About Us

The Lake Pend Oreille, Pend Oreille River, Priest Lake and Priest River Commission otherwise known as the “Lakes Commission” was created by House Bill 110  in 2003.  The Lakes Commission is an advisory board to the State of Idaho on water quality and quantity issues in North Idaho. Any issue relating to water quality and/or water quantity in the Pend Oreille Basin (which includes the entire Priest drainage) is of concern to the Commission. To read the specific duties and membership requirements of the Commission according to Idaho Code, please click here.

The Pend Oreille Basin

The Pend Oreille Basin

The Commission is comprised of eight members, five of whom who are local residents hand-picked and appointed by Governor Kempthorne in 2003, and two of which are representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Idaho State Attorney General’s office, respectively. In addition, we have an “ex officio” designee from the State of Montana.

We meet quarterly and aim for a meeting in the spring, summer, fall, and winter.  Scheduled meetings will be posted on the home page.  The Commission meetings reflect relevant issues in the Pend Oreille Basin, at the time they are held, and usually feature guest speakers.  The public is always invited to attend, and public notices are posted in the local newspapers and sent out to stakeholders 2 weeks in advance.  You can access minutes from past meetings on the meetings page.

In 2003 the Commission obtained funding for its first staff member, who coordinates the board and who stays apprised of and addresses local watershed issues.  If you have any questions or concerns please contact our Coordinator, Molly McCahon at (208) 263-5310 ext 107 or email to lakescommission@gmail.com.

Does some of the terminology associated with water sound like a foreign language? For a condensed glossary of watershed terms click Glossary of Water Terms.

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