Rumor Patrol

I don’t know what you’ve heard. But it’s probably true. Indeed, after almost three years as executive director, I am leaving the day-to-day employment of Kootenai Environmental Alliance.  In June, along with the family breadwinner (the Peyton Manning of academic law librarians), I will be relocating to Orange, California where the grass is not necessarily greener, but it is certainly way more expensive. Actually, I more »

The Goose Story

The U of Idaho geese have been saved from further torment. At least for now. Some perspectives on the whole affair from the KEA Board of Directors who did the saving: At the end of March, the University of Idaho in Coeur d’Alene installed spikes driven through boards to deter nesting Canada geese.  It certainly worked, but it also injured geese that have nested there more »

Saving the U. of Idaho Geese

Saving the U. of Idaho Geese

At KEA, we are nothing if not all-purpose conservation problem-solvers. Of course, we’re busy with clean water, land use, and forest issues. But some days the phone rings and we’ll have a brand new issue to deal with — the dike road trees, for example. Last week, we were flooded with calls about geese. According to our callers, at least three geese were severely injured more »

KEA Files Lawsuit Over Bonner County Public Records

If all goes according to schedule today tomorrow, KEA is filing a lawsuit in a Bonner County court regarding Idaho Public Records Act violations by Bonner County officials. KEA had made a simple request for emails regarding the activities of the Bonner County Property Rights Council, which the County denied. Recall that in February, KEA came across an article in the “Right Side News” by more »

Voices Needed to Protect Mallard-Larkins, Grandmother Mountain and St. Joe River Watershed

The great folks at Friends of the Clearwater gave a great presentation last week at the Iron Horse. As promised, here are some of their suggestions for comments on the draft plan for the Idaho Panhandle National Forest.  Our local forest abuts the great forests of the wild Clearwater along the St. Joe divide. From FOC: The plan for the diverse 2.5 million-acre Idaho Panhandle more »

Region Lacking Industrial Stormwater Permits

With the remarkable rains over the last weeks, our waterways are both swollen with water, but also choked with pollution. Streams are running the color of chocolate. Stormwater runoff is probably the most significant problem for our region’s water quality. Unfortunately, there is very little being done to stop the flow of pollutants. In fact, a preliminary survey of industrial stormwater in Kootenai County indicates more »

A New and Improved Approach to County Shoreline Protection

Suppose the new development codes for Kootenai County could provide more development potential, more flexibility for builders and homeowners, and much better protection of our lakes and streams. Who wouldn’t want that? Indeed, as early drafts of the new codes are being released, this win-win-win scenario could soon be playing out along county shorelines. One of the most controversial — and dysfunctional – aspects of more »

Supreme Court Unanimously Rules for Sacketts on Narrow Procedural Grounds

In an opinion released this morning (pdf), Justice Scalia wrote for a unanimous court that Mike and Chantelle Sackett will get a day in court to challenge EPA’s wetlands compliance order. The Court ruled that the wording of the order itself made it a “final” decision by EPA, and thus subject to a Court’s review. The EPA had suggested that it is not final until more »

Bonner County Notes Sunshine Week By Hiding Public Records

Bonner County Notes Sunshine Week By Hiding Public Records

Sunshine week is an annual awareness campaign organized by the American Association of News Editors and sponsored by dozens of impressive organizations interested in open and transparent government. The week is intended to draw attention to open records laws and open meetings laws that can be used in the public interest. Indeed, open government is a remarkable and necessary feature of our democracy, and something more »

Property Rights Council Votes Against Drinking Water Protection

As Bonner County Property Rights Council member Tom Cleveland explained, the whole idea behind drinking water protection in Bonner County was “with the blessing of the EPA” which he called a “Gestapo agency” and “out of control.” He followed with an ominous non-sequitur, warning that “people should start thinking about where their food is coming from.” And when his tirade was completed, the PRC unanimously* more »