Columbia Valley Pioneer staff

(The following are news briefs from last week’s Regional District of East Kootenay meeting.)

Stewardship toolkit

A delegation from the Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP) presented its Stewardship Solutions Toolkit to the board.

Camille Roberge wanted to educate the RDEK so that it can communicate the importance of stewardship to private landowners.    

The toolkit includes options on how to enhance wildlife habitat, wetlands and riparian areas, and touches on invasive plants, water quality, and FireSmart ideas.

The toolkit was also designed as a resource for stewardship practitioners and local government planners.

Groundwater monitoring A delegation from Living Lakes Canada (LLC) presented a report on the organization’s groundwater monitoring program.

A presenter explained the LLC developed the program in response to the need for a better understanding of groundwater resources. 

They noted that groundwater is being negatively impacted by climate and land use changes. It was mentioned that the Water Sustainability Act includes provisions for groundwater licensing to better manage the resource and protect aquifers and streams. 

The goal of the LLC program is to track groundwater levels to determine how these levels change over time.

Trail detour

Bank erosion has resulted in a small section of the Markin-MacPhail Westside Legacy Trail to be cordoned off to the public.

“The trail remains fully open, there is just one small section that has experienced some erosion on the down hill side of the embankment and we are asking trail users to detour around that area until we have been able to fully assess it,” said RDEK General Manager of Engineering and Environmental Services Kevin Paterson. 

“We have marked this section with flagging tape, signage and barriers.  While there is plenty of space to go around the affected area and trail access has not been impeded, we are urging trail users to slow down and exercise caution while going around the barriers as this is an area adjacent to Westside Road.”

The RDEK has reached out to a geotechnical engineering firm to complete a full assessment.  

“We will continue to keep the public advised as we learn more, but would like to thank trail users for respecting the temporary barricades and for their patience while we work to restore full access,” said Paterson.

Arena news

The Columbia Valley Hockey School finished its three-week hockey school in late August at Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena. 

The camp was very well received and staff have begun preparations for next year.

The Real Ice cold water system has been installed and staff have begun managing pad temperatures and utilizing cold flood water. The feedback on the quality of ice has been very positive to date.

Invasive plants, mosquitos

Staff are scheduling neighbourhood visits and working on enforcement site inspections to control invasive plants.

Morrow BioScience continues to monitor river levels and conduct treatment of flood water mosquitos.