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CSRD on hook for Gardom Lake plan

The province is in favour of a management plan for Gardom Lake, but none are backing up their interest with cash.

This leaves the Columbia Shuswap Regional District to cough up the $40,000 to hire a consultant on their own.

In May 2013, directors approved spending up to $35,000 in Electoral Area D gas tax funds to retain a consultant to development a management plan, subject to a minimum one-third financial contribution from the province.

At CSRD’s May 15 board meeting, Community Parks and Recreation team leader Marcin Pachcinski advised directors that funding will not be forthcoming.

However, the ministries of Forest, Land, and Natural Resource Operations; Environment; and Transportation and Infrastructure are willing to contribute staff time.

In March 2013, Friends of Gardom Lake, a local stewardship group, organized a roundtable meeting of local residents, community and user groups and government agencies.

The objective of that meeting was to discuss the increasing pressure on the recreational lake, particularly since the province killed off invasive perch in 2009 and re-stocked with trout, which then grew to trophy size.

However, there is only one trailer boat launch site on the lake at Teal Road, a Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure lake access site that has neither parking, nor washroom, picnic or garbage facilities.

Pachcinski says CSRD had been working with the ministry to provide these services at nearby Musgrave Road that has historically been a hand-launch site for kayaks and canoes.

But community members voiced concerns regarding removal of vegetation and that the site would become a regular boat launch.

The regional district decided to hold off on additional works because an environmental assessment recommended that Musgrave Road be kept as a hand launch site and not be developed as a full-scale boat launch.

“A management plan for the lake would be able to address these and larger issues,” wrote Pachcinski in his report to the board.

“We sent letters to all agencies,” said Area D director René Talbot at the recent board meeting, convincing the board to support his request for a total of $40,000 for a management plan. “We decided we’d apply for another $5,000 and do it on our own.”

Directors were unanimous in their approval for his request.

Meanwhile, a 2013 request to prohibit gas-powered boats on the lake is still in the works in Ottawa, delayed by the need  for increased staff response to rail safety following the Lac-Mégantic tragedy.

“While the restriction for Gardom Lake has been approved within the department, it is part of a regulatory package of restrictions across Canada which still has to complete it’s final stages in their department and then must be approved through the Treasury Board,” wrote MP Colin Mayes’ assistant Tammy Martin in a May 8 update to CSRD. “We apologize for the unexpected delay but ask for your patience as the department has advised us that they are still actively working on moving this file forward.”

 

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