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Affiliate of the Week: Idaho Wildlife Federation
In honor of our 80th Anniversary celebration throughout 2016, the National Wildlife Federation is recognizing each of our Affiliate Partners in a special “Affiliate of the Week” blog series that showcases the dedicated conservation efforts taking place across the country each day. This week we celebrate our affiliate, the Idaho Wildlife Federation, and their commitment to wildlife.
WHO WE ARE
Founded in 1936 by sportsmen and women, the Idaho Wildlife Federation (IWF) is Idaho’s oldest statewide conservation organization. Throughout the twentieth century, Idaho citizens with farsighted commitment to conservation have united to ensure wildlife’s future. These citizens include sportsmen, businessmen, farmers and ranchers, children, parents and grandparents, teachers, laborers, students — in short, all of us who care about wildlife and care about our futures. The Idaho Wildlife Federation proves that conservation is all of us working together. By committing to work together for wildlife in spite of our differences, IWF will continue to lead the offensive for Idaho’s wildlife as a united voice, as it has for the last 80 years.
WHAT WE DO
The Idaho Wildlife Federation is the sportsman advocate and voice in the state legislature, defending our public lands from state takeover, and representing sportsmen interests and sound wildlife management within landscape planning processes. IWF also coordinates efforts of other organizations interested in the conservation of natural resources of the state of Idaho and fosters and promotes a general and continued movement for the conservation, restoration, protection and scientific supervision of all game, fish, fowl, and other wildlife in its habitat in the state.
Protecting Wildlife and Habitat
IWF works at the state and local level to ensure our wildlife and their habitats are protected. The U.S. District Court recently sided with IWF and other plaintiffs and found the latest federal plan for protecting endangered Snake and Columbia River salmon and steelhead to be fatally flawed. IWF supports conservation efforts by private landowners and state and federal agencies to rebuild sage grouse numbers and sagebrush lands to maintain our hunting heritage, and has long supported state and federal management practices that will grow big horn sheep populations.
Voice of Sportsmen in the Legislature
IWF is present at the statehouse every day during the annual legislative session to shoot down bills that would roll back fish and wildlife protections, privatize wildlife, and turn over our shared national lands to the states and private sale. This last legislative session IWF rallied 350 sportsmen and women at the state capitol to oppose a hearing that would discuss suing the federal government for control of public land. IWF continually reaches out to lawmakers, the public, and the media to make it clear that public lands must stay in public lands. Soon they will have an advanced database and communications system that will exponentially enhance their advocacy outreach and empower activists statewide, launching the influence of sportsmen into the spotlight.
Bringing a Sportsmen Voice to the Planning Table
IWF believes sportsmen should always have a place at the table whenever decisions are made that will affect wildlife and the rich traditional uses of our land and waters. They submit guidance and information for hunting and fishing issues and wildlife management strategies across the state to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and its Commission. IWF is currently bringing the statewide sportsman voice to the High Divide planning initiative which will work to align USFS and BLM plans for seamless fish and wildlife management and sportsman access, and also recover sagebrush habitat on private land, among many other objectives.
MAKING A NATIONAL IMPACT
IWF works on issues that benefit sportsmen and women and wildlife enthusiasts across the entire nation. By forming the group Sportsmen for the Boulder White Clouds, IWF’s strong leadership led the way for sportsmen organizations to successfully support the designation of the Boulder White Clouds Wilderness — which contains all nine of Idaho’s big game species, native western slope cutthroat trout, endangered chinook salmon and steelhead habitat, and some of the most iconic mountains in the west — for permanent protection in 2015. This area will be cherished for future generations, unspoiled forever.
The successful Boulder White Clouds coalition builds on a strong tradition of cooperation led by IWF. In the early 1990s, IWF was a founding member of the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition, which has made them a key player in the most beneficial actions taken to date for Idaho salmon. Their court victories and the subsequent court orders expanding spill programs over Snake/Columbia dams and reservoirs during the salmon migration are the single most beneficial thing that has occurred for Idaho salmon in the past 30 years. Without the court actions of IWF and its allies, Idaho salmon would likely have disappeared by now.
Interested in making a difference for Idaho wildlife? Volunteer with IWF. Address your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org today!
CONNECT WITH IWF
Keep in touch with the Idaho Wildlife Federation on Facebook and Twitter for updates and alerts. They have kicked off a new website construction project, and will provide a new site in the coming months, so stay tuned for more!