Idaho is one of the last states where you can still find virtually all of the native fish and wildlife species, but many are faced with the possibility of loss or extinction. At ICL, we work to protect healthy populations of native fish and wildlife and recover those at risk.
Salmon and Steelhead
Salmon and steelhead are integral to Idaho’s identity. Born in the headwaters of the Salmon and Clearwater Rivers, these iconic fish migrate to the ocean and then return to their native waters where they spawn and die — and the cycle begins anew. But salmon and steelhead have a new normal: dams and development have relegated them to the endangered species list. ICL is working to restore ecologically significant, harvestable populations of wild salmon and steelhead to Idaho.
ICL believes that the best management strategy for grizzly bears and black bears is to take preventative measures to avoid conflict between people and bears in the first place. Simple steps can be taken to prevent unwanted conflicts between people and bears, such as storing trash, food, and other attractants in locations or containers where bears cannot gain access. Programs are available to help subsidize the cost of electric fencing to prevent bears from gaining access to orchards and livestock.
Wolverines need deep and persistent snowpack for denning and rearing their young. Idaho’s large mountainous regions provide the conditions that wolverines need to thrive. Unfortunately, the ability of the habitat to support a viable population of wolverine is declining as climate change decreases the extent, depth, and duration of the snowpack. That’s why ICL and a coalition of other conservation groups petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list wolverine under the Endangered Species Act.
Sage-grouse are imperiled. Sage-grouse need large areas of healthy sagebrush habitat, and these places are rapidly disappearing due to wildfires, invasive species, and development. The Idaho Conservation League has a long history of working on sage-grouse conservation. We have worked with ranchers, sportsmen and women, bird watchers, government agencies, and energy companies to protect and restore habitat for sage-grouse and other species.
Because bull trout require cold, clear streams, they area good indicator for ecosystem health. By ensuring that bull trout can persist, we can protect healthy streams for other fish and aquatic species like salmon, steelhead and other trout species. ICL works continuously to closely monitor mining and other land management activities on our public lands to ensure that water quality and bull trout habitat are protected and restored.
Bighorn sheep are an iconic part of Idaho’s natural heritage and are valued by wildlife enthusiasts, tourists and sportsmen. These iconic animals roam the rugged terrain of the Middle Fork and Main Salmon Rivers, Hells Canyon, the White Clouds Wilderness, and the Owyhee Canyonlands. For many river runners and backpackers, spotting a herd of bighorn sheep perched high up on a canyon wall is the highlight of their trip.