Sen. Risch proudly announced he is sponsoring a bill with two Democrats that will provide funding for conservation across the U.S. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (S. 3223) will use money from energy development on federal land and water to fund the Wildlife Conservation Program, to the tune of $1.3 billion annually. What he does not include in his announcement is the back door agenda with that 1.3 billion dollars.
In 2014, the Blue Ribbon Panel (updated brochure) on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources was created by Bass Pro shop founder John Morris, and former Wyoming governor Dave Freudenthal, now known as the Alliance for America’s Fish & Wildlife (AAFW) partnership. “The Blue Ribbon Panel includes 26 business and conservation leaders”, and “…was convened to evaluate and recommend a more sustainable funding approach to avert a fish and wildlife conservation crisis.”
Panel members represent “…the outdoor recreation, retail and manufacturing sector, the energy and automotive industries, private landowners, educational institutions, conservation organizations, sportsmen’s groups and state and federal fish and wildlife agencies.”, and their goal is conservation. Other goals include, “…recommendations and policy options on the most sustainable and equitable model to fund conservation of the full array of fish and wildlife species.”, and “…recommending a new funding mechanism to support state fish and wildlife conservation to ensure the sustainability of all fish and wildlife for current and future generations.” BRP is the one who recommended 1.3 billion dollars towards conservation. A conglomerate of corporations, non-governmental organizations (NGO), and government agencies who have decided for you that conservation is what you want. Interestingly, Canada also included 1.3 billion in their budget for species of greatest risk conservation and land protection, how coincidental is that? What corporate entities besides Shell and Toyota are behind this funding? And why?
At the time, BRP also recommended funding State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAP) which identifies species of greatest conservation need (SGCN) and conservation efforts to protect them, providing necessary resources for implementing SWAP plans, and proposing oil and mineral extraction companies should turn over part of their proceeds for this endeavor.
The Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GNLCC) is most likely drooling at this opportunity for funding to integrate their conservation goals into Idaho SWAP plans. The GNLCC is an organization of NGOs, conservation initiatives, land trusts, federal and state government agencies, Canadian governments, and of which Idaho Fish & Game is a member, that was never authorized by Congress, but rather by a memorandum from the Obama Administration. GNLCC’s goal is placing as much land as possible into conservation and using linkage zones between protected areas for connectivity. With his bill, Sen. Risch is opening the door for funding to implement SWAP plans in which the GNLCC will then integrate their conservation objectives, without any Idaho citizen involvement. As species and habitat are identified for conservation, so will the land they inhabit require conservation. More land will be declared as needing protection for the sake of the species and with that, more land taken away from Idahoans for use.
Sen. Risch is not a friend to Idahoans, but rather with NGOs and conservation initiatives as seen with the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness (FSPW) issue. FSPW has been funded by and is also a partner with Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y), another GNLCC member, whose interest in Scotchman Peaks is for linkage between the Bitterroot Mountains with their Cabinet-Purcell collaborative project that extends into Canada. With Y2Y’s help, FSPW sought wilderness protection for that area in Idaho’s panhandle and in 2016 Sen. Risch introduced the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Act (S.3531) just for that purpose. Essentially, Sen. Risch was supporting the Y2Y agenda with his bill. With the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act he is giving full support to all initiatives and NGOs through their GNLCC partnerships.
No thanks, Sen. Risch. Idahoans expect you to represent those who elected you, not unlawfully created groups whose goals over our land is to erase jurisdictional boundaries and place land into conservation for their connectivity goals. Using corporate money to justify more conservation over land that rightfully belongs to us is very suspicious, just who are you working for? Is there not some conflict of interest here, corporate-government alliances? Perhaps when it comes time for Idahoans to consider who represents them they should consider who you represent.