Restoring the Kootenai River Valley
RESTORING THE KOOTENAI RIVER VALLEY
The NW Magazine
By Robin Jenkinson and Todd Reeve
Early European settlers to the Pacific Northwest encountered a landscape teeming with natural bounty. The region’s mountains, streams, and forests appeared so vast that many believed a new wave of settlement and industry couldn’t possibly affect the seemingly inexhaustible populations of fish and wildlife. Nevertheless, the settlers brought with them a new land use ethic that fundamentally altered Pacific Northwest ecosystems and disrupted many of the productive habitats that supported abundant fish and game. Although the region’s flora and fauna had coexisted with Native American societies for millennia, in just over 150 years many species would verge on extinction.