Letters from the West

Sportsmen, conservation groups honor Risch, Simpson

Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson presented Sen. Jim Risch with an award from the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership April 28. In photo, left to right: Simpson, Risch, TRCP President Whit Fosburgh, MC and political commentator S.E. Cupp.
Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson presented Sen. Jim Risch with an award from the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership April 28. In photo, left to right: Simpson, Risch, TRCP President Whit Fosburgh, MC and political commentator S.E. Cupp.

Idaho Republicans Jim Risch and Mike Simpson continue to to bask in the the success of the passage of the Boulder-White Clouds wilderness bill in 2015.

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership presented Idaho Republican Sen. Jim Risch with its James D. Range Conservation Award at a gala April 28 for his efforts that brought together policy-makers, conservation advocates, and outdoor industry leaders. In addition to his key role in the Boulder-White Clouds legislation, Risch co-sponsored legislation designed to reauthorize key conservation programs and put an end to fire borrowing. Simpson, who was presented the award in 2013 and made the presentation to Risch, said as governor of Idaho, he was instrumental in creating the state’s roadless rule.

“We can accomplish conservation in America if we all come to the table and enter the collaborative process with a spirit of goodwill,” said Risch.

"The Idaho roadless rule would not have happened but for Jim Risch. Senator Risch managed to both create, arguably, the strongest roadless protections in the country while also bringing along all of the affected communities of place and interest.

Chris Wood, CEO of Trout Unlimited

TU CEO Chris Wood said Risch’s leadership and the Idaho Roadless rule serve as a lesson for the rest of the country's politics.

“Good things happen when people step off of their ideological divides and apply common sense to common problems for the common good," Wood told the Idaho Statesman.

The same day the Outdoor Industry Association presented Simpson with its 2016 Friend of the Outdoor Industry Award for being a leading voice in Congress for renewal of the Land and Water Conservation Fund program after it expired last year and protecting the White Clouds.

Earlier in the month, the National Wildlife Federation presented Simpson with its National Conservation Achievement Award, which had previously been won by former Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus and Sen. Frank Church along with Republican Sens. John McCain and John Chaffee.

Idahoans owe a debt of gratitude to Mike for his perseverance and dedication to protecting the lands we depend on for hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation.

Brian Brooks, sportsmen coordinator for the Idaho Wildlife Federation.

In addition to protecting 275,000 acres of the Boulder-White Clouds as wilderness in 2015, the federation honored Simpson for his work on wildlife funding and his leadership on reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

"Rep. Simpson has continually proven himself a champion of public lands and sportsmen issues,” said Brian Brooks, sportsmen coordinator for the Idaho Wildlife Federation.

Rocky Barker: 208-377-6484, @RockyBarker

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