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Response to Octafish (Reply #93)

Mon Aug 10, 2015, 11:44 PM

94. Thanks for your reply. I've read where you mentioned Frank Church.

I've seen some of the threads where you posted about Frank Church of Idaho. He was beloved and his memory still is in Idaho.

The River of No Return Wilderness is named after him...the largest totally off limits wilderness areas in the lower 48. Its larger than some Eastern States, totally pristine. POTUS Obama just added on to it.

Back in the 70s my old man loved Frank Church as a man of integrity, someone who couldn't be bought. He could be defeated by money as he ultimately was but he couldn't be owned by establishment money.

At the time the Wilderness Laws were passed, the Republicans were in a feeding frenzy about how to exploit Idaho's wilderness mining wealth. They wanted to slam the Sawtooth Mountains to the ground and get all the gold out of there the Yankee Fork Dredge could not.

In the 30s and 40s, the Republicans wanted to open a copper mine in Hell's Canyon, this was before the two dams, (lined up on the rivers like tombstones around here, thanks to Cort Conley I stole that phrase). The profitable parts of this copper mine were very attractive. For one thing. it was downhill all the way to the proposed smelter which was proposed in Lewiston, Idaho. So the ore could be shipped almost cost free once the railroad was built to Hell's Canyon. This act alone would have destroyed 10,000 years or more of Native American burials, petroglyphs and other artifacts. Thankfully, Roosevelt closed the mine and other mines because it was in the allies interest to keep gold scarce during this time.

Frank Church fought against revivals of this exploitation of public lands along with his tireless crusade for for public privacy and freedom. He warned us about these days...these days of the surveillance state.

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