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SCR 129: Examining Idaho Bird Decline – 2020

Summary: SCR 129 would support efforts by Idaho Fish and Game and other agencies to examine and reverse Idaho's declining bird populations.

ICL's position: Support

Current Bill Status: Passed Senate, Held by Committee

Issue Areas: Fish and Wildlife

Official Legislative Site

Sen. Dan Johnson (R-Lewiston) introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 129, which would provide legislative support for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) and other agencies to better understand the issues that are contributing to declining bird populations in Idaho, its implications, and to identify opportunities to restore healthy wild bird populations.

Bird populations in North America have declined by 30% since 1970. Some Idaho birds with the sharpest population decreases include Larks, Kingfishers, Swifts and Leaf Warblers.

This bill acknowledges the benefits robust bird populations bring to Idaho. Birds provide pollination, insect control, and other agricultural and ecosystem services. Hunters also depend on healthy bird populations.

Over 400,000 Idahoans participate in bird watching and enjoy 2,000 miles of birding trails throughout Idaho at 175 different sites. This, in addition to the 79,000 out-of-state bird watchers that visit Idaho each year, generates about $29.3 million for Idaho’s economy, most notably in rural communities.

The resolution is consistent with Chapter 1, Title 36 of Idaho Statute which ensures that IDFG protects all wild animals, and that they must be preserved, protected, perpetuated, and managed for present and future generations. It follows in the footsteps of a resolution from 2006, which supported the establishment of  the Idaho Birding Trail and recognized the economic opportunities and benefits that birdwatching brings to the State of Idaho.