In 1938, the Idaho Wildlife Federation (IWF) celebrated one of it's first victories when it organized and circulated petitions and lobbied for the passage of an initiative establishing a professional Fish and Game Department and Fish and Game Commission. For over 60 years, IWF has consistently delivered legislative victories for the benefit of sportsmen, sportswomen, wildlife and habitat.
In 1954, IWF worked with the Idaho Department of Fish & Game, sportsmen and landowners to establish the Idaho Landowner/Sportsmen Council, an advisory committee which is comprised of sportsmen, landowners and department staff. Its purpose has been to enhance relationships between sportsmen and landowners and consequently promote respect for private property and provide hunting and fishing opportunities on private lands. In 1966, IWF supported Wild & Scenic designation for the Salmon River.
In 1968 and 1969, IWF opposed the mining and dredging of the Salmon River, construction of more dams in Hell's Canyon and the mining venture at the base of Castle Peak in the White Cloud Mountains.
In the 1970's, IWF was one of the entities that was instrumental in gaining public support and politically facilitating the establishment of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness area. In the 1980's, IWF responded to increasing political influence by special interests that was posing threats to wildlife and its habitat. These efforts included work on eliminating 1080 use as a means of predator control, ensuring riparian lands along the Snake River were maintained for the public and supporting the reauthorization of the Endangered Species Act.
During the 1990's, IWF worked with the IDFG and the legislature to secure passage of strong anti poaching legislation that increased the penalties for the more serious crimes. IWF wrote the bills, secured sponsors of the legislation and worked with legislators to secure passage of these pieces of legislation. IWF also worked hard to secure an elk license plate that benefited non-game (non-hunted) species. We also worked hard at the legislature to secure a more-equitable share of the funds raised by the bluebird and elk license plates to the non-game fund. IWF helped secure a needed fee increase for IDFG in which one of the aspects was the repeal of free licenses.
Since 2000, the IWF was instrumental in getting legislation passed that added a cutthroat license plate that enhanced the funding of the non-game programs. The IWF was the first to voice concern for the danger of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) to deer and elk populations. This disease has had a devastating impact on deer and elk populations in other states. IWF sponsored a symposium on CWD that included experts from throughout the United States, Canada, and Idaho decision makers. IWF has also been working with the legislature to pass laws that will limit transport of domestic deer and elk into Idaho in order to keep Idaho free of CWD. IWF is an active member of Save Our Wild Salmon, a group that continues to work for the preservation of our salmon and steelhead resources. This group continues to keep the pressure on decision-makers to make the right decisions for this important resource. IWF is working to influence the decisions that will preserve sage grouse habitat and enhance sage grouse populations. This work is pointed toward rebuilding this species so it will be unnecessary to list it under the Endangered Species Act.