At their regular meeting Tuesday night, the Coeur d’Alene City Council indicated that they will be taking a significantly tougher stand to protect the dike road trees. Recall that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has told the City that it’s flood control dike protecting the Fort Grounds and the North Idaho College campus cannot be certified unless some 500 trees — and their roots — are removed.

In a procedure that will set up action at the next City Council meeting, Councilman John Bruning made a motion (seconded by Councilman Edinger) that would have the city formally opposing the Corps position, and would set up an ad hoc advisory committee to help the city fight the Corps and protect the trees. The motion passed unanimously setting up final action at the September 20th meeting.

Councilman Bruning, reading from prepared remarks, said that the City needed to be clear in its opposition and needs to “draw a line in the sand and say no to a federal agency.” He noted that even the Corps’ own science on the subject is contradictory, and that “this is a fight we can win.”

Bruning said he was pleased with the outpouring of support for the trees and the “constructive and sincere” offers of help.  Bruning said the ad hoc committee could focus the efforts to save the trees with “respect, diligence, science and common sense.”

All credit to Councilman Bruning and the City Council.  This move appears to be a good combination of thoughtful and resolute. We look forward to the next Council meeting.

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