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 »

Transition Initiative Brings Sustainability Programs to Sandpoint

This post by summer intern Kayla Baker: From the global realization of the challenges of climate change and peak extraction of oil, the Transition Initiative movement developed in 2005. The Transition  Initiative movement addressed how cities could, in the face of shortages due to climate change and overconsumption of oil, become more sustainable through more creative means of energy production, education, health care, and agriculture. more »

New Mini-Megaloads Proposed To Be Routed Through Coeur d’Alene on Hwy 95

A representative from Idaho Department of Transportation briefed the Coeur d’Alene City Council last night regarding the relatively new concept of “mini-megaloads” slated to be shipped – hello – through Coeur d’Alene d’Alene this summer. The loads are massive pieces of oil processing equipment being shipped from Korea to the massive tar sands project in Alberta, Canada. According to the briefing, the “half-height” loads are more »

BREAKING NEWS: Pumpkins To Be Planted

Roots CSA coordinator and all-around local food hero Korrine Kreilkamp provides this breaking news update: In May, the Roots Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), a program of the Kootenai Environmental Alliance, partnered with Dalton Elementary for a second season to provide a hands-on learning experience for the first grade students.  In the classroom, Roots CSA volunteers educated students about the vocabulary and process of growing from more »