In 2012 the Coeur d’Alene Basin Natural Resource Trustees signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that established the Coeur d’Alene Basin Natural Resource Trustee Council (Trustee Council). The Trustee Council has one representative from each of the Trustees. The Trustee Council meets regularly and its purpose is threefold:

  • Collaborate with one another regarding natural resource restoration in the Coeur d’Alene Basin
  • Collaborate with the public regarding natural resource restoration
  • Ensure that the restoration process complies with all applicable laws and regulations

  • In order to achieve its purpose, the Trustee Council chartered the Technical Staff. The Technical Staff provides technical expertise to the Trustee Council, and the Trustee Council provides oversight and guidance to the Technical Staff.

    Trustee Council Members


    Jeff Johnson, USDA

    Jeff is a Geologist with the U.S. Forest Service specializing in abandoned mine site clean-up and restoration. After growing up and studying environmental geology in Missoula, MT he moved to Wallace in 1997 where he served with the U.S Forest Service as district geologist and later as the forest geologist / abandoned mine clean-up program leader for the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. Jeff holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in geology from the University of Montana with specialization in environmental geochemistry and hydrogeology. Jeff has 20 years of experience in the Coeur d’Alene watershed leading clean-up and restoration projects. He is an avid outdoor enthusiast with specific interests in skiing, biking, and boating.




    Phillip Cernera, CDA Tribe

    Born and raised on Long Island, New York, Mr. Cernera was educated at the University of Idaho. In 1982, Mr. Cernera started his formal career as a Fisheries Scientist working on Russian and Japanese Fishing boats in the Bering Sea. Now back on dry land he has since worked as an environmental specialist in Indian Country for over 30 years. For the last 20 years Mr. Cernera has worked for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and is now Director of the Tribe’s Lake Management Department. The programs he administers include: Recreation Management, Shoreline Protection, Water Resources Management, and Hazardous Waste Management. Mr. Cernera also has been appointed by the Tribal Council to sit on the Basin Environmental Improvement Project Commission that oversees the implementation of a multibillion dollar EPA superfund remedy. Phillip is a Trustee on a NRDA Council that will implement over 150 million dollars in restoration, and has recently been placed on the National Tribal Water Council.


    Chip Corsi, State of Idaho

    Chip Corsi has worked for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game in a number of positions for over 32 years, the last ten as the Regional Supervisor of the Panhandle Region, based in Coeur d’Alene. Prior to that he has worked in fisheries management and research, as well fish and wildlife habitat conservation, and has over 20 years of experience working in the Coeur d’Alene basin. He has a BS in Fisheries Management from the University of Idaho, and an MS in Zoology from Idaho State University. Professionally, he takes his greatest satisfaction from working collaboratively with stakeholders from the public, other agencies, and industry to find solutions to natural resource challenges, and generally making our part of the world better for fish, wildlife, and people. He has been married for over 30 years to his wife (a native of Coeur d’Alene) and has two grown children and a daughter-in-law, and a grandson (6th generation Idahoan), all of whom recreate in and enjoy the Coeur d’Alene Basin for its natural wonders and great people.


    Karen Cathey, DOI

    Karen is the Department of Interior’s representative on the Trustee Council.  She received her Masters of Science in Forest Wildlife Management, from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1987, followed by a brief stint with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  She joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service when the Austin, Texas Ecological Services Field Office (ESFO) opened to meet the needs of the listings of the golden-cheeked warbler, black-capped vireo, and several karst invertebrates.  She has also worked with the Albuquerque, New Mexico ESFO and Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge in multiple positions including Federal project review, Partners for Fish and Wildlife and as an outdoor recreation planner.  In 1997, she assumed the position as the Regional Coordinator for the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Program within the Southwest Regional Office.  For 18 years she led the Region in assessment of damages at such sites as the Freeport McMoRan copper mining complex, the Tri-State Mining District, and more recently during settlement and litigation activities surrounding the Tronox bankruptcy and associated Anadarko fraudulent conveyance claim.

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