Category : blog

Lawsuit Challenges Loopholes in New EPA Rule Exempting Wetlands and Streams From Clean Water Act Protections

Lawsuit Challenges Loopholes in New EPA Rule Exempting Wetlands and Streams From Clean Water Act Protections

Conservation groups filed a lawsuit today challenging last minute exemptions for industries in the new “waters of the United States” rule that could open the door to more pollution of wetlands, streams and other waterways. The rule, finalized in May by the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, defines which waterways can be protected against being destroyed, degraded, or polluted without a more »

Toxic Blue Green Algae Blooms on Fernan Lake

Toxic Blue Green Algae Blooms on Fernan Lake

A health advisory has been issued for Fernan Lake by the Panhandle Health District (PHD) and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Water samples confirmed the presence of the blue-green algae species of Microsystis, Anabaena, and Gloetrichia – species that can produce potentially dangerous toxins. People recreating near Fernan Lake are advised to avoid swallowing or inhaling water and to avoid direct contact with more »

Rural Residents Defend Rural Landscape and Property Rights

Last Thursday, May 21, hundreds of rural residents ffrom northern Kootenai County colored the auditorium  red at North Idaho College Schuler Performing Arts Center in opposition of a zone change that would effect the landscape of North Kootenai County. The Kootenai County Board of Commissioners (BOCC) hosted this second public hearing on this 34 acre zone change request near Athol. Earlier this year Developer Dennis Swartout more »

In Memory of Scott Reed

In Memory of Scott Reed

Kootenai Environmental Alliance lost a great friend and leader over the weekend. Scott Reed, renowned environmental attorney and KEA’s co-founder, passed away Saturday night at the age of 87 in the company of his loving wife, Mary Lou and children Bruce Reed and Tara Woolpy. Scott was relentless in his pursuit to protect our natural world and only retired within the past year from a more »

KEA Honors Community Conservationists for Earth Day

KEA Honors Community Conservationists for Earth Day

For Earth Day we thought it only appropriate to recognize the individuals that have devoted themselves to ensuring a cleaner, healthier & more sustainable environment for our community & the next generation. Art Manley Lifetime Conservation Award: Sid Fredrickson Since 1994. KEA has awarded the Art Manley Lifetime Conservation Award to someone for sustained efforts in furtherance of our mission: “to conserve, protect and restore more »

This Land is Our Land, This Land is Their Land: The Value of Maintaining Public Lands in Northern Idaho

As Congress has shown its intention to sell off public lands, there is a pressing need to recognize the value of public lands for We The People.  Whether you’re an avid hiker, seasoned sportsmen, or a once-a-summer weekend visitor, the common space of public lands provide recreation, fishing, and hunting opportunities to everyone without prejudice and at low to no-cost.  Protecting access to public lands more »

Fear and Hope: Understanding & Preparing for a Changing Climate in the Inland Northwest

Fear and Hope: Understanding & Preparing for a Changing Climate in the Inland Northwest

As the garage doors opened for outside seating among the popular bars and restaurants on Sherman Avenue in Coeur d’Alene early this March, it was easy to look forward to biking, hiking, boating, fishing, and all the other great outdoor activities that draw so many people to the Inland Northwest and fuel the local tourist based economy.  Winter already seemed like an afterthought as local more »

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 »