Stand With Our Public Lands

View from Chocolate Gulch

View from Chocolate Gulch

Who: Senate Resources and Environment Committee
What: Hearing on H 162 "Federal Lands Council" bill
When: Monday, March 11, 2019
Where: Capitol Building, Lincoln Auditorium (WW02)

CALLING ALL BUSINESS MEMBERS, SUPPORTERS and FRIENDS: Two years ago, Idahoans came together from across the state to join the largest public lands rally in the west. The message was clear - our public lands sustain us, our businesses and our quality of life. Many of you live and work in Idaho because of our access to public lands. You enjoy recreation on public lands: hunting, fishing, hiking, snowmobiling, boating and biking. You graze your animals on public lands. Or, your very livelihood depends on public land access and the health of our outdoors. What's clear this year, is our public lands need you now, more than ever.

On Monday, the Idaho State Senate's Resources and Environment Committee will be hearing H 162 in the Lincoln Auditorium (WW02), a bill that could have far reaching implications for the future and continuance of public lands in our state. It has already passed the House and needs to be stopped in the Senate. H 162, introduced by Judy Boyle (R-Midvale), seeks to establish a permanent "Federal Lands Council." The last time this kind of committee was formed the intention was to demand that the federal government transfer all public lands to the state (which we know historically results in land sales, privatization and lack of access).

The very same people who led that effort are behind this bill. NOTE: H 162 claims to seek a closer relationship with the federal government. There are nearly a dozen other state agencies and offices already in place to do this. We do not support legislators attempting to create a public lands takeover committee funded by Idaho taxpayers in perpetuity. The bill's language gives the Council power to "hire legal counsel" and mandates that they "shall facilitate contracts." These sweeping authorities are the job of our executive branch and unnecessary if H 162 is really about cooperating with our federal land managers. Tasking this kind of committee with facilitating contracts duplicates services already being done and is not fiscally sound.

We need YOU to join us at the hearing to show lawmakers that we stand up for our public lands (with wide bi-partisan support).

The hearing gets starts at 1:00 p.m. in the Lincoln Auditorium (WW02), but we encourage you to arrive early to be seated. Our presence sends a resounding nonpartisan message to members of the committee that Idaho supports its public lands. It will take all of us!

Please note, no signs will be allowed in the hearing room and everyone must be seated.

Idaho Business for the Outdoors is a united, nonpartisan business coalition supporting the economic and quality of life advantages our public lands and outdoors sustain.