“Here we have Idaho” (the initial lyrics of the official state song).
Southern Idaho is a glorious place of high desert and mountains and endless sky. I grew up there, in Twin Falls, and spent a number of years there in my 30s, when I met Bill Chisholm, already locally famous for his environmental activism. Until her death from cancer, Bill was married to the ex-wife of my brother Mark. One of Mark and Kathy’s kids, Corrine Kreilkamp, is also an activist, and a permaculturist. Our relationship web is old and strong and resilient.
Unfortunately, much of southern Idaho has already been “privatized,” by the Federal Government for use by giant corporations working on nuclear and other energy projects. The list is long and revelatory.
INEEL is off-limits to the public. If you stop your car on the highway going through there, say from Pocatello or Idaho Falls going west, goons will surround it within minutes. Think I’m kidding? My son Colin Cudmore once stopped to change drivers on that desert. Never again!
Meanwhile, I remember awhile back seeing an article about the Chinese wanting to build a city on the desert south of Boise. That sure raised my eyebrows. Googled around and came up with this; it includes Idaho in the list of states.
Here’s another one, specifically about Idaho, though it’s from 2010.
Which makes the story about Reid and his relative and Chinese solar farms in Nevada seem not at all far fetched.
So, this extended comment from my old Idaho activist friend Bill Chisholm, makes great sense.
The more I think about the Bundy/BLM story the more I think it a ruse. A staged event to get the ideologues knees a jerking…. and to create an atmosphere that makes it easy for the real powers the be to steal the public land just as they have the public treasury.
If you watched the movie The Corporation, you know the intent of the good ol’ boys and girls is to privatize everything. They hate the notion of “public”… here in the Potato Republic of Idaho they are constantly trying to weaken any notion of “public interest”… “public trust”. It is all for the money interests.
When I saw the story this quote came from… the dots connected. What a great time to push for state control of public land. Only there will be no public land in short order. Beyond that I have to question not only Bundy’s assertion of some ancestral right as well as the notion of the state taking “back” something that wasn’t theirs in the first place.
“Those of us who live in the rural areas know how to take care of lands,” Montana state Sen. Jennifer Fielder said at a news conference. “We have to start managing these lands. It’s the right thing to do for our people, for our environment, for our economy and for our freedoms.”
The State of Idaho has done a lousy job with almost every aspect of “managing” natural resources or protecting “the public interest”. I speak from a lifetime of experience working to protect Idaho’s air, land, water and quality of life. The good ol’ boys campaign for public office on the notion that “Idaho is business friendly.”, which translates to an openness to exploit Idaho’s resources and people…. if you will give us a piece of the action.
For the Mother on this Earth Day,