Development for development’s sake seems to be on the rise around the world. There’s nothing wrong with wanting people to have homes or land needing to be farmed for food. But sometimes, the cost to the natural surroundings is too great.

There is a difference between need and want. People need homes. Do people need a luxury home and private marina that will further endanger an already threatened habitat for nature lovers and wildlife? Is the overall benefit for the general public, or just a few people and land developers?

Northern Idaho Wildlife and Habitat Only Temporarily Safe From Developers

It has been a year since the Army Corps of Engineers withdrew a permit regarding a development on Lake Pend Oreille. The original plan was to build two marinas and single-family estates on both the north and south sides of Trestle Creek. The plans would have included 124 boat slips, a sewage pump, and a parking lot.

It was found that this construction would have directly endangered Trestle Creek and its protected residents - bull trout. The trout, the wetlands surrounding the creek, and the changing of the whole shoreline around the area were of great concern to conservationists. The creek is a vital spawning site for bull trout, providing over half of the bull trout in the Pend Oreille Basin.

Now, new plans have been submitted for five single-family estates and one marina by the Idaho Club. The Center for Biological Diversity argues that five luxury homes and a marina that drastically impact Trestle Creek are not in the interest of the general public. The costs to the environment of the area greatly outweigh the benefits to a developer and a few potential luxury homeowners.

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A public hearing is scheduled for September 6, 2023. Anyone interested can attend at 5 PM in the Sandpoint High School Auditorium. Anyone wishing to comment in writing should do so by September 1 to Gwen Victorson at

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