The Idaho Conservation League is bidding  farewell to Susan Drumheller with sadness-she is moving on to become a grant writer for the Clark Fork Settlement Agreement implementation.

While we are reluctant  to see Susan leave the organization, we are happy for the  exciting,  new opportunity she has ahead.

During her time at ICL, Susan made a significant impact on the organization and the work that we do. Susan opened our Sandpoint office in 2006. ICL had previously opened and eventually closed field offices in Coeur d’Alene and Moscow. Susan successfully established our Sandpoint office and cultivated a community of supporters and members in the region  that I believe will sustain ICL’s  northern Idaho presence well into the future.

In addition to creating a physical presence for ICL in North Idaho, Susan had an impact on conservation in the Idaho Panhandle. She is probably best  known for her contribution to the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail Project. Susan helped incorporate the Friends of Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail. The Friends raised enough money to purchase four parcels of private property on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille where the trail is located. The Friends also maintain the popular path. The acquisitions ensure that current and future generations will forever have access to the trail without threat of development or no trespassing signs.

Susan played an instrumental role in securing a conservation easement for Clagstone Meadows near the Bonner-Kootenai County Line. The effort began when the landowner,  Stimson Lumber, made plans to build a subdivision. The proposed development would have resulted in a significant loss of wildlife habitat. Susan worked with the company and the Trust for Public Lands to set up the easement. Under the deal, the property is now off limits to development. The easement includes provisions for public access and timber harvest.

In the last year or so, Susan committed a fair bit of her time to the potential for increased coal and oil train traffic through North Idaho. She helped educate the public and local government about the risks associated with coal and oil trains. A derailment could result in deaths of people living near local railways or pollute our environment. Susan organized concerned citizens to testify at hearings about proposed coal and oil export terminals on the west coast that would have increased train traffic through North Idaho. Five of the six proposed terminals have since been suspended or canceled.

Susan’s work on aquatic invasive species is another notable achievement. She worked with local legislators to help pass legislation creating the watercraft inspection program. This program is critical to ensuring that invasive species don’t hitch a ride on boats into Idaho waterways.

These are just a few examples of Susan’s great work  during her time at ICL. I’m sad to see Susan leave us, but it’s reassuring to know that she  will continue to live and  work in the local community. If you see her around, please thank her for all the great work she has done  for ICL, our members, and for Idaho.