Loving lakes to death


I grew up near the Cataldo Mission, Idaho, in a dead zone (“Losing Lake Coeur d’Alene,” HCN, 6/24/19). As a teenager, I held swans in my arms as they died from lead poisoning. I graduated in 1978 and ran track, so I have felt the burn of sulfur dioxide in my throat and lungs. I am now the water code administrator for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, where I have worked since December of 1992. My feeling is that the septic systems and overfertilized lawns around the lake are a huge problem, with the creation of the anaerobic benthic zone that causes the release of toxic mine waste. People are loving the lake to death, so to speak. Enforcement is needed. I don’t know what I can do to protect the lake that my grandpa always took me fishing on, the lake that his parents homesteaded on near Lofts Bay.

Craig Kvern
Pilot Rock, Oregon

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