Work is set to begin on the new Columbia Lake Management Plan process.
The plan, which will replace the existing 1997 Columbia Lake Management Strategy, will guide local government decisions affecting Columbia Lake and its shoreline.
“Columbia Lake is home to many significant ecological, cultural and recreational values and this planning process will provide us with tools to help ensure local government decisions continue to protect those values into the future,” says RDEK Electoral Area F Director Susan Clovechok.
The project is being led by the RDEK in partnership with the Village of Canal Flats. Since Columbia Lake is within both RDEK Electoral Area F and the Village of Canal Flats, the collaborative development of a Lake Management Plan that reflects a united vision for the future of the lake while recognizing the interests of both local governments is key. Canal Flats Mayor Karl Sterzer says working cooperatively on this project makes sense. “Canal Flats is committed to having a strong voice at the table as we recognize decisions made in and around our community strongly affect our constituents and future possibilities of growth and wellness,” says Sterzer. “Working together throughout the planning process will ensure we have strong communication and coordination and a collective voice. Additionally, having a multi-jurisdictional plan will allow us to have consistency in our decision making, which is critical.”
Public input will be key in the planning process and there will be several public engagement opportunities over the coming months. “Recognizing the diverse and seasonal population of the Columbia Lake area, public engagement opportunities will be provided in person, when it is safe to do so, and on line,” says Sterzer. A technical committee made up of representatives from Provincial, Federal and First Nation governments will help inform the creation of the plan.
“Community involvement is key to a successful planning project. I encourage everyone in the Columbia Lake area to participate in the public engagement opportunities so that this plan reflects the community’s visions and values,” emphasizes Clovechok.
A new project page has been set up on engage.rdek.bc.ca/columbialake.
The planning process is expected to take eight to 12 months to complete.