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KEA filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers mandate to remove the trees along the Rosenberry Drive (“The Dike Road”) in Coeur d’Alene. The lawsuit alleges that the Corps failed to perform an adequate environmental analysis, and that the Corps is attempting to enforce a memorandum that isn’t actually a law.
tangle of one-size-fits-all federal regulations and a failure of common sense threaten the 500-700 trees lining the dike road which separates the Spokane River and Coeur d’Alene Lake from North Idaho College and the Fort Grounds neighborhood in Coeur d’Alene. A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers inspection in the fall of 2010 faulted the dike for excessive vegetation and has ordered the trees removed by the city before the dike can be re-certified for flood control. Without certification, properties behind the dike will be designated as being in an unprotected flood plain and will face flood insurance problems and development restrictions. The trees, which provide shade, habitat and an aesthetic buffer to the beach and park below, have been growing on the dike for years without any problems.
Kootenai Environmental Alliance has launched a major grassroots campaign to save the dike road trees. We have a petition campaign calling for the Corps of Engineers to review the policy that requires removal of vegetation from levees nationwide. KEA is also participating in a City-convened task force to review options for protecting the trees on the dike.
How to help:
1. Stay in touch.
Subscribe to the blog, become a fan on a special facebook page
set up for the campaign, and sign up for email alerts. We have been posting frequent updates and news on this story.
2. Speak for the trees.
So far, the city of Coeur d’Alene seems committed to doing what it can to save the trees. But whatever they decide to do, it is likely to cost money. Coming up with this money will need to be a priority, and it will only be a priority if we demonstrate strong public support.
Trees on the dike road are not exactly something we thought we’d ever need to defend. We need your help
to supplement our already-tight budget to wage this battle.
Dike Tree News:
November 11, 2011 8:03 am : blog, Dike Road Trees
KEA obtained a press release announcing that California’s Department of Fish and Game will be joining a lawsuit brought by environmental groups fighting the Corps of Engineers’ policy requiring vegetation removal from levees. The lawsuit alleges that the Corps failed to perform a proper NEPA analysis on the levee vegetation policy and that the policy violates the Endangered Species Act. Coeur d’Alene’s problem is horrible, more »
September 20, 2011 4:57 pm : blog, Dike Road Trees, KEA
After more than 1700 online signatures, and about the same number of signatures on paper, the most frequent hesitation to our Save the Dike Road Trees petition has been of the “I don’t live in Coeur d’Alene” variety. Our response is: go ahead and sign. We want all the signatures we can get, of course, but our response is not without some rationale. First, the more »
September 12, 2011 8:14 am : blog, Dike Road Trees, KEA
This Thursday, noon, at the Iron Horse, we’ll have an update briefing on the Corps of Engineers death sentence for the dike road trees. Coeur d’Alene City Councilman John Bruning will give an update from the City’s perspective, including a discussion of a new ad hoc committee being formed. And Terry Harris from KEA will give an update on what is becoming an extraordinary campaign more »
September 6, 2011 9:12 pm : blog, Dike Road Trees
At their regular meeting Tuesday night, the Coeur d’Alene City Council indicated that they will be taking a significantly tougher stand to protect the dike road trees. Recall that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has told the City that it’s flood control dike protecting the Fort Grounds and the North Idaho College campus cannot be certified unless some 500 trees — and their roots more »
August 29, 2011 7:54 am : blog, Dike Road Trees
Just a quick note upon return from the mini-vacation, but if you haven’t seen this wonderful column by the wonderful Mary Lou Reed, it deserves a click and a few minutes of your time. Our great friend, loyal member and KEA founder has captured the dike road trees issue perfectly for the Inlander’s readership: As many as 500 trees growing along scenic Rosenberry Dike Road more »