The Kootenai Tribe of Idaho helps to administer an environmental program that works to improve air quality, water quality and to promote recycling to reduce solid waste.
The Tribal office works with Region 10 of the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the State of Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality and other key agencies.
The Tribe uses Geographic Information Systems technology to create maps and operates an air quality monitoring station near tribal headquarters (http://airquality.deq.idaho.gov). This station gathers information about weather and particulates. The goal is to provide solutions for air quality issues that impact the entire region.
The Environmental department assists in improving water quality for the Kootenai River basin, the aboriginal territory of the Tribe.
Under the watershed management plan, the staff assesses community impact on the natural resources, using plan guidelines to make decisions on water resources.
The program monitors the total maximum daily load of contaminants in the river, ensuring that water continues to meet Tribal needs for hatchery and subsistence fishing, and making sure that regional water quality remains high.