The federal government controls 63% of Idaho’s natural resources. This results in complications for outdoor groups accessing our lands and eliminates high-wage job opportunities in our rural communities. The federal government’s inability to afford proper land management also contributes to extreme wildfires that endanger our health and property. Our natural resources are a source of wealth; they need to be managed wisely, protected better, and ensured for access by Idahoans.

Serving in Congress, I have made it a priority to tackle issues that are crucial to access and management of Idaho’s vast natural resources. From modernizing NEPA -- which will allow us to swiftly address areas that have been poorly managed and in danger of catastrophic wildfires -- to strengthening water security in the West, it is important that Idahoans have a voice in Congress advocating for solutions to these problems.

I realize the importance of bringing together Idaho’s stakeholders to help craft a plan for wise local management. Otherwise, we continue to rely on federal PILT payments, rural school funding, and other federal solutions that are often under-funded, neglectful to our land, result in increased catastrophic fires, and prevent high-paying job opportunities in our rural communities.

Legislation

Below is a list of legislation I introduced in the House. 

  • Modernizing Access to Our Public Land Act (H.R. 6169): Will standardize the digitization and dissemination of information for recreational access and allowable activities on millions of acres of federal public lands throughout Idaho and the United States.

  • Enhancing Geothermal Production on Federal Lands Act (H.R.4026): To streamline the discovery and permitting for geothermal energy projects, as well as equalize geothermal exploration with oil and gas on public lands. 

  • Treating Tribes and Counties as Good Neighbors Act (H.R. 7454): Extends full partnership eligibility for the Good Neighbor Authority program that will facilitate federal forest restoration and management projects to Tribes and Counties.

  • Aquifer Recharge Flexibility Act (H.R. 2871): Aims to fortify state-led efforts to recharge the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer to stable levels for ranchers, farmers, and Idaho communities, while helping to make aquifer recharge more efficient across the West.

Below is a list of natural resources-related initiatives, bills, and letters I have supported in Congress. Click on the links or contact my office for additional information.

  • (H.R. 482): Authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to maintain or replace facilities and structures for commercial recreation services at Smith Gulch in Idaho.

  • Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act (H.R. 1225): Creates national park and public lands restoration fund.

  • National Strategic and Critical Minerals Protection Act (H.R. 2531): Require Secretary of Interior & Secretary of Agriculture to better develop and manufacture domestic minerals.

  • Resilient Federal Forests Act (H.R. 2607): Expedite under NEPA to improve forest management on NFS lands, BLM public lands, and tribal lands; improve forest-fire resilience.

  • Water Optimization for the West Act (H.R. 5217): Provide western water security, reliability, modernization, and abundance.

  • American Critical Mineral Exploration and Innovation Act of 2020 (H.R. 7061): Promotes domestic exploration, research, development, and processing of minerals.