New signs help educate, inform while recreating

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Courtesy photo Signs like this one at the Frisco Mine have been placed at several different locations in the area. These signs are part of an effort from the Coeur d’Alene Basin Commission to manage human health risks at some of the more popular recreation sites.

As the weather warms up and people begin making their treks to their favorite local recreation spots, they may notice a few new things.

Over the past three years, a recreation site focus team working in conjunction with the Coeur d’Alene Basin Commission, has been placing informational signs at several locations and they just recently added a few more.

Signs at the Bull Run, Medimont and Killarney boat ramps, as well as the Burke swimming hole, the Frisco Mine site and Thompson Lake have all been placed and are ready to give users plenty of information.

Dan McCracken, an Idaho Department of Environmental Quality project manager and member of the focus team, thinks the signs are a useful tool in helping educate the public on the history of the areas, as well as making sure they are being health conscious to the sometimes unknown or unseen health hazards.

“All of the signs are different, but they all include some history or something interesting about the area they are in to go along with a health message,” McCracken said. “We took the approach that is all the signs were health messages people may tend to not pay attention to them. So we really did just about everything we could to make them interesting.”

Over the last three years, 12 different signs have been placed, but they are not done just yet and plan to place even more this year.

“The new signs are part of a larger effort to reduce exposure to contaminated soils during recreation activities,” McCracken said.

The overall goal of the Basin Commission’s project is to manage human health risks from exposure to lead and other metals that can occur during recreational activities throughout the Upper and Lower Coeur d’Alene Basin.

For more information, people can contact the Coeur d’Alene Basin Commission at 208-783-2528.

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