Permit for Feedlot Near Minidoka Internment Camp Denied

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Minidoka Internment National Monument, Idaho

An Idaho internment camp where Japanese Americans were confined during World War II won a victory this month when local county commissioners denied a permit for a feedlot operation nearby.

Minidoka Internment National Monument, overseen by the National Park Service, was threatened with a concentrated animal feeding operation a mile away.

Because the applicant, Big Sky Farms, can appeal within 28 days of the Oct. 9 decision, preservationists say the fight isn't over.

"We want to be optimistic and pleased and still be cautious in declaring final victory," says Dan Everhart, president of Preservation Idaho. "We're waiting to see what will happen when the period of appeal closes, and we'll go from there."

In June, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the camp one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. The Trust's Western Office has been working with the park service and other groups to encourage the commissioners to be more flexible with its public hearings, which allow only two minutes of testimony and one page of written comments.

"We hope there will be some considerable support as it winds its way through the courts," says Jim Azumano, president of Friends of Minidoka, which organizes an annual pilgrimage to the site.

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