Idaho Leaders Respond to Biden in Idaho
When the President of the United States visits Idaho, you're bound to get a reaction from various sources. The first group of people was the over 2,000 Idahoans who protested President Biden's appearance in Boise.
President Biden Arrives in Boise
You can read our story here on the president blaming Idaho for global warming. We gathered several written statements from Idaho leaders who've shared views on Biden in Boise.
Idaho Governor Brad Little
"Two-thirds of Idaho is public land managed by the federal government, and it is imperative we keep lines of communication open with our federal partners – right up to the President – on ways to build a more fire resilient range and forest ecosystem.
There is plenty I disagree with the President on right now, but today we came together to listen to one another and discuss solutions on wildfire. I spent my limited time with the President focusing on the incredible progress Idaho has made with collaborative initiatives, including the Good Neighbor Authority and Shared Stewardship. We have demonstrated that diverse interests can come together with the common goal of protecting lives and communities from wildfire, creating jobs, and improving the landscape. I pointed out to the President the tremendous partnership that Idaho has forged with federal land and fire management agencies, but there is another federal agency that plays a role in our ability to successfully implement meaningful practices on the landscape – the U.S. Department of Justice. Just one month ago, an environmentalist group succeeded in holding up a 2,500-acre logging project in North Idaho that was part of our Good Neighbor Authority plan to make the landscape more fire resilient. We need the President's help with minimizing unproductive lawsuits so we can get fully agreed upon plans implemented and reduce the fuel load, and so we are not unduly endangering firefighters and our communities. We must increase the pace and scale of forest health projects now if we're going to make progress on our national forests. I thank the President for taking the time to visit NIFC. Western governors and I look forward to continuing to work with the President and his administration on land and fire management issues facing the West, and I deeply appreciate our firefighters for their hard work and bravery during a tough fire season."
Boise Mayor Lauren McLean
It was my incredible honor to greet President Joe Biden today and welcome him to Boise. I had the opportunity to speak with him and share the city's collective values of problem solving and innovation, while highlighting our bold climate action efforts. We discussed Boise's Climate Action Roadmap, outlining our goals of being a carbon neutral organization by 2035 and a carbon neutral community by 2050.
The President commended us for our work and encouraged us to keep pushing forward. I hope you'll join me for the live stream of my State of the City Address this Thursday, September 16 where I'll share an exciting announcement on that front with our community. Meanwhile, the City of Boise, together with residents, is committed to preserving and promoting clean energy, clean air and water.
I shared with the President our strong history of open space preservation, and in a nod to that legacy, I gifted him a painting of the Boise Foothills by local artist Rachel Teannalach entitled "Spring Walk in the Foothills." I'm proud our city is stepping up as a leader for the America the Beautiful Initiative, creating a set of unique goals to plant more trees, protect native habitat and build resilient ecosystems – environmental priorities we share with this administration. While talking about the legacy of conservation advocates in our community, President Biden asked if we could call Monica Church, the granddaughter of Senator Frank and Bethine Church and Governor Cecil and Carol Andrus. When we met for the second time during today's visit, I suggested we FaceTime instead of call. President Biden agreed and we spent a few minutes with both of us talking to Monica Church and then with her government class at Boise High School.
Biden talked about the impact Frank and Bethine Church had on his life, and the personal connection he still feels to our State of Idaho. It's a moment I will never forget. I'm grateful President Biden made a stop in our city and our meeting re-energized me in our efforts to create a city for everyone. Four leaders in our community also joined me in meeting President Biden today. Barbara English works for Boise Parks and Recreation at Whitney Community Center, located at Whitney Elementary School. Her work to support children in Boise, especially when schools shut down in 2020, is commendable. "Meeting the President is a once in a lifetime honor and I'm grateful President Biden visited Boise to learn more about our city and the incredible work we are doing for residents," said English.
"It's an honor to represent the City of Boise, our students and the families we serve." Two members of the City of Boise's Youth Climate Action Council also had the opportunity to meet President Biden. Asha Muhingi and Myrie Murphy are high school students in the Boise School District who are showing true leadership at a young age. "Being on the Youth Climate Action Council is an incredible opportunity to promote the work young Idahoans are doing to lead in the climate space," said Murphy. "I appreciate the President taking the time to listen to our city's up-and-coming leaders who are working hard to preserve Boise's land and water for the next generation." "Being a refugee, I've always strived to play an important role in building Boise, our state and our nation," said Muhingi. "Meeting the President was an exciting step in sharing my commitment to this city and honoring the work we're doing to make Boise an even better place to live."
And finally, Rialin Flores is a tireless advocate for Boise's open space, clean water and climate action initiatives who currently serves as the executive director of Conservation Voters of Idaho. "From wildfires to water shortages to extreme weather events, rural and urban communities are feeling the impacts of a changing climate," said Flores. "I'm thankful to have President Biden come to Boise to hear directly from Idahoans and see some of the ways in which local leaders are bringing together diverse stakeholders to find innovative solutions."
Idaho Republican Caucus
After President Biden's Idaho visit, the Idaho House Republican Caucus acknowledges that we need to step up our efforts to fight federal efforts to limit state independence. "The federal vaccination mandate was only the first volley in what appears to be an ongoing assault on how states manage themselves," said Speaker of the House Scott Bedke. "The President showed himself to be insensitive on this issue and others during his visit, forcing me to more immediately address the need to protect us all from predictable federal overreach. I am tasking House members on the ongoing Committee on Federalism to provide a comprehensive plan to vigorously defend the Idaho values we hold dear against this administration's unrelenting acts of federal overreach" The Committee on Federalism will meet Tuesday, September 28, 2021 to begin structuring subcommittees addressing the issues.