Category : blog

Endangered Caribou Critical Habitat

Endangered Caribou Critical Habitat

A coalition of conservation groups filed a lawsuit in 2013 challenging the US Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) decision to cut more than 90% of protected critical habitat for the endangered mountain caribou – from a proposed 375,562 acres to a mere 30,010 acres. In March 2015, a federal judge ordered the USFWS to reconsider this decision. The mountain caribou population has dwindled drastically in more »

Loud and Clear: Rural Residents Want Rural Areas to Remain Rural

Loud and Clear: Rural Residents Want Rural Areas to Remain Rural

Last night more than 400 people turned out at the Kootenai County Commissioner’s public hearing for a 34 acre zone change request near Athol. Developer Dennis Swartout wanted the zone changed from Rural to Restricted-Residential so that he could build an 86 lot subdivision.  The current zone designation only allows one home per 5 acres. During the meetings opening procedures Commissioners were asked if they more »

New Commissioners Don’t Want Balance in a New Land Use Code

“Start from scratch…write a new Comprehensive Plan and a new Land Use Code in the next year and a half.” That was the directive given to staff at a bizarre “Special Meeting” held by newly elected Kootenai County Commissioners Marc Eberlein and David Stewart. The meeting was held while Commissioner Dan Green was out of town, so it seemed that the rookie Commissioners decided to more »

On the Wrong Track: The Threat of Expanding Fossil Fuel Transportation in the Inland Northwest

The tragedy of the latest oil train explosion and accompanying oil spill in West Virginia demands we recognize the threat of proposed expansions in fossil fuel transportation to our communities here in the Inland Northwest. As a choke point for railroad traffic in the Western United States, the Idaho Panhandle and Eastern Washington will face increased risks should planned increases in fossil fuel exports be more »

Green Living: Winter Tips

With the first snow fall comes increased energy needs. Daily tasks like shoveling our yards, heating our homes, and simply driving around, require us to use more resources to live comfortably through these dark and cold months. Living sustainably during the winter months, at times, may seem like a challenging task. Yet nothing is impossible and there are plenty of ways to help you reduce more »

Coeur d'Alene Lake: The Tipping Point

Coeur d’Alene Lake: The Tipping Point

A new report published by the U.S. Geological Survey, which looked at two decades worth of water quality data, shows that concentrations of lead, cadmium and zinc have dropped by 65% in the South Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River since the early 1990′s. Even with such significant improvements from both time and EPA Superfund cleanup efforts, streams continue to exceed safe limits for heavy more »

Grassroots Coalition Urges Senate to Remove Public Lands Provisions in Defense Authorization Bill

Grassroots environmental groups from across the country have joined together in issuing a letter demanding the removal of damaging public land “riders” that have been slipped into the Defense Authorization Bill. The Bill passed the House, and is currently being reviewed in the  Senate. Title XXX (30) of the bill includes several controversial and harmful public land proposals, including an exchange of National Forest land more »

KEA Joins Suit to Stop Wildlife Killing Contest on Public Lands

On Thursday the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approved an unprecedented 5-year permit to allow for killing contests for wolves, coyotes, weasels, rabbits, skunks and others on our public lands. Following the announcement Kootenai Environmental Alliance joined  a coalition of conservation organizations in filing a lawsuit asking a judge to halt this contest that awards prizes to those who kill the most wolves, coyotes and more »

The Importance of Bats in Our Lives

Particularly during the Halloween season, images of bats are common in decorations and costumes designed to frighten us.  Unfortunately, this theme of fear and revulsion extends throughout the year in the minds of many adults and too often continues to be passed on to our children.  Bats, the only animals other than birds that can truly fly, are masters of the night sky, not easily more »

Community Roots 2.0

As they might say in Game of Thrones “winter is coming”, normally those words would strike fear into any farmer or gardener. The growing season is coming to a close with winter approaching and this is somewhat of a disappointment given that North Idaho already has a short growing season! Sometimes, however, Mother Nature can be delayed and crops can keep growing for a few more »