Stewardship funding unknown at lake

Brenda LaCroix (far right)

Brenda LaCroix (far right)

Funding issues, bear warning signs and rogue docks were on the radar at the meeting last week for the Christina Lake Stewardship Society.

Because of changes to the provincial government gaming grants, the society will likely not be able to apply for the $25,000 it’s been getting, per year, for next year.

Society President Peter Bowen said that without finding another source of funding, the society would be in danger of running out of money.

“We need to establish some form of funding where we’re not applying annually for handouts,” Bowen said. He added that if they were to lose the $15,000 in funding from the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) the society would not be able to function.

The other funding the society receives is usually grant-specific and so can’t be reallocated within the society.

Bowen was hopeful that the new government might reinstate the gaming grants.

The society also hopes to implement signs that will inform people of the dangers of not disposing trash and other food waste in the correct bear safe garbage containers during the tourist season. The danger of having bears come into the residential and tourist areas of the lake is high, particularly because there will be bears that were fed last year that will not be fed this year.

Brenda LaCroix, stewardship co-ordinator, says the likelihood of bears having to be shot is high.

“Last year, 90 bears in Nelson had to be shot,” LaCroix said, alluding to the chance that bears at the lake could face a similar fate.

Bear warning signs would hopefully give Christina Lake’s bears a better chance.

Another issue was that of the docks that have been cast off.

LaCroix said that there are 58 docks that are rotting away at the north side of the lake, abandoned there after new docks were installed.

The docks are hazardous due to rusty nails and spikes that protrude the rotting wood and the society wants to remove them.

LaCroix said that there were problems due to provincial park liabilities that won’t allow them to go in and remove them.

Some of the docks are tethered to trees.