County Announces Kick-Off Meetings for Long-Awaited Land Use Code Project

Earlier this morning, we received this notice from Kootenai County’s Community Development Department.  And we would echo their call for marking your calendar and attending the event in your part of the county. “CITIZENS  CONGRESS  MEETINGS” KOOTENAI  COUNTY  PROJECT  KICK-OFF  FOR DEVELOPMENT OF  THE  NEW  “UNIFIED  LAND  USE  CODE” As part of the public participation and outreach program for the development of the new “Unified more »

Congress’s Dirty Water Act

We meant to get back to our brief mention of potential Congressional action to destroy the Clean Water Act. The cynically named “Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act,” HB 2018, turns the long-standing successful structure of the Clean Water Act on its head, stripping EPA oversight over water quality programs in the states. The Clean Water Act has been a prime example of “cooperative federalism” common more »

Again, Regarding Oil Spills and Mining Messes

Seems the Yellowstone River will be dealing with what the Gulf of Mexico has been dealing with for more than a year now. And we are again reminded that that cleaning things up is so much harder than not making the mess in the first place. This time, the still-high Yellowstone River flows are illustrating how pollutants are transported far downstream making a mess on more »

Take Action for Clean Water

Just a very quick mini-update, but our local Waterkeeper friends – Spokane Riverkeeper and Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper — are justifiably concerned about a new Congressional attack on the federal Clean Water Act.  We’ll publish more information on this soon, but you can get a head start now — read more and take action here.

Cougar Bay “No Wake Zone” Buoys Installed

This morning, Kootenai County Department of Parks and Waterways Director Nick Snyder forwarded a couple of photos of the 13 brand new “No Wake Zone” buoys just installed across the mouth of Cougar Bay last week. Snyder added: “In the next two weeks, we will have LED navigational lights affixed to the buoys. The buoys will help recreational boaters and marine law enforcement identify the more »

BREAKING NEWS: Hemlock Hills Subdivision Rejected by Kootenai County Commissioners

Faced with a subdivision proposal on a steep hillside above Hayden Lake, the Kootenai County Commissioners struggled today with the County’s subdivision ordinances and denied the request. The subdivision would have placed some 34 homes on steep slopes and erodible soils just above Hayden Lake – not far from where East Hayden Lake Road washed out in the recent spring rains. The Commissioners wrestled with more »

Megaloads Permitted, Coeur d’Alene Press Cheers

Our Friends at Friends of the Clearwater give us the update: The Idaho Transportation Department has issued (2) permits for Exxon/Imperial Oil mega-loads to travel north on US 95 and will be escorted by two Idaho State Police officers, two pilot cars, and three flagging/signing crews. The loads cannot exceed 30mph and are required to pull over every 15 minutes to relieve traffic. Permits go more »

The Redistricting Challenge

Every decade, the national one-person-one-vote principle needs to be geographically rebalanced. This summer, Idaho will begin redrawing state legislative and Congressional districts to account for migration in and out and around the state.  As one of the fastest growing states, Idaho has more migration to manage. But as one of the more enlightened states when it comes to redistricting, Idaho uses a bipartisan commission to more »

Conservationists Critical of Draft Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer Management Plan

Led by Kootenai Environmental Alliance, regional conservation groups filed comments June 10th with the Idaho Water Resources Board on the draft Comprehensive Aquifer Management Plan for our local Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer.   According to the comments, the plan is “not specific enough, not enforceable enough, and doesn’t go far enough to properly protect the aquifer resources.” The comments expressed concern that the plan would prove to more »

Hecla Settlement Ends Litigation, Opens New Era for Coeur d’Alene Cleanup

Announced Monday and likely to be approved by a federal court in the next month or two, Hecla Mining and the U.S. EPA have settled longstanding Superfund litigation. The settlement establishes Hecla’s contribution toward the costs of the Coeur d’Alene basin minewaste cleanup. According to news reports, Hecla has agreed to pay some $263 million toward the cleanup which is estimated to ultimately cost more more »