Only 7 states west of the Mississippi River don’t have National Parks–Idaho, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Missouri, and Iowa. The state most likely to join the list of states with National Parks is Idaho. Actually, it has one listed among its National Park Service sites because 1% of Yellowstone National Park is in Idaho. However, 96% of it is in Wyoming. This lack of a National Park within its boundaries can be easily fixed.
Idaho has several sites under the auspices of the National Park Service. These include 4 National Trails–The Oregon Trail passed through Idaho, a major settler’s trail to California did too, Lewis and Clark walked and floated through Idaho, and this state acknowledges the Ice Age Floods with a National Park Service designation. This hits close to home since Ruth’s Dad’s property in Oregon was impacted by these floods long before he lived there. The other states that share Ice Age Floods are Washington and Montana. There are 2 National Monuments already in Idaho–Hagerman Fossil Beds and Craters of the Moon. There is one National Historic Site called Minidoka in Jerome, where Japanese-Americans were held during World War II like they were in California’s more famous Manzanar. There is one National Reserve in Idaho called City of Rocks near the town of Almo. There is a National Historic Park devoted to the Nez Perce, a Native American tribal group. However, their story is shared with Montana, Oregon, and Washington.
Here is the solution to Idaho’s lack of its own National Park. The President can name Craters of the Moon, which is already a National Monument and totally within this state, as this country’s newest National Park. I have been there and this is an appropriate designation. There have already been 5 new National Parks created in this century. They are South Carolina’s excellent Congaree created in 2003, Colorado’s Sand Dunes, a National Park since 2004, California’s Pinnacles went from National Monument to National Park in 2013, The Gateway Arch in St. Louis became part of a new National Park in 2018, and The Indiana Dunes became a National Park in 2019. West Virginia’s New River Gorge is already listed as a National Park on nps.gov. Why can’t Craters of the Moon become our newest National Park in 2021?