Mountains covered with scrubby plants and some evergreen trees.
Heart of the Pioneers View of the Pioneer Mountains © Wide Eye Productions/TNC

Stories in Idaho

Tackling Climate Change

Together, we can find solutions that are right for Idaho.

Idaho’s changing climate is impacting the places we love, our lifestyles and the health of our communities. We are seeing more severe wildfires, more extreme temperatures, and less reliable water supplies. These changes have far-reaching consequences that affect many aspects of our lives, from the air we breathe to the food we eat.

The time to act is now, and the way forward is together.  

Can We Talk?

Be a part of the solution - start a conversation about climate change today.

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It Starts with Us

The Nature Conservancy in Idaho believes small changes can have big impacts. After completing the Idaho Carbon Footprint Assessment to inventory the chapter’s greenhouse gas emissions, TNC took significant steps to reduce its carbon footprint. Adjusting the vehicle fleet, energy sources, and operational practices the chapter reduced overall emissions by an estimated 21% in 2019.

Graphic indicating that 69% of Idaho voters think climate change is happening.
Climate Change is Happening A strong majority of Idaho voters think climate change is happening, including a majority of Republicans, Independents and Democrats.

Idahoans Care About Climate

This past year, TNC commissioned a survey of registered voters to gauge Idahoans’ thinking about climate change and possible solutions in our state. The survey provided evidence of shifting attitudes on climate change across the political spectrum and is reason for optimism. According to the poll, 69 percent of Idahoans think climate change is happening. Nearly two-thirds think climate change will harm future generations but agree climate change can be solved if everyone works together.

We need to discuss climate change now because it’s happening now. And I’m a part of it. We’re all a part of what’s happening. So, we all have to be part of the solution.”

Secretary, Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee

Let's start a conversation

Climate Conversations is a video series that tells the real stories of how Idaho is impacted by climate change. The series aims to spur solutions-based, non-partisan conversations across Idaho about our changing climate.

City of Trees logo.
City of Tress Challenge This effort includes a goal to plant 235,000 seedlings in forests around Idaho, one for every Boise resident, over the next 10 years.

Climate Change Projects

Building broad-based support, motivating business and political leaders to act, and identifying policy solutions are key strategies for our Climate Action Initiative. However, much of TNC’s conservation work provides climate benefits for nature and people.

City of trees challenge

TNC is proud to be a lead partner in the City of Trees Challenge in the effort to plant 235,000 seedlings in forests around Idaho. By working with both urban and rural partners, we believe this effort will connect all Idahoans.

Planting trees has been identified as a natural climate solution to reduces greenhouse gases that cause climate change and helps our communities adapt to a changing climate.

Leveraging the Power of Nature

Improving soil health is a powerful tool to reduce climate change. Through the Healthy Soil, Clean Water program, TNC is engaging farmers and agriculture companies across the Snake River Region to enhance Idaho’s water quality, water supply and soil health. For example, work with Teton Valley farmers to use cover crops, no-till practices and upgraded irrigation systems is helping improve water quality and soil health, while also increasing the bottom line.

Two pronghorn antelope in a grassy field.
Pronghorn in Stanley Basin Two pronghorn passing through the Stanley Basin © Steve Dondero

Resilient and connected

Idaho is home to wide-ranging species that need large, connected natural areas. Idaho’s changing climate threatens their future due to impacts on their habitat and studies show that wildlife is moving 11 miles north and 36 ft in elevation each decade to cope with these changes. To help wildlife, TNC is using climate resilience science to identify and conserve the places that are more likely to sustain plants and animals even as the climate changes. In North Idaho, this means conserving working forests so grizzly bears can move between mountain ranges, and in central Idaho, we are keeping one of the longest pronghorn migration routes intact.

"I think climate change is just a reality, and that's something we need to be prepared to deal with, particularly in agriculture."

Wood River Valley farmer

Studying the Economic Impacts

The University of Idaho’s McClure Center for Public Policy Research, with support from TNC and others, is leading a statewide assessment of economic risks and opportunities linked to the changing climate. This study will recruit researchers from all of Idaho’s major colleges and universities to evaluate impacts to businesses, residents, and local and state economies. The findings from this study will allow Idaho to plan a productive, resilient future. The economic assessment was a key recommendation from the 2017 Safeguarding Idaho’s Economy in a Changing Climate Summit, organized in part by TNC and attended by more than 500 people.