Idaho environmental pioneer Ernie Day dies

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.





  1. Eileen Avatar

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

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    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. Rob Avatar

    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


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan