Cougar Bay

Nestled at the top of Lake Coeur d’Alene, barely a mile from the city, Cougar Bay is a lush tangle of wetlands and waters and fantastic wildlife habitat. Thanks to Inland Northwest Land Conservancy and its partners, there are hundreds of acres of land dedicated to wildlife and outdoor enjoyment. 

Protection through Partnership

It took a lot of time, hard work, and partners to save Cougar Bay and the lands around it. Inland Northwest Land Conservancy took the lead on private land conservation. Conservation partners like The Nature Conservancy and state and federal agencies pitched in. Advocacy groups like Rural Kootenai Organization took a stand against over-reaching development. 


Explore Cougar Bay

Cougar Bay Preserve

The Carder Farm

Protected Forever

“We visited a few places that had conservation easements and educated ourselves on their advantages and drawbacks. For us, this land’s preservation was an unwavering commitment, so we contacted the Inland Northwest Land Trust [now the Conservancy] and in 1997 began drafting our conservation easement.” 

Through this perpetual conservation easement, this land is preserved and is currently owned by family members. This land will be preserved as open space today and long after the Carder family no longer own it. 

Since 1997, Wes has been a champion of local land protection, both in his service on the Planning Commission, and in inviting people to see what a conservation easement meant to the Carder Farm and the family. Wes has spurred numerous other families to protect their land too, like the Mott family and Andrews family and others. 

Full Article Here

J.P. Johnson

Scenic Beauty

J.P. Johnson Homestead, LLC, headed by two of J.P. and Sallye’s grandchildren, Graydon and Maurice Johnson, and great grandson Brett Gilbert, donated a conservation easement to Inland Northwest Land Trust to ensure that 80 acres of the original homestead would be forever preserved as scenic forest, meadow, and wetland.  

The protected land is not open for public access, but its scenic beauty may be enjoyed by those traveling on Highway 95.  

“The JP Johnson Homestead is a sweet treat on its own and because of how it dovetails with other protected lands in Cougar Bay and Cougar Gulch,” says Senior Conservationist Chris DeForest. “As you come down the big hill from Mica Flats on Highway 95, the JP Johnson land is part of the beautiful sweep of farms, forests, and wetlands that make up Cougar Bay and Cougar Gulch, the southwestern gateway to Coeur d’Alene.” Chris continued, “Thanks to the JP Johnson family and the Conservancy, that scenic panorama now sweeps to your right and wraps up into Cougar Gulch as well.” 

The Pointner Property

A Partner Project

Once upon a time—John Pointner owned most of Cougar Bay. John was colorful and stubborn. He wanted to see his land preserved forever for wildlife but just couldn’t come to terms with any of the entities that courted him. One of John’s (deputies?) enlisted the Inland Northwest Land Conservancy to try to break the logjam. 

The Conservancy listened to what John needed. He wanted the land to be protected forever, and he didn’t trust private buyers who promised they’d take care of the land like he had. He didn’t trust universities to make good on funding promises, and not to have trustees have a change of heart someday and sell the land. He needed money, because he was old and ailing and worried about being a burden to his children. 

Thanks to John Pointner’s generosity and his desire to see his land preserved for wildlife, the Bureau of Land Management and Kootenai County acquired the last large private holding on Cougar Bay at a bargain price.   

So the Conservancy proposed a way that Pointner could sell his property for what Pointner considered a fair price, a major sticking point in previous negotiations. Chris suggested that the terms for payment could be $5,000 a month for the rest of Pointner’s life and, upon Pointner’s death, the remaining debt would be forgiven.  

And that’s what happened. As a result of listening to the landowner and offering sage advice, INLC helped John Pointner fulfill his desire to preserve his property for the over 150 species of wildlife that inhabit his beloved Cougar Bay.