In the early hours of July 30, the Perseverance Rover launched from Cape Canaveral station on a V-541 rocket beginning a seven-month journey to Mars. Its mission — seek signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples. None of this happens without a talented and dedicated team at our very own Idaho National Lab, who were responsible for the power source that propels the appropriately named Perseverance.

We should be proud to see Idaho’s fingerprints all over this monumental mission. Someday, history books will talk about the foundation the Mars Rover established for astronauts who will expand our understanding of the universe.

Just a few days later, President Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act, following robust and bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.

I helped author this bill because I’m convinced Idaho’s grandkids and beyond deserve access and opportunity to enjoy our majestic public lands. Another benefit to future generations is the bill respects our fiscal issues by not using taxpayer dollars, but rather existing funding, which means it won’t add to the national debt.

Like the Mars Rover, this landmark legislation is less about you and I, and more about the ones who will enjoy the great American outdoors long after we are gone. Whether we are discovering new worlds or our own backyards, we owe it to the next generation to come together, to work together, set aside our egos, and step off our partisan high horses. We can solve problems. We can accomplish extraordinary things. It can be done. But it takes hard work and compromise, two things that I hope never to go out of style.

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