The Pioneers Alliance, a coalition of ranchers, conservationists, scientists, business people, and elected and agency officials, was formed in 2007 to protect the Pioneer Mountains and Craters of the Moon region of south-central Idaho.
The Pioneer Mountain-Craters of the Moon region is one of the West’s most unspoiled landscapes. The region supports tremendous wildlife populations, large working farms and ranches, a wide diversity of ecosystem types, and provides access for hunting and other recreation opportunities. Many of the pressures faced by other large landscapes in the West – such as energy development and residential development – have not yet been felt in the Pioneers-Craters landscape. This provides a remarkable opportunity to protect what we love about this place – the open spaces; the abundant wildlife; the access to the mountains, foothills, and desert; the agricultural way of life; and the small communities – and to build an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable future. Both private working lands and state and federal lands will play a crucial role in achieving these goals.
The Alliance’s work to date has included:
- a grassroots campaign that successfully removed from consideration a proposed energy transmission corridor that would have fragmented the landscape
- passage of a county-level measure that will provide funding for conservation in the region
- dialogue among local residents, elected and agency officials, and conservationists regarding a collective long-term vision for the landscape and appropriate strategies for achieving that vision
- a regional pronghorn migration study, conducted in collaboration with state agencies and area landowners, which has identified previously unrecognized migration routes
- pursuit of funding and agreements for permanent protection of critically important private lands
The Alliance’s key priorities over the next two years are to:
- develop compelling informational materials regarding the conservation and social values of the region
- engage a broad and diverse group of participants in developing a community-based vision for the landscape
- expand our scientific studies on pronghorn and other long-distance migratory species
- fund the development of compatible economic development projects for local communities
To date, support for this work has been provided by nonprofit organizations, public agencies and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The Alliance is a collaborative effort of existing organizations and individuals.