Thousands March On Idaho Capitol In Support Of Public Lands

Mar 6, 2017

About 2,000 people gathered at the steps of the Idaho Statehouse Saturday. A coalition of conservation and environmental groups organized the rally.

People traveled from all over the state to rally in support of public lands. They held signs and led chants, many dressed in hunter orange and camo.

About 60 percent of the state is owned by the federal government, a fact that was repeated several times by organizers of the event.

Jill Norton drove in with a couple of friends from the Wood River Valley. She says she’s not normally the rally-going type, but felt like this event was important to attend.

“I’m here because I’m tired of everyone complaining about politics and seeing them not do anything about it," says Norton. "And I feel like this is a positive, friendly way to express how I’m feeling about what’s going on.”

Norton — who is a hunter and fisher — says she’s worried about what could happen to Idaho’s public lands under the Trump administration. Others in the crowd echoed her concerns, holding signs critical of the newly appointed leader of the Interior Department, former Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke.

However, Zinke told congressional leaders during his nomination hearing that he opposes transferring federal lands to states.    

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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