Friday, August 13, 2004

Web site encourages citizen involvement

A new Web site based in the Wood River Valley offers a whole new way to participate in local government. The Informed Citizen Involvement Web site is unique in Idaho, being the only interactive sustainable living Web site in the state, said Christopher Simms, of Citizens for Smart Growth.

The site is a collaborative effort of Wood River Rideshare, Environmental Resource Center and Citizens for Smart Growth. It can be found at and also is linked from the Mountain Express Web site at

It is part of the larger Informed Citizen Involvement Campaign made possible by a grant from the Bullitt Foundation. The campaign is designed to educate area residents on sustainable living issues and engage them in community activities.

The three collaborating organizations all strive to improve quality of life through conservation of the natural world.

Citizens for Smart Growth works to preserve and strengthen communities, encourages efficient uses of land, conservation of natural resources and reduction of sprawl through planning and zoning laws.

The Environmental Resource Center promotes a sustainable environment through community education, awareness and participation.

Wood River Rideshare designs creative programs that encourage the use of alternative transportation in Blaine County.

The Informed Citizen Involvement Web site pulls the organizations? missions together by allowing the viewer to become part of an activist network and easily gather the neces-sary information to form an opinion and relay that opinion to the relevant decision makers. A user of the site is offered an option of taking action on a given sustainable living issue by directing a prepared e-mail to pre-addressed decision makers, using the resources provided to create their own e-mail or other correspondence, or registering for future action alerts relating to selected topics of interest.

In addition to the three collaborating organizations other local non-profit groups are invited to participate in the Web site with their own issues.

The Idaho Conservation League is expected to post content and action alerts about the proposed Boulder-White Clouds Wilderness bill as well as other wildlands and wildlife issues. Idaho Rivers United also will likely contribute to the public debate on water quality and fish habitat issues through the Web site. The collaborating organizations anticipate a long and useful life of service from the Informed Citizen Involvement Web site

Contact Christopher Simms at Citizens for Smart Growth for addi-tional information on how to join.

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