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TUESDAY, SEPT. 10, 2013, 6:38 A.M.

Idaho Conservation League celebrates 40 years at Sandpoint

Parker Ridge (above) and adjacent Long Canyon in the Selkirk Mountains near Bonners Ferry are recommended for wilderness.
Parker Ridge (above) and adjacent Long Canyon in the Selkirk Mountains near Bonners Ferry are recommended for wilderness.

CONSERVATION -- A group that formed over a spaghetti dinner is celebrating four decades of creating a voice for conservation in the Idaho State Legislature and beyond.

The Idaho Conservation League is inviting the public to its 40th Anniversary Celebration, at 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14, on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille at Trinity by the Beach Restaurant in Sandpoint.

Since 1973, ICL has grown beyond being a legislative lobbying group to taking on issues ranging from air pollution to protecting state and federal wild lands in Idaho.

“There is much to celebrate after 40 years of dedicated work,” says Susan Drumheller, ICL’s Community Conservation associate in Sandpoint. “A few of our accomplishments over the years include protecting the Frank Church - River of No Return Wilderness Area, passage of new national rules to reduce mercury pollution, and recently, protecting Idaho’s rivers and streams from suction dredge mining.”

ICL has also enjoyed major accomplishments locally. The group helped protect Long Canyon, the last unroaded drainage in the Selkirk Mountains, and has spearheaded a campaign to permanently protect open space along the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, with the creation of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail.

The group has 18 staff members working across the state, more than 25,000 supporters and working relationships with organizations, businesses and community leaders.

“Our work is always about personal connection, credibility and trust. We work to build bridges and get things done. That can be hard in Idaho, but it’s always worth the effort,” said Rick Johnson, ICL’s Executive Director for over 18 years. “Mary Lou Reed, an ICL founder, gave our first director a sign that says ‘Remember North Idaho.’  Forty years later we are proud of our three-person Sandpoint office and our work in the Panhandle."

The festivities will include a full hearty dinner, no-host bar, live music by the Monarch Mountain Band, and fun raffle items including ski and stay packages, fishing trips, original artwork and a one-of-a-kind quilt made from vintage ICL t-shirts. The evening also includes a pictorial time-line of ICL over the last 40 years, a showing of ICL’s 40th anniversary movie, and a short presentation by ICL Executive Director, Rick Johnson.

Tickets for the event are $30 each and can be purchase on-line,, by calling (208) 345-6933 or at the door as supplies last.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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