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Letter to Biden - Individual Signatures needed to halt the Lava Ridge Wind Project near Minidoka National Historic Site

 

We need your help to protect the solemn and reflective immersive experience at Minidoka National Historic site from a massive commercial development on public lands. A project like this sets a dangerous precedent for other JA and BIPOC sites of commemoration and healing.

 

Review and sign onto the letter here.
 

Minidoka Pilgrimage Planning Committee, Friends of Minidoka and JACL National request individual signatures for a letter going directly to President Biden. Please circulate widely to family, friends and community groups. Deadline to sign is July 10, 2024.

 

For more information click here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JUNE 6, 2024

Media contact: Minidoka Pilgrimage Planning Committee, Erin Shigaki erin@minidokapilgrimage.org

Japanese Americans Blast BLM’s Decision to Desecrate Minidoka, a Sacred WWII Imprisonment Site in Idaho

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – Today the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued its Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) approving the proposed Lava Ridge Wind Project in the viewshed of the Minidoka National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park System.  The BLM’s preferred alternatives would desecrate sacred ground and reverse nearly fifty years of efforts to tell the story of the incarceration of Japanese Americands and Alaska Natives during World War II.  

The Minidoka Pilgrimage Planning Committee is a Seattle-based volunteer-run organization of survivors and descendants of the Japanese American incarceration, as well as allies. Our guiding mission is to honor and provide healing for the generations of our families and community members who were imprisoned during World War II in one of 75 American prison camps.

We also strive to educate the general public and fight efforts to erase our history. The U.S. government unconstitutionally imprisoned more than 13,000 Japanese Americans and Alaska Natives at Minidoka.

Less than a month from today, hundreds of pilgrims will converge on Twin Falls, Idaho and the Minidoka National Historic Site for our annual pilgrimage from July 4-July 7 for three days of education, reflection, healing and reunion.

The construction of a wind farm consisting of hundreds wind turbines standing as high as 660 feet tall will damage the setting and feeling of the site as our forebears lived it. Minidoka descendant and a leader of the Pilgrimage Committee Erin Shigaki says: “It is unconscionable to build an incredibly visible symbol of America’s corporate greed right in front of us–as we try to commune with our ancestors, as we try to bring our last few survivors there to make peace with what befell them, and as we try to engage our youth and others in this erased American history in a deep and personal way.”

We appreciate Congress’s bipartisan leadership to pass legislation in 2024 to direct BLM to engage with stakeholders.  However, on the eve of our 2024 pilgrimage, we are disappointed and saddened with the FEIS. We urge the Biden Administration to live up to principles of racial and environmental justice by adopting NO ACTION-Alternative A in the Record of Decision later this summer.  We ask it to adopt permanent protections for Minidoka to preserve this sacred site that honors the courage and sacrifice of Japanese Americans including nearly 1,000 service members and 73 who gave their lives to defend freedom.

“BLM is taking an historic site, held in public trust, and selling it to a private equity company; stealing the future experiences of all descendants and visitors of Minidoka. This is a sacred and irreplaceable site for our families,” said Gloria Shigeno, a survivor of the Minidoka concentration camp. “Haven’t we been harmed enough by our own government?”

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