Sundance Estate: Private Access to Healthy Water Ecosystem

Lee Lake: A Private Lake Ecosystem

Why would you want to own the access to a small North Idaho Lake? I mean, really, with at least 55 lakes in the Panhandle, is there not enough water to fish or play on? Is it really necessary or desirable to have your own private access?

Well, I can give you a number of reasons why I think private access is worth a lot of money. In the case of Lee Lake, private access means “the only access by permission” because the person owning this cranberry peat-bog ecosystem controls the entire shoreline.

The State Owns the Water

That’s the law in Idaho. The state owns the surface water everywhere you go. But accessing river, stream or lake water is under the control of the land owner. If, for instance, you are caught fishing on private land, you are trespassing if you are there without permission. But if you have waded in and are caught standing (fishing) in the water, you are not trespassing. (Just don’t willingly step out of the high waterline area to talk with your accuser. (I’m smiling.) That’s not legal advise. Check it out for yourself HERE. It’s all about the definition of “Navigable Water”. I’m not an expert on Navigable Water regulations; I am just a commentary writer (fancy term for “blogger”). So check it out yourself, please, by going to the Idaho Department of Lands. They are the folks that regulate issues in question.

According to the Idaho Department of Lands, Navigable Water is

Idaho’s public trust lands are the lands submerged below the ordinary high water mark of navigable streams and rivers within the State. Title to these lands is held in trust and is administered for the public benefit rather than for a specific beneficiary.

Lee Lake at SundanceEstate
Lilly Pads and tall grass outline the northwest shoreline of Lee Lake. In this scene, we’re looking north into the distant meadow through which Lee Creek flows continually on its short journey to Priest Lake.

So Lee Lake, always full to its spring-fed banks, is held in public trust by the State of Idaho. But the land owner of this exquisite property holds the right to access it, meaning you have to have his or her or their permission to put a boat on it or swim in it, if that’s your desire. Want to hunt ducks there? or geese? Same thing. You have to have the permission, given in grace, by the person or persons who hold title to the land surrounding the body of water in question.

Title to the Land Owns the Access

So does owning private access then have monetary value? Yeah! I guess it sure does! It means that if you own the house or cabin(s) that might be set in along the shores of such a place, you control what you and others might have to look at. Hmmm! Yes, I think that has real dollar value.

Here’s another quote from the Department of Lands on their responsibility and the legislation under which they regulate issues of encroachment if called in:

This quote comes under the Subtitle, Lake Protection Act:

We administer the Idaho Lake Protection Act and regulate encroachments and activities on, in, or above the navigable lakes in the State of Idaho. Encroachments are anything permanently fixed to the lakebed or natural features of the lakebed (such as rocks). Examples of navigational and non navigational encroachments permitted by the IDL include docks, marinas, bridges, utility lines, mooring buoys, and float homes.

The Department of Lands does not handle trespass…that’s the County Sheriff’s job. The Department of Lands is the agency that oversees and regulates issues regarding encroachment of Navigable Waters held by the State of Idaho under Public Trust.

For more about location of and amenities of this exquisite property offered for sale, go to the website dedicated to informing you all about it: SundanceEstate.com. And yes, I am the listing agent. And of course, I hope you are the buyer. If you are and are qualified, I’ll show you around in every detail. Lee Lake is just one of many treasurable aspects of this incredible, once-in-a-lifetime offering.

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