Lower Coeur d'Alene River
from Cataldo to Harrison
For millennia, a crucial feeding ground for migratory waterfowl, the lower Coeur d’Alene River basin has become a collection point for decades of heavy metal contamination from the Silver Valley.
These legacy mine wastes seriously degrade the habitat quality of this incredibly important riparian corridor, causing the deaths of numerous species of wildlife but, most notably, the death of hundreds of tundra and trumpeter swans each year.
These contaminants also wash into Lake Coeur d’Alene and then on to the Spokane River and the Rathdrum-Spokane Aquifer. The US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) asked INLC to acquire conservation easements on key lands in the watershed so that USFWS can invest in Superfund restoration and mitigation work on those lands. INLC is initially working with four landowners who have signed letters of intent to protect their lands with conservation easements.
In 2019 and 2020 we expect to close on 4 conservation easements totaling 755 acres. We will be using $1.5 million in Bunker Hill trust money.
Click here to read more about Coeur d'Alene River projects.
For more information on the clean-up project see the Restoration Partnership website.