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Sawtooth National Recreation Area Creation Boosted by a Ketchum Painting
Saturday, December 3, 2022


Local historian Tom Blanchard will discuss the creation of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area at noon Tuesday, Dec. 6, at the Hailey Town Center.

The talk is the second in the Hailey Public Library’s occasional Lunch & Learn series. This one will include a look at the Ketchum Sawtooth Preservation Council and the artistry of Don “Bemco” Bennett.

“We wanted to end the year with a salute to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, one of our community’s crown jewels,” said programs and engagement manager Kristin Fletcher. “It’s the reason many of us moved here, and why many others visited and then stayed.

“The creation of the Sawtooth NRA in 1972 was a complex mix of national, state and local politics. Tom will take us back to early conversations by a group of local activists and the unexpected impact of a painting by Ketchum artist Don Bennet.”

Blanchard received his graduate degree in history from San Francisco State University. He moved with his wife, Florence, and family to Bellevue in 1977.  He served three terms as a Blaine County Commissioner and later was Bellevue City Administrator.  He has served on numerous civic boards, including the Idaho Humanities Council and the Idaho State Historical Society where he was chairman for eight years. 


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