Environmental History

8/19/15 – The Boulder-White Clouds: the Long History of Wilderness in Central Idaho

  Idaho is renowned for its recreational opportunities and magnificent ruggedness. The solitude provided by its rivers and mountains are unmatched. Thus, President Obama’s August 7, 2015 signing of Idaho’s Sawtooth Recreation Area and Jerry Peak Wilderness Additions Act is a significant event in environmental and Idaho history, particularly when viewed as the capstone of… Read the Rest »

6/24/15 – Big History on the Snake River

A few weekends ago, I paddled the Snake River from Swan Falls Dam to Celebration Park. The outing was recreational, but it also served as a fantastic history lesson. And not just any history lesson; this was a place-based, riverine version of Big History. In this new history curriculum, geared for high school students but… Read the Rest »

5/27/15 – 100 Years of Town Forests

This year, Vermont is celebrating 100 years of town forests. Town forests are just that – tracts of forest managed by the town, something that sounds so simple that it’s easy to forget their significance. I have fond memories of tromping through our town forest growing up in Ferrisburgh; it is on Shellhouse Mountain, a… Read the Rest »

5/13/15 – Go Fish

Looking at an image of (renowned Washington governor) Isaac Stevens, two things come to mind. First, he has a striking resemblance to Brad Pitt. Second, he looks like a man that gets what he wants, come hell or high water. As the first Territorial Governor of Washington and the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Stevens did… Read the Rest »

5/6/15 – Early Snow Surveys

While reading correspondence from the Bureau of Reclamation recently, SHRA researchers came across indications that some of the earliest snow surveys, dating back to the early 1920s, were conducted in the Boise River watershed. This piqued our interest in the early history of snow surveys and how technological developments have improved their accuracy. At a… Read the Rest »

4/29/15 – Spring 2015 Newsletter

This week, we mailed our Spring 2015 Newsletter.  Included in that newsletter were references to two client reports that have recently been made available to the public as part of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality’s Lower Boise River TMDL 2015 Addendum.  Those reports are A History of the Pioneer Irrigation District and Water in… Read the Rest »

4/8/2015 – Thinking Like a Historian

Last night, over dinner with my aunt and uncle, who were visiting from Massachusetts, we got into a discussion about the historical research we do at SHRA, its links to current environmental issues, and methodology, something that sounds boring and mundane, but something that had us sitting around the dinner table far into the evening…. Read the Rest »

4/1/15 – Hite’s Cove

Every early March my thoughts turn to Hite’s Cove, a steep-sided canyon along the South Fork of the Merced River just west of Yosemite National Park. For those living in the small town up the road from Hite’s Cove, as I did for three years, there is no better place to spot early spring wildflowers…. Read the Rest »

3/25/15 – Fishing with Brando

The Indian Affairs series in the Washington State Department of Fisheries central files was probably the last place we’d have looked for a reference to Hollywood, yet there was Marlon Brando’s name, as plain as day. In 1964, we learned, Brando participated in a fish-in along with a Puyallup tribal leader, defying Washington state law… Read the Rest »

2/25/15 – Snowflake Bentley

A recent article in The Vault, Slate’s history blog, on illustrations of snowflakes from the 1860s caught our eye at SHRA, especially because it referenced Wilson Bentley, a figure better known to all Vermont school children as Snowflake Bentley.[i] Bentley, a farmer from Jericho, Vermont, followed the exquisite snowflake drawings of the 1860s with the… Read the Rest »

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