For Immediate Release: Monday, August 21, 2023


Brad Smith, Idaho Conservation League, (208) 340-3161,

Kristine Akland, Center for Biological Diversity, (406) 544-9863,

Idaho Club Renews Plan to Build Housing, Marina on Trestle Creek, Threatening Imperiled Fish

State Land Department Sets September Public Hearing

SANDPOINT, Idaho — A developer has renewed plans to build luxury housing and a private marina on the shores of Idaho’s Trestle Creek with a proposal that would harm a key spawning site for threatened bull trout.

“The Idaho Club’s proposal was a horrible idea last year and it’s just as horrible now,” said Kristine Akland, Northern Rockies director for the Center for Biological Diversity. “This is nearly identical to the plan we successfully fought. It would be catastrophic for dwindling bull trout and would scar one of Idaho’s most beautiful and serene waterways.”

In September 2022, in response to a lawsuit filed by the Idaho Conservation League and the Center for Biological Diversity, the Army Corps of Engineers withdrew a permit authorizing construction of a previous iteration of The Idaho Club’s lakeside development.

The newest proposal calls for five single-family estates and a private marina with 105 fixed-pier docks. The project would reroute Trestle Creek’s north branch, excavate an island and peninsula, and discharge thousands of tons of soil and rock and other debris into Lake Pend Oreille near the mouth of Trestle Creek.

“Trestle Creek is a gem of North Idaho and is one of the few places where families can easily observe spawning bull trout and kokanee,” said Brad Smith, North Idaho Director for the Idaho Conservation League. “Given that the project would only benefit a small number of residents of The Idaho Club – this project is not in the public’s best interest. We’d be better served by recovering our endangered species and protecting natural wonders like Trestle Creek for generations to come.”

In 2010 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated critical habitat for the endangered bull trout, including Trestle Creek. Trestle Creek also provides important habitat for other species including bald eagles, migratory birds, beavers and kokanee salmon. 

The proposed development would destroy important shoreline vegetation, a beaver dam, nesting trees for bald eagles and osprey, and recreational areas.

To move forward, the developer needs a lakebed encroachment permit from the Idaho Department of Lands, the agency responsible for permitting docks and marinas. The department is required to consider whether projects are in the public’s interest. 

The department has scheduled a public hearing on the proposal for Sept. 6, 2023, from 5-10 p.m. in the Sandpoint High School auditorium, 410 S. Division Ave., Sandpoint, ID. Written comments should be submitted by Sept. 1 to Gwen Victorson at

“Community members have been concerned about this problematic development for years,” continued Smith. “We appreciate the opportunity that the Department of Lands has given us to speak about why this proposal should be denied.”

ICL’s mission is to create a conservation community and pragmatic, enduring solutions that protect and restore the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the land and wildlife you love.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Take action to save Trestle Creek by clicking the button below to submit a public comment on the proposal!