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Minidoka, Idaho – A Sacred Place of Remembrance, or a Place to Harvest Wind for California’s Power Grid?

By • July 11, 2023

Minidoka, Idaho – the place where a World War II concentration camp for Japanese Americans was located. The Minidoka National Historic Site – the remembrance of the camp, in the very place it happened. A place to honor those who were imprisoned, a place to reflect, a place to teach about the sacred, inherent human rights of every person, a place to ensure future generations know our true history and carry on the valuable lessons learned from it.

You can hear a brief summary of the history here: Minidoka: An American Concentration Camp – YouTube

and read about it here: Minidoka National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service) (

From the National Park Service,

“During World War II, over 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were forcibly removed from their homes and incarcerated without due process of law. Although little remains of the barbed-wire fences and tar-papered barracks, the Minidoka concentration camp once held over 13,000 Japanese Americans in the Idaho desert.

Minidoka preserves their legacy and teaches the importance of civil liberties.”

Idaho Dispatch visited this place recently during the 2023 Minidoka Pilgrimage. This event is hosted by the organization Minidoka Pilgrimage, who works with a national group, Japanese American Memorial Pilgrimages.


Minidoka is also the location of the proposed Lava Ridge Project – a wind farm planned by the Bureau of Land Management to be built in southern Idaho. You can read the Idaho Dispatch story on Lava Ridge here:

From the Bureau of Land Management’s Lava Ridge webpage and associated documents,

“The project as proposed would consist of up to 400 wind turbines and associated infrastructure, including new and improved roads, powerlines for collection and transmission of electricity, substations, operation and maintenance facilities, and a battery storage facility.”

The BLM explains the plan for the energy generated from Lava Ridge,

“[The] goal for Lava Ridge is to construct and operate a commercial-scale wind energy facility that reliably and economically produces wind energy for delivery to power markets in the western United States. This goal arises from regulatory, utility, and consumer-driven objectives to incorporate new renewable and carbon-free energy sources into energy supply portfolios. Substantial increases in new renewable energy are required to meet this need.”

If the project is in fact built, it will reach across five Idaho counties, including Minidoka County. The organizers of the Minidoka Pilgrimage sent us this image, to illustrate the scale of the proposed wind turbines.

Friends of Minidoka strongly disapproves of the proposed project. They explain on their website,

“The proposed Lava Ridge wind project will forever alter Minidoka’s somber landscape and fails to honor the significance of the events that occurred at Minidoka as a place of reflection, healing, and education for the survivors, descendants, and public. The proposed project places 340 towers in the Minidoka NHS viewshed with 12 of those towers on the historic Minidoka footprint. The Minidoka community of survivors and descendants deserve the respect and acknowledgment of this gross violation of civil liberties by our nation’s government through the preservation of the site. The Minidoka story must be recognized and treated in an honorable and somber manner as other painful events in our nation’s history. The proposed Lava Ridge project minimizes the trauma, loss, and humiliation suffered by American citizens based solely on racial discrimination.”

David of the Idaho Dispatch had the chance to talk to the family of a man who had been interned at Minidoka during World War II, and hear their thoughts on the Lava Ridge Project: Minidoka Historic Site (

During the Pilgrimage, many signs and posters were displayed on the site, indicating the disapproval of the project by the local community.

Article photos by Miste Karlfeldt

Feature image courtesy of 2023 Minidoka Pilgrimage — Japanese American Memorial Pilgrimages (

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Tags: BLM, Bureau of Land Management, Concentration Camp, Department of the Interior, Energy Development Projects, Federal Land, Japanese Americans, Japanese Internment Camp, Lava Ridge Wind Project, Magic Valley Energy, Minidoka, Minidoka National Historic Site, Pearl Harbor, U.S. National Park Service, World War 2, WWII

11 thoughts on “Minidoka, Idaho – A Sacred Place of Remembrance, or a Place to Harvest Wind for California’s Power Grid?

  1. “Consumer-driven objectives???” Hogwash…this has Bureaucratic Lie Manure (BLM) written all over it. If Gavinfornia wants more power, let him/them put it there…not in Idaho! 🙁

    1. Yes, the power is going to California as once again Idaho gets the pollution. Shut this project down cold now.

  2. Idaho’s Governor, Lt. Governor, AG, all of the members of the state legislature, Commissioners from seven counties in and around the project as well as the overwhelming number of Idaho citizens oppose this project. California wants the power and the Biden admin supports the project. This madness must end. Perhaps it is time for Idaho to seize the BLM land and boot the feds out.

    1. According to the Constitution, the Federal Government isn’t supposed to own any land except for consulates and embassies outside the District of Columbia. The “National” parks are in direct violation of this. These parks should be turned over to the States wherein they exist.

  3. I’ve visited the site twice and found it to be truly worthwhile and one which we as a nation need to preserve. Nuts to the big “power brokers” that are in it for the money. No benefit to Idaho.

  4. Perhaps building giant wind turbines near Minadoka will help us forget an unpleasant chapter in our history. The Department of Energy is going to help us heal AND keep California’s lights on.

    1. Sorry… what? So letting the Feds and CA build massive blights on IDAHO land and IDAHO memorials is going to help us “heal”. Thanks for that stupidity.

      But you got the rest right…

      all of this so that CALIFORNIA can keep ITS lights on.

      I’d love to think this was sarcasm, but it’s tough to tell.

  5. The Constitution does not prohibit the Federal government from owning land.
    Please cite the Article/Amendment, Section, Clause that you believe does this. Thank you.

  6. I remember back in the 70’s when states outside of Idaho wanted to send us all theier nuclear waste to store for them over at INEL. A DEMOCRAT Governor, Cece Andrus, sand “NO WAY IN HELL” and blocked entrance to our state with his person. I’m waiting, Republicans. I’m waiting………

    1. Kent, are you kidding? Brad and his minions are not fighters; they just mouth the words we want to hear. Pay attention to the groupies on ACHD and stand up and block them!

  7. Hideous, bird-killing, inefficient, expensive, and non-recyclable blights on the land…

    destroy Idaho landscapes and Idaho environment, bury the remnants of the useless crap all over Wyoming, all so…

    CA can have more energy.

    Are you that stupid Idaho?

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