Proposed Wolf Lodge Bay development sparks environmental concern among some community members

Proposed Wolf Lodge Bay development sparks environmental concern among some community members

A proposed development in Wolf Lodge Bay would allow a North Idaho dock building company to transport supplies. But some community members are concerned the change would disrupt the local ecosystem, and possibly have negative consequences for local salmon and eagle populations.

“If the Kokanee population plummets then the eagles will no longer come here, they will not come here. Because there’s nothing for them to feed on they come here because it’s a bonanza,” said Greg Torline.

Torline is a retired carpenter and naturalist whose now-deleted Facebook post asking the community to share their concerns with the county has been shared more than 100 times.

The land is owned by John Condon, who owns North Idaho Maritime, a local dock building company.

Rand Wichman, the project planner, told KXLY that the company plans to use the land as a loading/unloading zone. Wichman said developments and other changes elsewhere around the lake have cost NMI some of its other loading areas. He said this spot in Wolf Lodge Bay is the best spot they can find.

One of the main concerns from opponents of the development revolves around discussion of a dock that, they say, would disrupt the bay and possibly the fish and wildlife.

“The problem is I can’t definitively tell you that, yes, this activity is going to destroy the kokanee. I can’t do that because I don’t know and no one does,” Torline said.

Torline said he does not think it’s ‘worth the risk.’

Wichman said it’s possible a dock would be built but that the primary goal is to improve the driveway.

Wichman filed an application to rezone the land commercial property. That will be the subject of the meeting before the Kootenai County hearing examiner on Thursday. The meeting is public and will begin at 6:00pm at the administrative building at 451 Government Way.

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