Fate of Cougar Bay Now With Kootenai County?

We were a little taken aback this week, with the done-deal announcement that the Idaho Department of Lands and Kootenai County have entered an agreement that the County will now be responsible for the removal of hazardous pilings and booms in the Spokane River and Coeur d’Alene Lake.  The agreement, signed without public input, and at an August 31 meeting of the County Commissioners without more »

As Promised, Forest Service Issues Monitoring Reports

After a couple of days in Shoshone County talking about forest projects, we were pleased upon returning to the office to notice that, as promised, the US Forest Service has finally posted long-overdue monitoring reports for the years 2007, 2008, and 2009. (Scroll down to download a big pdf file under “Forest Plan Monitoring and Evaluation”) Recall that KEA sent a letter earlier in the more »

Meeting Keith Allred

Our great friend and office neighbor Mary Lou Reed invited us to a last minute lunch today with Keith Allred, candidate for Idaho Governor.  Allred, who was in the area for a number of events, evidently hadn’t completely filled his calendar, so a small group of “Friends of Mary Lou” got an invitation to have lunch at the Iron Horse and discuss North Idaho issues more »

Lessons From The Lochsa Decision

As has already been widely reported, an Idaho judge in Lewiston yesterday struck down permits issued by the Idaho Department of Transportation to allow huge trucks to ship oil refinery equipment up the Clearwater / Lochsa corridor.  The judge agreed with local plaintiffs that the shipments were a threat to public safety and that the shipments violated ITD’s own rules.  ITD could appeal the ruling, more »

What We’re Reading

Perhaps one of the more important legal decisions nobody knows about just yet. Logging roads will now require stormwater permits under the Clean Water Act. — A New Century of Forest Planning How money to clean up the Silver Valley was lost to a politically connected British businessman  — The Johnson Post SHT loads up the Lochsa. (That’s “super huge trucks” in case you were more »

KEA Expresses Concern With M3 / IFG / BLM Land Exchange Proposal

After some detailed study and discussion, KEA finally weighed in on the proposed land exchange between Arizona developer M3 Eagle, Idaho Forest Group (IFG), and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), expressing serious concerns. The complicated exchange would provide M3 with key parcels related to a development proposal just north of Eagle, it would supply BLM with some 12000 acres of M3’s surplus sagebrush more »

EPA Extends Basin Cleanup Comment Deadline

We heard earlier in the week that the EPA would probably be extending the comment period for cleanup proposal for the upper Coeur d’Alene Basin. Well, it is indeed true. Commenters will now have another 90 days to put their thoughts together. Here’s hoping that the comments are more carefully considered and better informed than what we heard at the public hearing and listening session more »

IDL Position: Private Restoration of Cougar Bay is Illegal

Yesterday, the Cougar Bay Osprey Association received yet another rejection letter from its least favorite correspondent, the Idaho Department of Lands. This time the letter came through their attorney in the Idaho Attorney General’s office. The letter affirmed the Department’s outright rejection of the application to protect the pilings and booms in Cougar Bay for osprey habitat and quiet recreation. The letter rationalizes the Department’s more »

Hiking Cougar Bay

Intern Trevor Frank reviews the non-water quiet recreation at Cougar Bay: Just minutes from downtown Coeur d’Alene, The Nature Conservancy’s Cougar Bay Preserve is a great place to view wildlife.  The 88 protected acres contain more than 5 miles of trail networks for enjoyment by the public, while the bay and creek accommodate kayaks, canoes, and fishermen.  The Bay’s upland has been protected as a more »

Crapo and Otter Hear Silver Valley Cleanup Concerns

Last night, Senator Crapo and Governor Otter hosted another round of opposition to the EPA’s proposed cleanup plan for the Silver Valley. Mostly a rerun of last week’s hearing, Hecla Mining employees, local citizens, and local politicians lined up for 90 seconds at the microphone. The same complaints – that the cleanup will (somehow) affect mining jobs, that it is an unlimited federal program with more »