OPINION: Defending state sovereignty over land, water, wildlife is in Idaho’s DNA

Thursday February 23, 2023

Office of Governor Brad Little

Office of Lieutenant Governor Scott Bedke

Office of U.S. Senator Mike Crapo

Office of U.S. Senator Jim Risch

Office of Congressman Mike Simpson

Office of Congressman Russ Fulcher



In Idaho, fighting the feds is in our DNA.

We’re proud of a long history of protecting our state’s sovereignty over our land, water, and wildlife, and in the past month alone we’ve stepped up and demonstrated yet again our penchant for defending Idaho’s unique way of life.

Idaho’s entire way of life depends on one important resource – water. Unfortunately, Biden’s EPA wants to regulate puddles, ponds, and small water features on lands across Idaho, putting the prosperity of numerous industries (and the jobs that depend on them) at stake – mining, agriculture, ranching, energy development, construction, you name it.

Governor Little led 24 other Republican governors in opposing Biden’s EPA waters rule and called on the President to delay implementation of the rule until the U.S. Supreme Court can weigh in. In Congress, Idaho’s Delegation has used every tool at its disposal to stop President Obama’s and President Biden’s water grab by sponsoring legislation, using the federal appropriations process to defund the rule, and more. We have a strong track record of effective opposition of this overreaching bureaucratic power grab, and as your leaders at the state and federal levels, we will continue to lead the charge.

We’re also lockstep in our demand for answers from the feds about grizzly bear delisting. Idaho has continually demonstrated leadership in species management, and we expect the federal government to uphold its duties to provide clarity. While there is some acknowledgement from the federal government that grizzly bears have recovered, the fact is they are still not providing relief to Idaho communities dealing with the impacts. Once again, we are coordinating closely to return grizzly bears to state control through all available options.

And when it comes to the feds’ plans to build a wind farm in south-central Idaho that will impact water, wildlife, ranching, and more, we let the Bureau of Land Management know they need to secure community support before they can receive ours for the project. Building hundreds of wind turbines cannot move forward without the buy-in of the local communities.

Every time we’re out meeting with Idahoans – from Bonners Ferry to Blackfoot, Caldwell to Carey, Pierce to Pocatello, and everywhere in between – we’re always encouraged to know that Idaho’s fighting spirit for our state sovereignty is alive and well. However, to maintain that local control in Idaho, we need to remain united and coordinated. We want Idahoans to know that their elected officials – all of us – are standing together with all of you, and we will do everything we can to effectively push back on the federal government. That’s what makes Idaho, Idaho.

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