The Bureau of Land Management expands access in Cougar Bay area through land acquisition

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – This week, the Bureau of Land Management announced the acquisition of two parcels of land near Cougar Bay from The Nature Conservancy, securing public access into the future and preserving the area from development. The Cougar Bay area, located on the west side of Lake Coeur d’Alene, remains mostly undeveloped, offering diverse wildlife habitat including wetlands and rich, conifer forests.  

The purchase directly aligns with the Biden Administration’s America the Beautiful initiative by conserving, connecting, and working to restore public lands. The BLM utilized $1.6 million in Land and Water Conservation Funds to secure the transaction. Acquisition of the 88.51-acre parcels from The Nature Conservancy improves the connectivity of public lands in Cougar Bay thanks to the BLM’s current management of the adjacent 155-acre John C. Pointner Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary. The area has been co-managed by the BLM and The Nature Conservancy for a number of years. 

“We have enjoyed a long-standing partnership with The Nature Conservancy in the conservation of lands in Cougar Bay,” stated Kurt Pindel, BLM’s Coeur d’Alene District Manager. “We are very grateful to The Nature Conservancy for working with us to secure perpetual public access and conserve important habitat for wildlife and migratory birds.” 

“It has been The Nature Conservancy’s privilege to steward and co-manage Cougar Bay,” said Robyn Miller, Deputy Director of The Nature Conservancy in Idaho. “This next step in our partnership with BLM ensures sensitive lakefront wildlife habitat will remain undeveloped while continuing to offer recreational opportunities for the community.” 

Located only two miles southwest of Coeur d’Alene, Cougar Bay has become a popular destination to explore the area’s wetlands, lakeshore, and forested hillsides. Through the acquisition, the BLM will acquire an additional mile of hiking trails and formal public access to nearly a mile of the lakeshore.    

Pindel added that the acquisition will also benefit a wetlands restoration project the BLM will begin this fall in partnership with Ducks Unlimited.  

For additional information on the lands managed by the BLM in Cougar Bay and recreational opportunities, please visit: 

About The Nature Conservancy 

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. 

This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. 

Release Date


Bureau of Land Management


Coeur d'Alene District Office


Suzanne Endsley