Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-viii

Contents

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pp. ix-x

Illustrations

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pp. xi-xii

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Foreword

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pp. xiii-xiv

John Bieter, Jr.’s, study of the Big Quiet extends the tradition of Frederick Jackson Turner’s call for “the study of the West as a developing region.”1 Or, as Bieter shows, a region in which the mythology that marketed the American West became as central a player as the evolving role of government and law. Contemporaneously, Josiah Royce called for a new sense of place or community, a sense of regional identity that reflected the...

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Preface

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pp. xv-xvi

The stories we tell reveal much of who we think we are. Both this book and the writing of it have stories. Although I was unaware of it at the time, this book really began when I was twelve and my parents took our family to the Basque region of Spain (a story I tell in chapter 5). That’s the first time I began to question origins of American identity. Later, while conducting research for another book, I came across a US Supreme...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-2

Many books begin with acknowledgment of the major intellectual contributions to the subject. I too owe a tremendous amount to all those authors from whose work I draw. I deeply appreciate the countless hours that went into their scholarship. However, as I finished writing, I also realized the debt I owe to all those who helped prepare me to take on this work—the wonderful teachers I have had in my life. They inspired in me a love of ideas and the tools to pursue them. My elementary school teacher,...

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Introduction

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pp. 3-14

Not many stayed around for the last talk. On an especially warm July 12th evening in 1893, on the second day of the World’s Congress of Historians and Historical Students, put on in conjunction with the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, thirty-two-year-old Frederick Jackson Turner, a historian from the University of Wisconsin who had earned his doctorate just two years earlier,...

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1. The Owyhees

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pp. 15-31

In the Owyhees the land mattered, as did what people imagined it to be. One example is the county’s name. In the early 1800s British trappers and explorers traveled throughout the Northwest looking for economic opportunities. In 1819, Donald Mackenzie led representatives from the North West Company, which included three Hawaiian workers, into this area. Mackenzie dispatched the Hawaiians to...

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2. The Eagle’s Silver Heart

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pp. 32-55

Charles Peck wanted to keep it a secret. A mining prospector, in 1865 he discovered a very rich “pocket” or “chimney” of ore about one thousand feet south of the Hays and Ray shaft. The Hays and Ray, unearthed earlier in the year on August 5, had become the most prominent claim of the War Eagle Mountain lodes of the Owyhee Mountains. While eight two-hundred-foot claims...

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3. The Battle of Shoshone Mike

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pp. 56-87

The end of the first decade of the twentieth century marked significant changes in the world. Albert Einstein theorized his relativity postulate; construction began on the Panama Canal; aircraft had been used as an offensive weapon for the first time in the Turkish-Italian war; and the French invented the first photocopy machine. In the United States, Thomas Edison introduced the Kinetoscope, which made talking movies a reality; the Boston Red Sox won...

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4. “An Asset and Not a Liability”: Omaechevarria v. State of Idaho

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pp. 88-115

Did he know what he was doing? Was he just following the boss’s orders? Did he understand the offi cer when he got arrested? Who paid the fine and court costs? What happened to him after he was arrested? Did he spend time in jail? Could this poor Basque immigrant ever imagine that his name would be cited in a court case in the US Supreme Court? There are these and many...

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5. The Power of Myth, Marketing, and Government in the West

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pp. 116-132

It was an experience from when I was twelve years old and living outside of America that first drew me into the field of American western history, although at the time I did not understand the impact of this event....

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6. Claude Dallas: The Myth Comes to Life

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pp. 133-171

Growing up, Claude Dallas loved to read and imagine the stories of the West. He soaked in the characters of Louis L’Amour’s books, ventured west with E. H. Staffelbach in Toward Oregon, and met with Indians in The Horsemen of the Plains by Joseph Altsheler and The White Feather by Merritt Allen. He could not get enough. With time he added Zane Grey and Jack London novels and...

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7. Saylor Creek Bombing Range: Modern Range War

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pp. 172-201

US Air Force Colonel Victor C. Andrews and local rancher Bert Brackett see things quite differently as they look out over the land in Owyhee County. Colonel Andrews envisions more than a million acres containing a state-of-the-art electronic battlefi eld and bombing range. He imagines warplanes conducting exercises that require them to maneuver through “enemy” antiaircraft positions and...

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8. The Owyhee Canyonlands: Showdown to Collaboration

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pp. 202-230

In May of 1998, Sunset magazine published an article about potential national parks. “Owyhee, Algodones, Grand Gulch: They are not exactly household names, but they should be as familiar as Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Grand Canyon. After all, these lands are among the West’s most spellbinding places.” The author, Jeff Phillips, quoted Wallace Stegner’s “geography of hope” to identify these as lands for...

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Conclusion: Lesions and Lessons from the West

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pp. 231-236

The collaborative approach of the Owyhee Initiative proved the exception to the rule of confl ict over land use in the American West. Why did it work? Was it an aberration or is a new model emerging in the West? Comments from Senator Mike Crapo and Craig Gehrke reveal how land, myth, and government combined to produce a collaborative, nonviolent outcome. A revisiting of...

Notes

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pp. 237-270

Bibliography

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pp. 271-280

Index

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pp. 281-292