Silver Springs Stewardship Solutions

Silver Springs Stewardship Solutions Survey-closes June 20, 2014!

Silver Springs

 

Silver Springs Lakes is a natural jewel and a recreational magnet; a place near Elko we all love but are not leaving in its pristine condition. To keep Silver Springs beautiful, worth recreating at in the future and protecting the area for wildlife, requires community input. What are the solutions you see to better care of Silver Springs in the future?

By going to this Survey Monkey link, locals can share their perspective at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SCVVZR9

A chain of three clear, blue-green, spring fed alpine lakes at the base of spectucular lichen covered vertical cliffs, with easy access, is popular to people throughout the year. Winter ice skating before the snow falls is a magical ‘flight like’ experience. Tracking wildlife on snowshoes reveal large carnivores and ungulates moving from the Wigwam Flats and grassy plateaus above through the lakes corridor into the Elk Valley. Early spring fishing is incredible. Spring and autumn hiking along the eastern shore of the lakes and up onto the cliff rim is a paradise of early season wildflowers and birds, and in the fall, blazing golden larches and aspen.

Summer is when the site gets most use by locals and visitors to the region. Spectacular mountain views, dry hot climate, dramatic cliffs, and clean clear cool water attract thrill seekers to the first and brave skinny dippers to the third lake. What used to be a peaceful solitary visit are now mobs of people in July and August. Lately people are dragging up floaty toys, coolers of beer, partying, and camping overnight, where no facilities exist. “People build fire rings everywhere in a high risk, dry forest. There are no bathrooms. It is a backcountry site and requires people to pack it in and pack it out”, reminds Lee-Anne Walker, ERA Executive Director. “Many locals hesitate to take visitors and guests up there in the summer fearing chaos, parties, and unrully people”.

Elk River Alliance volunteers and youth from the Fernie Christian Youth Group have been cleaning up Silver Springs over the past number of years as part of BC Rivers Day in September, but the damage and impact is becoming extensive. “Last year most of the clean up was related to people going to the bathroom everywhere due to the lack of facilities”, says Walker.

What are the solutions to Silver Springs stewardship? Let’s work together to ensure Silver Springs remains a beautiful recreational experience. The Elk River Alliance (ERA) completed a public face-to-face survey of users on site through August last summer, many of whom were from outside the area. Simple solutions recommended by users so far include a composting outhouse, posted ‘day use only’ signs, better parking, and enforcing existing land use regulations and policies.

By going to this Survey Monkey link, locals can share their perspective at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SCVVZR9

Or visit the ERA Facebook page or website at www.elkriveralliance.ca. “We are hoping to gather at least 100 local surveys, but the more input the better; it will take you 5 minutes!”, encourages Walker. Survey closes June 20, 2014. Feedback will be used to develop a proposed solutions strategy to better steward Silver Springs.

 

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Elk River Alliance
a community-based water group that aims to connect people to the Elk River ensuring it is drinkable, fishable and swimmable for future generations.