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Summit helps guide future for Idaho wildlife

This weekend hunters, conservationists and Idaho Fish and Game officials are holding a summit to help determine what the future of wildlife in Idaho will look like.

The whole point of the Wildlife Summit was to put sportsmen, environmentalists, anyone who has a stake in Idaho’s animal life together to share their thoughts and their priorities.

Although the physical summit happened in Boise, satellite locations were set up in Pocatello, Idaho Falls and other towns and cities.

Kebai Bills was one of the outdoor lovers who came out to the summit in Pocatello.

“Spent all of my years growing up doing something outside. Can’t remember not hunting or fishing with my family,” Bills said.

She said one of her priorities is getting her kids involved in hunting, fishing and anything you can do in the great outdoors.

But for future generations to have that chance, some summit goers said Fish and Game will have to make some changes.

“If the mindset of everybody is managing our state and wildlife and all of these activities the same way it was fifty years ago, I think it’s going to be a colossal failure,” Bills said.

One major issue at the summit is money. Fish and Game leaders said there are more and more demands on the department, but fewer hunters and fishers, so less money coming in.

“And that’s the question that’s at hand. To meet these demands we’ll need a broader funding base. And that’s part of the discussion today,” Fish and Game Commission Chairman Randy Budge said.

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