Looking north from the East Shore of Kootenay Lake.

Survey seeking input on Kootenay Lake future from East Shore residents

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Have your say in the future of Kootenay Lake by taking the Kootenay Lake community values survey until July 15. The survey is spearheaded by the Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society and will provide a snapshot of values from across the lake to help support planning and management for recreation and stewardship of Kootenay Lake.

The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete and was tested at a focus group on June 9 by residents and managers from around the lake. Focus group participants were hopeful and excited about the information the survey will provide. The group agreed that the lake is an important connection that everyone shares, whether you’re a resident or visitor.

The lake is a “profound connection that we all have,” said Tom Newell, director for Regional District of Central Kootenay Area F.

“We are all here because of the lake,” said Chad Luke.

Participants were hopeful that the survey will highlight commonalities across the region and unique values in specific regions.

While other planning processes for individual communities have stated the importance of the lake for their well-being, no comprehensive vision for the future of the lake exists. Given the lake’s importance, it is critical that a comprehensive vision for the lake’s future be developed to manage for ecological, social, cultural and economic values across jurisdictions. The community values survey is an important step toward building a common vision and is potentially an important component in any future planning and management for Kootenay Lake.

Many participants envision the results of the survey being used to support local politicians in decision making around issues and values that people really care about, as well as providing guidance for local stewardship activities and projects.

The survey is open to residents, visitors and businesses in Nelson, Kaslo or in RDCK electoral areas A (Wynndel and East Shore), D, E or F. Particpants must be 18 years or older to take the survey. Printed surveys are available at the office of the Regional District of Central Kootenay.

For more information on the project or to take the survey online, visit www.friends ofkootenaylake.ca. Eligible surveys are entered into a cash draw for $150.

—FRIENDS OF KOOTENAY LAKE STEWARDSHIP SOCIETY

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