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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Blackwell Island launch opens May 23 for CdA boaters

BOATING —The Bureau of Land Management’s Blackwell Island boat launch and recreation area will open on May 23 in one of the annual harbingers of th Lake Coeur d’Alene boating season.  

The popular site is just south of Coeur d’Alene along Highway 95.  

Season passes cost $40.  The annual pass covers both Blackwell Island recreation site and Mineral Ridge boat launch.   Daily rates at Blackwell Island are $6 per day.

BLM staff will be on-site during the Memorial Day weekend to sell season passes.  Cash or check is required for on-site purchases; credit card purchases may be made at the BLM’s Coeur d’Alene District office during business hours at 3815 Schreiber Way in Coeur d’Alene. 

Blackwell Island recreation site offers picnic facilities, including a large pavilion that is available on a rental basis; wildlife viewing along the boardwalk trail; walking paths and four boat launch lanes.

Info: 208-769-5000.

BLM proposes fee increases at Lake CdA sites

BOATING – The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is proposing recreation fee increase for sites around Lake Coeur d’Alene.

Daily boat launch fees at Blackwell Island and Mineral Ridge would increase from $4 to $6 and season passes would increase from $30 to $40.  

Tent camping fees at Mica Bay Boater Park, Killarney Lake Recreation Site, Huckleberry Campground and Windy Bay Boater Park would rise from $8 to $10 a night. 

Trailer camping fees at Huckleberry Campground along the St. Joe River are proposed to increase from $15 to $18 a night.

No fee increases have been proposed for the U.S. Forest Service sites in the area.

The proposals will be considered by BLM’s District Resource Advisory Council  Wednesday (Feb. 22)  at the BLM office, 3815 Schreiber Way.

Info: (208) 769-5004.

Blackwell Launch To Shut For Season

The Bureau of Land Management’s Blackwell Island boat launch will close for the season on Sunday evening (Oct. 16) .  The popular launch site, located on the south side of the Spokane River, has been in operation for nine seasons. Blackwell Island recreation area will also be closed to day-use activities after Sunday.  The main gate will be closed for the season and toilet facilities winterized. The site is a popular area for walking, picnicking and wildlife viewing during the summer season.   Blackwell Island typically opens in late May dependent upon lake water levels/Rich Landers, Outdoors.

Question: Which North Idaho boat launch do you use? And/or: Which is the best launch in North Idaho?

BLM’s Blackwell Island boat launch to close for season

BOATING — The end of the summer boating season on Lake Coeur d’Alene is in sight.  

The Bureau of Land Management’s Blackwell Island boat launch will closed for the season on Sunday evening (Oct. 16) .  The popular launch site, located on the south side of the Spokane River, has been in operation for nine seasons.

Blackwell Island recreation area will also be closed to day-use activities after Sunday.  The main gate will be closed for the season and toilet facilities winterized.  The site is a popular area for walking, picnicking and wildlife viewing during the summer season.   Blackwell Island typically opens in late May dependent upon lake water levels.

High water closes Lake CdA boat access sites

LAKE ACCESS – The Blackwell Island public boat launch and others on Lake Coeur d’Alene will remain closed until the high water subsides, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced today.

“The launch facility is currently under 2 feet of water, with the lake level expected to rise another foot by Friday,” said BLM Park Ranger Glenn Bailey.

Other Coeur d'Alene Lake facilities affected by the high water conditions include BLM’s Windy Bay site, which is currently under about 18 inches of water. 

If the water comes up as high as expected, the walk-in access into Mica Bay Boater Park will be under water as well.

“These three sites are expected to have the greatest impact from the high water situation in the Coeur d'Alene Field Office area,” Bailey said.

Killarney Lake boat launch and Huckleberry Campground facilities may see some impacts as well.”

BLM officials say they will reassess the high water situation for the Coeur d’Alene Lake sites after June 1. 

Blackwell Island rec site reopens Wednesday

LAKES — The main gate at the Bureau of Land Management’s Blackwell Island Recreation Site will reopen on Wednesday ( May 25).  Both the day use and boat launch will be open. 

The daily parking fee is$4. The area is checked daily.


BLM staff will be selling $30 season passes at  Blackwell Island for the rec site and nearby Mineral Ridge boat launch during weekends from Memorial Day through mid-July.  

Info: Kurt Pindel, (208) 769-5015.


  

Hagadone Moving Ahead w/Blackwell

Item: Blackwell Marina expansion moves forward/Tania Dall, KXLY

More Info: Hagadone plans to transform the outdated facility with a new design that calls for 420 boat slips and space for 128 personal watercraft. … Future additions could include retail and commercial space. The Coeur d’Alene Lakeshore Property Owners Association believes the project will boost the local economy.

Question: What impact will a vastly expanded Blackwell Island marina have on the waterways of Lake Coeur d’Alene and the Spokane River?

Yacht Rock, part deux



It’s not often we get to say this but there’s good news concerning the Blackwell Island controversy: As part of the Marine Yacht Club expansion, which involves dredging the lake bottom, a revised plan will move contaminated sediments from a floodplain where Lake Coeur d’Alene flows into the Spokane River to a landfull.

According to the Center For Justice, “Under an earlier proposal, the Marine Yacht Club, LLC, would have left 15,000 cubic meters of highly contaminated sediments on the island. With the new change, however, the sediments will be hauled to an off-site disposal area. Blackwell Island is situated right where Lake Coeur d’Alene empties into the Spokane River, in an area that also provides recharge to the Spokane Valley/Rathdrum Prairie aquifer.”

 

Army Corps of Engineers rejects Lake Coeur d’ Alene dredging and shoreline reconstruction

The Hagadone’s just got a thumbs down in their federal appeal of the planned expansion for the Marina Yacht Club on Blackwell Island, located where the lake flows into Spokane River. The Army Corps Of Engineers sent a comprehensive letter thankfully requiring more measures to address public comment and concern over the proposal, citing the Endangered Species Act and an archaeological survey on the eastern side of the island as two of many reasons for additional site review.


Part of the work for the new design called for 46,000 cubic yards of sediment tainted with heavy metals from mining to be dredged from the channel. Hagadone Hospitality’s original plan was to dispose of the sediment on Blackwell Island in lined and unlined pits, curiously located in a floodplain.

This would’ve severely effected water quality standards, especially since the Coeur d’Alene Lake Management Plan said not to dredge the lake bottom because leaving the contaminated soils in place is a safer management solution. Also, as Spokane Riverkeeper Rick Eichstaedt pointed out, there’s a close connection between the lake, the river, and the underlying Spokane Valley/Rathdrum Prairie aquifer which is only eighty feet beneath the surface in the planned area for digging.

For more information, read our original post on the Blackwell Island expansion titled “Yacht Rock.”

Yacht Rock

Always critical at DTE because we’re optimistic to break a continuing cycle that is a Western legacy: Leaving things worse than when we found them.

Case in point: Lake Coeur’d Alene. Mining waste fouled it. Condo kool-aid came to town. And now they want to dredge the lake bottom to make room for yachts. In fact, “we’re going to need a bigger boat” could be the town slogan. The Idaho Department of Lands said okay on the planned expansion of the Marina Yacht Club on Blackwell Island, located where the lake flows into Spokane River. (Detailed view HERE). Although the plan needs federal approval, the idea is a cheap metaphor for a town drunk on excess while the astonishing beauty of the water means nothing more than dollar signs and a toxic hangover. (We imagine Duane Hagadone on his boat like Rodney Dangerfield in “Caddyshack.” No respect.)

What lies beneath the surface is the problem, a true hazard to public health. According to the S-R, “the new marina’s design calls for 420 boat slips, plus space for 128 personal watercraft. As part of the work, 46,000 cubic yards of sediment [admin. note: we were first told 120,000 cubic yards] tainted with heavy metals will be dredged from the channel. Hagadone Hospitality plans to dispose of the sediment on Blackwell Island in lined and unlined pits, depending on the level of pollutants.”

Agency Gives Blackwell Island OK

Item: Lands Department gives Hagadone OK for Blackwell Island: Green light comes with cleanup, building conditions/Alecia Warren, Press

More Info: Idaho Department of Lands announced approval of the Blackwell Island Marina expansion on Monday, one of two agency go-aheads required for the expansive multi-phase project. The state specifically granted the Yacht Club a new encroachment permit for the facility on the southern end of Lake Coeur d’Alene, which the company plans to make over completely.

Question: Do you have any concerns about this project?

Greed Is Good @ Lake Coeur d’Alene

If you see an armada of kayaks led by Julie Dalsaso this coming Saturday near the Blackwell Island marina here’s why: Along with the Kootenai Environmental Alliance, she wants citizens to look at the area where the Hagadone’s are planning to release 121,000 cubic yards of sediments so they can build a new port for luxury yachts with no regard to public health. This is the uppermost reach of the Spokane River, a popular spot for paddlers. But what lies beneath are heavy metals from a century of mining in Silver Valley. “The Lake Management Plan does not call for dredging of the lake bottom because it’s thought that leaving the contaminated soils in place is a safer management solution,” attorney Rick Eichstaedt said here at the Center For Justice. “So this proposal sets a negative precedent. We don’t have a plan for dealing with dredging like this in the lake”/Paul, Down To Earth. More here.

Question: Are you concerned about this proposal? 

Greed is good at Lake Coeur d’Alene

 

 

If you see an armada of kayaks led by Julie Dalsaso this coming Saturday near the Blackwell Island marina here’s why: Along with the Kootenai Environmental Alliance, she wants citizens to look at the area where the Hagadone’s are planning to release 121,000 cubic yards of sediments so they can build a new port for luxury yachts with no regard to public health. This is the uppermost reach of the Spokane River, a popular spot for paddlers. But what lies beneath are heavy metals from a century of mining in Silver Valley.

(Photo of the Blackwell Island marina)

“The Lake Management Plan does not call for dredging of the lake bottom because it’s thought that leaving the contaminated soils in place is a safer management solution,” attorney Rick Eichstaedt said here at the Center For Justice. “So this proposal sets a negative precedent. We don’t have a plan for dealing with dredging like this in the lake.” Eichstaedt also added he’s concerned about the close connection between the lake, the river, and the underlying Spokane Valley/Rathdrum Prairie aquifer which to our shock is only eighty feet beneath the surface in the planned area for digging.

Hagadone Resubmits Marina Plans

Item: Marina back on drawing board: Hagadone submits plans for Blackwell Island/Alecia Warren, CDA Press

More Info: After years of research and consulting, Hagadone Hospitality has set the wheels in motion once again to excavate and replace the Blackwell Island Marina. “We spent well into the six figures — many six figures,” said John Barlow, president of Hagadone Real Estate Holding, of the past three years rethinking the project. “Many developers might have given up, but we know this will be Coeur d’Alene’s finest marina.” Armed with an entirely new set of environmental standards, Hagadone Hospitality resubmitted a joint permit application to the state Department of Lands and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Monday.

Question: Do you have reservations re: Duane Hagadone’s plans to construct a top-flight marina and boat sales operation on Blackwell Island?