Tom Blanchard

Mining in Idaho: Today and Yesterday

By the 1870’s, Idaho Territory had seen several major gold rushes that accounted for its creation, yet its growth was not sufficient to justify statehood. This changed by 1880. Gold discoveries in the Yankee Fork area and lead-silver in the Wood River Valley and the Coeur d’Alenes attracted thousands of miners who changed the political climate as well as the landscape. The impact of both political and environmental decisions of that early period remain with us yet today and deserve evaluation as we move into the 21st Century.