Event to discuss past, future Lake Cd'A issues

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COEUR d'ALENE - Prior to next month's Spokane River Forum, organizers have put together a day-long symposium on Lake Coeur d'Alene issues.

The Nov. 18 event is called "Our Gem: Coeur d'Alene Lake Collaborative." Charles Buck, associate vice president and executive officer, University of Idaho Coeur d'Alene, will kick off the symposium by defining what the "Gem" means to our community.

Buck said his discussion will focus on the contrast between people who want to improve the quality of the lake and people who want to utilize the lake as an economic resource.

"I think it's great we will have a whole day to focus on us upstreamers," Buck said. "All the heartburn seems to be downstream."

After Buck's keynote address, a panel will give a historic perspective on how the community has come to the current state of Lake Coeur d'Alene.

Another panel will discuss "The State of the Lake." Craig Cooper, of Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, will give a snapshot of the last five years of the lake's water quality.

Dale Chess, who does lake management for the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, will discuss lake modeling and the food web in the lake.

Carson Watkins of Idaho Fish and Game and Jon Firehammer of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe will discuss the fisheries on the lake and the Spokane River. Watkins will discuss past progress and future direction in the management in the Spokane Basin. Firehammer will discuss predation on cutthroat trout populations.

A lunch panel will discuss how the health of the lake affects the health of the community.

While the morning sessions focus on what has happened with the lake in the past five years, the afternoon session will outline where things are going in the next five years.

Jamie Brunner, lake management plan coordinator for IDEQ, and Laura Laumatia, lake management plan coordinator for the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, will discuss what the lake management plan calls for over the next five years.

Nicole Kahler, of CDA Vision 2030, will discuss the community's vision for the lake into the future.

The symposium is 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, and will be followed by a two-day Spokane River Forum Conference on Nov. 19-20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. All three days will be at The Coeur d'Alene Resort.

Cost is $110 for all three days, or $15 for just the symposium. Registration is available online at www.spokaneriver.net or by phone at (509) 535-7084.

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