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Brad Smith named ICL's new conservation director

| December 21, 2023 1:00 AM

The Idaho Conservation League recently announced that Brad Smith has been appointed as the organization’s new conservation director.

“I am honored to be selected for this role,” said Smith. “I look forward to leading staff and collaborating with our members and others who care about Idaho to safeguard our air, water, wildlands and wildlife for the benefit of present and future Idahoans.”

Smith's career at ICL began in 2007, focusing on public lands and wildlife. He placed particular emphasis on responsible recreation, recently collaborating with snowmobilers, backcountry skiers, the Forest Service and other members of the North Idaho community to develop winter recreation plans for the 1,000,000-acre Kaniksu National Forest.

“Brad’s experience and expertise makes him the perfect person to lead our conservation team forward,” said Justin Hayes, executive director for ICL. “His passion for the natural world and the people of Idaho will make ICL’s work resonate with people across the state and make a real difference for Idaho’s clean air, water, lands, wildlife and communities.”

Having grown up in North Idaho, Smith said he was fortunate to see woodland caribou. Inspired by the plight of the caribou, he pursued a degree in environmental science at the University of Idaho and a master’s degree in public policy and administration from Boise State University.

Collaboration has been a cornerstone of Smith’s success at ICL, staff said in a press release announcing Smith’s promotion. Smith worked with the Idaho Forest Group to endorse the proposed Scotchman Peaks Wilderness in 2015. This support was part of a broader agreement on a Land Management Plan for the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, encompassing proposed wilderness areas and timber management areas.

In 2022, Smith launched ICL’s North Idaho Lakes Program, aiming to maintain the cleanliness, swimability and fishability of the region's lakes, rivers and streams. As conservation director, he will now oversee ICL’s initiatives to restore salmon, protect public lands, conserve wildlife, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and clean up the Snake River.