Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Woe is Elizabeth Lake

Summer of 2014: Elizabeth lake sustained a back-up of water from a culvert that was blocked for months. Surrounding properties suffered flood damage, cattail islands floated to the north end of lake destroying lake access and currently, still preventing use of the educational dipping pond platform.  

Summer of 2015: A well pump was tested by the City for multiple days resulting in paths being washed out on more than one occasion, eroded gullies and a sediment bar across Jim Smith Creek.
Twice this summer city staff have repaired some of the damage caused by well-testing and the inadequate preparation for such action. Eroded gullies have been filled but as of August 17th, barriers remain, straw bales still litter the creek and seeding will need to take place to prevent repeat erosion and invasion of noxious weeds.

Is this the best that we can do?

The Elizabeth Lake property was generously donated to The Land Conservancy of BC. It contains valuable wetland and shoreline habitat and connects protected areas on either side.

This property is part of the City of Cranbrook regional trail system which circles (we question this)Elizabeth Lake. These trails allow access for residents and visitors to the Elizabeth Lake Bird Sanctuary, a 249-ha marshland protected by the Ministry of Environment and the City of Cranbrook. The Elizabeth Lake wetlands provide nesting opportunities for many species of birds, and a resting spot for migratory birds and waterfowl as they pass through the Elk Valley corridor. Elizabeth Lake provides prime habitat for muskrats, fish, frogs, turtles, and invertebrates. Deer, moose, fox, and coyotes also make this property home.

newly filled gully, powder dry and being driven on by vehicles entering through by unauthorised access

almost dried-up creek bed littered with straw bales

barrier remaining after well-testing

sediment bar caused by well testing

the now dried-up Jim Smith Creek, a contrast from 2014

UPDATE, August 18th
New information received August 18th indicates the City is awaiting permission from the ministry to clean up the site.
It now appears as though sediment is being cleaned from the creek bottom.

August 21st

We are pleased to report, the bales and fallen barriers have been removed and the sediment bar has also been removed by the City. 

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