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Idaho Conservation League Volume XVII • Number 2 • July, 2014

A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity like for the Boulder-White Clouds. The most amazing thing about this map? It looks almost identical to the map of the proposed national monument. Times have changed, but the enduring conservation vision for the Boulder-White Clouds has not. To understand this, one must know the story.

Times have changed, but the enduring conservation vision for the Boulder-White Clouds has not.

In 1972, we witnessed conservation opportunity at its finest. Iconic Castle Peak was being threatened by a large molybdenum mine. Realizing this place was too important to be turned into a gaping hole in the ground, conservation leaders Frank Church and (continued on page 3)

Wind power in Idaho / Ben Otto

East Fork Salmon River, Boulder-White clouds

I remember a colleague once saying conservation work in Idaho would be one of the most challenging endeavors I would embark upon. She also reminded me that conservation work is based on opportunity. Those two points have proved true as I work on the Boulder-White Clouds. I’ve also learned that conservation effort is built by those who have come before us. For me, this translates into learning from the people who have spent decades working toward wilderness legislation; their efforts are today’s building blocks. I was recently given a hand-drawn map nearly 40 years old outlining what protections should look


BOARD

Boulder-White Clouds

FROM THE DIRECTOR:

IT’S CALLED LEADERSHIP MB Whitaker

“Congressional gridlock” is so often said it’s become cliché. Unfortunately, it’s real. Nothing gets done anymore.

Rick Johnson

Enter the president. Yes, he’s been in office for a full term and a half already, but in terms of the environment, President Obama is just getting his groove on—and settling into the power he has.

The Washington Post has called the president’s use of executive powers his “increasingly muscular conservation policy.” “I’ve preserved more than 3 million acres of public lands for future generations,” Obama said as he designated the 500,000-acre Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in late May, the 11th new monument he’s created. “And,” he said to great applause, “I am not finished.” The Boulder-White Clouds, rising toward serious contention for presidential designation as a national monument, are an Idaho example of what the president is talking about. Another example is new climate policy. After years of congressional stonewalling, Obama is using the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency, wisely based on state-level targets, to curb carbon. This is a historic action, and it propels the United States to a leadership role on climate. Presidents have the power to lead but often not the courage to use it. Past administrations have notably used executive powers to weaken environmental protections. It’s great to see the trend turn the other way. That is why we have elections, after all, and why they matter. If Congress is going to continue to fail to engage conservation challenges, let’s hope we see a whole lot more of such leadership from the White House. Rick Johnson Executive Director

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rjohnson@idahoconservation.org

Elaine French, Chair, Ketchum Paul Cunningham, Vice Chair, Boise Kahle Becker, Secretary, Garden City Julie Richardson, Treasurer, Hailey Tanya Anderson, Victor Jerry Brady, Idaho Falls Perry Brown, Boise Carolyn Coiner, Twin Falls Mark Daly, Boise Lori Gibson Banducci, Boise Steve Mitchell, Hailey John O’Connor, Bonners Ferry Tom Page, Hailey Buddy Paul, Coeur d’Alene Jerry Scheid, Idaho Falls Kim Trotter, Driggs Margrit von Braun, Moscow John Warren, Boise

STAFF Sara Arkle

Community Conservation Associate Natalie Chavez

Finance Manager Nancy Dooley

North Idaho Outreach Coordinator Susan Drumheller

North Idaho Associate Justin Hayes

Program Director Rick Johnson

Executive Director Marie Callaway Kellner

Water Associate Dani Mazzotta

Central Idaho Associate Betsy Mizell

Central Idaho Outreach Associate Suki Molina

Deputy Director Aimee Moran

Development Director Jonathan Oppenheimer

Senior Conservation Associate Ben Otto

Energy Associate John Robison

Public Lands Director Brad Smith

Conservation Associate Courtney Washburn

Community Conservation Director Lana Weber

Membership Coordinator Mary Beth Whitaker

Editor & Designer Erin Zaleski

Membership Associate Boise 208.345.6933 icl@idahoconservation.org www.idahoconservation.org Ketchum 208.726.7485 Sandpoint 208.265.9565 printed on recycled paper


PUBLIC LANDS SPOTLIGHT

A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity Learn More To learn more about ICL’s work on the Boulder-White Clouds, go to www. idahoconservation.org

(continued from page 1)

Cecil Andrus shepherded Public Law 92-400 through Congress, establishing the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA). Purpose was served; Castle Peak was saved, the Sawtooth Mountains across the valley were designated as wilderness, and the Boulder-White Clouds were recommended by Congress to be a national park or wilderness in the future. While the SNRA was not the tool for protecting the Boulder-White Clouds long into the future, it paved the path in the right direction. The battle since then has been Congress’ inability to act upon its own recommendations, despite long collaborative efforts that would have finished the job. Today, we have a strong coalition committed to closing this chapter in the Boulder-White Clouds. Our opportunity is now, and the tool is a national monument. Working alongside ICL is a broad coalition that includes the Wilderness Society, the Sierra Club, the National Wildlife Federation, the Pew Charitable Trusts,

sportsmen groups, recreation groups and many others. We are working with some of the best minds in conservation law to ensure that a monument proclamation can protect wilderness values while still honoring the many reasons Idahoans cherish the BoulderWhite Clouds, such as trail access, hunting and fishing opportunities, and solitude and remoteness. The national monument represents the original conservation vision for the Boulder-White Clouds; it captures not just the high peaks of the SNRA but the Salmon River’s entire East Fork watershed, which lies outside the SNRA. The East Fork Salmon is the lifeblood of the Boulder-White Clouds and is at risk from grazing in sensitive areas, mining, and increasing motorized use. A national monument addresses these risks; creates long-term protection for the area’s wild character, wildlife habitat, fragile rivers, and fisheries; and balances access for all user groups. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to protect the Boulder-White Clouds long into the future. Let’s make this happen. Sign the Boulder-White Clouds petition today! www.idahoconservation.org/BWC Dani Mazzotta Central Idaho Associate

dmazzotta@idahoconservation.org

You can help! Add your name to the petition to have the BoulderBoulder-White Clouds / Charlie O’Leary

White Clouds designated a national monument.

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ENERGY

Cutting Carbon to Save Idaho

EPA proposed the first nationwide scheme to control carbon pollution from our electricity system.

Almost 20 years ago the world reached the first agreement to address climate change. By 1997 most countries had ratified the Kyoto Protocol, establishing emissions limits, but not the United States. Since then America has debated whether to cut carbon emissions, to no avail. Faced with inaction and the climate changing before our eyes, the Environmental Protection Agency took action this June. EPA proposed the first nationwide scheme to control carbon pollution from our electricity system. This is the most important clean air rule in a generation. We see the effects of global warming today. Idaho’s economy and environment depend on water—not just any water, but deep winter snow to fuel summer river flows. But familiar precipitation and

temperature patterns are changing, with warmer winters (snow now falling as rain), earlier springs, hotter summers and longer droughts. These changes are increasing wildfires, stressing water supplies, and degrading wildlife habitats. If we do not cut our carbon footprint, we can expect these changes to continue and accelerate. The hallmark of EPA’s proposal is statespecific emission targets and plans. EPA identified the large fossil fuel sources within each state. Then EPA looked at the available, realistic measures to cut carbon, which mostly involve saving energy and investing in renewables. EPA then used this information to set a target emission rate for each state to reach by 2030.

Idaho windmills / Ben Otto

Idaho has vast renewable energy to invest in and a strong track record in energy-saving programs.

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Solar panels

We believe EPA’s plan can benefit Idaho’s economy and will protect our air. Idaho has vast renewable energy to invest in and a strong track record in energysaving programs. By investing in our clean energy we can easily meet EPA’s proposed emission target. In fact, Idaho

We believe EPA’s plan can benefit Idaho’s economy and will protect our air.

could generate enough clean energy to help our neighbors meet their emission targets. Over the next few months we will be gathering support for EPA’s proposal. To get more involved, sign up for ICL’s monthly energy news email online at www.idahoconservation.org/issues/ energy/join-ICL-energy-news. Meanwhile, we will continue to clean up Idaho’s electricity system through our programs in efficiency and clean energy. Ben Otto Energy Associate botto@idahoconservation.org

Wildflowers / MB Whitaker

FROM THE BOARD CHAIR:

SUSTAINABILITY Sustainability. That’s a word we hear a lot in conservation circles. How can we exist and move forward in this new era, the Anthropocene, to ensure that Earth and its resources continue to sustain us and the plants and animals that share the planet with us? Elaine French ICL confronts the challenge of environmental sustainability every day. We work to prevent and mitigate the effects of climate change through our efforts on energy and water. We work to preserve the wild areas that nourish humans and other species. We work to prevent degradation of air and water quality caused by bad practices in mining, landfills, sewage treatment and power generation.

But ICL itself needs to be sustained. The challenges we face are not going away and can’t be solved in the short term. To be here for the long haul, ICL needs long-term support. That is why there is an ICL endowment. The endowment generates income that ICL can count on for its work into the future. It sustains ICL. And key funding for the endowment comes from bequests. So please consider ICL in your estate planning. (Find out more in the related article on p. 11.) Financial sustainability is important too.

Elaine French Idaho Conservation League Board Chair

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AROUND THE STATE

Idaho Federal Lands Takeover Jonathan Oppenheimer

Idaho’s recent primary helped clarify the positions of some of our state leaders (and voters) on the controversial proposal to take over Idaho’s public lands. Through disclosures and debates, Gov. Butch Otter and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden have both joined with critics in arguing that Idaho has no valid legal claims to the national forests and Bureau of Land Management lands in Idaho. Other noteworthy developments include: > The Legislature’s interim study committee was allocated only $20,000, yet they’ve already blown through $42,000 on legal fees alone. They hired Boise attorney Bill Myers, because they weren’t getting enough “imagination” out of the Idaho attorney general.

> Each of the statewide candidates who’d supported the radical proposal lost overwhelmingly, except for the secretary of state candidate Lawerence Denney, who won with 37 percent of the primary vote. Nonetheless, interim committee co-chairs Sen. Chuck Winder and Rep. Lawerence Denney have indicated that they will hold public hearings around the state this summer. Stay tuned for a hearing in a community near you! Jonathan Oppenheimer Senior Conservation Associate joppenheimer@idahoconservation.org

Boise Sustainability in Action Boise Foothills / Sara Arkle

The city of Boise has moved one step closer to creating a sustainability program. For the first time ever, in 2015, Boise will begin to fund sustainability projects. ICL, its members and supporters have been instrumental in demonstrating public support for proactive measures that promote a livable and sustainable Boise. Many cities across the nation have taken dramatic steps to promote healthy environments, thriving economies and vibrant communities. A vision for local sustainability has helped to spur economic development and attract investments in these communities. For 6

example, cities that have demonstrated a commitment to sustainability have attracted private dollars to match local investments in innovative energy efficiency projects. Businesses such as Hewlett-Packard, Simplot, Zions Bank and Idaho Power can share proof positive of the benefits of their sustainability programs. ICL will help the city benefit from this local expertise by advancing opportunities for partnership throughout the fall. Sara Arkle Community Conservation Associate sarkle@idahoconservation.org


Protecting Clean Water

Several mining projects threaten our clean water. The headwaters of the Boise River are at risk from proposed exploration for the

CuMo project, which could become one of the largest open-pit mines in the world. The Payette National Forest is poised to authorize drilling in the Frank Church Wilderness for the Golden Hand project. The Bureau of Land Management is analyzing an expansion of the Thompson Creek Mine near Challis, which will require water treatment in perpetuity.

Good news—the U.S. Forest Service withdrew approval for Golden Meadows, a major gold prospecting project proposed for the South Fork Salmon River drainage.

Boise River headwaters / John Robison

In summer, Idahoans realize the importance of clean water. Our snowpack has melted, recharging the rivers and aquifers that provide drinking water, irrigation supplies, recreation opportunities, and fish and wildlife habitat.

ICL and our partners are working to either stop or improve these projects to protect the water we all rely on. John Robison Public Lands Director jrobison@idahoconservation.org

Arrowrock Dam to Get Bigger? Engineers and the Idaho Water Resource Board in a study of Boise basin flood control and water supply. ICL is encouraging these agencies to consider other options, such as upgrading water diversions, reconnecting the river with its flood plain, and addressing the need for crop rotation and agricultural irrigation upgrades.

The dam raise is proposed by the Army Corps of

Another reason not to raise the dam? It would

submerge 3 miles of the South Fork Boise and 4 miles of the Middle Fork Boise. These are recreational runs rivaling any in Idaho—and that’s saying something!

Arrowrock Dam / Bruce Gordon, Ecoflight

ICL is advocating for water use efficiency in the face of a proposal to raise the Boise River’s Arrowrock Dam by 74 feet. It’s discouraging that, in an era of dam breaching, Idaho is prioritizing dams instead of implementing water conservation measures that would be less expensive, more sustainable and more immediate.

It’s smart to prepare for our water future and to prevent damaging floods, but dams are not the answer. Marie Callaway Kellner Water Associate mkellner@idahoconservation.org

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PEOPLE

Changes to the Board ICL welcomes new board members: Carolyn Coiner, Twin Falls, is a native Idahoan and a licensed landscape architect. Carolyn worked from 1997 to 2004 for the Bureau of Reclamation and since retirement is enjoying life as a community volunteer. John O’Connor, Bonners Ferry, lives off the utility grid in northern Idaho, where he has owned a bookstore for 27 years. John is active in the local environmental community and enjoys the outdoors of northern Idaho. Jerry Scheid, Idaho Falls, has a lifelong involvement in ranching and farming. Jerry managed a sheep operation

for many years and has board experience with The Nature Conservancy and Greater Yellowstone Coalition. Thank you, Kim Marshall, for your ICL board service. And a super big thanks to Mike Richardson, Bonners Ferry, who served nine years on the board! We will miss you! Suki Molina Deputy Director smolina@idahoconservation.org

Reasons to Celebrate!

We celebrated a beautifully warm Saturday evening on the banks of Redfish Lake, listening to lively music from Stoneseed. The live and silent auctions raised $15,103 to support ICL’s work to protect Idaho’s clean water, wilderness and quality of life. The “jump in the lake,” which has become a fun annual tradition, raised a record-breaking $22,725 for our water program! Thanks to everyone who attended Wild Idaho! 2014, and special thanks to those listed below, whose generosity made our auctions a great success. Erin Zaleski Membership Associate ezaleski@idahoconservation.org AAA Idaho ARTA Kahle Becker Big City Coffee & Café Big Creek Ranches Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd. Bogus Basin Ski Resort

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Boise Art Glass Boise Art Museum Boise Contemporary Theater Perry & Pam Brown Brundage Mountain Resort Buck Knives Ed Cannady

Fred Choate Christensen Family Foundation Leslie Conner-Maiyo & Dan Maiyo Crane Creek Country Club Paul & Heidi Cunningham Vickie Daly Anna Demetriades Discovery Center of Idaho Draggin’ Wing Farm Dragonfly Edwards Greenhouse Eyes of the World Imports Flying M Coffeehouse Elaine & John French Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Margaret Fuller Gatehouse Designs High Country News Highland Hollows Brewhouse

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) was keynote speaker for Wild Idaho! this year.

Hotel Terra Idaho Angler Idaho Botanical Garden Idaho Shakespeare Festival Idaho Steelheads Hockey Club Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Jimmy’s All Seasons Angler Lava Lake Land & Livestock Steve Mitchell & Louisa Moats Morning Star Lanyards Northwest River Supplies Nuu-Muu LLC Patagonia Payette River Company The Peregrine Fund Recreational Equipment Inc. Boise Sun Valley Animal Center Sun Valley Trekking Rachel Teannalach Zoo Boise Peter deFazio at Wild Idaho! 2014 / MB Whitaker

Celebrating wilderness was the topic for our sold-out Wild Idaho! 2014 conference. Our guests participated in engaging discussions about wilderness in the West, 50 years of the Wilderness Act and 40 years of the Endangered Species Act. We all had the pleasure of learning about the challenges of balancing the needs of rural economies and landscape protections from our keynote speaker, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.).


WILDLIFE

Idaho’s Last Caribou Face Possible Extirpation Taxidermy caribou / Justin Hayes

Idaho’s last herd of woodland caribou has been making the news lately. You may have read news stories or listened to radio segments about U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposals to designate “critical habitat” for caribou and to change the species’s listing status. Historically, woodland caribou roamed as far south as Idaho’s Salmon River. Their geographic range has been reduced to 15 small herds in British Columbia and one transboundary herd that inhabits the Selkirk Mountains of northern Idaho and southern British Columbia. In the mid-1990s, biologists estimated that there were about 2,500 woodland caribou in the United States and Canada. More recently, estimates have been reduced to 1,600.

But why have woodland caribou declined so dramatically? The logging of old-growth forests, development, increased winter recreation and increased predation all play a role in the decline of woodland caribou. In fact, some of these threats augment the others. For example, logging of old-growth forests, upon which woodland caribou depend, creates ideal conditions for

Will Idaho’s wildlife be reduced to museum specimens?

deer, elk and other ungulates. When these animals move in, their predators follow. Consequently, caribou also become prey victims. Meaningful recovery actions haven’t been taken since the late 1990s. It’s time to get serious about recovery again, or we face the real possibility that Idaho’s last caribou will be extirpated. Brad Smith Conservation Associate bsmith@idahoconservation.org

Woodland caribou in North Idaho / Jerry Pavia

The population trend of the Selkirk Mountains herd is more alarming. Just two years ago, the herd included 46 animals. Last winter, biologists located only 18 caribou.

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PEOPLE

Wild Idaho! 2014 / MB Whitaker photos

All Around the State!

Wild Idaho! 2014 silent auction and happy hour Canvassers / Amanda Brown

Wild Idaho! participants Dan Morrow, Shawn Forseth

Ketchum folks canvassing for Boulder-White Clouds Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail fun run / C. Bessler

Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail fun run / C. Bessler

Stoneseed provided lively music for Wild Idaho!

Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail fun run in Sandpoint 10

Running on the trail in Sandpoint


Our thanks to the volunteers, without whom our achievements would not happen. Charly Alexander Dana Anderson Steve Anderson Bennett Barr Bryan Biggs Luna Biggs Bonner County EMS Jeff Breakey Theresa Bruffey Bob Carlson Pam Conrad Jared Cooper Larry David Larry Davidson Patrice Delaney-Davies Sam Denney Eric Donenfeld Eileen Doten Katie Dulea Jane Dunbar Bill Eastlake Annie Faggard Chuy Fragoso Deb Fugoso Jean Gerth Ginny Goble Celeste Grace Eric Grace Patti Greenwood Jan Griffitts Kasten Grimm Nichole Grimm Phoebe Grimm Lydia Harrison Anna Jenny Becky Kanning Abby Kassa Susan Kelly Mel Largent Amy Longanecker Jameson Longanecker Jett Longanecker Kai Longanecker

Pax Longanecker Longevity Wellness Vicki Longhini Jennifer MacDonald Blaine Manning Adele Marciando Meg Marciando Kim Marshall Debbie May John McCarthy Cheryl McKee Kirby McKee Mary Meek Shery Meekings Dan Morrow Megan Murray Tim Norton Julie Nye Anne Orzepowski Danette Phelan Barbara Phillips Talo Pinto Tom Pomeroy Dave Reisenauer Becky Reynolds Mary Ann Rowe Sharon Rowe Dante Rumore Jan Rumore Paul Rumore Tara Rumore Jon Sayler Christina Smith Sarah Sorenson Michael Spurgin Sharon Steiner Stoneseed Gigi Stroud Judy Thompson Tony Totorica Susan Valiquette Vicki Watson Lucy Weber

Wild Idaho! 2014 / MB Whitaker

Volunteers

The beauty of the Sawtooth Mountains over Redfish Lake, captured at sunset at ICL’s Wild Idaho! conference in May

Andy Wells Liam Wells Lydia Welp Benji Weppner Bill Weppner Maya Weppner Canyon Woodruff Charlie Woodruff River Woodruff Michelle Woodward Mikhaela Woodward Rainey Woodward Sloan Woodward Conrad Young Zena Zaleski

Remember the Idaho Conservation League in Your Estate Plans We hope you will consider the Idaho Conservation League in your estate planning. Memorial gifts and bequests are placed in our endowment fund so that these gifts can permanently support conservation in Idaho. We welcome inquiries about bequests to Aimee Moran at 208.345.6933 x 15 or amoran@ idahoconservation.org. If you wish to make a provision in your will, the following general form is suggested: “I give, devise and bequeath to the Idaho Conservation League, an Idaho not-for-profit corporation, located on the date hereof at 710 North 6th Street, Boise, Idaho, 83702, the sum of $___ ” (or specifically described property). 11


Membership Renewal Made Easier! Your annual membership renewal date is printed on the mailing label below. Please help save costs by renewing your membership before it expires. Renew online at www.idahoconservation.org or use enclosed envelope.

Idaho Conservation League 208.345.6933 PO Box 844 Boise, ID 83701

Non Profit Org. US Postage PAID Idaho Conservation League

Address Service Requested

You can help move Idaho toward a clean energy future! The Energy Foundation has stepped up with a $20,000 matching gift—and we need your help to get us there! Send in your gift in the enclosed envelope today, and your gift will be doubled by the matching funds, up to the $20,000 limit. Now is the time to create a clean, affordable energy future for Idaho. Thank you! Questions? Call Lana Weber at 208.345.6933 x 16.

Camas Prairie, Idaho / Charles Knowles Photography

Move Idaho Toward a Clean Energy Future!

The Idaho Conservationist—July, 2014  

Vol XVII, Number 2

The Idaho Conservationist—July, 2014  

Vol XVII, Number 2

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