Category : Water

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 »

Citizen Power Under the Clean Water Act

Citizen Power Under the Clean Water Act

In the 1960s and early 70s, Coeur d’Alene Lake ran white with toxic waters. Smelters and sewage facilities dumped their waste directly into the Lake’s tributaries. Coeur d’Alene Lake wasn’t alone. Across the nation, water quality was at an all-time low. A symbol was the Cuyahoga River in Ohio, so choked with industrial waste that it repeatedly caught fire. It was a time when citizens more »

Toxic Blue Green Algal Bloom at North End of Hayden Lake

Toxic Blue Green Algal Bloom at North End of Hayden Lake

A health advisory was issued today for Hayden Lake by the Panhandle Health District and Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. Water samples confirmed the presence of blue-green algae (Anabaena sp.) This species can produce potentially dangerous toxins. This algal bloom was identified in the northern end (Sportsman Park area) of the lake. Public health officials are asking people to evaluate the water conditions before recreating 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 »

Floating Wetlands Launched to Help Hayden Lake

Floating Wetlands Launched to Help Hayden Lake

Hayden Lake, a favorite cold water fishery that is nestled into the Coeur d’Alene National Forest, has begun to show the effects of abuse to its watershed. Hayden Lake is unique in that it is a bowl that has no outlet streams, thus what flows into Hayden Lake, stays in Hayden Lake- allowing pollutants to concentrate as fresh water evaporates. As with many of the 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 »

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 »

Green Living: Lawn Fertilization

Green Living: Lawn Fertilization

  With cooler temperatures, more moisture, and plenty of sunshine the soil is still warm enough to germinate seeds, but the cool air invites grass to grow a strong root system. This is why Fall is the best time for seeding and feeding your lawn. It will look great in the spring, and will be better able to resist weeds and summer stresses. Lawns and 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 »

Farm Bill

Farm Bill

Earlier this year, President Obama signed the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act, also known as the Farm Bill.  The Farm Bill isn’t new, but is updated and reauthorized every five years to serve as the government’s main policy tool for agriculture, food safety and nutritional programs. This 900 plus page bill is vast and daunting; while some of the provisions are helpful to support more »