Two Exciting Meetings on a Rainy Rossland Evening: RSEA and FORRS

Sara Golling
By Sara Golling
October 24th, 2014

At 6:00 pm (Rossland Time) a group of 11 people met in the library’s meeting room to discuss the Rossland Society for Environmental Action (RSEA). This new not-for-profit group’s function is to facilitate environmental projects by community members, by providing a legal entity to sponsor qualifying projects for Rossland and the surrounding area, and to receive and disburse funds from funding agencies for the projects. RSEA’s first project may be, if funding is found, the proposed wetland rehabilitation project at the north end of Jubilee Park.

The Society’s funding needs are minimal, and include such things as Directors’ Liability Insurance, and maintaining an official address. Its founders expect to cover costs by taking a small administrative fee from grants handled by the Society.

RSEA became a legal entity over a year ago, but its founders — Ann Damude, Rachael Roussin, Tara Howse, Jennifer Vogel, and Erin Handy — have kept a low profile since then while they developed the mission, policies, procedures, bylaws, and a screening matrix for determining whether projects fall within the Society’s mandate.

Interested in learning more? Contact Chair Tara Howse at: RSEAinfo@gmail.com

The RSEA meeting adjourned at 6:50, so that people could quickly splash up the hill in the downpour to St. Andrew’s United Church Hall, for a public meeting at 7:00 pm hosted by Friends of the Rossland Range Society (FORRS) on the draft Management Plan for the proposed, and conditionally approved, Recreation Site covering the high country between the Red Mountain Resorts commercial tenure and the Big Red Cats commercial tenure.

Les Carter and Kim Deane gave a quick overview of the history of Rossland’s long struggle to obtain some form of official protection for the area and for access to its free public recreation, which has gained it a degree of fame (or notoriety, depending on whether you’re a skier or a bureaucrat upset by a large number of “trespass huts“). 28 people listened and asked questions about details of the draft plan, and studied copies of the draft map which shows the extent of the Recreation Site and the locations of the listed huts — both those destined for removal or consolidation, and those marked for being upgraded to meet the government’s basic requirements for health and safety. Those requirements are: a solid floor, raised off the ground so it doesn’t rot; rodent-proof, to avoid the hazards of hantavirus and other ills conveyed by rodent poop; and with a safe stove and chimney installation and adequate ventilation; and solid construction that will withstand the elements, including snow loads.

The government’s approval of the Recreation Site is conditional upon the community filing an acceptable (to the government) Management Plan by November 1 (of this year). The draft plan is being amended to include statements about equestrian use, Search and Rescue practice, and hunting.

Carter pointed out that approval of the Site will bring $2,000,000 of insurance which will cover recreational users and also volunteers working on the Site; and that final approval will also open the door to applying for funding to improve some of the day-use shelters and to replace others with better ones, and for amenities such as outhouses.

Carter mentioned that the Site had originally been discussed as the “Nancy Green Recreation Site” but that, to avoid confusion with the park at Nancy Green Lake and also to honour Nancy Green’s request that nothing more should be named after her, FORRS suggested that it simply be called the “Rossland Range Recreation Site.” Booty Griffiths was mentioned as worthy of having his name attached to the Site, because he and his friends first started using the area for recreation and for day-use shelters; but another person pointed out that our area has many people worthy of being so honoured, who are also important parts of the area’s history. The group agreed that one of the most-used shelters should be named after Booty.

The group gave its support to the draft plan, then trickled out into the dark deluge.


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