Much has changed since 1938, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. That’s why the agency is holding a Wildlife Summit this weekend.
The event, which will take place in Boise and satellite locations throughout the state will be an opportunity for Idahoans to discuss a variety of topics including funding for wildlife management, challenges to wildlife preservation, and how to manage wildlife for the diverse interests of the state’s residents.
Idaho Falls will play host to a satellite conference, with 100 seats available. Anyone can participate remotely, however, via live streaming.
“Participants will learn more about Fish and Game and the challenges it faces in managing wildlife for the future, will hear from nationally-recognized speakers on wildlife conservation, and will be asked to voice their opinions on what is important to them,” the website of IDFG said.
According to IDFG, the state’s population has tripled since the agency was established in 1938. Interest in wildlife has also shifted with many more Idahoans now involved in wildlife viewing than hunting and fishing. However, concern for wildlife has not changed.
“Nine out of ten Idahoans say they care about wildlife, but only one in four pays for most wildlife management through their payment of hunting and fishing fees," according to IDFG.
In 2008, IDFG promised to create new methods for protecting the 80 percent of the state’s wildlife that is not hunted. Funding is one challenge, since only one percent of the current IDFG budget goes toward managing birds, fish, and beasts that are not the object of the pursuit of fisherman and hunters, according to IDFG.
Despite changes in the populace’s relation to wildlife, the beasts and birds remains an important part of the economy. Hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing bring in an annual revenue of $1.4 million a year, according to IDFG.
The summit is one step in creating a an updated plan for wildlife management in the state.
For more information and to register go to http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/about/?getPage=320