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The Sawtooth Society


 


A Guide to the records of Bethine Church, President, 1996-2004


MSS 225

Northern Sawtooths, ca 1972
  A scene in the northern Sawtooths, ca. 1972.
Frank Church collection, Scenic-26



This collection consists of the records of Bethine Church in her capacity as acting president and president of the Sawtooth Society during the organization’s formation and early development.  The records include correspondence, minutes, reports, fundraising records, publications, clippings and other papers, either created or received by Mrs. Church, reflecting both internal and external operations of the society.  She organized her records chronologically, by year, as reflected in the folder list below.  Altogether, the collection comprises two linear feet of records.  Other persons besides Mrs. Church represented prominently in these records include Robert B. Hayes, the society’s executive director.


The Sawtooth Society was founded to protect the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA).  Its website (2007) defines its mission as threefold: serving as an advocate for the SNRA, preserving open space in the SNRA, and enhancing recreation facilities and services in the SNRA, an area of 756,000 acres of public and private land in the rugged Sawtooth Mountains of Central Idaho.


Congress designated this area a national recreation area in 1972 after decades of debate over the future of the region.  Many in Idaho advocated the creation of a national park in the Sawtooth Mountains, but the park proposal met opposition from numerous landowners, recreationists, and ranchers in the region.  National recreation area status was viewed as a compromise.  Since then the area has been managed and regulated by the U.S. Forest Service.


The approaching 25th anniversary of the SNRA in 1997 brought a great deal of attention to the area. Many of the private lands within its bounds and adjacent were being developed in ways that were considered by some to be unsightly and contrary to the purposes of the SNRA. Congress had not authorized funds for the purchase of scenic easements since the 1980s and facilities within the SNRA were not being improved.  The Sawtooth Society was founded in 1997 to remedy these problems, and these records reflect that mission. Much of the collection consists of records pertaining to fundraising through Congress and the public for funds to purchase easements, preserve open space, and to enhance facilities.  Many of the founding members of the Sawtooth Society were major proponents for the creation of the SNRA in 1972. 


Bethine Church of Boise is the widow of U.S. Senator Frank Church.  Born in 1923 into a politically active family (her father was later Governor of Idaho), she spent much of her childhood at the family ranch at Robinson Bar, Idaho, now at the edge of the SNRA.  She married Frank Church at the ranch in 1947.  In order to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest, she and Senator Church sold the ranch when he was sponsoring legislation to create the SNRA.  Bethine Church was joined in founding the society by former Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus (D), former U.S. Senator Jim McClure (R), and former Representative Orval Hansen (R), reflecting the bipartisan nature of the organization. 


This collection was a gift of Bethine Church, who retired as society president in 2005.


                                                            Collection number: MSS 225
                                                            Inclusive dates: 1996-2004
                                                            Size of collection: 2 ft.
                                                            Processed by Amy Vecchione, 2007




Folder list


Box 1: Sawtooth Society: Records of Bethine Church, president

Folder  1         Sawtooth Society Advocate [moved to Special Collections periodicals]
              2         SNRA Easement News: 1996-1997
              3         What you should know about land ownership (Brochure, 2002)
              4         Minutes of Annual Meetings (1998-2002)
              5         Articles of Incorporation (1997)
              6         Mission, Bylaws, Board of Directors (1997, 2000)
              7         Bylaws draft 

              8        1996 : Correspondence
              9        1996 : Clippings
            10        1996–1997 : SNRA Clippings
            11        1996–1997 : SNRA Clippings 

            12        1997 : Correspondence : Jan.–Jul.
            13        1997 : Correspondence : August
            14        1997 : Correspondence : Sept.–Oct.
            15        1997 : Correspondence : Nov.–Dec.
            16        1997 : Board Matters
            17        1997 : Agendas
            18        1997 : Founding Board Organization and Correspondence
            19        1997 : First Brochure
            20        1997 : 25th Anniversary of the SNRA : August 22, 1997
            21        1997 : December fundraiser
            22        1997 : National Forest Foundation
            23        1997 : Notes
            24        1997 : Miscellaneous
            25        1997 : Clippings : Wood River Journal
            26        1997 : Clippings : Post Register, Idaho Falls
            27        1997 : Clippings : Idaho Statesman, Boise
            28        1997 : Clippings : Challis Messenger
            29        1997 : Clippings : Times News : Twin Falls, ID
            30        1997 : Clippings : Mountain Express
            31        1997 : Clippings : Miscellaneous 

            32        1998 : Correspondence : January
            33        1998 : Correspondence : February
            34        1998 : Correspondence : March
            35        1998 : Correspondence : April
            36        1998 : Correspondence : May
            37        1998 : Correspondence : June
            38        1998 : Correspondence : July
            39        1998 : Correspondence : August
            40        1998 : Correspondence : September
            41        1998 : Correspondence : October
            42        1998 : Trademark Applications : October
            43        1998 : Correspondence : November
            44        1998 : Correspondence : December
            45        1998 : Board Matters
            46        1998 : Annual Meeting : August
            47        1998 : Next Meeting
            48        1998 : Donations
            49        1998 : License Plate
            50        1998 : Issues and Building Standards

 

Box 2 : Sawtooth Society: Records of Bethine Church, president

Folder  1         1998 : Miscellaneous
              2         1998 : Clippings

              3         1999 : Correspondence : January
              4         1999 : Correspondence : February
              5         1999 : Correspondence : March
              6         1999 : Correspondence : April
              7         1999 : Correspondence : May
              8         1999 : Correspondence : June
              9         1999 : Correspondence : July
            10        1999 : Correspondence : August
            11        1999 : Correspondence : September
            12        1999 : Correspondence : October
            13        1999 : Correspondence : November
            14        1999 : Correspondence : December
            15        1999 : Board Matters
            16        1999 : Board Resumes
            17        1999 : Clippings

            18        2000 : Correspondence : Jan.–Apr.
            19        2000 : Correspondence : May–Sept.
            20        2000 : Correspondence : Oct.–Dec.
            21        2000 : The Advocate draft : Fall
            22        2000 : Board Matters
            23        2000 : Clippings
            24        2000 : Legal brief: Wilderness Reserved Claims (Idaho Supreme Court)

            25        2001 : Correspondence
            26        2001 : Clippings

            27        2002 : Correspondence : Jan.–Mar.
            28        2002 : Correspondence : Apr.–July
            29        2002 : Correspondence : Aug.–Dec.
            30        2002 : Miscellaneous
            31        2002 : Clippings

            32        2003 : Correspondence
            33        2003 : Annual Meeting : August 1-4, 2003
            34        2003:  Annual Meeting:  Sawtooth Society Development Plan, 2003-2008

            35        2004:  Miscellaneous 

            36        National Forest Foundation Membership

            37        Photo of Ernest Hemingway in the Sawtooths [source unknown; not public domain]

 

Two videos, also in Box 2

 

Video (VHS): "Sawtooth Society, Protecting Saawtooth National Recreation Area"

Video (VHS): "Sawtooth National Recreation Area...25th Anniversary Celebration" (1997)

Special Collections • 1910 University Drive • Boise, ID 83725-1430 • Phone: 208-426-1204 • Email: Archives