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BLM seeks feedback on Blackwell Island proposal

FILE - A pedestrian crosses the bridge to Cedar's Floating Restaurant on Blackwell Island on Monday, August 8, 2016. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
FILE - A pedestrian crosses the bridge to Cedar's Floating Restaurant on Blackwell Island on Monday, August 8, 2016. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

The BLM Coeur d’Alene Field Office is hoping to make a visit to the popular Blackwell Island boat launch and recreation site a bit more convenient.

Blackwell Island is a fee site, and payment for the $6 parking fee has traditionally been by cash or check only.

The BLM hopes to provide more flexibility and convenience for users by installing two automated fee machines that would accept day use fee payments by either credit or debit card, eliminating the need for users to come up with cash.

The Field Office plans to submit a request to the Idaho Parks and Recreation Waterways grant program for partner funds to assist with procuring and installing the automated fee systems.

If successful, boaters and other recreationists would be able to take advantage of the new service during the 2018 season.

The Field Office is also seeking feedback on the proposal to add the automated fee machines. Input can be sent to BLM_ID_CDAgrants@blm.gov.

BLM’s Blackwell Island is one of the primary sites providing the public access to the Spokane River and Lake Coeur d’Alene for boating, fishing, and other recreational opportunities.

More than 40,000 visitors use the site each season, which runs late May through early October.

All funds collected from fees at Blackwell Island are retained and used specifically at the site for maintenance and site improvements.