The Commission focuses on doing Conservation the Idaho Way – employing voluntary stewardship vs. regulatory mandates. We sow seeds of stewardship around the state. We promote responsible stewardship by providing technical and financial assistance and support for conservation projects on private lands.
We facilitate coordinated non-regulatory, voluntary, and locally led conservation by federal, state, and local governments and other partners to conserve, sustain, improve, and enhance soil, water, air, plant, and animal resources.
Conservation in Idaho reflects locally led natural resource conservation leadership and priorities. It’s voluntary and incentive-based, non-regulatory, and demonstrates scientifically sound stewardship. The Conservation Commission and local Conservation Districts are the primary entities to lead coordinated conservation efforts with partners to provide landowners and land-users with assistance and solutions for natural resource concerns and issues.
Our efforts date back to the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. In 1939, the Idaho Legislature established a bottom-up approach to voluntary conservation. Today, local people still lead conservation efforts. The Commission and our partners (local Conservation Districts (Districts), the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and others) combine to help farmers and ranchers with voluntary stewardship activities. Together, we are the heartbeat of voluntary conservation in Idaho.
Today, there are 50 local conservation districts located from Bonners Ferry to Montpelier. Districts are guided by statutorily-mandated 5-year plans laying out goals, priority projects and activities. We provide funding and technical staff to empower districts.