICL, we hope that you, your friends, and your loved ones are safe and well this holiday season and that in the coming months and years, you’ll have the chance to spend time in one of Idaho’s special places, knowing that you’ve played a role in protecting them. Be well friends, we’ll see you in 2021 ready to keep working hard for Idaho, together.