Kootenai River Under Threat

By Evelyn Donald The Kootenai River was recently ranked as the 9th most endangered river in the United States. According to the 2013 American Rivers report, the Kootenai, which runs through North Idaho and Montana is under threat from Canadian Coal mining company, Tek Coal Ltd. Runoff and waste from their large-scale open pit mining operations on the Elk river in British Columbia is endangering water quality downstream more »

The Art of Nature

The Art of Nature

 By Carol Muzik A small wren builds her nest under the eaves of our shed in the same place she’s been coming to for years, while a song sparrow belts out his song with power and strength from the top of our apple tree. From the lake, grebes and Canada geese call to each other.  Nearby, busy hummingbirds zip back and forth defending their territory. more »

Land Use Code Draft Open for Public Comment

 A few weeks ago the Kootenai County Unified Land Use Code (ULUC) Technical Committee wrapped up their review of the initial draft and made their final recommendations to consultants Kendig Keast and the Kootenai County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). The technical committee members must be applauded for all of the time and detailed attention they have poured into the editing of this document. This more »

Community Roots 2013 A Year in Transition

Community Roots 2013 A Year in Transition

Community Roots is beginning its 6th year as a program of KEA.  Community Roots began in 2007 with the Local Food Share Program which collects surplus produce from the Farmers Market and backyard gardeners and redistributes it to the many food assistance facilities in our community.  To date Local Food Share has provided  approximately 30,000 lbs of fruits and vegetables to those that would otherwise more »

Coeur d’Alene Lake, Problems and Solutions

In the Upper Coeur d’Alene Basin resides one of the largest and most complex Superfund sites in the country, Bunker Hill. From the 1880s to the early 1980s, the Silver Valley was the nation’s largest producer of silver, lead, zinc, and other metals. The mining and processing generated large quantities of heavy-metal-related waste materials containing toxic substances such as cadmium, arsenic, lead, and zinc. Much more »

WANTED: Lower Basin Cleanup Ideas and Input

The Bunker Hill Superfund Site is one of the largest and most complex Superfund sites in the country. The designated site encompasses the 21 sq. mi. Bunker Hill “box” located in the area surrounding the historic smelting operations in the Upper Basin and as-the-water-flows down through the Coeur d’Alene River corridor. The Coeur d’Alene River bed is thus lined with more than six million cubic more »

Engineers Chosen to Certify Dike

Last night, the Coeur d’Alene City Council approved the services contract for Ruen-Yeager & Associates (RYA) to serve as the engineers tasked with evaluating the levee that runs along Rosenberry Drive and then certifying it in accordance with FEMA requirements (44CFR, Section 65.10). RYA is a local consulting civil engineering, planning and land surveying firm that has been doing work in North Idaho since 1983.  more »

Victory for Idaho Rivers United in Megaloads Case

We recently received notice that our colleagues at Idaho Rivers United (IRU) got a big win last week when a federal judge ruled in their favor regarding a lawsuit they filed in March 2011, which claimed that the US Forest Service violated the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act by allowing the Idaho Department of Transportation to issue permits for transporting megaloads up the Lochsa/Clearwater corridor. more »

House Bill would Mandate Property Rights Councils for All Idaho Communities

Last week Representative Vito Barbieri introduced House Bill 136 as an amendment to Idaho’s Local Land Use Planning Act. This bill would make the following of  the Idaho Local Land Use Planning Act (LLUPA) a discretionary decision of municipalities. The purpose of the  LLUPA is “to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the people of the state of Idaho” and “to protect life more »