I am writing to correct the inaccuracies of a Letter to the Editor printed in the January 20th edition of The Pioneer.
In 2004 Wildsight hosted the 9th International Living Lakes Conference, which brought delegates from around the world to the Columbia Valley. Subsequently, the Lake Windermere Project was initiated in 2005 because of both local and international concern for the health of the lake namely that the burbot fishery had collapsed (BC fishing regulations require all burbot to be released).
Though Wildsight facilitated the project, it was directed by over a dozen different partners, including all levels of government, First Nations and area NGOs. The project included monitoring water quality for 18 different parameters, as recommended by the 2005 limnologist report commissioned by the Regional District of East Kootenay. The results were reviewed, analyzed and published by the Ministry of Environment as part of their updated 2010 Water Quality Assessment and Objectives for Windermere Lake.
Because of the accomplishments of the Lake Windermere Project, it was awarded the Real Estate Foundation of BC Land Award in 2010. The Project was also chosen as one of three national best practices examples in community-based ecological monitoring by a project commissioned for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.
Heather Leschied, former Program Manager
Lake Windermere Project, Wildsight, Invermere