Idaho is a haven for people who stop to smell the fresh farmland.
For many of us, that mentality keeps our pace slower and our quality of life higher and more peaceful.
From its vast landscapes to its rugged mountains and serene lakes, Idaho offers an unmatched sense of tranquility and connection to nature that's becoming rarer in America by the year.
Is Idaho slipping away?
The influx of transplants and developers over the last five years has a lot of us concerned it could be. A study shared by the Idaho Business Review validates our growing anxiety.
State-to-state movers totaled 7.9 million in 2021 and 8.2 million in 2022, the study results found. In Idaho, that equated to 25 new residents per 1,000 existing residents in 2021. That is five times higher than the number of people per capita who moved to Texas. -Idaho Business Review
Couple this data with the non-stop development of housing complexes, gated communities, shopping malls, and infrastructure to accommodate our rapidly growing population, and you're looking at a state in transplant turmoil.
It isn't just about preserving Idaho's aesthetic beauty.
It's about maintaining our values of self-sufficiency, community spirit, and respect for the land. Locals also worry that the sense of community that small-town living fosters is at risk, too.
As towns morph into bigger and bigger cities, there's a fear that the close-knit bonds formed between neighbors could be lost amid the anonymity and carelessness of city life.
Idahoans have a deep-rooted respect for the land.
We understand the importance of preserving it for future generations. We see the rapid urban development for what it is: a threat to our ecosystems, our natural resources, and our wildlife. For well over a century, Idahoans have prided themselves on their ability to live off the land, whether that be through farming, hunting, or other outdoor pursuits.
Is Idaho farmland disappearing?
Ask any farmer, hunter, or conservationist, and they'll tell you the encroachment of urban sprawl is the biggest threat facing Idaho today. And we're not the only state losing this battle.
In 2000, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported America had 943 million acres of farmland in 2000. But as of 2022, we're down to about 893.4 million acres. To put it in perspective, America's lost enough farmland to completely wipe out the state of Indiana's farmland three times over.
When you break down the numbers, we've been giving up an average of 4.3 acres of farmland every single minute of every day for the past 22 years. Here at home, Idaho Ag Today reports the state's "lost more than a million acres of farmland over the last four decades, largely thanks to population growth."
That's why 25 Gem State counties are fighting tooth and nail to preserve and protect their share of the state's vanishing farmland.
Scroll on for 25 counties that refuse to pave Idaho's paradise.
Developers Can't Destroy The Farmland In 25 Idaho Counties
Gallery Credit: Stacker
Love barns? Scroll on for a look at Idaho's famous smiling barn 🙂
Idaho's smiling barn has attracted curious locals and tourists from around the country for over thirty years. Located less than five hours from Boise, this cheery barn is sure to put a smile on your face.
The Fascinating Story Behind Idaho's Smiling Barn
Gallery Credit: Ryan Antoinette Valenzuela
Scroll on for a look at Idaho's largest & wealthiest landowners.
Top 8 Largest Landowners In Idaho
Gallery Credit: Kyle Matthews