Columbia Basin Trust is hosting 36 community meetings across the Basin in the coming months, gathering insight to update its management plan. To have your say in-person, locally, the first opportunity will be in Trail on Thursday, March 12.

Trail open house part of Basin-wide public engagement

Trail event goes Thursday, March 12 from 2-6 p.m., and guided discussion from 6-8 p.m.

Whether it’s from the comfort from your home on an electronic device or face-to-face in a public session, Columbia Basin Trust (Trust) wants to hear from you.

In the immediate area, the first open house opportunity will be in Trail on Thursday, March 12, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Riverbelle Restaurant, located on the downtown Esplanade.

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Following the open house, there will be a guided conversation in the Riverbelle, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“We invite everyone—of all backgrounds, interests and ages—to participate in the online conversation and to join us at the community meetings,” said Johnny Strilaeff, Trust president and chief executive officer.

“All levels of participation are welcome: drop by for a quick chat, stay for the facilitated session or have your say online. Let’s imagine our future together.”

From now until the end of June, the Trust is hosting 36 of these sessions throughout the Basin.

Locally, after the Trail event, comes Rossland on April 9 in the Rossland Miner’s Hall then Castlegar on April 23 in the city’s community complex. The Trust returns to Fruitvale on April 28 in the Fruitvale Memorial Hall, and finally a session will be held in the Montrose Community Hall on June 24.

Whether the Basin resident takes part online or face-to-face, at the nucleus of this process is an open-ended question.

“Imagine life in the Columbia Basin in 25 years,” the Trust asks. “What are your thoughts on how your community and the Basin can be a great place to live, work and play in the future?”

All insight received at community meetings and through online engagement will be gathered by the Trust and used to renew its strategic plan.

“It will shape and form the programs and services provided in the Basin to continue the legacy started in 1995,” the Trust states. “One that continues to see the Basin as a place where social, environmental and economic well-being is fostered.”

The Trust says it will share its new strategic plan with all people in the Basin and ensure residents are kept informed of progress in early 2021.

“Such a significant part of the Trust’s creation 25 years ago was the incredible grassroots engagement undertaken with the people of the Basin,” Strilaeff said.

“This is a time to celebrate the legacy of that engagement, to reflect on our shared history, and to imagine our future together in the Basin. I am excited to hear the dreams and ideas that people bring forward and I know they will be as powerful as those of the past.”

The Trust is also asking locals to save the date for an upcoming symposium in Trail, which will be held from Oct. 2 to Oct. 4. (A second is slated for Golden Oct. 23 to Oct. 25)

Basin-wide symposia happen every three to four years. The 2020 editions have identical agendas and are free to attend.

The Trust is accountable to all the people in the Basin.

Its work is guided by the Columbia Basin Management Plan (CBMP), developed in consultation with people in the Basin. Using the input received through the upcoming engagement process, the Trust will update its management plan and renew focus areas.

For more information on dates and locations, visit or call 1.800.505.8998.

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