Category : Land Use

IDEQ Urges Coeur d’Alene Basin Landowners to Test Soil

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) is urging stragglers in the Coeur d’Alene Basin to have their properties tested for soil contamination before the Basin Property Remediation Program is downsized. Over 7,000 properties, once contaminated with lead or arsenic, have been remediated as part of the Coeur d’Alene Basin cleanup project in Idaho’s Shoshone and Kootenai counties. With fewer private properties left to be more »

Record-Breaking Number of Comments Pour in Against Proposed Tesoro-Savage oil terminal

Today marks the close of comments on the draft environmental impact statement for the proposed Tesoro-Savage oil terminal in Vancouver, WA. The Stand Up To Oil campaign will deliver a record-breaking 276,296 comments to Washington’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) opposing the project. This outpouring of opposition follows turn out of almost 2,000 people to three crowded hearings (two in Vancouver, one in Spokane) more »

Wilderness and Economics

Wilderness and Economics

“A national park will not save the area. Rather, the restrictions and red tape that come with federal control would inhibit growth. Survival requires economic development, but a national park will limit our options.” Kathy Gagnon editorial opposing a national park in Maine published in Bangor Daily News May 11, 2014[i] Wildland preservation is motivated by a variety of ethical, biological, cultural, and recreational concerns. more »

Stand Up to Tesoro Savage and More Oil Trains

Stand Up to Tesoro Savage and More Oil Trains

For years there has been a growing movement throughout the Pacific Northwest to oppose dirty, dangerous fossil fuel projects — from coal export to oil-by-rail terminals. Tesoro-Savage has proposed a huge new oil terminal in Vancouver, WA that would dramatically increase the number of oil trains passing through north Idaho and eastern Washington on its way west, increasing the threats to our communities and waterways. more »

John Muir's Last Stand

John Muir’s Last Stand

JOHN MUIR, a man whose love for nature seemed almost to transcend Earthly limits, was not immortal. More than one hundred years ago, on Christmas eve 1914, Muir’s spirit set off into the pathless wild. The great naturalist’s obituary in the New York Times was effusive, listing professional accomplishments after recounting his emigration from Scotland (“the youth who was destined to become one of the 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 »

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 »

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 »

North Idaho Water Rights Adjudication

Recently there has been a lot of talk about the North Idaho water rights adjudication process, even though the process for the Coeur d’Alene-Spokane River Basin technically began in the spring of 2009.  The Adjudication process is simply the State of Idaho’s review and compilation of all the claims to water rights in the state. All water rights users in the St. Joe, St. Maries more »

Dirty Coal: Idaho Deserves a Say

Dirty Coal: Idaho Deserves a Say

Coal companies, seeing little future growth domestically, have a new plan: strip mine coal in Montana and Wyoming and then transport it on long coal trains through North Idaho to massive coal export terminals in Washington and Oregon. If the three proposed coal export terminals are built, up to 100 million metric tons of coal per year would travel through our communities. Currently BNSF rail more »