Despite the inclement weather, Windermere residents filled the Windermere Community Hall on January 13, eager to listen and take part in a public input presentation for the Lake Windermere Management Plan.
The plan draft, which had been revised on November 18, 2010, was presented by Regional District of East Kootenay Manager of Planning and Development Services Andrew McLeod and Director for Area F Wendy Booth.
“This process has been going on since November 2008,” said Booth. “It’s been a long time getting to this point. Originally it was only supposed to be an 18 month process.”
The plan included a similar public presentation in the summer of 2010 to generate feedback of former revisions.
The comments were taken into account, and the plan was revised for its January 2011 presentation. The prepared plan will guide long-term management of the lake.
“We’re trying to find a balance between facilitating public use, but also being environmental,” said McLeod. “It is hoped that after this meeting we will be able to revise and present the plan to the District of Invermere and the board of directors for adoption in February.”
There were several key themes to the plan’s revisions since the summer 2010 public presentation.
Changes were made to the plan under enforcement, data quality, winter use, implementation, First Nations, public education, and public access.
A wetlands area near the lake was acknowledged and included in the document, and new, updated information about the cleanliness and health of the lake and its waters was added as well.
New rules and descriptions for swimming, beach and recreational use were added.
The Akisqnuk First Nation’s interest in managing the lake’s foreshore was outlined, and more background information and explanations about the plan itself were included for reference.
The boat traffic code of conduct was updated to outline slow no-wake boating area, no motorized boating area, and proper conduct in responsible boating area in regard to towing, travel, tubing and surfing, and noise.
The revised plan calls for the encouragement of ice fishing huts to be removed from the lake by March 15, and dedicates an entire section of the document to winter use of the lake.
The plan discusses mooring buoys, and discourages the creation of buoy farms.
(see Lake Windermere Management on page 3)