A conservative Republican congressman and a prominent environmentalist who put aside their differences to become partners in passing a sweeping Idaho wilderness bill are the 2016 recipients of City Club of Boise's Dottie and Ed Stimpson Award for Civic Engagement.
Congressman Mike Simpson and ICL Director Rick Johnson received their award after leading an effort that involved many, collaborating over the course of 15 years to draft multiple wilderness proposals, build local consensus and then win national support.
The bill creating three new wilderness areas totaling 275,665 acres passed Congress and was signed into law by President Obama in August 2015. In selecting Simpson and Johnson, Boise City Club cited the risks the two men took with their reputations and careers in taking on a controversial and often unpopular project; standing up to opposition sometimes from even their own supporters; demonstrating courage in the face of those risks to do what they believed was right for Idaho; and creating a model for how Idahoan's and Americans can find resolution on divisive environmental and political issues.
The forum was held on the 9th of December in downtown Boise.