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 »

What We’re Reading — Wolf Litigation Edition

The long-awaited Endangered Species Act decision on wolves from U.S. District Judge Molloy in Missoula was released yesterday. The reaction was immediate and occasionally over the top: Wolves go back on the list. — Missoulan (Note: a copy of the actual opinion is linked from this article) Idaho Fish and Game is “very disappointed.” – IDFG Governor Otter is “thoroughly disappointed and frustrated “– via more »

RIP City of Harrison – Powderhorn Annexation Approved

We got word last night that the City of Harrison, a town of fewer than 300 people, will be annexing the Powderhorn peninsula for a development of more than 1000 homes. Seemingly hell-bent on their own destruction, the Harrison City Council voted 4 to 1 in favor of the annexation. The unprecedented annexation will connect across the open waters of the Coeur d’Alene River where more »

Applying the Public Trust Doctrine in Cougar Bay

The second of two parts from legal intern Trevor Frank: Although the application is in a bit of limbo at the moment, Kootenai Environmental Alliance has expressed support for the Osprey Protective Association’s application for an encroachment permit in Cougar Bay to preserve the log pilings and booms. The encroachment permit would essentially allow the Osprey Association to keep the pilings and booms in place. more »

The Basin Cleanup: A Tutorial on Who Pays

As the future of the Coeur d’Alene Basin cleanup hits center stage this week, legal interns Sean Waite and Jeff Briggs supply this tutorial: In a recent Coeur d’Alene Press editorial, and many times throughout the long history of the Coeur d’Alene basin cleanup plan, the question has been raised; “who is really going to end up paying for all this?”  While a complete response to more »

Fairness in the Spokane River TMDL

Admittedly, it is difficult trying to explain to laypersons why the Spokane River TMDL is reasonably fair even though it seems a little tilted toward Washington’s polluters. But then we read an outstanding overview of the issues on the Spokane River Forum’s very informative website. With an issue-by-issue summary, in a point/counterpoint format, the Forum describes the issues raised by the Idaho polluters in their more »