LETTER: Shoddy maintenance at Duck Lake

Saving Duck Lake for the planet and its inhabitants.

I don’t appreciate writing letters on this subject but at the same time, I don’t appreciate what is happening at Duck Lake with respect to all general maintenance.

The entire land above water is totally saturated with noxious weeds. Thistles of nearly every species. There are solid pads of them for acres and acres. Cleavers a weed that grows up to eighty inches tall and will totally block any critter movement at the base and White Campion. All weeds have reached such a density that most of the above water habitat has jeopardized the ability of winged predators (short-eared owls and northern harriers) to their normal nesting habitat and cannot penetrate the dense crown to forage ground pests for food.

There is one sanitary facility (a biffy) and this year the access was not once maintained. Not once. To enter the biffy one had to penetrate weeds to shoulder height. Presently Nov6/18 the entrance weeds appear to have been tramped down by livestock with frequent manure scattered around the area. No attempt has been made to clean it up.

The Creston Valley Wildlife Management (CVWMA) area some time ago allowed the farmer to remove several Kilometers of fence along the east side of the Kootenay River East dyke allowing grazing livestock to transgress the Dyke to the river for water. This action has severely compromised the dyke.

About the same time, the CVWMA closed the stretch of dyke which has been open to vehicular traffic for near 60 years providing an enjoyable circular route from Channel road to Duck Lake road. CVWMA at the same time evicted residents of a summer camping area another long-time convenience. It was on land holding a land title with taxes paid for 2 years in advance. About $30,000.00 in capital investment including a serviceable river dock was trashed and hauled to the landfill. This was paid for by CVWMA, Lands and forests and the area C director. The dock was used twice by Search and Rescue.

Finally, for the second time, the CVWMA trashed all the shrubbery along the center cross dyke and north Kootenay River dyke. The process has left a totally undesirable aesthetic appearance with the shards and debris scattered on the lake shore. Dangerous to where youngsters who regularly fish the lakeshore may stumble on the tangled debris and fall head first into the lake. To me, this is the destruction of public property without permission and those that undertake such an action should be penalized. Unless some remedial action is taken this mess will be there forever.

Cyril Colonel | Wynnde

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