Hello Fellow Columere Park Residents,

Your Columere Park Community Association (CPCA) Directors have been following the evolving Eastside Columbia Lake Provincial Park development plans and the Regional District of East Kootenay’s apparent efforts to shape lake access within Columbia Lake Provincial Park.

OUR LAKE SIDE COMMUNITY NEEDS YOUR ENGAGEMENT AND INPUT to ensure that government officials (BC Government & RDEK) hear and value our input and concerns.

PLEASE CLICK THE BELOW SURVEY BUTTON TO ANSWER 4 QUESTIONS BY SEPTEMBER 2/16.  ALSO, IF POSSIBLE, TRY TO ATTEND THE AUGUST 24, 2016 RDEK COMMUNITY PLANNING WORK SHOP, 7 PM FAIRMONT HOT SPRINGS RESORT.

SurveyButtonThe form of this Spring’s RDEK Official Community Plan Survey and the apparent conclusions, combined with the RDEK’s plan to meet with the BC Minister of Environment (responsible for BC Parks) has created concern that the RDEK may be seeking to persuade the Minister not to accept BC Parks Staff preliminary recommendations for low impact lake shore development within Columbia Lake Provincial Park. Please see the RDEK web site (http://www.rdek.bc.ca/ ) home page, CURRENT PROJECTS/ Fairmont Hot Springs & Columbia Lake OCP and JULY 2016 HIGHLIGHTS under the Meetings/Minutes Tab.

BACKGROUND

In 2014 BC Parks conducted an overall assessment, made scientific determinations and held a public consultation with Columbia Lake area stakeholders (follow this link to BC Parks Summary Report and subsequent “Open House and Meetings Summary” www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/columbia_lk/project/ ).

The eastern side of Columbia Lake is environmentally sensitive and archeologically significant, continued ad hoc lake access continues to be environmentally damaging and poses continued risk for invasive species contamination of the lake and adverse water quality impacts.

BC Parks Staff have, subject to confirmation concluded that their “SCENARIO 2” is the most appropriate development. Scenario 2 consists of modest parking and picnic facilities on the bench lands with a gravel foot path down to the water’s edge.

In April 2016 the CPCA Board became aware of the possibility of advocacy supporting deviation from BC Parks recommended Scenario 2 Eastside Columbia Lake Provincial Park development, and wrote a letter to BC Parks expressing support for Scenario 2 asking to be consulted if any deviation was contemplated.

On May 18, 2016 the RDEK held an OCP Introductory Workshop. The RDEK subsequently invited Fairmont Hot Springs and Columbia Lake area property owners to participate in an OCP Survey, which was to be completed by June 1, 2016.

The RDEK has advised in its Highlights from the July 8, 2016 RDEK Board meeting that it intends to meet with the BC Minister of Environment in September 2016 to discuss Columbia Lake Provincial Park upgrade status.

The BC Parks web site currently states…

”The Ministry is close to finalizing the release of a decision with respect to the development direction for future facilities within Columbia Lake Park. Please check back on this website for updates.”

Please send any questions you may have to columbialakeproject@columerepark.ca

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