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It Takes a Community

Government Relations Director, Idaho Conservation League and Treefort Co-Founder & Director

Boise, a city with its own unique charm, has steadily earned national recognition for its remarkable attributes.

While some may have previously overlooked its appeal, Boise's efforts have paid off, garnering the attention it rightly deserves on a broader scale. Behind this achievement are individuals whose unwavering dedication ensures that Boise and the Treasure Valley continues to receive the acknowledgment it merits. Here, two of these remarkable individuals share their passion for making Boise an even better place to live and thrive, contributing to its growing acclaim.

Jonathan Oppenheimer

Government Relations Director, Idaho Conservation League (ICL)

WHAT SPARKED YOUR COMMITMENT TO PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT?
I studied forestry at the University of Montana with a focus on conservation. I'm perpetually in awe of the interconnectedness of forests, rivers, public lands and humans.

WHAT WAS YOUR TOUGHEST OCCUPATIONAL CHALLENGE OVER THE PAST YEAR?
The Idaho Legislative session presents an annual challenge to me and ICL. This year we faced an unexpected threat from pesticide manufacturers seeking legal immunity for their products. It wasn't easy, because we were facing off against a united coalition of agricultural and corporate interests with deep pockets. It was nerve-racking, but in the end, we defeated the effort. In the conservation line of work, we have to win every time. Our opponents only need to win once.

WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB?
Conservation advocacy is always a hard sell in Idaho. But it's much easier knowing that tens of thousands of Idahoans are pushing me forward to protect our state's natural beauty, air, land, waters and wildlife. If we work together, we can leave a lasting legacy for future generations. The political environment has a huge impact on the natural environment, but in the end, we all drink the same water and breathe the same air. I'm truly optimistic that we can find common ground.

Eric Gilbert

Treefort Music Fest Co-Founder and Director

NAME ONE WAY YOU'VE HELPED MAKE TREEFORT UNIQUE AMID AN OVER-SATURATION OF MUSIC FESTIVALS.
I'm dedicatedly anti-sponsorship and felt that bringing in corporate sponsors would've cheapened Treefort. As a result of sticking to that principle, we've built a high standard for music festivals. Treefort is a weird, modular festival in that sense. When we staged our first installment in 2012, the Boise music scene was very invisible on a national level. We've helped outsiders know that the city actually exists!

WHILE YOU ADMIRABLY AVOID "SELLING OUT", WHAT'S YOUR STRATEGY FOR SELLING OUT TREEFORT TICKETS?
We've actually never technically sold out three-day passes, although we have sold out single-day tickets on occasion. Still, the long lines outside venues where participating artists perform indicate Treefort's undeniable appeal and popularity. We estimate that, at the 2023 installment, there were around 30,000 unique visitors over the five days and about 15,000 on each day.

FOR WHAT OTHER REASON OR REASONS ARE YOU PROUD OF TREEFORT?
I continue to be in awe of what the Treefort team has built. The festival gives talented folks opportunities to perform in public, whereas they might never have the chance because of such strong competition nationwide. As a musician myself, I had a goal to play just one show live. I did, and everything's been gravy ever since.

Behind the achievement of individuals whose unwavering dedication ensures that Boise and the Treasure Valley continues to receive the acknowledgment it merits and making the Treasure Valley an even better place to live and thrive

  • Jonathan Oppenheimer