Grassroots for Conservation and Community in North Idaho
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Kootenai Environmental Alliance is the oldest non-profit conservation group in Idaho and one of the oldest in the Northwest.
We were founded in 1972 by former Idaho State Senators Art Manley and Mary Lou Reed, well-known environmental attorney Scott Reed, and representatives from several local and regional sporting organizations.
The organization started in response to the extensive environmental damage in the Idaho Panhandle caused by timber and mining interests, land developers, and policies of land managers of the federal government.
We have always held that an informed public is essential to safeguarding our environment. To that end, KEA held public meetings almost every week for 30 years to provide the public an opportunity to hear experts, political candidates, and local officials address local, regional, and national environmental issues.
Continuing the tradition, we now hold “KEA Happy Hour” meetings at our office at 206 Indiana Ave suite 112 the 1st Thursday of each month at 4 PM, running September through June.
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How KEA Protects, Conserves, and Restores
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- Stopped the illegal and destructive Douglas-fir Beetle timber sale in 2001, the largest-ever timber sale in this region as co-plaintiffs in a suit.
- We facilitated the formation of several neighborhood groups and mentored them on land use issues.
- Over the years, KEA has fought and defeated or mitigated dozens of development proposals and industrial facilities that threatened the environment or impacted community values.
- Our organization continues to engage in the process of updating the County’s development and zoning codes.
- Led a coalition of organizations to successfully advocate for a protective designation of the Rathdrum Prairie-Spokane Valley Aquifer as a sole source for drinking water.
- Our work led to the designation of the Rathdrum Prairie aquifer as a Ground Water Management Area by the Idaho Department of Water Resources.
- Member of a steering committee that drafted legislation for the creation of the Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer Protection District in 2006
- Actively protested excessive requests for water rights, negotiated settlements with many of the applicants resulting in a significant reduction in their water requests and caps on yearly water consumption.
- Successfully negotiated the denial of the application to withdraw 17 million gallons of water per day from the Aquifer by two power-generating corporations as a member of a coalition of environmental and union groups.
- We are partners with the City of Coeur d’Alene and City of Post Falls on water conservation efforts.
- Our partnerships contributed to the installation of low water use landscaping, water-saving irrigation devices in parks, and conservation programs for water customers.
- The City of Post Falls established the only mandatory water conservation measure in the region with KEA’s support.
- As an advocate for the Clean Water Act TMDL cleanup plans, we served as conservation representative to advisory groups, for waterways throughout the region, including the Spokane River, tributaries to Coeur d’Alene Lake, and the Coeur d’Alene River.
- On multiple occasions, KEA has taken legal action against polluters in violation of its Clean Water Act permits.
- Help to protect Tubbs Hill from unrestricted development, the protection of public access at Sanders Beach, and the protection of pilings in Cougar Bay for wildlife habitat and quiet recreation.
- In a lawsuit filed against the Panhandle Yacht Club, KEA established that the public trust doctrine applies to state-owned surface waters and submerged lands within the state.
- As a partner in the first community garden in the City of Coeur d’Alene, KEA founded the region’s first charitable CSA.
Meet Our Board and Staff
Environmental Program Director
Interim Executive Director