The funding could be daunting, and the work would require cooperation from all.
But what cost wouldn't we pay, to keep folks from acting like jerks during their off hours at the Coeur d'Alene River?
To put a lid on escalating incidents of littering, trespassing, drunkenness, public urination and damage to riverbanks in the area, several agencies have collaborated on a recreation management plan to better protect Coeur d'Alene River users and the resource itself.
With some funding already procured, the document is a wish list of improvements, said Tammi Laninga, assistant professor with the University of Idaho.
"If you drilled down and said 'OK, we want to take care of all these suggested recommendations,' I couldn't even give you an estimate," Laninga said of the plan's cost. "It's outlining a vision at this point."
The North Fork Coeur d'Alene River Cooperative Recreation Plan was spearheaded by the Department of Environmental Quality's Watershed Advisory Group, which brought on board U of I, the U.S. Forest Service, Shoshone County and other agencies.
"Different people over the years have wanted to figure out how to address the issues in this section of the river," Laninga explained.
The 46-page document includes measures to address general safety issues along the lower 35 miles of the North Fork, where folks often camp, float the river, fish and hunt.
Ideas include adding more parking areas, to reduce vehicles lined on the road during peak season.
The plan would also improve signage and add more trash bins, to minimize the piles of litter often scattered down the riverside and roadways.
More restrooms are also a priority, to curb public urination.
"There's just the quality of the experience and the quality of life for people who live up there," said Kajsa Eagle Stromberg with DEQ, on the need for the plan.
The document suggests improving visitor experiences by adding trails, more commercial shuttle services and activities for visitors with disabilities.
With local law enforcement facing limited resources, it also calls for developing a safety strategy among management agencies and local government.
"There have been drownings and fatalities. It can be dangerous," Stromberg said. "We want to make sure people are properly educated on the risks and what they can do to keep themselves safe."
Education on safety and environmental protection is also a chief goal, Laninga said.
That could include an advertising campaign, and developing a river "code of conduct" to discourage excessive drinking and trespassing.
"What we're trying to do with the education is to try to educate people before they go to the river, before they have issues, so law enforcement doesn't have to be so involved," Laninga said.
Habitat improvement and water quality projects are also proposed, in response to erosion and waste contamination from intense activity in the area.
The author entities will pursue funding as a group, Stromberg said. The plan will hopefully be implemented by all stakeholders, including various agencies and even local businesses.
"I think it will probably take several years to really get it rolling," Stromberg said. "People are very motivated, and some of these steps will be so simple."
The Forest Service has already procured dollars for a river ranger next season, she added.
The full plan can be viewed at: http://www.deq.idaho.gov/north-fork-cda-river-subbasin-wag.
Folks interested in participating can contact Stromberg at 769-1422.
"Now that it's done and published, we're ready to roll," she said.