Emergency public meeting called in effort to save Nelson’s Cottonwood Slopes from logging.

A growing number of concerned residents in Nelson, British Columbia, have called an emergency  meeting with the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) in the hopes of finding an alternative to plans for extensive logging above Cottonwood Lake and Apex cross-country ski area.

The group is concerned the proposed harvest, slated to begin March 1, 2019, will impact the visual, recreational and environmental values of the land on the southern edge of the city’s limits. The property in question is located upslope from Cottonwood Lake and can be seen from the highway on the way to Whitewater Ski Resort. Because it is private property, it is not subject to the Forest Practices Code.

Cottonwood Lake Regional Park comprises 8.2 hectares of land and is located south of the City of Nelson along Highway 6 toward Salmo. The park provides waterfront access to Cottonwood Lake and facilities include a swimming beach, picnic tables, boat launch, walking trails, cross-country ski trails, rest rooms and parking facilities. Top photo by Dave Heath.

Recently the RDCK has been engaging the landowner, who is willing to negotiate a sale, in the hopes of securing the timber/land for preservation.

“Time is of the utmost importance,” says organizer Andrew McBurney. “Logging is slated to begin before the end of this winter. All of the timber, from the top of the ridge, right up to within five metres of Cottonwood Lake, could be logged.”

An emergency meeting has been arranged for Wednesday, December 19th, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m, at the Nelson District Rod and Gun Club, 801 Railway St. in Nelson.

A number speakers, including RDCK directors, members of Nelson city council and local business owners will be in attendance to discuss all aspects of this issue, including how the purchase would be made and which various branches of government are involved.

Other topics will include:

  • the impact on adventure tourism and existing recreational venues
  • slope stability and downstream impact
  • impact on wildlife and fish environs, including grizzly habitat

“There’ll be plenty of open discussion and a civil exchange of ideas and possible solutions for saving this breathtaking place,” says McBurney. “This isn’t a meeting aimed at vilifying anyone. It’s an effort to find a win-win for everyone involved, with the help of local and regional government and the public.”