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Boise Barracks ordnance removal reports, 1997-2002

 

MSS 300

 

 

            In 1986, Congress established the Defense Environmental Restoration Program directing the Secretary of Defense to "carry out a program of environmental restoration at facilities under the jurisdiction of the Secretary."  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was assigned the responsibility for formerly-used defense sites, one of which was Boise Barracks in Boise, Idaho.

 

            First occupied by the U.S. Army in 1863, Fort Boise was established to protect travelers on the Oregon Trail.  Almost immediately the city of Boise sprang up near the fort, spurred by the discovery of gold in the nearby mountains.  That same year Congress created the Idaho Territory, and a year later the booming little town of Boise became its capital.  In 1873 a military reservation surrounding the fort was formally set apart from the public domain and the fort was renamed Boise Barracks.  Boise Barracks was an active Army post until 1913.  In 1919 the principal structures on the post were turned over to the Public Health Service for use as a veterans hospital.  The Idaho National Guard also used part of the reservation for military purposes.  The Army returned briefly during World War II, but after the war Boise Barracks' military use came to an end.  The hospital continued (now the Veterans Administration Medical Center); a Federal Building was constructed on a corner of the site; and much of the reservation was transferred to the city of Boise for use as a park.  Throughout its history the U.S. Army and the Idaho National Guard used and stored explosives and ordnance on the site.  There were a number of firing ranges on the reservation, including an anti-aircraft firing range during World War II.  The purpose of the reports in this collection was to identify the use of ordnance and explosives at Boise Barracks and formulate plans for the removal of potentially dangerous materials (such as unexploded shells) within the bounds of the old reservation and surrounding areas in the Boise foothills.

 

N.B.  The U.S. Army's Fort Boise, adjacent to the city of Boise, should not be confused with another Fort Boise, a non-military fur-trading post operated by the Hudson's Bay Company in the 1830s, 40s, and 50s.  The Hudson's Bay Company trading post was located on the Boise River many miles downstream from the site of the U.S. Army's Fort Boise/Boise Barracks.

 

                        -- Historical information derived from Archives Search Report, Box 1

 

                                                            Collection number:  MSS 300
                                                            Dates of collection: 1997-2002, with photocopies
                                                                        of older documents
                                                            Size of collection: ca. 2 ft. (3 boxes)
                                                            Processed by: Alan Virta, 2011


 


 

The collection

 

            The core of this collection consists of five voluminous reports issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, and contract consultants working for them regarding the use and storage of ordnance and explosives at Boise Barracks in the 19th and 20th centuries, together with plans for their removal from and environmental restoration of affected areas on the Barracks reserve and adjacent areas of the Boise foothills. The collection also contains minutes of the local Restoration Advisory Board, formed to offer the community's perspectives on the restoration work.  (The RAB minutes also originally came in a large binder, but were transferred to file folders for ease of use).   One of the reports (Archives Search Report in Box 1) contains photocopies of historic documents relevant to the history of the Boise Barracks.

 

            These  reports and RAB minutes were originally sent to the Idaho State Library as they were produced by the Environmental Management Section of the U.S. Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, for consultation by the public (transmittal letter, Box 3, Folder 0).  They were transferred to the Boise State University Library in 2005.

 

Box 1

 

Archives Search Report: Findings, Boise Army Barracks, Boise, Idaho.  Draft.  Prepared by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District  (Defense Environmental Restoration Program for Formerly Used Defense Sites, Ordnance and Explosives, Chemical Warfare Materials.  Project Number F10ID010300).  September 1997.

 

Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis Work Plan, Former Boise Army Barracks, Ada and Boise Counties, Idaho  Prepared by Earth Tech for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, and U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, Alabama. Contract No. DACA87-95-D0017. Task Order No. 0025.  July 1999.

 

Box 2

 

Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis, Former Boise Army Barracks, Ada and Boise Counties, Idaho.  Draft Final.  Prepared by Earth Tech for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, and U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, Alabama.   Contract No. DACA87-95-D0017.  Task Order No. 0025.  April 2000.

 

Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis, former Boise Army Barracks, Ada and Boise Counties, Idaho.  Final.  Prepared by Earth Tech for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, and U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, Alabama.  Contract No. DACA87-95-D0017.  Task Order No. 0025. August 2000.

 

Final Work Plan for Ordnance and Explosive (OE) Removal Action, Boise Barracks, Idaho.  Prepared by American Technologies, Inc. for U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, Alabama.  Contract No. DAC87-00-D-0035.  Task Order 0007. March 2002.

 

Box 3

 

Minutes of Restoration Advisory Board Meetings in Boise, Idaho,  1999-2000, and associated documents.   Removed from original binder and placed in file folders. An item list is available with the collection (Box 3, Folder 0) and with the paper finding aid in Special Collections.

 

 

 

 

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