Arrow-right Camera


The Ragged Edge Anti-Government Fervor Thrives In Northwest

Special report, Part 3

Frustration and anger with government permeate the Inland Northwest.

More and more people are fed up with regulations, a shifting economy and bureaucrats who seem out of touch with their lives.

Last week, The Spokesman-Review explained this emerging anti-government movement and the forces behind it.

Today, we take a closer look at two counties where the sentiment runs deep.

Boundary County, Idaho, with less than 10,000 people, is buffeted by laws written by far-away bureaucrats. A life of ranching and logging is threatened.

To make matters worse, the county has been branded with a national reputation as a rage center. Ruby Ridge, where three people died during a federal siege, is just 10 miles from the county seat, Bonners Ferry.

Boundary County has seen the worst of what can happen when citizens and the federal government clash.

In Washington’s Stevens County, residents struggle with a growing population that is reshaping rural values and traditions. The number of people has doubled since 1960 to more than 35,000.

The resulting mix of lifestyles and beliefs is dramatic: from white separatists, to hippies, to affluent retirees, to loggers trying to survive.

In Stevens County, the 1992 standoff across the Idaho border was a catalyst for anti-government feelings that are playing out in local politics.

For a look at these two counties, see our special section inside.

, DataTimes

Tags: series