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TLPA: Protecting Torch Since 1994

The Torch Lake Protection Alliance (TLPA) has been protecting Torch Lake for 27 years and counting.  The original association, known as TLPOA (Torch Lake Property Owners Association), was formed when the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) decided they were going to build a public launch site on a 200 front-foot parcel located on the northwest shore of the lake. That association ultimately led to what we now know as TLPA.

The site was ill-suited for launching boats as it required dredging a 300 foot-long channel to deep water, and would need re-dredging every few years. At the time, the DNR thought Torch Lake did not have enough public launch sites, even though there was a site just a few miles north.

In addition, the parcel was zoned residential, and included regulations on set-backs The DNR claimed total exemption from township zoning laws! Neighboring property owners brought suit against them and TLPOA was formed to assist the homeowners. In 1996, TLPOA obtained a court order to prevent any action on that site until plans were drawn up and the required environmental permits were obtained. That court order is still in effect today. Later, compliance to local zoning by the DNR was upheld in another case at the Supreme Court level. 

TLPA was then formed and expanded its mission to include protecting the lake environment and educating the public on environmental issues that are critical to the health of the lake and its water quality. 

TLPA has grown its membership annually and continues its mission of protecting the lake by monitoring local and state government issues and working with other lake associations on water quality and environmental concerns. We support research on invasive plants and the importance of promoting native shorelines and we dedicate resources to keep the Sand Bar safe for owners and visitors, including funding law enforcement over the 4th of July, providing trash receptacles and porta-jons, and serving on the Sand Bar task force. 

We look forward to continuing our great work and invite you to join in helping to keep Torch Lake Blue.

The People Who Make TLPA Happen

Meet the board, committees, our staff, and others who make TLPA a reality, and who do the hard work that comes with protecting one of Michigan’s natural treasures.

The Torch Lake

More than just “how’s the fishing?” We explore the plants and animals that make Torch Lake a unique part of Michigan’s natural panoply.

Torch Lake Protection Alliance Documents

Our historical record of papers, minutes, and more. You must be a TLPA member to view the content. Join Now!