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 »

Response to IDL Rejection of Cougar Bay Piling Proposal

Last week, area attorney Scott Reed responded in writing to the Idaho Department of Lands rejection of a proposal to protect the pilings in Cougar Bay. In a tough letter, Reed describes that the Department, which has now rejected the application twice without a hearing, must accept the application by the Osprey Protective Association one way or another. On the first attempt, IDL refused to more »

Hecla Mining and the Silver Valley Cleanup

Last week, in anticipation of the formal public hearing on the EPA cleanup in the Silver Valley, we received a postcard mailing purportedly from “Citizens for a Prosperous Silver Valley” critical of the EPA proposal. The return address was a box in a Coeur d’Alene UPS Store, and we couldn’t find any further information about this alleged group of so-called citizens. Without any explanation, the more »

A Complex Solution for the Silver Valley

H.L. Mencken once noted that “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” And with a “listening session” with Senator Crapo and Governor Otter scheduled Monday evening in Kellogg, we’re concerned for the EPA’s new cleanup plan for the Silver Valley. In a pending amendment to EPA’s “Record of Decision” governing the Superfund more »