Federal lands make up nearly 62 percent of Idaho. Only the states of Nevada and Utah have a greater percentage of land owned by the federal government, with nearly 85 percent and 65 percent, respectively, although Alaska tops them all with the most federal land in acreage at 223.8 million acres. Federal lands are public lands, and public lands matter – they are vital wildlife habitat, hunting grounds, a critical source of outdoor recreation and an important economic engine for the states in which they reside.
On March 28, the School of Public Service’s Andrus Center for Public Policy will host a one-day conference on Why Public Lands Matter in the Student Union Jordan Ballroom. Registration for the conference is now open; the cost is $50 and includes all speakers, panels, lunch and reception. The reception will offer attendees the opportunity to meet many of the presenters and to learn more about the work of groups such as Idaho Conservation League, Idaho Outfitters and Guide Association, The Wilderness Society, Advocates for the West, and more.
This full-day conference is designed to look at current federal management practices, the various voices in support and dissent, and potential stakeholder collaboration toward forward-looking best practices designed to manage, protect, and preserve our public lands for the generations to follow.
Notable speakers include Congressman Mike Simpson, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden. County commissioners Gordon Cruikshank, Terry Kramer and Tom Lamar will discuss local perspectives on public lands, and two panels will focus on collaborative success – one featuring The Idaho Forest Restoration Partnership and the other focused on the confluence of conservation and recreation.