On Friday, Earth Day, friends and members of Kootenai Environmental Alliance will be celebrating at our first annual Earth Gala at the Hayden Lake Country Club. Not just celebrating the Earth, we will also be celebrating some great citizens who help us protect what makes North Idaho a wonderful place to live and work and play. Here is the first of two posts on our awardees.
Since 1994. KEA has awarded the Art Manley Environmentalist Award to someone for sustained efforts in furtherance of our mission: “to conserve, protect and restore the environment in North Idaho with a particular emphasis on the Coeur d’Alene basin.” Named for our founder, former state senator and dedicated conservationist Art Manley, the award this year goes to Julie Dalsaso. An all-star volunteer, Julie is positively dedicated to the Coeur d’Alene basin and working on its many complicated environmental problems.
There is not a governmental agency in Idaho that hasn’t receive a letter from her or heard from her at a hearing. Julie is passionate about protecting water quality in our lakes, protecting our shorelines from contamination, and protecting waterways like Cougar Bay for quiet recreation. Her hard work is tenacious and her commitment is extraordinary.
Also this year, we are inaugurating a new award, named for Scott and Mary Lou Reed, also founding members of our organization. The Reeds – Scott, a universally well-respected lawyer in Coeur d’Alene, Mary Lou a former State Senator and all-purpose community activist (both winners of the Art Manley Award, by the way) – are recognized for their principled defense of our environment and our community through action.
So it is appropriate that the first Reed award goes to Peter Grubb, owner and operator of ROW Adventures in Coeur d’Alene. Peter has always been committed to environmental causes, is involved with a number of Idaho conservation efforts and organizations, and he has been very active locally. Peter and ROW joined the KEA effort to protect Cougar Bay for quiet recreation – and demonstrating the value of the Bay with kayak tours. But Peter was also a leading plaintiff in the court battle with Idaho Department of Transportation over the megaloads that are clogging the Lochsa-Clearwater Wild and Scenic River corridor. Peter’s willingness to stand up to the oil giants was inspiring, but also true to his nature.