Posted: Jul 12, 2012 9:26 AM by Katy Harris - KAJ News
Updated: Jul 12, 2012 9:28 AM
BIGFORK- Flathead County commissioners say they can't enforce a no wake zone on Echo Lake to stop properties from flooding until it becomes a health concern, but one resident is seeking other options to save her land on the lake.
Susan Hutz has received a petition from Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks that could potentially put a stop to shoreline damage on Echo Lake.
"If I have to do it single-handedly so that when the lake gets to this level, Fish Wildlife and Parks can shut it down. We don't have to wait for the sheriff's department or some tragedy to happen; we don't have to wait for E Coli," Hutz explained.
She'll have to sign the petition with potential regulations that could be enforced on the lake based off her experience of property damage. Hutz plans to have contractors come out and go over the assessment of the damage.
The only problem is even if her petition was successful, it wouldn't go into effect for a year and in the meantime, Hutz continues to watch her shoreline dissolve.
"Some Echo Lake residents have seen erosion on their shore line of up to 12 inches high," she explained. "Everyday a boat goes by, I see the water is full the mud, the shoreline is eroded and it's just unnecessary.
Hutz sandbagged her home and put up sheet metal to try to block the water from coming, but that hasn't helped at all. She and her family will just have to keep waiting to see if a health hazard develops and if her petition goes through for next year.
Hutz and her family lease their home through the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and told us they are surprised the agency hasn't stepped in to take care of the damage to property.