As of Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Last Saturday’s Tribune ran a story with the headline, “A lasting legacy for the ‘boy wonder’ and Idaho” referring to former Senator Frank Church and how he blessed Idaho with so much federal wilderness. When I think of the “boy wonder” I think of the five vacant spaces where sawmills used to be within three miles of my house and the good-paying jobs they provided. I also think of him each year when our school district is forced to run a levy election to replace the money that used to come from local timber harvest. I think of him again when I look at our local school student count, which is about half what it was in Church’s time because people with families to support have had to move for better paying jobs. I think of him also when I read about the thousands of acres of our forests that burn because we are not allowed to log and properly manage them.
As I travel around the state and see the business buildings that were once supported by Idaho’s vast natural resources and are now vacant, I think of the boy wonder and the others like him who continue to cripple our industries, eliminate our jobs, and destroy our way of life. Fine job, Senator Church.