(information last updated January 2019)

Ongoing Projects:

Federal Project(s) Operating in the State:


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sponsors the IDAH20 Master Water Stewards program, which the University of Idaho Extension operates. See IDAH20, U. of Idaho, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019). The program trains volunteers about regional water quality issues and monitoring protocols. Id. All data collected through the program is made available in a public database. See Water Quality Database, IDAH20, U. of Idaho, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019).


The Multi-Species Baseline Initiative (“MBI”), which is managed by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and partly funded by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, monitors wildlife and microclimate across the Idaho Panhandle and adjoining mountain ranges. Multi-species Baseline Initiative, Idaho Dep’t of Fish & Game, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019). “Citizen scientists have assisted MBI by building slug traps, building radiation shields for climate monitoring stations, prepping bait for bait stations, and maintaining bait stations in the field.” Michael Lucid, Citizen Science and MBI, Idaho Dep’t of Fish & Game (June 17, 2012),

State Project(s):

Through the Citizen Volunteer Monitoring Program, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (“DEQ”) uses volunteer data for “education, problem identification, and decision-making.” Idaho Dep’t of Envtl. Quality, Idaho’s Citizen Volunteer Monitoring Program 2 (2013), In order to participate, volunteers must attend a training run by DEQ. See id.see also Volunteer MonitoringMonitoring and Assessment, Idaho Dep’t of Envtl. Quality, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019). 


The Idaho Department of Fish and Game welcomes volunteer observations of animals, rare plants, grizzly bears and wolves. See Share Your Observations!, Idaho Dep’t of Fish & Game, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019).

Collection of Information:

Ag-Gag Law: 

In February 2014, Idaho enacted an Ag-Gag law criminalizing “interference with agricultural production.” See Idaho Code § 18–7042. Specifically, a person commits the crime of interference with agricultural production if the person knowingly:

(a) Is not employed by an agricultural production facility and enters an agricultural production facility by force, threat, misrepresentation or trespass;


(b) Obtains records of an agricultural production facility by force, threat, misrepresentation or trespass; … [or]


(d) Enters an agricultural production facility that is not open to the public and, without the facility owner’s express consent or pursuant to judicial process or statutory authorization, makes audio or video recordings of the conduct of an agricultural production facility’s operations….”

Id. § 18–7042(1).


In January 2018, the Ninth Circuit found that sections (a) and (d) were unconstitutional as they violated the First Amendment’s protection of free speech. Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Wasden, 878 F.3d 1184, 1205 (9th Cir. 2018). However, the court preserved section (b). See id.


“A person found guilty of committing the crime of interference with agricultural production shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a term of imprisonment of not more than one (1) year or by a fine not in excess of five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both such fine and imprisonment.” Idaho Code § 18–7042(3).

Scientific Collection Permit:

A permit from the Department of Fish and Game is required for scientific collecting, banding, or possession of wildlife. See Wildlife, License Applications and Forms, Idaho Dep’t of Fish & Game, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019). 

Drone Law:

See infra “Drone Laws.”

Trespass Laws:

Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

No. A person commits criminal trespass if that person enters or remains on the property of another without permission, knowing or with reason to know that such presence is not permitted. Idaho Code § 18-7008(2)(a). A person has reason to know that presence is not permitted if the property is cultivated, fenced or otherwise enclosed in a manner that a reasonable person would recognize as delineating a private property boundary; or posted with conspicuous “no trespassing” signs or bright orange or fluorescent paint at all property corners and boundaries. Id. 

Drone Laws:

Surveillance Law:

“Absent a warrant, and except for emergency response for safety, search and rescue or controlled substance investigations, no person, entity or state agency shall use an unmanned aircraft system to intentionally conduct surveillance of, gather evidence or collect information about, or photographically or electronically record specifically targeted persons or specifically targeted private property including, but not limited to:


(i) An individual or a dwelling owned by an individual and such dwelling’s curtilage, without such individual’s written consent;


(ii) A farm, dairy, ranch or other agricultural industry without the written consent of the owner of such farm, dairy, ranch or other agricultural industry.” Idaho Code § 21-213(2)(a).


An individual or entity whose privacy is violated under this section may bring a civil cause of action against the violator and is “entitled to recover from any such person, entity or state agency damages in the amount of the greater of one thousand dollars ($1,000) or actual and general damages, plus reasonable attorney’s fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred.” Id. § 21-213(3).

Stalking Laws:

Criminal Law:

A person commits the crime of stalking in the second degree if that person “knowingly and maliciously” engages in conduct that either “seriously alarms, annoys or harasses the victim and is such as would cause a reasonable person substantial emotional distress,” or “would cause a reasonable person to [fear] death or physical injury” of themselves or a family or household member. Idaho Code § 18-7906(1).

Use of Information:

Although incomplete, our research has not found any provisions relating to the use of information collected by citizens in enforcement or administrative/legislative actions.

Evidentiary Standards:

Pleading a Claim:

Requires certification that “the factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, will likely have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery.” Idaho R. Civ. P. 11(b)(3).

Authentication or Chain of Custody:


“To satisfy the requirement of authenticating or identifying an item of evidence, the proponent must produce evidence sufficient to support a finding that the item is what the proponent claims it is.” Idaho R. Evid. 901.

Expert Testimony:

Idaho has not adopted the Daubert standard for admissibility of an expert’s testimony, but has used some of Daubert’s standards in assessing whether the basis of an expert’s opinion is scientifically valid. Weeks v. E. Idaho Health Servs., 153 P.3d 1180, 1184 (Idaho 2007) (citing Swallow v. Emergency Med. of Idaho, P.A., 67 P.3d 68, 74 n. 1 (Idaho 2003)).


Under Idaho Rule of Evidence 702 and Merwin, expert testimony is admissible where it will “assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue.” State v. Hall, 419 P.3d 1042, 1077 (Idaho 2018) (citing State v. Merwin, 962 P.2d 1026, 1030 (Idaho 1998)) (internal quotation marks omitted).


Please note that this discussion is not moderated by the Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic.