Do you enjoy picking huckleberries each summer? Splashing in Lake Coeur d’Alene at City Beach? How about hiking Tubbs Hill and taking the leap from one of its cliffs into the rippling water below? Well, you owe a big thanks to Art Manley and Scott Reed for being able to enjoy these North Idaho outdoor opportunities.

Former Idaho State Senator Art Manley was born and raised in North Idaho. Lawyer Scott Reed moved to Coeur d’Alene in 1955 and raised his family here with his wife Mary Lou Reed, also a former State Senator. But with Reed’s intrinsic love for all the things that make North Idaho what it is, he was probably more “native” to this area than a lot of people who were born here. Manley and Reed were close friends, united in spirit, will, and humor. Together and separately, they did more to safeguard the environment and keep treasured places accessible for public use and enjoyment than many people realize.

“Mary Lou Reed and Art Manley were the drivers of conservation policy,” says Adrienne Cronebaugh, Executive Director at Kootenai Environmental Alliance (KEA), “and Scott was the protector of resources. He was the environmental lawyer for this area.” The tidbits, information, and fond remembrances of these men are numerous and profound. Someday someone will catalog their litigated and political accomplishments. Here are a few outdoor experiences that we often take for granted, but for which we owe gratitude to Manley and Reed.

Tubbs Hill – Reed was one of the people who planted the Freedom Tree that stopped the development of Sherman Avenue around Tubbs; Manley walked the Hill every day and even wrote a book on this popular Coeur d’Alene natural space, “The Treasure Called Tubbs Hill.” “Tubbs Hill and Art Manley are synonymous,” says Cronebaugh.

McEuen Park – What was originally slated to become a massive shopping mall is now a fun, stylish, comprehensive park, thanks largely to Reed and his influence.

Huckleberry Picking – This wasn’t really a thing until Reed and Manley, both avid pickers, made it a thing. “It was theirs originally,” says Cronebaugh. “I would say almost that they created the celebration of huckleberries.”

Upper Priest Lake – Development of the lake shores and the extensive wilderness spaces at the north end of Priest Lake is strictly prohibited, due to Manley’s extensive efforts.

City Beach, Sanders Beach, and public access along Lakeshore Drive and public ownership of Idaho’s surface waters – Like the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Reed viewed the lake almost as his “mother.” He even spent his last days sitting and overlooking its shimmering waters and hilly horizon. Says Cronebaugh, “He always said his biggest client was his poorest paying, and it was Lake Coeur d’Alene.”

Historic Wallace – When the highway was scheduled to cut through Wallace, destroying many of the historical buildings and spaces, Reed was adamant in bringing a lawsuit and protecting the historical character and environmental aspects of the town with the construction of the tall bridge that now passes over Wallace.

I did not personally know either of these champions for the environment and our community. Manley passed away in 2004 at the age of 88. Reed, who retired in 2014, passed away in 2015 at the age of 87. I do remember seeing Reed occasionally at my workplace and was present when he accepted a lifetime achievement award from KEA a few years ago. His relentless pursuit of life was still evident then, even though his body was bowed and bent. George Ives, President of the Tubbs Hill Foundation puts it this way: “I remember how in a Christmas message some years back [Scott] recalled the pilgrims journeying to Santiago in Spain and noted that each of us is a pilgrim moving into an unknown tomorrow. It is difficult to imagine that trek, but as we continue that journey, Scott’s memory serves as a guidepost directing our steps.”

On July 1, 2016, the City of Coeur d’Alene proclaimed July 1st Art Manley- Scott Reed Day. A community tribute at McEuen Park celebrated their lives and work with live music and free huckleberry ice cream, huckleberry lemonade, and huckleberry beer. Memorial stones with plaques honoring the men can be seen gracing each entrance to Tubbs Hill, reminding us that each step we take on its trails we owe to two passionate men who loved this place and fought to keep it ours. //

S. Michal Bennett profiled the photography of Coeur d’Alene artist Benjamin Powell in September. Read more of her writing at www.shortandtasty.blogspot.com.