Lawsuit launched over violations of the Endangered Species Act in favor of Trestle Creek Marina development

Lawsuit launched over violations of the Endangered Species Act in favor of Trestle Creek Marina development

Contact: Steve Holt, (208) 597-7188, steve@lpow.org

Conservation groups filed a formal notice on May 5th, 2021 of their intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Army Corps of Engineers and Trestle Creek Investments for approving the Idaho Club-Lakeside housing and marina development near Trestle Creek, one of the most important bull trout spawning streams in the Pacific Northwest.

The planned development calls for the construction of five single-family homes, a boat ramp, two docks and 124 boat slips. It would require the excavation of an island and peninsula and which is home to an active bald eagles nest.

“If construction moves forward as planned, bull trout and one of their most important habitats will be severely and permanently damaged.”

Kristine Akland, Center for Biological Diversity

This project prioritizes a 5 unit housing developments over conserving one of Idaho’s most valued and threatened species. “If construction moves forward as planned, bull trout and one of their most important habitats will be severely and permanently damaged,” said Kristine Akland, a staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity.

The notice was filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper and Idaho Conservation League. It notes that the agencies and the developer failed to consider the impacts of constructing the marina and housing development on bull trout and its critical habitat, resulting in violations of the Endangered Species Act.

Bull trout were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1999. In 2010 the Service designated 18,795 miles of streams and 488,252 acres of lakes and reservoirs in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana and Nevada as critical habitat for the fish. In Washington 754 miles of marine shoreline were also designated.

“This project is a threat to one of the most critical spawning streams in the Pend Oreille Basin. It’s also one of the few places locally where you can take your kids and so easily see bull trout and kokanee spawning,” said Brad Smith, North Idaho director of the Idaho Conservation League. “It would be tragic to lose such a treasured resource.”

Bull Trout, Salvelinus Confluentus, Dave Bickford, Willamette National Forest