Encroachment Information

Private Docks are the most common type of encroachment on Tribal Waters. Through this page you can map the location and see a description of any encroachments currently permitted by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. In addition you will find several helpful links for owners or potential owners of encroachments as well as recreational users of the Lake. Take note of your Encroachment Number which can be found on the end of your encroachment or on a previous permit or annual renewal notice. Your Encroachment Number will be used to search encroachment data using the link below.

As a reminder pursuant to Coeur d’Alene Tribal Law and Order Code, Chapter 44-8.01(D)(1 & 2): (1) All encroachments on Tribal submerged lands and waters are specifically prohibited and considered an unlawful trespass unless there is a solid permit and lease currently in effect for the encroachment. (2) Application must be made to the Tribe for a permit and lease for all encroachments… Application and lease is required regardless of whether the encroachment is a pre-existing encroachment, a new encroachment or the alternation or repair of an existing encroachment. Any violations of such code may result in the un-permitted encroachment deemed a trespass on Tribal Land, removed, and a subsequent fine assessed for each violation.

Any person installing, upgrading or modifying an encroachment on Tribal Waters or involved in any work on submerged lands must have express written permission by the Tribe prior to bringing an encroachment on Tribal Waters or engaging in any construction activities. If you anticipate engaging in these activities you are encouraged to apply 90 days in advance to allow for adequate time to review the application. Please follow all instructions outlined on the Encroachment Application page. Prior to completing your encroachment application please review the Encroachment Standards to ensure compliance with standards of proposed designs. Incomplete applications will delay processing time

Change of Ownership

If the ownership of the property, dock, or other permitted encroachment changes, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe Lake Management Department must be notified. If the property is transferred to a new owner, the existing permit also can be transferred to the new owner. Upon transfer of permit the new owner accepts responsibility to adhere to all Encroachment Standards set forth by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. Fees to transfer permits are shown on the fee schedule above. A permit can be transferred by completing the Change of Ownership Application and mailing it along with the applicable fees to the Lake Management Department. Change of Ownership Application must be submitted to the Lake Management Department within 30 days of transfer of property ownership. If a dock is sold and moved to a different property, an application must be submitted and approval in writing from the Lake Management Department is required for the new dock at the new location prior to placement of the dock. The existing permit number stays with the property and must only be removed and transferred by Lake Management Department. It does NOT move with the dock.

Temporary Moratorium and Encroachments Inventory

A temporary moratorium on the construction of new encroachments, including docks, was placed in April of 2003. The intent of that moratorium was for the expressed purpose of providing time to complete an inventory of all existing encroachments and to develop Tribal Encroachment Standards. There was no time frame associated with completing the inventory but it was expected to take three years to complete. The function of a comprehensive inventory was to describe the current conditions so that the Tribe could move forward with developing a long-term strategy for managing the growth of private structures on Tribal Waters in a manner that was protective of the Lake, human health and safety, assuring all docks are were in good condition and enhanced property values.

Information collected during the inventory included: type and condition of dock floatation and decking, number and condition of pilings, size and configuration of dock, number of slips per dock, and dock density. Additional information collected regarding commercial operations, boat garages, and floathomes included: water use, septic system construction, and the storage and use of petroleum and other hazardous chemical products in the vicinity of the Lake.

The additional task of developing formal Encroachment Standards relevant to all encroachments; docks, floathomes, boat garages, etc. within Tribal Waters on Coeur d’Alene Lake was completed through a cooperative effort with multiple impacted lake user groups and state and federal government agencies. On June 30, 2005 the Tribe formally adopted those Standards. The Standards address all forms of encroachment on Tribal Waters, many of which were not yet identified and addressed in the interim standards in place during the moratorium of 2003. 

Moratorium on New Dock Construction

Since the Coeur d’Alene Tribe Encroachment Standards were adopted in June 2005, nearly 17 years ago, tribal staff, working within the framework of the Standards, have taken strong efforts to insure those encroachments on Tribal waters met the goals of regulation established by Tribal Council.  As of 2022, Staff have reviewed applications and issued permits for over 250 existing docks seeking to upgrade/maintain and over 50 new docks.  However, recent years’ growth and new upland development have been on the rise at an alarming rate and pressure on the Tribe’s resources is being realized.  Beginning January 1, 2022, the Tribe made the difficult decision to replace a moratorium, for an indeterminate amount of time, on all new dock construction.  This will allow the Tribe to gain a better understanding of the impacts of that growth and refine the path forward for management of encroachments on the Tribal waters.  Tribe staff will continue to review applications for upgrade/modification of existing encroachments to insure those remaining encroachments meet, or come into compliance with current adopted Encroachment Standards.