This from Rocky Barker’s blog today, Idaho environmental pioneer Day dies..

I’m sad to learn of the passing of Ernie Day. Ernie taught me that premature compromise with the resource extraction industry never protected anything. I remember his anger when he found us sitting around in one of the early, and of course unproductive meetings with . . . I can’t remember if it was cattle, timber, or off road vehicle people.
Learning to photograph Idaho’s landscape in those cherished and all-too-rare sessions with him was really learning from a master.

When Ernie was in his prime (fortunately for Idaho, that was a long time), it took real bravery to speak out against mining, timber, and ranching. Most people who dared would quickly lose their job.

While saving the White Cloud Mountains from the open pit moly mine was a great group effort, Ernie was foremost among the leaders. One of his photos of Castle Peak, in particular, had influence for many years.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

3 Responses to Idaho environmental pioneer Ernie Day dies

  1. avatar Eileen says:

    Ralph, I did not know you worked on protecting the White Clouds – my thanks to you for your efforts.

  2. I arrived back in Idaho in Aug. 1971, and the issue had almost been decided by then, but then, of course, its ultimate fate is still not decided. I didn’t do much, mostly met people, got informed, and wrote some letters.

    My first real conservation efforts were the first roadless area review of the national forests and trying to stop the construction of the Teton dam.

  3. avatar Rob says:

    On our wall hangs the black and white photo of Castle Peak in the White Clouds – the photogarapher, of course, was Earnie Day. Many of his photos graced the IEC newsletter put out to the faithful by that workhorse, Jerry Jayne. Earnie will be remembered for his deluxe photography and for his steadfast vision of a Wild Idaho. I got to know Earnie because I went to school with his son, Dan, who invited me up to the Sawtooth Cabin for some hiking, running, and a bit of sling-shot sailing on Redfish Lake. Of course, I had already heard of Earnie and seen some of his photos used in defense of our wild lands. I enjoyed our brief meetings and his sage advise and musings. Thanks Earnie, Rob Jones http://www.wildernessvagabond.com/

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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