The Unprincipled Opposition to Kootenai County’s ULUC

Wow. I leave town and two weeks later, crazy takes over. From relentlessly sunny Southern California, I noted the recent and growing uproar over Kootenai County’s land use code re-write. And from here, where the sprawl goes on and on and on for miles, the growing opposition to Kootenai County’s Unified Land Use Code (ULUC) project appears to be either pointlessly obstructionist or appallingly uninformed. more »

Gerry House

Sad news from Hayden Lake. Long-time KEA member and a great friend of clean water has passed away. The unfortunate details from facebook: Hayden Lake native Gerald “Gerry” House, 73, died at the North Idaho Hospice House on June 30 after a courageous six-year battle with multiple myeloma. Gerry’s friends are invited to a gathering at the Avondale Golf Club from 4 p.m. to 6:30 more »

Summer Job at KEA!

Hey kids! Still looking for something interesting to do this summer? We’ve got a summer job for you. Our project grant for the summer just arrived and we need one or two summer students to do some specific research on one of the most important water quality concerns in our region. Now that our funding is here, we are hiring ASAP.  Although we’re not paying more »

California Legal Foundation Asks: Are Caribou Really Endangered?

California Legal Foundation Asks: Are Caribou Really Endangered?

The short answer is: yes, in Idaho, of course they are — there were a grand total of four of them spotted this winter. But according to an industry and developer-funded California legal organization looking for loopholes, it isn’t that simple. The Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), a California-based law firm with a take-no-prisoners property rights ideology, has filed a petition on behalf of Idaho snowmobile groups more »

Lead Poisoning Concerns Continue

Just this past week, in a move that was not unexpected expected and long-overdue, the Centers for Disease Control lowered the “level of concern” for the amount of lead in a child’s bloodstream.  This new CDC policy expands significantly the number of children that should be considered for lead poisoning interventions. The level of concern had been previously established at 10 µg/dl (micrograms for a more »

Summer Legal Internship at KEA

Hey law students! Still looking for something interesting to do this summer? We’ve got a job for you. We were just awarded a project grant for the summer and we need one or two law students to do some specific research and writing for the project. It is, of course, related to our never-ending efforts to protect North Idaho’s environment. Although we’re not paying very more »

Kootenai County Shoreline Protection Still TBD

Yesterday, the CDA Press reported that the Kootenai County Commissioners were “scrapping a proposal to expand shoreline protection requirements” in the re-writing of the zoning and development codes.  And, in one sense, it is true that the Commissioners and the consultant and the Advisory Committee panel have gone back to the drawing board. But rather than this being some political victory for property rights, or more »

Junkyard’s Application to Bonner County PRC Withdrawn, Illegal End Run of Code Enforcement Avoided

We’ve been tracking the Bonner County Property Rights Council for some time. Lately, we were following the PRC application on behalf of Lawrence and Nels Heidekker, owners of a problematic junkyard near Priest River. The junkyard, currently subject to a code enforcement action by Bonner County, appeared to be attempting to avoid the enforcement action by going through the PRC instead. According PRC documents and more »

Preview: Forest Plan Comments

KEA’s comments on the draft Idaho Panhandle National Forest Plan are due on Monday. The fairly lengthy comments are still being finalized, but the first paragraph will go something like this: As a general matter, we are glad that the Forest Service has finally developed a new draft forest plan, but we are disappointed. We believe that it is not sufficiently protective of watersheds, wildlife more »

New Neighborhood Conservation Zoning for Kootenai County

We caught this press release (pdf) over at Huckleberries Online, and it is an important development in Kootenai County’s ULUC land use code project. One of the major difficulties in any zoning code overhaul is what to do with properties that already exist and would be allowed under an old code, but not allowed under the new one. Kootenai County ‘s consultant is suggesting a more »