Itasca County Coalition of Lake Associations: Homepage

 ICOLA website, hosted by Minnesota Waters



Calendar of Upcoming Events of Interest:

Next ICOLA Meeting:

February 19 @ Itasca Courthouse, Grand Rapids




(Agenda and past minutes on page to left)


The DNR Statewide Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Advisory

Committee has recently submitted its 2013 Annual Report.  The

report contains a great deal of important information, including

the the strongly supported recommendation that "MN can and  
must stop the spread of AIS."


ICOLA Members urged to join Minnesota Lakes and Rivers

Advocates (MLR, formerly MSRPO), a non-profit organization 

currently lobbying for issues important to Lake

Association members and riparian property Owners.


Please be sure to click on the additional pages in the sidebar to find information on the water testing of county lakes being done at the behest of our Itasca Water Legacy Partnership.  See also the information on the DNR's Sensitive Lakeshore Identification Project.


NEW IDEAS: Below you will find a draft of a  protocal lake associations can use when considering a variance application. 

Please reply to Bill Grantges (<>)


Siseebakwet Lake Association

Protocol  - Response to an Itasca County Variance Application

(click for document)


Our officers are: 

Tom Nelson, President, 246-2588

Stephanie Kessler, Vice President, 326-1130

Jan Sandberg, Secretary, 612-964-3324
Michelle Brauner, Treasurer, 832-4028




Donald George St. Aubin 1937-2010

Itasca County waters lost a valuable steward in September.  Don St. Aubin gave endless hours and valuable energy to informing the public in this and neighboring counties about the value of our water resource.  Don will be missed by all of us who worked with him in clean water issues.  Don worked continually to organize new lake associations, attended numerous meetings on how to get volunteer participation, and lobbied  for safeguards regarding water protection.  Don met with decision makers at the county and state level to make sure  these leaders knew what practices were essential for the water resource of the county to remain in its current healthy condition.  Don provided leadership to the Itasca Coalition of Lake Association for the past 12 years and prior to his becoming ill volunteered to lead the nutrient water study for Pokegama Lake.  Tranquil best described his temperament.  Don's personality was like water in that it could be totally calm and in short order could become turbulent if common sense was not followed when determining priorities for the water resource.  The Itasca County area lost a strong water advocate and his talents will be missed.
David Lick
President Itasca Water Legacy Partnership






At the July annual meeting, we agreed to distribute via email the minutes of each meeting and the agenda for the next meeting.  On your invoice, please indicate those board members who would like to receive these via email.  We ask that you then forward this information to your Lake Association members.  Please remember that we BCC (blind carbon copy) your name and email address so that it is not displayed in the mass email.  Also, when there are any other important information/topics that we feel needs to be distributed throughout the year, we will email it to those indicated on the invoice.

One of our goals is to improve the attendance at our meetings so we are asking for recommendations on what kind of programs, speakers, or agenda items you would like presented and discussed at the meetings.  Please give us your recommendations in the space provided on the invoice.  Also, let the members of your Lake Association know that they are always welcome to attend the ICOLA meetings.

We look forward in seeing you at the meetings and hearing what is new on your lake.  If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact any of the board members.

Basic dues for first 20 memberships is $10.00
Each membership over 20 is $0.50 each
Make check payable to ICOLA.        
Mail check with invoice to:   Michelle Brauner  
        40283 W Turtle Lake Trail
        Bigfork, MN  56628-4326




Letter from our former president, David Lick: 
Welcome to the Itasca County Coalition of Lake Associations Website. Founded in 1981 as a non-profit 501c-3, our organization brings together all of the lake associations throughout Itasca County, Minnesota. Currently there are 29 lake associations in the coalition. All members of these local lake associations automatically belong to ICOLA as well. The Minnesota Lakes Association is our statewide partner in keeping Minnesota’s lakes useable for future generations. I urge you to check their website (just click the logo on the upper left-hand corner of our homepage) and consider joining to help their efforts to promote citizen stewardship of Minnesota's waters and to influence and support public policy for water resource management.

Lake Associations have continued to grow as neighbors and friends have organized around maintaining water quality. Our intent as members is to educate, advocate and promote lake stewardship that exemplifies a model that will maintain and improve water quality for generations to come. ICOLA understands that the water in the county is public water and there are different ideas as to its proper use. The water resource in Itasca County is unsurpassed by any other region in Minnesota when you consider the clarity and the number oligotrophic and mesotrophic water bodies. Perhaps for this very reason Itasca County lakes are experiencing increased densities from development. 

It is imperative, therefore, that our lakes be carefully monitored to prevent irresponsible development from exceeding the carrying capacity and destroying the water quality. Protecting lakes and economic growth are compatible; decreased water quality depresses the value of the shoreland. ICOLA believes that it is prudent to set high standards in order to preserve the fragile ecosystem that we all enjoy. In recent years ICOLA has been active in addressing ordinance issues to maintain safeguards for shorelines, we have published a brochure and other publicity which helps visitors and residents understand best management practices around the shoreline, and we have prompted lake associations to write lake management plans in collaboration with Itasca county Soil and Water.

Our meetings are on the third Wednesday of each month except for October, December, February and April, beginning at 7PM. The meetings are held in the Itasca County Board Room in the county courthouse located in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. We often have guest speakers or other topical programs in addition to sharing reports from our member associations and exchanging ideas. Please plan to attend—everyone is welcome.

David Lick, ICOLA Past President
From the Webmaster 
This is the Itasca Coalition of Lake Associations new website. Please take a look throughout the pages. More are sure to come in the future with your help and suggestions.  Please send your ideas, written content and pictures to me, Tom Nelson, the ICOLA Webmaster. A link to my email can be found below. 

Thank you!

Tom Nelson, webmaster