Lakes Commission discusses host of waterway topics at meeting

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff Writer

The Lakes Commission held a meeting on Friday, Aug. 25 at the Columbia Bank Building downtown. The jam-packed agenda included presentations from experts across a spectrum of waterway-related topics.

Kathy Cousins with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game updated attendees on the progress of the Clark Fork Delta Restoration project, complete with photos of the flourishing vegetation in the area. David Chambers, a geophysicist with the Center for Science in Public Participation, presented with Rock Creek Alliance about his studies of tailings dam failures.

The Idaho Office of Emergency Management, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, Sandpoint Fire Chief and Bonner County Emergency Management    presented on emergency response protocol in regards to spills in local waterways, the Idaho Department of Agriculture presented an update of the current aquatic invasive species situation and the Army Corps of Engineers updated attendees on operations at Albeni Falls Dam.

During the end of the meeting, designated to public comments, questions and announcements, one member of the audience voiced concerns about the erosive consequences of the increased numbers of wake boats on local waterways. He said he wanted to urge the commission to take “serious actions” to protect landowners from shore damage.

“It was a packed agenda with a lot of timely issues, so we were thankful to have such a great turnout. Unfortunately there wasn’t adequate time for public comment and discussion. I encourage those who may have comments to email or call,” said Lakes Commission Coordinator Molly McCahon. “The Lakes Commission will continue to discuss emergency response protocol for potential catastrophic spills, from all cargo traveling over our waterways.”

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