Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cougar Bay: Pilings or no pilings? Discuss

Posted on Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 1:14 PM

The recent removal of old wooden pilings and log-storage booms has renewed debate about the future of Lake Coeur d’Alene’s Cougar Bay.

Kootenai County Waterways and Parks director Nick Snyder will take questions from all askers at noon Thursday at the Iron Horse Restaurant, 407 Sherman Ave., in Coeur d'Alene.

The county last year was authorized by the Idaho Department of Lands to remove pilings from the mouth of the Spokane River and nearby Cougar Bay. People objected immediately, citing osprey nests atop the pilings, and that the pilings keep powerboats out of the bay, making it a rare refuge for canoeists and kayakers on the popular lake.

Even though some groups are still fighting the state’s decision, pilings were removed last month from the river and from the mouth of the bay, reports Terry Harris of the Kootenai Environmental Alliance.

The county has said it will place a line of 15 buoys across the bay to designate a no-wake zone; plans also call for three mooring buoys for powerboats to tie up inside the bay.

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