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CLPS focus turns to Phase two, raising $750,000 to purchase parcel’s critical slopes above lake

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
January 27th, 2020

Following 18 months of lobbying and letter writing, a portion of the land around Nelson’s beloved Cottonwood Lake has been saved from clear cut logging.

However, the Cottonwood Lake Preservation Society (CLPS) will not rest until all of the remaining 67 percent of the prized parcel — roughly 121 acres located on the steep old growth slopes directly above the lake — has been preserved.

And the CLPS has one year to raise upwards of $750,000 to preserve the remaining lands thanks to a negotiated temporary halt to private logging.

“CLPS has secured an agreement to purchase the rest of the land,” CLPS spokesperson Andrew McBurney said in a media release. “That means there’s a commitment on both sides to sell and buy the remaining portion of the forest.”

“While we have 2020 to raise the money, we and the seller have agreed to a check-in system,” McBurney adds. “This means that we have to raise a certain amount of money by a certain date. Our next check-in is April 30th where we need to have raised $180,000.”

McBurney said the public can make saving Cottonwood Lake a reality and receive a tax receipt in the process.

“The RDCK has partnered with us to provide charitable tax receipts for donations to this project,” McBurney explained. “We are so grateful for everyone’s support.”

It’s been more than a year since the issue of private logging in and around Cottonwood Lake started.

The community quickly came together, writing letters and generating more than $500,000 to save part of the lands surrounding Cottonwood Lake — thanks to an investment of $450,000 by the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) and the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK), and a further $56,000 raised by individual and business donations.

“The CLPS is so proud to be part of a community that’s made such a remarkable commitment to preserve this special place for generations to come,” said McBurney.

“We want to thank the RDCK, CBT, all the community-based organizations that stepped up and mostly, the hundreds of community volunteers and donors who came forward to make Phase One happen.”

McBurney says the public letter writing campaign was key to compelling the CBT and RDCK to invest $450,000, and secure the land, which has been added to Cottonwood Lake Regional Park. 

McBurney stresses that Cottonwood’s sensitive habitat and popular recreation spaces — where nearly 1,000 locals skated in the month of December — is still at risk of dire damage.

If Phase Two is clear cut, the lake and its population of fish and wildlife will be potentially prone to mudslides, avalanches and increased run-off. That would also jeopardize the significant investment of the RDCK, CBT and the public.

A public consultation held last spring to measure interest in saving the rest of the Cottonwood property “resulted in a resounding, yes”, says McBurney.

“We’ve built great relationships with other partners in the area, including a conservation organization to take over managing the land and preserve it and Cottonwood Lake in perpetuity,” McBurney said.

“We’re looking forward to working with everyone over the next vital year to ensure the entire Cottonwood Lake forest is preserved, forever.”

The society wants to thank everyone and announce the details for Phase Two at a large community event on February 15 at Cottonwood Lake from noon to 5 p.m.

For more information on making a gift to save Cottonwood Lake or to learn more about Cottonwood Lake Preservation Society, please check out the CLPS website or follow our facebook page:@apexcottonwood

Categories: General

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