DNR decision to allow new piers at Northwoods condo development challengedSubmitted: 08/18/2014
Story By Lauren Stephenson

EAGLE RIVER - Condo owners at the Wild Eagle Lodge in Eagle River hoped to install new piers this summer that would accommodate more boats, but that now seems unlikely.

Right now, they only have 40 boat slips on Duck and Lynx Lakes for more than 75 condos.

The DNR granted the group's request for 20 more boat slips in June.

But nine people filed a petition to challenge the decision. Most of them own property on Duck and Lynx Lakes.

The DNR granted their request.

"People have the ability to contest department decisions pursuant to a specific set of state statutes. And the department reviews those requests and in this case, has granted a contested case hearing which is ultimately the result of that request where the decision would be reviewed by an administrative law judge," said DNR Water Management Specialist Kyle McLaughlin.

The petitioners are concerned about the piers' impact on fish and wildlife, the natural beauty, and that it could set a bad precedent for other condos and resorts.

The petitioners' biggest concern is safety on the Eagle Chain.

"It's heavily used during various parts of the year and navigational issues, I guess, in the best of conditions are always going to be a concern and this would seem like it would just make it worse," said Vilas County Lakes and Rivers Association President and Petitioner Steve Budnik.

The DNR does consider most of those factors when looking at each request.

DNR leaders expect the hearing to be held sometime in the late fall or early winter.

If you have any questions, contact McLaughlin at the DNR by emailing him at Kyle.McLaughlin@Wisconsin.gov.

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