Chinook Community Forest held an open house last week in the parking lot of BLNDC.
The open house was held from 3 to 7 p.m. with between 200 to 300 people showing up throughout the event and was an opportunity for the Community Forest to share information on the variety of projects that they have been working on.
“Chinook’s open houses over the last four years have been well received, with participants increasing each year. Chinook provides free food for the event, like hamburgers, hotdogs, smokies, homemade donuts, corn on the cob and Bannock. Chinook also provides a kid’s corner for games and prizes along with face painting,” noted Chinook Community Forest General Manager Ken Nielsen.
“An open house provides a means to engage with the community on activities and feedback.”
Some such activities that the Community Forest has been undertaking over the past few years include fire guard rehab and salvaging burnt stands within the Shovel Lake, Verdun and Nadina fires.
“Since the 2018 fires Chinook’s activities have been focused on fire guard rehab and salvaging burnt stands and Chinook operations will continue to be focused on fire salvage for the next two years,” said Nielsen.
The Community Forest will also be starting Wildfire Mitigation projects this year in the Southside and Rose Lake areas.
A project that the Community Forest is undertaking, which could mean additional camping sites for locals and visitors, is the Ootsa Lake rec site on the Ootsa Lake.
“Chinook has started the expansion of the Ootsa Lake rec site and it is estimated to increase the available camping spots by 12 – 15 sites,” said Nielsen.
“Chinook was approached by Brad Blackwell from Lakes Outdoor Recreation Society (LORS) on expanding the current rec site last year mid-summer, I believe. After a field visit of the site, it was determined this is a worthwhile project, as the current site has very limited camping area available and a shortage of recreation sites on Ootsa Lake.”
The estimated completion date for the project is Sept. 1, 2023.