We are happy to announce that thanks to community members taking action, The Idaho Club recently had a major setback for their proposed large private marina at Trestle Creek! As the most important spawning area for bull trout in the entire Pend Oreille Basin, which also provides a wonderful living classroom for area students, Trestle Creek is at the top of our list of special places to protect. 

To provide a brief recap of the issue, last summer three affiliates of The Idaho Club submitted an application to the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) for a community dock. The application was part of the private club’s plan to build a 105-slip private marina covering 15,550 square feet, alongside a luxury residential development—all at the mouth of Trestle Creek. More than 1,300 comments from the public flooded in, and hundreds showed up at a public hearing, reflecting our community’s disapproval of the project.

Despite the overwhelming objections and legal complexities surrounding the project, IDL Director Dustin T. Miller approved the lakebed encroachment permit for the marina on October 27, 2023. 

However, last December, before the permit was issued to the applicants, our staff noticed that Bonner County’s public parcel map showed one of the three parcels was transferred to a new owner. Per Idaho law, this ownership change invalidated the permit application and its approval. We let the community know and they again turned out in force, sending hundreds of messages to the Governor and IDL. 

After much deliberation with the Attorney General’s office, IDL recently notified the developer they must withdraw their application and reapply under the current circumstances if they still wish to pursue the marina. 

We are hopeful that The Idaho Club will be discouraged by these ongoing challenges and abandon their development plans, but even if they don’t, we will be there to speak up for Trestle Creek again and again. 

As we take time to celebrate this victory that we’ve earned together, hold onto your “Save Trestle Creek” yard signs and stay tuned for future ways to take action. We hope you are inspired by the work ICL and our supporters are doing—and thank you for your support!

ICL’s North Idaho Lakes program focuses on protecting the waters of Idaho’s panhandle from degradation, pollution, and poor land use management. Sign up to receive bi-monthly North Idaho Lakes campaign updates!