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Additional piers would be detrimental to Chain PDF Print E-mail

Letter to the Editor:

Lakefront property owners have been informed that Wild Eagle Lodge on Duck Lake is again requesting a permit to install additional boat slips.

Many people will remember the destruction to the shoreline affected by the previous owners and management of Wild Eagle Lodge. The current owners didn’t do that and they will ask us to factor that into our communal contemplation of this resubmitted request. We cannot in good conscience do that, as it is not relevant nor will it prevent the damage to the public interest and navigational difficulties that will certainly ensue if this project is approved.

The current owners being better operators of their resort, while encouraging from a good neighbor standpoint, doesn’t impact the immediate, cumulative and precedent setting impacts of an approval of this ill-conceived project.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be assessing whether this project is detrimental to the public interest — the entire Chain loving public, not just the owners and renters at Wild Eagle Lodge. Of course it will be detrimental. Scenic beauty is not enhanced by the addition of piers, two of which will extend more than 100 feet perpendicular to the shoreline. Most property owners and tourists enjoy the relative peace and quiet of the North Woods. Flashing beacons at the end of five piers is neither scenic nor beautiful.

Common sense and factual analysis both tell us, that one of the smallest lakes on the Chain has been highly developed, and that level can’t be augmented without sacrificing something important — beauty, safety or both. The channel between Duck and Lynx is already dangerous, very narrow, and with the piers being perpendicular to the shoreline, the amount and configuration of traffic flow will by definition be increased. Congestion will increase.

You may be asked to consider the economics of the situation from the standpoint of the Wild Eagle condo owners and renters. They have paid good money to own or rent a lakefront home and would like to be able to easily launch their watercraft from their own private boat slips.

At the risk of sounding harsh, the logistical layout of the complex and the statutory regulations regarding boat slips were known at the time of purchase or renting. They were known when Wild Eagle constructed the development, and were known to the individual owners when they purchased. It is neither fair nor reasonable to expect neighboring property owners to bear the burden for this regulation exception that is primarily one of convenience. Wild Eagle by its own admission is operating at capacity during the summer months; they are not suffering a financial hardship.

The DNR acts as the shepherd of our waterways and natural habitats. Recently, we have seen the implementation of statutes and regulations that make it more difficult to encroach on the natural habitat, that increase the amount of frontage that an individual lot must have in order to build a home.

Clearly, the recent intent of the law has been to limit development and increase the retention of those things that make the North Woods unique and special. The intent of the legislators was to impede further detriment to the already compromised nature of overdeveloped lakes.

Finally, we are all aware of amount of development on the Chain, the increase in and acquisition of multiple dwelling communities. If the project for Wild Eagle is approved, it will undeniably establish a precedent en­abling additional encroachment of our shorelines on other lakes which are already overloaded.

Please join me in requiring the DNR to stand behind the quiet majority of property owners and lovers of our North Woods.

Denny Erardi

Eagle River

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 10:58 AM


+7 #3 2014-04-16 08:08
Well that is good that you are getting involved there.

On one hand I can empathize with the owners of Wild Eagle, but on the other hand you are right that they knew this stuff prior to purchasing the land.

In any event though, that area is just too narrow to have huge dock sections go in. On more than one occasion, I have had people fly right by me in that area, even though it is a no wake. And with my boat drawing 3' of water, I never get too close to the shores, so those people that fly by are running VERY close to the shore.

I find it more stressful to go through there (just because of all of the close calls I have had), than when I am going through the various thoroughfares where boat traffic can back up and it can get narrow from docks.
+8 #2 Denny Erardi 2014-04-15 12:41
An interesting question, Tim - one for which I have no answer. Over the course of the past couple days, I've met with the DNR and the management at Wild Eagle. I will be speaking at the Eagle River Chain of Lakes Association meeting tomorrow morning, and at the public hearing on April 23rd. Where there is a willingness to sit down and talk, hopefully there follows a solution.
-7 #1 2014-04-15 11:29

Very good article. I know exactly where you are talking about, and cringe whenever I go through that narrow area.

My experience however, is that the worst offenders are the kayakers because they seem to lose all amount of common sense when on the water. I see it on Lake Superior all of the time too, so it must be a natrual kayker trait.

But regardless of that, since I was relatively unaware of this pier request, has the idea been brought up for them to dredge a part of their lawn to allow boat slips that would not stick into the lake itself? It is a pretty big area over there. Or are too many restrictions on that as well?

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