The Idaho Conservation League works to build bridges with local communities and businesses, other conservation groups and partners in state and federal agencies. One important way we work with others is by participating in several forest restoration collaboratives across Idaho. These local collaborative groups aim to restore our forests and watersheds. In addition to ICL staff, these groups typically include participants from the timber industry, other conservation groups, local communities, local elected officials, recreation groups and other interests.
Zone of Agreement
Participants in collaborative groups in Idaho work within a “Zone of Agreement”—a set of shared principles that build trust and allow them to interact productively together despite their differing interests. Although each group is unique, the groups agree on the following points.
- Conditions in Idaho’s national forests have changed. Many areas are denser, more uniform and thus more vulnerable to altered fire patterns, insects, and disease. Groups agree on moving forests closer to their natural conditions to improve their resilience.
- Well-designed restoration actions improve the health of forests ecosystems, reduce risk of severe fire, and sustain local jobs and economies. These actions may include thinning, creating more diverse forest stands at the landscape level, prescribed fire and restoring native species.
- The timber industry can be an ally in ecosystem restoration. Forestry practices and mill infrastructure have evolved since the timber wars. Ecologically-minded thinning and prescribed burning can improve the ecological health of certain forest types. These projects often include watershed restoration efforts such as relocating roads out of stream bottoms. The revenue generated from the sale of wood products can help pay for additional restoration activities.
- The Idaho Roadless Rule helps focus efforts. The rule sets clear objectives that steer action to the roaded front country and helps groups avoid past disputes.
- Multi-faceted restoration projects enhance water quality, wildlife habitat and recreation. Serving a wide range of interests strengthens the zone of agreement.
These collaborative groups play a critical role in providing local knowledge, helping the U.S. Forest Service balance competing values, and supporting positive action.
ICL Is Involved in 10 Forest Collaboratives
ICL is currently involved in ten collaboratives across the state of Idaho:
- Kootenai Valley Resource Initiative
- Panhandle Forest Collaborative
- Shoshone-Benewah Collaborative
- Clearwater Basin Collaborative
- Payette Forest Coalition
- Lemhi Forest Restoration Group
- Stanley Basin Wildfire Collaborative
- 5B Restoration Coalition
- Caribou Forest Collaborative
- Idaho Forest Restoration Partnership
What You Can Do
- If you are interested in learning more about forest restoration collaborative projects in your area, email John Robison, ICL public lands director, or call him at 208.345.6933 x 13.
- Become a member today and protect the Idaho you love!