Idaho State Director
Mark Menlove Idaho State Director © Dev Khalsa

Our People

Mark Menlove

State Director, Idaho

Boise, Idaho

  • Areas of Expertise

    conservation strategy, fundraising, government relations, outdoor recreation/business

Biography

Mark came to The Nature Conservancy after serving 14 years as the Executive Director for the Idaho-based Winter Wildlands Alliance. His recent accomplishments also include co-founding the Outdoor Alliance and the Idaho Outdoor Business Council. Prior to that, Mark served as President of the Utah Ski Association/Ski Utah and in communications positions with the U.S. Ski Team, 2002 Winter Olympic Games and Park City Ski Area.

Through these efforts, Mark has been a leading voice and advocate for federal and state conservation funding, public lands policy, climate science and engaging the outdoor recreation community in conservation. Mark feeds his passion for and commitment to Idaho’s wild places through fly fishing, whitewater rafting, backcountry skiing, camping and hiking, most often with his wife, Dana, and teenaged children Asa and Eliza.

Mark understands that as the nation’s fastest growing state, Idaho faces unprecedented challenges to the health of its lands, waters and wildlife. And he believes that The Nature Conservancy is uniquely positioned to meet these challenges. Mark earned a BA in Journalism from the University of Utah and a MFA in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Arizona.

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Passing of the Great American Outdoor Act

July 22, 2020

Dear Friends,

Today, The U.S. House of Representatives voted 310-107 to approve the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), which will fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and make critical investments in our national park system and other public lands. LWCF has provided funding to help protect some of Idaho’s most special places like the Sawtooth Valley and Boise Foothills. The Forest Legacy Program, also funded under LWCF, has been critical to our work in Northern Idaho to protect working forests.

Full funding of this program has been a TNC goal for more than two decades. This smart, long-view approach, reaching across fences and political aisles, is a hallmark of our work. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the passage of this landmark legislation.

The GAOA combines two conservation proposals that each have strong, bipartisan support. The first provides full and permanent funding of $900 million each year for LWCF, an amount derived from offshore oil and gas revenues – not tax dollars. A recent economic analysis shows that every $1 million invested in LWCF supports between 16 and 30 jobs. Additionally, research on the impact of the LWCF shows that $1 spent generates $4 in economic value from natural resource goods and services alone.

The second part of the bill will invest $1.9 billion annually for the next five years toward maintenance in national parks, national forests, and other public lands and at the Bureau of Indian Education. Over $20 billion in direct visitor spending is disseminated each year to local communities adjacent to national park sites. A recent National Park Service study of maintenance investments in this legislation found that it will support an average of 40,300 direct jobs and a total of 100,100 direct and indirect jobs over the next five years.

This bill would not have been passed without the dedication of many people. I extend a special thank you to Congressman Simpson, who has long been a champion of the Idaho outdoors. With Mike Simpson’s tireless leadership, Congress has now delivered one of the biggest conservation wins in generations with the passage of the GAOA. It will bring critical investment in conservation, secure resources needed to care for our public lands, create jobs, and expands access to the outdoors and nature for everyone. We are grateful to Congressman Simpson for his leadership and dedication in securing this legacy for Idaho and our country.

Idaho’s outdoors and treasured landscapes are foundational to our way of life. I look forward to reflecting back in the coming years and decades and seeing the many ways the Great American Outdoors Act has benefitted people and nature in Idaho and beyond.

Your friend in conservation,

Mark Menlove

State Director

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