Opening Night at Roots Local Food Share

 The Roots Local Food Share season is officially underway.  The first night of the fourth year of fresh food donation to local food assistance facilities kicked off at Shared Harvest Garden yesterday.  Since its inception in 2007, Roots volunteers have distributed over 16,500 pounds of donated fresh produce to local food assistance facilities, mainly through environmentally friendly bicycle deliveries.  KEA intern and Roots super-helper Jordin more »

Post Falls Pulls The Trigger

 At last night’s City Council meeting, and without any public debate whatsoever, the Post Falls City Council voted unanimously to file a lawsuit over the Spokane River cleanup plan. The long-awaited and controversial TMDL (total maximum daily load) setting a pollution budget for phosphorous was set by the Washington Department of Ecology some months ago, and pollution permits for Idaho dischargers into the Spokane River more »

Rep. Simpson Addresses Otter’s Wilderness Concerns

 According to reporting by Rocky Barker of the Idaho Statesman, Rep. Mike Simpson has addressed each and every one of Governor Otter’s concerns with the proposed CIEDRA legislation for wilderness and recreation in central Idaho.  Otter threw a monkywrench into the Congressional works just as the U.S. Senate held a long-awaited hearing several weeks ago.  Notably, Simpson’s letter comes after the Idaho GOP convention and its right-tilting more »

What We’re Reading

Uniquely Idaho this holiday fourth: Want to be a mushroom millionaire? – New York Times The Big Burn as history and family adventure — Out There Monthly The Idaho GOP 2010 platform on the 17th Amendment – What would it’s Idaho sponsor, William Borah, think? — The Johnson Post A fascinating statistical study of the Rocky Mountain West from Colorado College. It’s not all about more »

KEA Requests Long-Overdue Forest Monitoring Reports

Kootenai Environmental Alliance has sent a letter to the Forest Supervisor for the Idaho Panhandle National Forest (IPNF) regarding monitoring reports it has failed to issue. Under the forest plan adopted for this region’s forest, and under federal law, the forest service is required to submit annual monitoring and evaluation reports to the public.  However, reports as far back as 2007 and 2008 have yet more »

KEA’s Summer Legal Team

A warning to all those who would despoil the environment in North Idaho – you might want to put it off until the end of the summer.  KEA is pleased to host three (yes, three) law students this summer. There is certainly no shortage of work for them to do around here — water quality, water rights, forests, and land use issues will keep them more »

Planning Commission to Consider Amendment of Site Disturbance Ordinance

This week, the Kootenai County Planning Commission will consider two draft amendments to the county’s site disturbance ordinance.  One draft, submitted by County staff, would add variance and appeal procedures to the ordinance. Another, submitted by a local planning and development firm, would create several potentially broad new exceptions to the ordinance.  The site disturbance ordinance, of course, provides detailed regulation on how a property can more »

Toyota, Massey Energy, Peanut Corporation of America, and now BP

We read with interest an excellent op-ed in the Baltimore Sun from Rena Steinzor, president of the Center for Progressive Reform (and a law professor of mine at University of Maryland’s law school),  that points out that the regulatory failures leading up to the BP mess in the gulf is just one of a continuing series of failures of government to properly regulate industry for the more »

Commissioners Pull Back on “Emergency” Bailout Bill

The Kootenai County Commissioners decided this morning that they would pull back on their draft “emergency” legislation to extend time to developers to complete projects. Instead, the Commissioners referred the legislation back to the Planning Commission for their evaluation without the “emergency” status.  The poorly-drafted legislation  would have granted developers up to two years of additional time to complete projects upon an application to the more »

Gov. Otter Says No to Wilderness? Or No to Collaboration?

We were pleased to have the opportunity to watch today’s live webcast of the U.S. Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests hearing today regarding the Boulder-White Cloud bill which would bring new wilderness to central Idaho. In a press release issued after the hearing, Idaho Conservation League noted that “the legislation will protect as wilderness 332,775 acres in the Boulder more »