Senator Doug Okuniewicz
Chair, Senate Transportation Committee P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0081
Tuesday, February 6th, 2024
The Idaho Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (“ID BHA”) supports Senate Bill 1258, which would promote public access in Idaho by requiring that when counties decommission any highway or public right of way that has been fairly adjudicated to provide public access to federal or state public lands or waters, an equivalent access route must be put in place.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (“BHA”) is the voice for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife. We seek to ensure North America’s outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting through education and work on behalf of fish, wildlife and wild places. With chapters in 48 states, Washington D.C., two Canadian provinces and one Canadian territory, as well as over 1,000 dues paying members in Idaho, BHA attracts sportsmen and women, as well as other public land users, from across the continent.
Working to ensure access to our shared public lands and waters is at the core of the BHA mission and is consistently on the minds of our membership as our state continues to grow. Idaho has abundant public lands and waters that provide a wide range of recreational opportunities, and it is imperative that access to those opportunities be maintained in places where it currently exists. Traditions that span generations are formed and preserved on our public lands and waters, but these traditions are imperiled when access to the places we cherish is removed or rendered impractical. The provision in the proposed legislation that equivalent access be put in place when a public access route is decommissioned at the county level is an excellent safeguard to help ensure that Idahoans are able to continue enjoying our shared public resources.
Idaho BHA appreciates the consideration of the Senate Transportation Committee on this issue and asks that the Committee send Senate Bill 1258 forward with a “Do Pass” recommendation.
The Idaho Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers