A 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization #82-0394746 – Incorporated October 4, 1956
Twin Lakes History
Twin Lakes, previously named Fish Lake, became a popular vacation spot in the early 1900’s. People arrived at the lake by horse-drawn wagon or train. Several steam-powered boats served the lake by picking people up and ferrying them to their destinations and by delivering groceries to vacationers’ cabins. Twin Lakes had a sociable atmosphere created by various hotels, resorts, dance halls and boat parades. Bing Crosby, prior to his notoriety, and his cohorts performed locally and were known to canoe to Rathdrum via the creek on Saturday evening.
Logging, done with horses, was a major source of employment for area residents. At one time, three sawmills operated on the lake. School-age children attended one of the three school houses located around the lake.
Several factors caused changes at Twin Lakes. The advent of the automobile brought many people to the lake. The train route was eventually discontinued. Power boats became common. A dam was constructed in 1906 so that the lake could be used as a source of irrigation water for the Greenacres Irrigation District. The Twin Lakes Improvement Association was formed in 1956 and contested the lake’s use for irrigation purposes and won a court battle. The level of the lake is now set by Supreme Court order. The Twin Lakes Improvement Association continues to strive for the betterment of Twin Lakes.
The two lakes, joined by a channel, are about five miles long. There are currently over 684 residences around Twin Lakes. The lakes have remained throughout the years an enticing and unpretentious place for recreation including fishing, swimming, boating and waterskiing.
- Maintenance of adjudicated lake levels commensurate with established water rights of all concerned
- Reduction of sedimentation and nutrient loading from forest, agricultural and other human activities
- Increased coordination and participation with other public and private organizations involved with lake management, water quality and recreational values
- Increased public/user knowledge of activities beneficial and detrimental to water quality
- Enhancement of public use and environment of Twin Lakes compatible with the stated goal and objectives
- 1969 – Established the historic lake level at 10-4 through the court system
- 1975 – Established Twin Lakes Improvement Association’s storage water right to the water between 6-4 and 10-4 (based on a 1903 water right)
- 1984 – Committed $12,000 toward a lake study; Helped fund the 1987 Falter Water Q
- 1998 – Creating a public water district (North Kootenai Water) from a private system; TLIA deemed a non-profit organization
- 2001-2005 – Helping get the new dam built.
- 2004-2011 – Applying for grants/permits to improve the narrows, the mid-channel area, Fish Creek.
- 2007 -2008 – Helping Lakeland School District to lower the speed limit on the highway in the Twin Lakes area.
- 2007-2009 – Helping establish snow-tel stations to better predict/control the lake level.
- 2009 – Finding the historic high water mark and getting the correct numbers on the new dam.
- 2009 – Re-establishing TLIA’S 1903 water right with the state of Idaho.
- 2012 & 2011 – “319 Grant” Applications with DEQ.
- On-going - Testing the water quality of the lakes — last several decades.
- On-going – Working with Kootenai County Parks and Waterways
- On-going – Working with DEQ and EPA
- On-going - Participating in Lakes Groups, and Watershed Groups, Kootenai Environmental Alliance
- On-going – Built a positive relationship between Twin Lakes residents and Rathdrum Creek residents
- On-going – Worked to keep cattle out of lake, the last 40 to 50 years
Good Stewardship Award
In order for us to be long term stewards of the land, we must take care of the environment we live in.
A healthy watershed is needed for maintaining the forest too.
Thank you to the Inland Empire Paper Company.
Over the past 25 years, IEP has invested approximately $2.5m in improved creek crossing, culverts, and roadways. They have closed and abandoned 45 miles of road to reduce impact on the environment around the Twin Lakes area.
TLIA acknowledged IEP for excellent stewardship of their forests by awarding them the “Good Earth Award”.
Demonstration Project: 400 ft. of a 1600 ft. of project completed – October 2011 – 2012
View photos of the project here: