Environmental History

2/16/15 – White Pine Camp

This winter I had the chance to spend time in a historic part of the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Adirondack Park – the largest state-level protected area in the continental United States and the largest National Historic Landmark – covers much of northeastern Upstate New York and played an essential role in the environmental… Read the Rest »

2/9/15 – Wolf Reintroduction

While not a find in the archives, we’ve just reached the 20th anniversary of a landmark event in environmental history: the reintroduction of wolves to Idaho and Yellowstone. In what a recent Idaho Statesman article called “one of the most controversial wildlife projects of the century,” in 1995 and 1996, 66 wolves were live-trapped in… Read the Rest »

2/4/15 – Visiting History: Yuma, AZ

Editor’s Note:  Today’s blog is courtesy of SHRA researcher HannaLore Hein.  All photo credits are hers. In December 2014, I was fortunate enough to visit Yuma, Arizona. To some people’s surprise, the city is actually known for many things and has a lot to offer both tourists and locals alike. Located in the southwest corner of… Read the Rest »

2/2/15 – Earthquakes

I am sure many of our western readers have experienced at least one earthquake in their lives. And today, with geologists’ ability to monitor and interpret seismological waves and almost instantly identify quakes around the world, you have all no doubt observed devastating earthquake scenes on television. The amount of damage and death that can… Read the Rest »

1/14/15 – The Great River of the West

Right before the holidays, SHRA researchers found themselves swimming in sources relating to the development of the Columbia River. Like so many other rivers, the Columbia faced a plethora of competing interests, such as hydroelectric power, fish, navigation, irrigation, and recreation. Documentation on the subject was vast but one source in particular intrigued us. Around… Read the Rest »

1/12/15 – Coeur d’Alene Mining Pollution

We recently came upon an unexpected Idaho Daily Statesman headline – “Nelson Attacks River Pollution” – while doing research on the early 1930s.[i] The headline appeared more than 30 years before pollution and sewage caused Ohio’s Cuyahoga River to catch fire and help spur the environmental movement to address water pollution nationwide. But, in northern… Read the Rest »

12/3/14 – Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness

Here in Idaho, the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act in September 2014 has a special significance. Idaho is home to the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, the second largest wilderness area in the United States, containing 2.4 million acres of rugged mountains, forests, and rivers. It was named after Frank Church, who… Read the Rest »

11/10/14 – ABCs vs PCBs

“Toxic substances hardly would seem a likely field of feminine expertise,” began an article from the Seattle Times in June 1980. Yet Margo Partridge, a woman who worked for the EPA, “finds more of a challenge in PCBs than the A, B, C’s of the kitchen.” Despite the fact that Partridge was an expert on… Read the Rest »

11/5/14 – State Lands for Schools

Part of the allure of the archives is that you never know what you might uncover. Not too long ago, SHRA researchers stumbled across a January 1941 letter from Idaho State Forester Franklin Girard. While the letter was of little consequence, Girard’s evocative letterhead pitted contrasting images of lush forests against fire riddled stumps. Even… Read the Rest »

10/24/14 – The Passenger Pigeon

September 2014 marked 100 years since the last passenger pigeon died in the Cincinnati zoo. These birds, which at one point made up 20% to 40% of the entire avian population of the United States, lived east of the Rocky Mountains, from central Canada in the north to the southern United States. It is estimated… Read the Rest »

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