Permanent Fish Weir at Duncan Dam

This spring, BC Hydro will begin work to install a new permanent fish weir at Duncan Dam. The new permanent fish weir will be installed in the same location as the old weir to improve upstream migration of bull trout and avoid manual annual weir installation, which will be both safer and more efficient. This will be a permanent structure constructed using a concrete foundation and steel plates that will withstand the full discharge of the low-level outlet gate.

We are aiming to complete construction during one season – from May 1 to August 1, 2023.This is an extension of our originally anticipated work window for this year, which was scheduled from May 15 to June 30, 2023. Construction may resume in the spring of 2024 if we are unable to complete all the work this year.

Please let me know if you have any questions about this project. I can be reached directly at 250-365-4565 or by email at

RDCK Climate Action Plan

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The RDCK is excited to introduce RDCK Climate Actions and accompanying Climate Action Workbook for public review and comment.


·         RDCK Climate Actions public information sessions – Wednesday March 15 3-4:30 pst & Tuesday March 21 6-7:30 pst

·         RDCK Climate Actions feedback form here.

·         April Board meeting – RDCK Board asked to adopt RDCK Climate Actions

RDCK Climate Actions is presented in different forms for different audiences:

1.       Rack Card (attached) – condensed summary for public distribution

2.       Public Booklet – engagement, education and action – 34 pages, very visual, invites personal action, provide a summary list of the actions

3.       Climate Action Workbook – deeper dive into all the actions

Director Watson January 2023 Report

Regional District Board updates to keep residents as informed as possible 🙂

You can reach me at


All our meetings are open to the public as are the agenda’s, minutes, and content of the business we conduct.

These agendas are close to 800 pages, I will highlight what may be of interest to Area D residents:

Rural Affairs Committee:

Rural Affairs Committee Meeting | Regional District of Central Kootenay (

This committee oversees land use issues within rural areas. There are no items specific to Area D on this agenda, however we are looking at updating the Advisory Planning Commission bylaw as we have added a heritage registry to the RDCK and various administrative changes to how APHC’s are managed. This item is direction to staff to update the bylaw, so it will come back with recommendations at a future meeting.

Area D has a great APHC but lacks representation from those in the heritage sector, please reach out if you would be interested in joining.

Joint Resource Recovery

Joint Resource Recovery Committee | Regional District of Central Kootenay (

This committee oversees all our garbage, recycling, composting (new for some areas), household appliances, soil and debris, construction ect materials. The RDCK is one of the most complex waste service areas with geographically sparse communities and extended producer responsibility programs that design their supports around urban settings. With close to 30 sites from landfills, transfer sites and recycling depots, resource recovery is diverse and not cheap. Currently, in the Central resource recovery region, which Area D and Kaslo are in, we are subsidizing recycling an cardboard drop off for businesses at a cost of $600,000 plus, this does include areas from Salmo to Gerrard. We continue to advocate that rural areas should not be paying more for a service that urban centers are covered for, its been more then 10 years we have been advocating including sending the total subsidization costs to the Minister of Environment and Recycle BC.

When it comes to other EPR programs, such as used oil, paints ect…. they are as well not available in rural areas despite the requests from the RDCK that they increase servicing. We have explored household hazardous waste depots, given it requires significant subsidization, the depots have been concentrated where volumes make them more affordable to operate, Nelson opened a few years ago and we are aiming for one in Creston. The rest of the areas still rely on our annual round ups, that also require taxation to support.

This meeting will focus primarily on the draft budgets for 2023. Central Resource is looking at a 10% increase to tipping fees, $3.50-$3.75/bag and a 3% increase in taxation. The service is funded by about 60% taxation and 40% tipping fees. We intend to move more to a user pay system and not so much pressure on taxation.

Regular Open Board Meeting | Regional District of Central Kootenay (

This is our primary business meeting. Items of potential interest:

4.1.6 North Kootenay Lake Services Committee

This service oversees the shared services between Kaslo and Area D. These minutes show two of our services we have determined the draft budget for 2023, Library has requested an increase of 6% with this year grant request: $118,100. Kaslo Search and Rescue’s request for $27,000 has also been added to the draft budget.

Kaslo and Area D share 6 services. Area D has a total of 24 services.

4.2.1 Kaslo and Area D Economic Development Commission

One of the shared services between Kaslo and Area D, these minutes reflect the most recent actions from the EDC. Kaslo and Area D are joining Imagine Kootenay.

4.5.3 Directors reports- Columbia River Treaty (CRT)

I am one of two appointed Directors to the CRT local government committee. This report provides an update on the actions to support a renewed treaty. Most importantly are upcoming public meetings to engage with negotiators directly. Details in the report.

6.4 Kootenay Cannabis Council

As a founding member of this council, I was excited to support the transition to a legal market given how much cannabis is a baseline to our Kootenay economy while also being a plant that can address everything from health needs to industrial use to replace plastics. See the attached report for their first year activity accomplishments.

9.2.2. Community Emergency Preparedness Fund

This grant application will provide resources for our Emergency Support Services, who are the folks who assist with residents when they have to leave their homes due to evacuations. Kaslo and Area D have a well knowledgeable and committed group of volunteers that manage our ESS at a top notch level.

9.2.5 Wildfire Development Permit Area -Final report

For those interested in learning more about the wildfire DPA work, this is where the report can be found. Area D will evaluate adopting this DP tool through the community planning process currently underway.

9.3.1 ReDi grants, formerly Affected Areas and Community Initiatives grant program

This report covers the process for 2023, intake is open and criteria can be found here:

Columbia Basin Trust Resident Directed Grants | Regional District of Central Kootenay (

9.6.2 Community Development grants

Area D is funding the Kaslo Acupuncture Clinic to host a very important documentary upcoming and the upcoming Winter in the Forest event.

For a full list of commitments from Area D grants, please reach out or check my Director page where I have posted the 2022 allocations. I do plan grants a year in advance. For 2023, I will be shifting the funding for the farmer innovation program to the Grid Resilience program (stay tuned!) and the mosquito abatement program as well as 20+ other projects.

2022 Christmas Bird Count Report

It was a Wet and Windy Christmas Bird Count but not a Washout!

Despite the wet weather and treacherous road conditions, 18 participants in Lardeau’s 26th Christmas Bird Count (CBC) on December 27th found 29 species, mostly by walking. An additional 8 species were seen during count week. The week leading up to count day was challenging for birds and humans; very cold temperatures were followed by at least 18” of new snow which closed the highway on Christmas Eve, which was then followed by rain on ice. A big thank you to the dedicated and enthusiastic team leaders, field observers and feeder/yard watchers in Meadow Creek, Cooper Creek, Johnson’s Landing, Argenta and Lardeau. The CBC is centred at Lardeau and covers a 24km circle which ranges from just north of Meadow Creek to Schroeder Creek.

Highlights include the ‘resident’ flock of red-winged blackbirds that favour Cooper Creek and sometimes venture to Meadow Creek. Black-capped Chickadee was the most numerous species followed by Steller Jays, Common Ravens and Wild Turkeys. The only water fowl reported was at the Argenta turtle ponds area; a handful of Canada Geese, mallards, and a lone Northern Pintail. For comparison, the previous CBC in 2021 when it was brutally cold only yielded 25 species, and in 2020 there were 38 species on count day. 

Thank you to all participants for contributing to North American’s longest-running Citizen Science project, the Christmas Bird Count. The information collected forms one of the world’s largest sets of wildlife survey data and is used to assess the population trends and distribution of birds. For more information see:

One of the birds seen was a Varied Thrush and some of the group posed for a photo (photos by Jim Lawrence).

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