Awarded to the Cottonwood Lake Preservation Society to acquire the land surrounding Cottonwood Lake.
PROPONENT: Cottonwood Lake Preservation Society
DESCRIPTION: Cottonwood Lake Preservation Society (CLPS) was formed in 2019, and focused solely on acquiring the land that surrounds and is upslope to Cottonwood Lake. This unique parcel of land was slated to be heavily logged. The CLPS started a public fundraising campaign to raise proceeds needed to acquire the land parcel. CLPS dedicated time and energy to fundraising, raising awareness, and building relationships with like-minded stakeholders, residents, foundations, environmental groups and First Nations communities.
Approximately 2/3 of the acquisition is forested and provides habitat for cavity nesters, raptors, and other birds and amphibians that breed in the wetland at the south end of Cottonwood Lake. The forest provides wildlife connectivity from the mountain ranges to the valley bottom and provides terrain stability and blowdown mitigation benefits for Cottonwood Lake. The area has significant biodiversity value and, at a landscape scale, the region is embedded in an ecosystem that supports wide ranging mammals and is a known corridor for grizzly bears. The area also contains and ecologically influences Cottonwood Lake and a large section of Cottonwood Creek.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of the Society was to raise the resources needed to purchase the land parcel and work with conservation partners and Indigenous Leaders to ensure the area remains protected. Together with the local community, the Society successfully acquired the 121 acres of land for conservation purposes.
This acquisition will benefit the Kootenay Lake region by protecting the upland and dryland zones upslope of Cottonwood Lake and all of its inhabitants. The land will be transferred to a land trust who will manage the ongoing stewardship of the land for conservation purposes, benefiting all the valuable habitats in the area and protecting the land from deforestation, erosion, mudslides and avalanches.
PHOTOS: Cottonwood Lake Preservation Society