Religious Group Complies with Fort Hall Order

Local News 8, Wyoming/October 29, 2009

Fort Hall, Idaho - The religious sect living on the Fort Hall Reservation has complied with the cease and desist order given to them last month.

The Land Use Commission building inspector went through the property Thursday morning to make sure the group, called the Church of the Firstborn and the General Assembly of Heaven, removed half of the vehicles from the premises, there are 10 or less people living inside the home and that the garage being built was indeed a garage and not a dormitory.

The inspection took about 20 to 25 minutes.

One of the church's leaders would not say where the group would be moving to next. The few left behind will live there until the home is sold.

In late September, The Tribal Land Use Commission denied a building permit for Joseph D. Ahlstrom, a member of the Church of the Firstborn and the General Assembly of Heaven, who planned to build a three-story dormitory for about 20 people on the Fort Hall Reservation.

The Land Use Department also sent a violation notice and a cease and desist order to the group stating that Ahlstrom was misusing the property at RR2 Box 24A-5 Reservation Road because of the amount of people living in the home and several others that are living in trailers which is in violation of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes laws and regulations.

The order also points out the occupants are putting a strain on the water resources, overburdening the septic system, endangering the underground water source and the health and welfare of the Reservation residents.

The commission added the large number of people coming and going at the home is disrupting the peace of the community.

The Church of the Firstborn moved to the area three months ago from Utah. They said they prayed about the move and the spirit of God directed them to Fort Hall.

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