Butch Otter’s Wolf Mistake

Leave it to Butch Otter to actually follow through on what should have been an empty threat. Today, Butch Otter decided to end Idaho’s role in wolf management. For the time being, at least. Unless it’s a purely political move, the directive is completely baffling, no matter which side of the debate you’re on. Even the most vehement anti-wolf partisan needs to ask some serious questions: more »

Critical Habitat for Bull Trout Finalized

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has just issued the final designation of critical habitat for bull trout, a threatened species found throughout much of the northwest. The action designates nearly 19,000 miles of streams and 488,000 acres of lakes and reservoirs in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana and Nevada. Bull trout need clean cold water to thrive. Once plentiful, bull trout were found in more more »

Idaho’s Uncooperative Federalism

Again this week, candidates for public office in Idaho railed at the federal government over environmental regulation and federal programs, calling upon their familiar “state’s rights” arguments, often invoking the Constitution’s 10th Amendment.  In our region in particular, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, and federal lands management are all challenged by much of Idaho’s political leadership as fundamentally trespassing on Idaho’s supposed more »

Where Is The Water Monitoring Accountability?

We had some interesting discussions yesterday about our blog posting about Idaho’s water monitoring meltdown. Recall that we wrote: We know that Idahoans care deeply about water quality. The failure of DEQ to accomplish the very basic minimum requirements of the Clean Water Act should be unacceptable. The legislature, which has zeroed the water monitoring budget for two consecutive years, needs to provide the resources more »

Draft Report Confirms Idaho Water Monitoring Failures

As required by the Clean Water Act, the Department of Environmental Quality has just issued its draft “Integrated Report” on the state of water quality in the State of Idaho.  The utter failure of Idaho to do necessary water quality monitoring is probably the most glaring finding. According to the draft report, of  5747 distinct waterways in Idaho, 2108 have insufficient data to determine the more »

What We’re Reading

Another weekend, another bunch of stuff to read: A “heatmap” shows where all the coal comes from — via Plains Justice Trust for Public Lands publishes its report on City Parks — via NRDC Switchboard Speaking of city parks, Coeur d’Alene has plenty to brag about — CDA Press Some amazing Google Earth photos of Florida’s zombie subdivisions and patterns of sprawl — Boston.com

Cities will be Cities — And the Comp Plan Returns

Two interesting and somewhat interrelated items in today’s Coeur d’Alene Press:  first, that the City of Post Falls is reviewing their procedures for annexations into the City; second, that the City of Coeur d’Alene is reluctant to provide water service outside its municipal boundary in Huetter. The articles signal that both municipalities remain acutely concerned about expanding expensive city services at the periphery of their more »

Resistance to Sudden City at Clagstone Meadows

Yet another monstrous and ill-advised development proposal is approaching approval, this time in nearby Bonner County. The proposal would place more than a thousand housing units on 12,000 acres just north of Kelso Lake and the Kootenai County line.  Called “Clagstone Meadows,” the sudden city is proposed for  Stimson Lumber timberland northwest of Athol.  It is the largest development ever proposed for Bonner County. At more »

What We’re Reading

Post PARK(ing) Day, pre Partners for Idaho’s Future meeting in Hailey: What’s the deal with the CuMo mine in Boise National Forest? — The New York Times has an article, and Idaho Conservation League publishes a piece in the Idaho Statesman. Rep. Walt Minnick has some tax troubles. Is the IRS giving proper valuations to conservation easements? — Idaho Statesman. Dangerous Toyota cars, poisonous lead more »

Acting Globally, Thinking Locally — About Parking

We’re having a great deal of fun today in Coeur d’Alene. It’s our first-ever PARK(ing) Day. Thank you to our volunteers, our suppliers, our sponsors, our contributors, our artists. And a secret special thank you goes to the City of Coeur d’Alene for being such a good sport about it. We’re posting pictures all day over at the facebook page. But what exactly is the more »