The panel charged with directing the cleanup of polluted streams in North Idaho and developing plans to save the bull trout formed its first watershed advisory group Tuesday after a year of meetings.
The watershed group will address pollution problems in the Coeur d’Alene basin, from the Idaho-Montana border downstream to Washington.
The group has 21 voting members, equally divided between government agencies, business and industry, and public interest groups.
The public representatives are from property owners’ associations and environmental groups.
The Panhandle Basin Advisory Group - one of seven statewide - was formed by state legislation in 1995 and is designed to speed up Idaho’s compliance with the federal Clean Water Act. The group also is charged with the job of bull trout recovery under the governor’s bull trout plan.
Several more watershed groups will be formed to address problems elsewhere in the Panhandle. A decision on the St. Joe River bull trout watershed group was delayed in order to consider more potential members.