About ingrid

Ingrid has been the owner and editor of The East Shore Mainstreet newspaper for more than twelve years since 2002. She lives and works out of her home in Gray Creek alongside her husband Juergen and children Zoe and Luka.

Open Meeting – Retallack Adventure Tourism Proposal





April 16, 2018, Creston, British Columbia, Canada

The Lower Kootenay Band (yaqan nuʔkiy) and Retallack have partnered to provide a range of guided adventure tourism activities, both summer and winter, within the Ktunaxa Traditional Territory (Ktunaxa ʔamakʔis) in the Southern Purcell Mountains.

The partners have jointly submitted an application for an innovative adventure tourism tenure on the east side of Kootenay Lake, south the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy. The proposed 70,000ha (177,000 acre) multiple use tenure will allow for guided hiking, horseback riding, climbing and mountain biking in summer and guided ski touring, heliskiing, mountaineering, snowshoeing and dogsledding in winter.

“We are interested in developing an innovative, diverse and sustainable adventure tourism economy for the long-term well-being of the Ktunaxa people and local communities. We are pleased to partner with Retallack who has a proven local track record of business turnarounds, operational excellence, environmental leadership and innovative growth expansion into new markets. In our opinion this application presents a model of stewardship, that balances local environmental, social, cultural, and economic values,” said Chief Jason Louie.

“It is important to note that the proposed tenure area is not in current or recently proposed Federal or Provincial Caribou habitat. With the exception of the construction of a limited number of mountain biking trails, the application proposes to use the current land base ‘as-is.’ No new roads will be constructed and old growth, including the sacred White Pine, will be protected. This will h

elp with the ongoing preservation of wild spaces. In keeping with Ktunaxa values there are also a number of innovative conservation strategies that have been proposed, for example, the use of

wildlife technicians who will facilitate better ongoing monitoring and management and the commitment in our management plan for our operations to remain carbon neutral or even negative,” said Curtis Wullum, LKB Director of Development Services.

“By proposing this locally-based project we

 are looking to help create and support long-term local employment and existing businesses but also shape this operation so that it becomes an example of how to create and manage a sustainable operation that benefits the public, the Ktunaxa people and the habitat that we share with wildlife. We are entering a new age of reconciliation and we are excited with our new First Nations partnership. For over 13,000 years, the yaqan nuʔkiy have inhabited the Kootenays. Their local land management and wildlife knowledge is second-to-none. There are many First Nations values and principles that can be applied to enable this to become a

model of stewardship that is reflective of and adaptive to public and wildlife concerns. We therefore remain open to public consultation and suggestions for improvements to this application,” said Chris McNamara, Retallack CEO.

To submit additional comments and suggestions please E-mail sustainabletenure@gmail.com.

About yaqan nuʔkiy (Lower Kootenay Band)
Historically and since time immemorial, the yaqan nuʔkiy were the original inhabitants of the Lower Kootenay area. The name yaqan nuʔkiy literally means “where the rock stands” and refers to an important place in the Creston Valley.

The yaqan nuʔkiy is one of six bands that make up the Ktunaxa Nation. Four of the bands are located in British Columbia and two in the United States:
• yaqan nuʔkiy – Lower Kootenay Band (Creston, BC)
• ʔakisq̓nuk – Columbia Lake Band (Windermere, BC)
• ʔaq̓am – St. Mary’s Band (Cranbrook, BC)
• ʔakink̓ umǂasnuqǂiʔit – Tobacco Plains Band (Grasmere, BC)
• ʔaq̓anqmi – Kootenai Tribe of Idaho (Bonners Ferry, Idaho)
• k̓ upawi¢q̓nuk – Ksanka Band (Elmo, Montana)

The Traditional Territory of the Ktunaxa Nation covers approximately 70,000 square kilometres (27,000 square miles) within the Kootenay region of south-eastern British Columbia and historically included parts of Alberta, Montana, Washington and Idaho.
The people of yaqan nuʔkiy speak the Ktunaxa language which is one of the eleven original aboriginal language families in Canada. The language is an isolate and is not related to any other language in the world.

About Retallack
Retallack is based in Nelson, BC and provides world-class backcountry catskiing, snowboarding and mountain biking adventures in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. Retallack was the first operator in its industry to receive a prestigious 4-Green Key Eco-Rating for demonstrating “national industry leadership and commitment to protecting the environment through wide ranging policies and practices.”


Report from Informational Meeting – North West Mountain Experience’s Ski Touring Proposal

Image result for backcountry skiing

Approximately 25 people attended the April 18, 2018 informational meeting regarding one of two proposals which could impact East Shore residents in significant ways (this one by North West Mountain Experience is to start an Eco-Adventure Tourism program in the Purcells on Armour Mountain).

Daniel Morton, along with his wife Mary and their son Logan, arranged to present the plan to East Shore residents at 7pm on April 18 at the Crawford Bay Hall. Daniel is an ACMG (Association of Mountain Guides) Backcountry Ski Guide and his wife Mary is a professionally trained chef. Their company is called North West Mountain Experience and is based out of their home in the Slocan. They have been renting backcountry huts and lodges and touring groups (they have around 500 regular guests and an approximate 80% return rate) all over southern BC and into Alberta for many years now. Morton expressed that it’s become harder to secure huts and lodges with the high demand of back country skiing and excursions. They have to book years in advance and it requires a huge amount of planning, says Morton.

NWME is asking permission to build a lodge to sleep 12 guests and 4 staff (and eventually an additional guest hut) between the East Shore and Kimberly in the Purcell Mountains. Their proposal is to helicopter in 12 guests, once per week, during the winter months. Their helicopters are AStar machines, reportedly much smaller and quieter than the Bell 205’s and 212’s. These weekly trips would mean a couple of round trips maximum to bring the existing guests out and bring in the new guests and supplies. Morton calls his outfit a non-mechanized one because, although they use a helicopter to bring people in, it’s all just human power from the point of drop off. There are no snowcats or other motorized machinery at work. They use composting toilets, solar power, and take out everything they bring in.

The Lands Office accepted Morton’s proposal first (of the two coinciding “heli-ski” proposals) for review. It is important to note that NWME’s proposal is asking for tenure on just over 10,000 hectares, all based in the RDEK region. The Retallack proposal is asking for over 70,000 hectares.

Morton has already begun local partnerships with businesses, including Kokanee Springs who would host the launch pad for the helicopter and provide accommodation for the guests. That doesn’t mean that the guests would be required to stay there, or that they couldn’t come earlier and enjoy the region before going up to the ski lodge. A local resident man suggested that NWME even encourage guests to come earlier for that intent purpose. Morton was very receptive to the idea. Morton also stressed that their proposal has the end goal of being a non-mechanized, eco-tourism, sustainable, non-resource based one, including the lodge and out buildings.

Morton pointed out that this right to tenure does not give anyone exclusive use of the terrain, and he is very open to locals visiting the site and willing to work out deals with those who would like to experience it first-hand. They are asking for permission to build the cabin and then take folks skiing back there. The lodge location would be 44km northwest of Kimberly, 24km NE of Crawford Bay and 21km N of Riondel. Morton says the impact of the lodge and skiing outfit will be absolutely minimal to residents, but will bring 12-24 guests into the area throughout the winter, potentially making a nice little boost to the local economy. The proposal includes summer hiking and touring as well, but that is to be developed. The winter ski tours are the focus for now. There would also be jobs available with the lodge, including building, trades work, hut keeping and more. Morton also said he would feature the area and businesses on his website to encourage visits and continue to seek out local partnerships.

NWME’s proposal notes that the application respects the Purcell Conservancy, leaving a one kilometre buffer between the border of the Conservancy and their outlying border and the lodge itself is 7 km away from the line. They are also well away from the provincial park. “Environmental concerns are important with any development, and we take it very seriously,” said Morton. “We are given guidelines by the Ministry of Environment, and we stay well within them. The last thing we want to do is endanger or threaten wildlife.”

Regarding the coinciding, larger proposal and what might happen, it was expressed that both could be accepted, both could be rejected or either one could be accepted or rejected. It’s up to residents now to give feedback on what they want to see happen. NWME has given their informational meeting and you can read the full proposal and give feedback on it at the following address (feedback on this proposal is only taken until May 6 (Note: if you have difficulty with the link, save the pdf on your desktop and open it from there):


As for the other proposal, as of April 20, the rumour about the Wildsight meeting at the Gray Creek Hall on April 23 has been dispelled. The meeting WAS booked, but has been POSTPONED until hopefully May 2/3, but the date hasn’t yet been confirmed. Eddie Petryshen, Conservation Coordinator for Wildsight, says that they will likely be hosting that meeting and will “definitely let Retallack and the Lower Kootenay Band know when we have the public meeting as they have shown interest in attending.”


The full Retallack proposal can be read and responded to here (feedback until May 13):


Those who went to the NWME information meeting are strongly encouraging those who are interested in the other proposal to make sure that they attend the upcoming meeting.

Mainstreet will do what it can to get the word out and report on the other proposal.

Ski Touring Operation Information Meeting for North West Mountain Experience, Armour Mtn – Weds, April 18 at CB Hall (one of two proposals in now)

Image result for north west mountain experience

On Wednesday, April 18th at the Crawford Bay Hall at 7pm, Daniel Morton of North West Mountain Experience will be available to answer questions and give information about his proposal to start a non-mechanized back country ski touring operation on Armour Mountain behind Riondel and area.

Everyone welcome – go to his application to view the full proposal and give feedback until May 6. https://arfd.gov.bc.ca/ApplicationPosting/viewpost.jsp?PostID=54933

Morton’s proposal covers about 10,000 hectares and is smaller than the Retallack proposal that went in at the same time. (There is reportedly a meeting for the other proposal on April 23 at the Gray Creek Hall at 8pm, yet to be confirmed.)

Back Country/Heli-Ski Proposals Affecting the East Shore

Over the past several days, two separate proposals for tenure and development of land in the Purcell Mountain region off of East Shore areas have come to the public’s attention and are piquing the interest of many residents. The two proposals came to the general public’s attention at roughly the same time, but have nothing to do with each other, except that they conflict with one another as far as land use/recreation concept goes.

Heli Ski 1

North West Mountain Experience (Daniel Morton ACMG ski guide) is applying for a commercial backcountry ski lodge (non-mechanized) at Armour Mountain, northeast of Rose Pass. The tenure area is relatively small (just over 10,000 hectares) and is in the upper St. Mary River just south of the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy. He put in a notice advertising the application and notifying of the public feedback period in the April Mainstreet. Watch for notice about a possible meeting held by Morton to answer questions in the coming days. His application can be found at the following (it is open for comments until May 6):


The other application (substantially bigger – over 70,000 hectares) has been put in by Retallack Lodge and covers a very large area, including much of the southern Purcell Mountains south of the wilderness conservancy, which isn’t already covered by existing tenures. The application includes a variety of guided adventure tourism activities such as heliskiing and helihiking and a lodge and huts. The Lower Kootenay Band of the Ktunaxa Nation has partnered with Retallack in this proposal. There has been rumour about a public meeting to be held, yet to be specified. (Possibly on April 23 at the Gray Creek Hall – watch for further details). There was no notice posted in the Mainstreet, although that may be coming.Their application can be found at the following (it is open for comments until May 13):


Please stay informed, come to the public meetings and voice your concerns and/or your support. Watch for further details coming soon!

Small Ferry for a Few More Days…

Submitted by Kootenay Lake Ferry Improvement Project Team

Persistent low water levels on Kootenay Lake require the use of MV Balfour for a few more days. MOTI and operators are actively monitoring water levels and aim to bring the larger capacity MV Osprey back into service as soon as possible. The refit of MV Osprey is complete on schedule and the vessel is ready to return to service when water levels are suitable.

While MV Balfour remains in service, we suggest you check Drive BC or the overhead signage in Creston and Nelson about potential sailing waits, arrive early for the ferry, allow time for a sailing wait, or if your schedule allows, consider off-peak crossing times or alternate routes.

We apologize for the inconvenience to ferry users.

Tipi Camp Silent Auction Tonight!

Tonight – April 7, from 5-8pm – Crawford Bay Hall

Come and support Tipi Camp’s 30th year by attending our Silent Auction! Greek food, Music by the Village Greek Band, 50/50 draw, Door prizes, and many amazing items and services to bid on, including Starbelly Jam and Shambhala passes, gift certificates and so much more!

Sale of SD#8 Properties

School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake)
Press Release
April 4, 2018

Long Range Facilities Plan – Sale of Properties

Image result for sale of land
In its efforts to advance the 2016-2024 Long Range Facilities Plan, the Board will be disposing of the following property, subject to the Minister of Education’s approval, and the Board’s authority:

  • School Board Office, Nelson BC
  • Former AI Collinson Elementary School, Nelson BC
  • Former Gordon Sargent Elementary School, Nelson BC
  • Kin Park, Creston BC
  • Tennis Courts and Pool Land, Salmo BC
  • Old Maintenance Yard, Crawford Bay BC
  • Yahk Elementary School, Yahk BC
  • Yahk Land, Yahk BC
  • Ymir Land, Ymir BC
  • Retallack Land, Retallack BC

The Board recognizes the important partnerships and complexities some of the properties above entail. Therefore, the method of disposal for each property may vary as instructed by the Board and have yet to be determined.

“One of the overarching principles of the facilities plan is to decrease the cost of ownership of the Board’s assets”, says Chair Trenaman. “By divesting the Board of properties not housing SD8’s programs and students, the Board can better allocate resources to classrooms and programming, and reduce deferred maintenance costs over the long term.” Once the Board has determined how it will dispose of each property, those methods will be communicated.

In the meantime, all inquiries and tours need to be authorized and arranged through the Secretary-Treasurer.

For further information, please contact Secretary-Treasurer Kim Morris at 250-352-6681 or kmorris@sd8.bc.ca or visit http://www.sd8.bc.ca/Publ/SD8FacilitiesPlan-Draft3-20161003.pdf.

Lenora Trenaman
Chair, Board of Education
School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake)

Kootenay Lake Ferry Terminal Issues – Overview

March 26, 2018 – Brian Moffat of Riondel, BC presents this overview for perusal regarding issues around the Kootenay Lake Ferry and terminal. The perspective and research follows below, along with contact info for writing your own letters of concern or feedback.

Revealing Our Area’s Best Tourist Attractions – Free Campaign Launching Soon!

CVKL Communities Team Up to Reveal Area’s Best Tourist Attractions

Businesses and Community Groups sought for Tourism Campaign Launching in summer of 2018

 The Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake Tourism Advisory Committee (CVKL TAC), a partnership of tourism stakeholders representing communities from Yahk to Riondel, is pleased to announce the launch of a one-year regional tourism campaign. The Free campaign, which launches in the summer of 2018 is now inviting applications by interested businesses and community organizations to participate.

Photo 1 – A truck & camper cruising Kootenay Lake in the summer

(Photo Credit: Andrew Bibby)

Similar to the International Selkirk Loop and the Creston Valley & East Shore Art Walk, the campaign will showcase participating local businesses, organizations, and attractions as part of four self-guided tours: Arts & Culture, Local Food & Wine, Nature & Recreation, and Health & Wellness.

By using  the campaign’s mobile-friendly website, social media pages, or just grabbing a print guide, visitors will be able to tour at their own time and pace while discovering the many unique businesses and attractions along the way. Ultimately by working together, the campaign will provide the inspiration visitors need to stay in the area longer and make more trips during the Spring and Fall shoulder seasons as well.

“I’m really excited to be part of the many businesses and groups working together from our local communities with the common goal of promoting tourism,” said  Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery co-owner and committee member Bob Johnson. “This regional campaign is a big step in the right direction that will not only benefit the tourism sector directly, but will also provide benefit for all our local businesses.”

With a launch date for early summer 2018, the CVKL TAC is now accepting applications from interested  businesses and community organizations until April 23rd.  Interested businesses and organizations can learn more about the campaign and apply at www.bit.ly/cvkltourism. For further information or inquiries please feel free to contact project coordinator, Jesse Willicome at jesse.willicome@skimmerhornconsulting.com.




YOU Are An Asset! Opportunities for Action March 16/18

You are an Asset!

by Laverne Booth

We finally got it right, just as we wind up the Asset Based Rural Development project on March 16 at the Opportunities for Action Forum at the school in Crawford Bay.   It is the people- the individuals, each with  skills and experience, who are the real assets of Area A.

Who looks after the community halls?  Who keeps the Lions Club going cooking hamburgers at events and counting our cans to raise money for good local and international causes?  Who keeps the youth engaged, and the seniors busy?  Who organizes and trains the First Responders and runs the health society? Who runs the fitness centre?  Who meets as the early childhood council EASEY ? Who sits on the Economic Development Commission, Rec 9 and the Area Planning Council?  Who keeps our internet service going?  Who organizes Starbelly Jam and Tipi Camp?  Who is making the music?  Who is doing community theatre?   YOU ARE!

You are individuals giving of your time, attention and caring to look after the social infrastructure of our communities.  Your creativity and energy makes our communities healthy and beautiful.   Volunteers are the people who are engaged, usually enjoying themselves,  helping to preserve what we have here on the East Shore/Wynndel area of Kootenay Lake, and working together to shape our bright future.

You are the people who are invited to attend the day long event on March 16 where we dive deep into what we already have (our assets), and where we want to go as a large Area A community- who we want to have as neighbours and what actions can we take together.  This is a time and place to express yourself.

The event starts at 9:30 am with writer Luanne Armstrong spinning some turbulent, topsy turvy East Shore communities stories from her upcoming book Shorelines.  You are invited to tell your newcomer story, and share your issues and dreams for your home community.  Meet some of the service providers and funders for the area, ponder together how we can improve what we already do well.

Resident citizens will hear about new initiatives, display any project ideas you have,  and choose an action to get behind even if it is only 30/30.  30 minutes a month.  Perhaps you are interested in a study group. There is no pressure to get involved- just wanting to empower residents to create the  future we want for ourselves, our families, the children, our world.

We are planning to feed 100 people.  REGISTER NOW!

Email  eslearningplace@gmail.com  or text/call 250-551-6020 to get a form, set up child care or access ride sharing.