Friends of Istokpoga Lake Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 205
Lorida, Florida 33857

FOI History

[This page a work-in-progress. If you can help us with this effort, please send a note to us via email or letter (see our address above)]


The lake association began with a meeting in the home of Bill and Sandy Dwinell in February 1998, when 15 to 20 people gathered to discuss their concerns with what was happening on Lake Istokpoga and how these concerns might be addressed. There were many areas of concern at that time. Most of the concerns could be boiled down to the fact that a number of government agencies were deciding what needed to be done on the lake and there was little input from the people that lived on the lake or used the lake.

The consensus was that only by joining together and taking a common position would we be able to influence the various agencies controlling the actions on the lake. It was decided that we should form an association with the goal of protecting our beautiful lake from any and all actions that might cause harm. 

People were contacted following the meeting and over 100 paid dues of $5.00 for the new organization, "Friends of Istokpoga".


The first meeting, and organization meeting, of our group was held on May 21, 1998 at the Lorida Community Center. Jim Wilkins opened the meeting and introduced Sandy Dwinell who was selected to preside over the meeting. Presentations were made by Mary Carter, Highlands County Lakes Association (HCLA), and Beacham Furse, Fisheries Biologist from Lake Okeechobee-Kissimmee River Investigations, Game and Fish Commission (GFC).

Mary Carter talked about the need for a separate Lake Association to focus on the problems of Lake Istokpoga and how there were more than eighty lakes in Highlands County and that HCLA could not put the emphasis on lake Istokpoga it needed to have. Beacham Furse talked about the need to remove about 2000 acres of tussock from the shoreline of Lake Istokpoga.

Bill Dwinell talked about the formation of the Lake Istokpoga Management Committee (LIMC) and how Friends of Istokpoga needed to be members of it. He also commented on a recent airboat ride with Ken Denson, GFC, where he got an education on the tussock problem on the lake.

Sandy then introduced seven people, Jim Berry, George Cook*, Bill Dwinell, Debbie Galloway, Walter Monroe, Jack Newkirk**, and Jim Wilkins who had volunteered to serve on the board of directors and asked each one to give a short outline of their concerns and interests. It was moved and seconded that the nominations be accepted.

*George Cook later resigned. Debbie Tetor was appointed to complete the term of George and served as Secretary/Treasurer.

** Jack Newkirk resigned and Don Linton was appointed to complete his term as Director.


Our officers are dedicated to upholding the Articles of Incorporation and By-laws of our corporation. The board of directors is elected annually and their term is from March 1 through the end of February the following year. The Directors are elected by a vote of the members at the annual corporate meeting held in February of each year. Following the February Corporate meeting, the new board of directors meet and elect a president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer to serve that year. A list of our current and past directors and officers is available by clicking on here.

© 1998 -  Friends of Istokpoga Lake Association, Inc. All Rights Reserved