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Meetings focus on watershed

Shuswap Watershed Council officials are looking for public input this month.

Seven open houses will be held throughout the Shuswap in a follow-up to an online survey that was held in February and March.

Survey respondents were invited to read a Shuswap Watershed Council program outline and respond to a number of questions about the program’s proposed objectives and strategies.

The online survey received 226 responses, with 76 per cent of respondents supporting a program focused on water quality and  safe water­‐based recreation.

Another 19 per cent support the notion but don’t believe water quality and safe water‐based recreation merit a focused program.

Support was also measured through a workshop focus group in which 60 people representing stewardship groups and resource/technical staff from First Nations and government agencies participated.

The questions were more technical than those in the online survey, and sought specific feedback on the Shuswap Watershed Water Quality Program’s strategies.

Participants supported using science and citizen science in decision-making. They also supported continued education and public engagement.

“I think the results of this survey show that there is a high level of public support for the proposed programs for 2014,” says Columbia Shuswap Regional District Area C director Paul Demenok and chair for the Shuswap Watershed Council. “I’m encouraged by these results as they provide a clear indication that we are headed in the right direction by focusing our efforts on water quality within the entire Shuswap watershed.”

The council is now seeking more public input and ideas through a series of open houses, each one to take place from 3:30 to 6 p.m.

Participants will have the opportunity to review the accomplishments of the Shuswap Lake Integrated Planning Process (SLIPP), the three-year pilot project that ended this spring.

Demenok says the information will include the results of extensive water quality monitoring that took place, providing a clear picture of the state of Shuswap Lake.

Staff from the Fraser Basin Council and members of the council will also review upcoming plans, before the floor is open to members of the public to offer their opinions and ideas and to ask questions.

The open houses will take place as follows:

• July 9 – Chase Community Hall, 547 Shuswap Ave.

• July 10 – Falkland Community Hall, 5706 Hwy. 97A.

• July 15 – Sicamous & District Recreation Centre, 1121 Eagle Pass Way.

• July 16 – Salmon Arm, Intermissions Restaurant at Shaw Centre, 2600 10th Ave. NE.

• July 21 – Scotch Creek Community Hall, 3852 Squilax-Anglemont Rd.

• July 23 – Sorrento Memorial Hall, 1150 Passchendaele Rd.

 

• July 28 – Enderby Drill Hall, 208 George St.

 

 

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