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 »

IDL Issues Arbitrary Decision On Cougar Bay

As if the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) knew that the Save Cougar Bay campaign was gathering a head of steam, the Department, we learned yesterday, returned the application submitted by the Osprey Protective Association for a permit to simply protect the pilings and booms in Cougar Bay.  This is the second time the agency has returned the application without addressing it on the merits. more »

New Mural Nearing Completion at Roots CSA

This week, New York graphic artist Annie Stranger will be completing a mural at the Roots CSA, our charitable community supported agriculture project growing quite beautifully in Dalton Gardens.  The mural, on the side of a shed abutting the CSA, is bringing yet more life to the remarkable project which brings fresh local food to subscribers at all income levels. Annie Stranger is the talented daughter more »

KEA’s Role Establishing Idaho’s Public Trust Doctrine

Legal intern Trevor Frank supplies this first of two reports: Preserving Cougar Bay will implicate “the public trust doctrine” – a legal doctrine that holds, basically, that natural resources should be maintained for the public’s interest. It is a doctrine that applies in Idaho because of a case brought by Kootenai Environmental Alliance. Historically, water bodies have been thought of as a public resource under more »

Protect the Pilings to Protect Cougar Bay

After some careful consideration, Kootenai Environmental Alliance has, as part of our new Save Cougar Bay campaign,  joined forces with the Cougar Bay Osprey Protective Association to preserve the log pilings in Cougar Bay. The pilings represent cultural, recreational, and biological values that are important in Cougar Bay – the last quiet Bay on Coeur d’Alene Lake. We are supporting an Osprey Association application to the more »