Members of the Sustainability Commission (SC) are coming into the warm season with a spring in their step, advancing two major proposals — one on Rossland’s local trail system and the other to create a community energy plan.
Lea Thuot, manager of the SC, said there are plans afoot to partner with Tourism Rossland and KCTS (Kootenay Columbia Trail Society) to do an economic impact study on the use of our area’s trail system.
“We’re looking for funding,” Thuot said, noting a few possibilities. The SC has applied for summer student grants and is in contact with the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT). Most promising, however, is a potential partnership with Tourism BC.
“They’re doing a study this summer on the economic impact specifically of mountain bike trail use in B.C., and they’re looking for communities to take part in the study. We hope that Rossland will be chosen to work with them.”
The SC don’t have all their eggs in one basket. “Even if [Tourism BC] doesn’t come through, we’d still like to do it anyway.”
The SC is also moving forward with an initiative funded by the CBT to gather “baseline data” for a community energy plan, one of the key actions called for by Rossland’s Strategic Sustainability Plan to direct the town towards a better future, as defined by the desires of Rosslanders.
“We should have such an [energy] plan,” Thuot said, “and we want to create one, but we want input from the community.”
“There are two pieces to the proposal,” she explained. “One is to gather information on how best to support residents in energy conservation — what would help them move towards reducing their energy loads?”
“Secondly, once we get that information from them, we want to implement a strategy to help them achieve their goals. What would best help? For example, if they want education, we’ll help with that. Incentives? We’ll work on that.”