Minidoka Placed On ‘Endangered’ Historic Places List

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The National Trust for Historic Preservation has named Minidoka National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, as one of the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in America.

Minidoka National Historic Site is threatened by a proposal to build one of America’s largest wind farms on public land with 400 wind turbines on Minidoka’s historic footprint and within 2 miles of the Visitor Center. This is the second time that Minidoka National Historic Site has been named to the 11 Most Endangered list.

“We are extremely disturbed by the proposed wind project and its disregard for the sacredness of Minidoka National Historic Site where 13,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry were unjustly incarcerated during World War II,” stated Robyn Achilles, executive director for Friends of Minidoka. “Minidoka is a memorial to all those who suffered at the site. Survivors and their descendants make emotional pilgrimages to Minidoka where they remember, heal, and share stories to ensure these violations of civil liberties do not happen again. Minidoka is our past and our future.”

Achilles added, “Friends of Minidoka supports renewable energy, but believes that projects must be sited in a way that respects and preserves significant historic sites. We are grateful to the National Trust for Historic Preservation as well as our many national and local partners like Preservation Idaho for their efforts on behalf of Minidoka. We and our partners urge the Bureau of Land Management to protect Minidoka National Historic Site as a place for learning and healing. ”

Since 1988, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has used its list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places to raise awareness about the threats facing some of our nation’s greatest treasures. The list, which has identified more than 300 sites to date, has been so successful in galvanizing preservation efforts that less than 5 percent of these sites have been lost.

“Minidoka National Historic Site serves as a critical and painful reminder of the fragility of democracy,” said Katherine Malone-France, chief preservation officer of National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Eighty years after the first Japanese Americans were wrongfully incarcerated at Minidoka, Asian Americans continue to experience anti-Asian violence, harmful stereotypes, and hatred. Minidoka reminds us of the mistakes of the past so that we can do better in the future, and it must be preserved and protected as a sacred site of conscience in the ongoing fight against hate and racism in our country.”

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