The Idaho Statesman put out a call to readers Monday to submit their best ideas for a national monument in Idaho. The idea seems to have come former Idaho Governor, and now Secretary of Interior, Dirk Kempthorne. Rocky Barker discusses it on his blog in the Statesman.

I expect any national monument would be small. Barker discusses saving the ghost town of Chesterfield in Eastern Idaho, for example. Chesterfield’s unusual survival (it hasn’t been carried away by tourists) is unique. Protecting it would generate little controversy.

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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 past President of the Western Watersheds Project.

3 Responses to Rocky Barker's blog: We want your good ideas for Idaho's next national monument

  1. avatar Rocky Barker says:

    Thanks for posting this Ralph. I want people to be creative about proposing areas. Consider that Kempthorne likes parks and wants to leave a legacy, or help Bush leave a legacy. This could offer some different opportunities than would be available under someone else. I used Chesterfield as an example but there are many worthy places that could benefit from protection that won’t prompt an uproar.

  2. avatar Robert HOskins says:

    The value of getting more monuments is separate from the issue of a “legacy” for Bush and Kempthorne. Their legacies are already well established and will be incontrovertible.

  3. avatar Sal says:


    I think Chesterfield is a perfect example, not because it wouldn’t cause an uproar but because it’s a GHOST_TOWN !

    Bereft of resources, long ago used to no avail, everybody fled because there was no way to survive under their infrastructural needs… Sounds like a Kempthorne legacy. Kind of symbolizes his hollow concern for natural resources… blowin’ in the wind like a tumbleweed.



‎"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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