Kootenai County is located in the northern Idaho panhandle, covering 1,315 square miles. Our diverse geography ranges from mountain forests to rolling hills to fertile irrigated cropland. Coeur d’Alene serves as the county seat, located on the Interstate 90 corridor, 30 miles east of Spokane, Washington.Based on 2010 census data, our population was 138,494.
The average growing season for field crops is 150 days (May 6 – October 3). The frost-free growing season is typically 100 days (June 1 – September 10). Average rainfall ranges from 20 inches along the western border to over 30 inches in the eastern mountains. There are numerous microclimates within Kootenai County.
While agriculture and tourism play important roles in the local economy, manufacturing, construction, retail trade, service and government comprise the five largest employment sectors.
On March 15, 1917, the University of Idaho launched Extension programming in Kootenai County by hiring H.H. Beier. Over the years, a strong funding partnership between the University of Idaho and the Kootenai County Commissioners has enabled UI Extension to grow and flourish in meeting the evolving needs of local citizens.
Today, the UI Extension office in Kootenai County is staffed by three extension educators: one full-time 4-H program coordinator, two part-time Idaho Master Gardener program coordinators/assistants, plus one full-time and one part-time secretary. In addition, federal funding supports one Extension Nutrition program coordinator and 3 part-time nutrition advisors who provide vital assistance to low-income families.
The headquarters for our Northern District Extension operations, along with a state extension water quality specialist, are also located in Coeur d’Alene at the University of Idaho’s branch campus.