About 18 miles northeast of Twin Falls stands a lone lava rock chimney tower and portions of a building wall. These building remnants are the most conspicuous remains of the Minidoka Wartime Relocation Center, a World War II internment camp where more than 9000 people of Japanese ancestry were incarcerated between 1942 and 1945. Minidoka stands as a “site of shame”—a stark and solemn reminder of a disturbing chapter in American history when fear and hysteria dictated public policy.

For several years, the Friends of Minidoka has been working to prevent the building of a 13,000-head Confined Animal Feedlot Operation (CAFO) 1.2 miles from the Minidoka National Historic Site. The Friends of Minidoka performed an air-quality study, which showed that the smell of the cattle and feces would blow directly through Minidoka. In addition, possible water and soil contaminates threaten to damage the historical artifacts and site features at Minidoka.

Other members of the coalition fighting the CAFO include Idaho Concerned Area Residents for the Environment, Idaho Rural Council, and the Dimond and Sloan families (Minidoka’s neighbors).

This past spring, coalition lawyers went to court to request that the CAFO permitting process be reevaluated. Despite the coalition's belief that there are good grounds to revoke the permit, Judge Elgee of Jerome County rendered a verdict siding with the CAFO owners. In September, the coalition filed a notice to appeal the recent court decision. The coalition is now waiting for the Idaho Supreme Court to schedule a hearing date.

We need help to fight this battle. The Friends of Minidoka has started a letter-writing campaign to our congressional delegates. Please help us tell them that this site matters! Learn more about the letter-writing campaign or donate to this cause.