Cabinet Peaks

Medical Center

receives awards

Cabinet Peaks Medical Center was recently awarded two separate awards from LifeCenter Northwest, an organization dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation. LCNW works with families, medical professionals, and communities across Alaska, Montana, North Idaho, and Washington.

The first award CPMC received was the Collaboration Achievement Award. Organ donation cannot happen without the collaboration and teamwork between the hospital and LCNW when approaching a family regarding organ donation. This award is presented to those who reached or exceeded 90% collaborative request rate. Cabinet Peaks Medical Center finished 2019 with a 100% collaborative request rate.

CPMC was also presented with the Tissue Donation Achievement Award. Many factors impact tissue donation, including timely referrals, logistics, community education and outreach. Hospital staff play an integral part in this process. The U.S. average donation rate is 50% and this award is presented to hospitals who reached or exceeded 60%. Cabinet Peaks Medical Center finished 2019 with 75% tissue donation rate.

Laura Larson-Crimore, Quality Manager at CPMC is thrilled with this announcement. “We are grateful to LifeCenter Northwest for recognizing CPMC for these awards.  Most importantly, we are grateful to our community members who recognize and support the importance of organ and tissue donation which in turns offers hope to those in need of this generous gift.”

LCNW has a vision: a future where no one dies on the organ transplant waiting list, high-quality tissue grafts are available to all in need, every donor and donor family is honored, and all employees are inspired and empowered to realize their highest potential in service of this mission. Through professionalism and dedication, LCNW honors their commitment to serve others and their obligation to be good stewards of the gift of life. Check with your local DMV to become an organ donor or contact LifeCenter Northwest at 877-272-5269.

Submitted by Kate Stephens


Libby Dam

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Next up was John Moen, Seattle District, U.S.A.C.E. Senior Water Manager for Libby Dam Operations, Lake Koocausa. Moen gave a May 1 water supply forecast and BIOP Objectives outlook. This scientific prediction based on current trends generally ascertained that the April-August inflow forecast for Libby Dam is at 5.76 million acre feet, with the current forecast at 98% of average, and the sturgeon volume at 0.92 MAF. He added that the sturgeon pulse is planned to begin May 21, with Bull trout minimum flows following the sturgeon pulse through Aug. 31 at 7 kcfs. The current VarQ flow is 17,500 cubic feet per second. So, the general positive trend is for a water supply forecast on May 7, for the Dalles is 87.3 MAF, 100% of normal. What the good news for us folks here in the beautiful Kootenai Valley country, that can be drawn from this data according to Moen, is a Libby flow augmentation draft to 10 feet from full (elev. 2,449 feet.) at the end of September. A full reservoir folks.

Third batter out of the box was Jason Flory, Biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Flory shared a report on 2020 Kootenai Sturgeon Operations and Recovery Updates. It’s amazing that the innovative and resilient native Kootenai / Salish Tribes historically fished for this species, harvested, and kept a balance of the population. It is hopeful that work continues on these unique fisheries. The battle ebbs and flows. 2019, according to Flory, is reported to be a rough year, with low water, minimal sturgeon volume, and a low Kootenai River stage during spawning. There were fewer tagged spawning sturgeon that migrated into suitable habitats than in the two years previous. 2020 looks more optimistic folks. Flory relates that they are currently in a Tier 2 year for sturgeon volume at 0.92 MAF. The plan is to repeat strategy from recent years maximizing days greater than 30 kcfs (thirty thousand cubic feet per second) at Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho, and that this strategy has shown encouraging signs. Flory is happy to announce that habitat restoration projects continue to be implemented in 2020 at Ball Creek Ranch Wetland Connection Project in Trout Creek, Montana this summer. The Flow Management plus habitat projects, known also as pool ladder projects are showing results that include increased number of tagged spawning sturgeon migrating to suitable habitats, the first ever documentation of spawning in suitable habitats (2018) and hatchery-origin sturgeon beginning to reach sexual maturity. Very encouraging news there friends. There is also a new Biological Opinion on Columbia River System Operations, including Libby Dam and Kootenai sturgeon due out in June of 2020.

Batting clean-up was our own friendly and informative Susan James, Park Ranger and Manager of the Libby Dam Visitors Center. For folks recreating on Lake Koocanusa, here are the predicted lake elevations for spring and summer, keeping in mind that full lake elevation is approximately 2,459 feet. May 31, 2418-2423; June 30, 2448-2454; July 31, 2457 average; Aug. 31, 2452 average; and Sept. 30, 2449 average. James reminded us that as of the meeting date, May 14, some boat ramps and day-use areas remain open, but the visitor center and tours remain closed until further notice. Restrooms are closed at the moment. James asks us to please plan ahead, leave no trace, and to recreate responsibly. She also states that campgrounds may be opening soon, and asks that recreational minded visitors visit the Libby Dam webpage and Facebook pages for news and announcements. James added a reminder to please wear your properly fitted life jacket while recreating. If folks have questions, they are welcome to contact John Moen at or call 206-764-6702 for general inquiries. Susan James may also be contacted at or by phone at 293-5577, or 293-7751, ext. 253. So folks, please remember that the definition of recreation is a refreshing of strength or spirits, and take all safety precautions while enjoying life on the viridescent waters of the Kootenai.

By Brian Baxter, The Montanian