Friends of Kootenay Lake Podcast Series: Voices of the Lake


The Friends of Kootenay Lake Podcast Series: Voices of the Lake will expand your understanding and awareness of place as we dive into historical, current and future narratives of the Kootenay Lake Basin. Hosts Camille LeBlanc, FOKLSS Program Manager, and Kayla Tillapaugh, Assistant Program Manager interview local experts, scientists, historians, advocates, artists, cultural leaders, recreationalists, and storytellers in various fields.

Our vision for this podcast is to bring local communities together around our shared love and curiosity of Kootenay Lake through the provision of information that affects all lake users. Each episode features music from local musicians, making the podcast a celebration of Kootenay Lake, its people, and its culture.


Camille LeBlanc (Left) and Kayla Tillapaugh (Right). Photo Credit: Travis Adams


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Episode 15

Political Environmentalism: Pursuing Water Stewardship Through Politics

Oct 5, 2021

Guest: Wayne Stetski, NDP Representative for the Kootenay-Columbia Riding

Keywords: Politics, Water Stewardship, Conservation, Restoration, Nutrient Restoration, Kokanee, Bull Trout, Rainbow Trout, Columbia River Treaty, Treaty Renegotiations, Government, Governance, Policy, Enforcement, Environmental Crime, Climate Change, Water Rights, Water Scarcity, Water Needs, MLA, Funding, NGO, Kootenay Lake

Topics: The Kootenay Lake Nutrient Restoration Program; The Columbia River Treaty and ongoing renegotiations for treaty improvements; The issue of lack of action by governments to address concerns that exist within “gray areas” of jurisdictional responsibility; Policy and enforcement as it relates to environmental crime; How governments can ensure Canadian’s right to fresh water will be protected considering pressures like climate change and the sale of water to foreign investors; How governments can address growing concerns of local aquatic invasive species infestations; Prioritizing environmental protections considering economic pressures; local government’s role in ensuring community water needs are met considering water scarcity; How to ensure politicians are kept up to speed on current scientific data to encourage pro-environmental political decision making, and how we can encourage core-funding streams for environmental and other NGOs.

Music: “Slip Away” by the Alan Kirk Band

Additional Resources: Find and contact your Provincial Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), Federal Member of Parliament (MP) or your Municipal or Regional government

Disclaimer: Our conversation with Wayne in no way alludes to any implied preference for any particular political party. Our interest in speaking with Wayne solely regards his personal work experience as it relates to protecting Kootenay Lake, and other water resources, for future generations.

Episode 14

Smoky Skies: Building Wildfire Resilience Around Kootenay Lake

August 23, 2021

Guest: John Cathro, Independent Forester working in Community Wildfire Preparedness

Keywords: Wildfire, Wildland Urban Interface Forestry, Climate Change, Smoke, Air Quality, Wildfire Risk, Risk Mitigation, Fire Suppression, Fuel Load Reduction, Fire Smart, Community Planning, Land-use Planning, Wildfire Preparation, Wildfire Trends, Youth Engagement, Public Education, Community Leadership, Evacuations, 72-Hour Preparedness Kits, Wildfire Preparedness Plans

Topics: A synopsis of the current state of wildfires in the Kootenay Lake area; Wildfire risks in our communities and ecosystems; Wildfire trends over time; Factors that perpetuate wildfire risk; The role climate change plays; Wildfire risk mitigation and adaptation; Firesmarting and how to get started; Fuel load reduction; Community planning and public education. Empowering and involving youth; The role governments and community leaders should be taking on to adequately address these concerns; How residents can prepare for evacuation orders.

Music: “Katabatic Wind” by Wayne Saluti (not available online).

Additional Resources:

Cathro Consulting Website

RDCK Fire Smarting resources

Provincial wildfire preparedness guide

Provincial recommendations for what to pack in your 72-hour emergency preparedness kit

Episode 13

Native Plants in Wild Spaces: Restoring Kootenay Lake’s Pollination Corridors

August 3, 2021

Guests: Ethnoecologist, Brenda Beckwith and Restoration Botanist, Valerie Huff with the Kootenay Native Plant Society

Keywords: Native Plants, Meadow-making, Meadow-scaping, Native Pollinators, Seed Collection, Kootenay Native Plant Society, Flowers, Biodiversity, Connectivity, Pollination, Funding, Non-profit Organizations, Wildflowers, Restoration Ecology,

Topics: Kootenay Native Plant Society and programs offered; Why plants?; Promoting good, effective restoration and conservation; How to start a wildflower meadow on your property; Common plants with special attributes; How communities can support pollination systems and biodiversity; Need for diverse funding streams; Dream restoration projects in the eyes of a botanist; Honourable mentions.

Music: “Solace of the Beating Heart” by Jay Danley featuring Alexander Brown. YouTube.

Additional Resources: Kootenay Native Plant Society website.

Wildflowers for Pollinators: A Citizen-Science Meadowscaping Initiative Video. 

Episode 12

Learning the Ropes A Kootenay Lake Sailing Experience

July 13, 2021

Guest: Penny Caldwell, Sailing Instructor and owner of Sail Nelson Boating School

Keywords: Sailing, Boating, Sail Nelson, Boating Safety, Sailing Adventures, Sailing Races, Boat Races, Boating School, Stewardship,

Topics: The many wonders of sailing, Sail Nelson boating school and the programs offered to the community, sailing culture on Kootenay Lake and how it compares to other regions in the country, the sailing experience Kootenay Lake has to offer, what to consider in terms of boating safety and safety gear, and stewardship ethics as they relate to sailing and boating in aquatic ecosystems.

Music: “Zephyr” by First After the Fire. Website. Facebook. Spotify. YouTube.

Additional Resources: Sail Nelson website. 

Episode 11

Yogic Stewardship: Practicing Mindfulness on the Shores of Kootenay Lake

May 4th, 2021

Guest: Swami Sukhananda, Resident Yoga Teacher at the Yasodhara Ashram

Keywords: Yasodhara Ashram, Yoga, Saraswati Lineage, Kootenay Lake, Meditation, Mindfulness, Union, Conservation, Stewardship, Yogic Philosophy, Stretching, Connection, Food Security, Climate Change, Yoga Retreats, Satsang

Topics: The Ashram including its programs, offerings and teachings; The Ashram’s connection to the Kootenay Lake Community; History of the Ashram including how it was founded and how the temple was built; Yoga as a practice for self improvement; How Kootenay Lake influences the meditative and yogic practices taking place at the ashram; How yogic philosophy closely relates to conservation and stewardship

Music: “Ride the Wave” by The Hillties. Website, InstagramFacebookSpotify

Additional Resources: Yasodrara Ashram Website

Episode 10

Shoreline Planning: Development Permitting and Regulations Around Kootenay Lake’s Shorelines

April 8th, 2021

Guest: Corey Scott, Planner with the Regional District of Central Kootenay

Keywords: Development, Development Permits, Development Permit Areas, Environmental Development Permit Areas, Riparian Areas, Shoreline Regulations, Local Government, Community Planning, Community Values, Shoreline Remediation, Shoreline Naturalization, Shoreline Conservation, Lakefront Properties

Topics: What and why of environmental development permit areas around Kootenay Lake; How to know when a development permit is required and what resources are available to residents and contractors; When, why and what of the Kootenay Lake Development Permit Area Review; How Kootenay Lake compares to other BC lakes in terms of shoreline regulations; Naturalizing shorelines; Community guided planning.

Music: “Western Wind” by Born on a Wednesday, available on Bandcamp and Spotify. Visit their website and their Instagram page @bornonawednesdaymusic

Additional Resources: RDCK Kootenay Lake Development Permit Area Review

Kootenay Lake Riparian Areas Workshops April 27th or 28th, 2021. Contact Corey Scott if you are interested in attending the workshops: Registration will be available at the above link closer to the dates. Download the workshop poster below for more information.


Episode 9

Hydro Logic: Looking at Kootenay Lake’s Ever-changing Hydrology

March 24th, 2021

Guest: Dr. Martin Carver, Hydrologist, researcher and Principal of Aqua Environmental Associates.

Keywords: Hydrology, Water, Dams, Climate Change, Treaties, International Governance, Ecological Impacts, Streams, Glaciers, Wetlands, Water Governance, Water Data, Disappearances, Shorelines, Lakefront, Development, Kokanee Glacier, Kokanee, Water Quality, Water Quantity, Flooding

Topics: Hydrology of Kootenay Lake; Historical and projected climate change impacts to Kootenay Lake and surrounding ecosystems including glaciers; Shoreline development on the lake; The importance of water data and where to access historical records; Threats to our local water quality; How we can work as individuals and as communities to protect our surface water.

Music: “Waves at the Shore” by Wayne Saluti

Additional Resources:

Water Monitoring and Climate Change in the Upper Columbia Basin Report

Purchase “The Purcell Suite: Upholding the Wild” on Amazon

Kootenay Watershed Science project information

Episode 8

Stop the Spread: Managing Aquatic Invasive Species around Kootenay Lake

March 9th, 2021

Guest: Khaylish Fraser, Aquatics Program Coordinator with the Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society (CKISS)

Keywords: Invasive Species, Aquatic Invasive Species, Aquatic Ecosystems, Zebra Mussels, Quagga Mussels, Eurasian Milfoil, Asian Clams, Boat Inspections, Stop The Spread, Clean Drain Dry, Prevention, Invasive Prevention, Don’t Let it Loose, Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society, Gardens, Water Gardens, Pet Stores, Aquariums,

Topics: How bad the aquatic invasive problem is in Kootenay Lake; Which Aquatic Invasive Species are on CKISS’s radar; Social, economic and ecological threats/impacts of aquatic invasives; What, where and why of boat inspections; Asian clams in Shuswap Lake and risk of spread; Points of introduction; invasive mussel sampling and testing; What people can do to mitigate the spread of aquatic invasives in our waterways

Music: “In My Room, Instrumental” by the Alan Kirk Band: Soundcloud, Facebook 

Additional Resources: 

CKISS Website, Facebook, Youtube

Grow Me Instead

Report an Invasive Species

Episode 7

Climate Activism: Building Resiliency Through Community and Policy

February 23rd, 2021

Guest: Laura Sacks, Climate Scientist and Chapter Leader with the Nelson/West Kootenay Citizens Climate Lobby

Keywords: Climate Change, Citizens Climate Lobby, Activism, Lobbying, Policies, Campaigns, Community Engagement, Sustainability, Local Governments, Youth, Carbon Tax, Disempowerment, Empowerment, Hope,

Topics: The Citizens Climate Lobby; Fridays for the Future and youth activism; The challenges of educating people on climate change, Lobbying to local governments; The shifting of perspectives relating to the climate crisis; Maintaining a positive outlook for the future while acknowledging the emotional toll of climate grief and learning self care; Laura’s experience hosting the Kootenay Co-op radio show “Climate of Change”.

Music: “Out There” by First After the Fire: Website, Facebook, Spotify

Additional Resources: CCL website

Episode 6

Dam Curious: Fortis BC Talks Hydroelectric Influence on Kootenay Lake

February 9th, 2021


Guests: James Baxter, Aquatics Biologist and Blair Weston, Community & Indigenous Relations Manager with Fortis BC

Keywords: Dams, Hydroelectric, FortisBC, Due Diligence, Fish, Salmon, Flooding, Lake, Reservoir, IJC Curve,  Water Levels, Columbia River Treaty, COFAC, Kokanee, Shore-spawning Kokanee, Fish Passage, Fish Migration, Indigenous Relations, Culture, Reconciliation, Funding, Safety

Topics: Which dams Fortis manages in the region; How Kootenay Lake water levels are connected to the dams; Flood mitigation on Kootenay Lake; What the International Joint Commission is; Fortis’ link to the Columbia River Treaty; What the  Columbia Operations Fisheries Advisory Committee is and what they do in the region; Work being done to manage for shore-spawning kokanee; Local discussions about fish passage and how Fortis fits into the discussion; How Fortis manages Indigenous relations while operating in culturally significant spaces; Fortis’ Community Initiatives Funding Program; Safety around dams.

Music: “Clean Water and a Bag of Rice” by Jay Danley

Additional Resources: Grohman Narrows Channel Improvement Project Presentation

Grohman Narrows Channel Improvement Project Update December 2015

Episode 5

Rewilding the System: Restoring the Yaqan Nukiy Wetlands

January 27th, 2021

Guest: Norm Allard, Community Planner with Lower Kootenay Band

Keywords: Wetlands, Restoration, Yaqan Nukiy, Lower Kootenay Band, Wildlife, Conservation, Invasive Species, Ecology, Species-At-Risk, Dams, Dikes, Machinery, Fish, First Nations, Floodplain, Floodwaters, Erosion, Wildlife Habitat,  Nutrient Exchange, Freshet, Natural Resources, Indigenous Knowledge, Hunting, Gathering, Capacity Building

Topics: History of the Yaqan Nukiy Wetlands; the importance of this ecosystem to the Yaqan Nukiy community/people and the cultural history of its significance; the work being done to restore the wetlands; concerns, impacts; species at risk; restoration plans and priorities; details on the complex process of restoring ecosystems.

Music: “Sliver of Sunshine” by Born on a Wednesday

Episode 4

Climate Change: Addressing Contrasting Narratives and Visualizing Local Trends

January 12th, 2021

Guest: Mel Reasoner, Climate Scientist

Keywords: Climate, Climate Change, Global Warming, Adaptation, Mitigation, Climate Change Skeptics, Climate Science, Geology, Geologic Record, Precipitation, Temperature, Mean Temperature, Ice Age, GHGs, Carbon Dioxide, Media Influence, Climate Projections, Wildfire, Sea Level, Flooding, Recreation, Domino Effect, Tipping Point, Positive Feedback Loops, Geoengineering, Youth Empowerment, Climate Politics

Topics: Climate change basics and common terms; scientific evidence that climate change is human caused; how to approach a climate change denier; global and local climate trends (historical and projected); adaptation and mitigation strategies; empowering youth to take action; climate action responsibility and climate politics.

Music: “Blue Pearl of the Universe” by Earl Hamilton.

Episode 3

Wetland Conservation & Restoration: A Glimpse at the State of Wetlands in BC

January 5th, 2021

Guest: Neil Fletcher, Manager of Conservation Stewardship with the BC Wildlife Federation

Keywords: Wetlands, Conservation, Restoration, Development, Threats, Appreciation, Habitat Loss, Climate Change, Regulations

Topics: Importance of wetlands for lake ecosystem health, types of wetlands, wetlands’ role in climate change, historical and current threats, where the province is at with wetland conservation and regulations and how people can get involved in wetland conservation.

Music: “Fresh September Commute” by Handsome Hansel

Episode 2

Nurtured by Nature: Kokanee Creek Park through the eyes of a Naturalist

January 5th, 2021

Guest: Joanne Siderius, Senior Naturalist with the Kokanee Creek Nature Centre

Keywords:  Wildlife, Youth Education, Park Etiquette, Nature, Camping, Provincial Parks, Wildlife Cams, Community, Respect

Topics: Information on the Kokanee Creek Nature Centre and programs, park etiquette, what it means to be a park naturalist, shore spawning kokanee, human wildlife interactions, and the greatest captures on park wildlife cams.

Music: “Fletcher Falls Reverie” by Dave Carroll

Episode 1

Kin Consciousness: Approaching Water Stewardship Through Spirit, Culture, Art and Science

January 5th, 2021

Guest: Eileen Delehanty-Pearkes

Keywords: Culture, Water Stewardship, Traditional Indigenous Knowledge, Dams, Columbia-Basin, Sinixt, Arrow Lakes, Connectivity, Ceremony, Healing, Allyship

Topics: The social,  cultural and geographical history of our region, the importance of water stewardship, the connectivity of all systems, and how traditional Indigenous knowledge can supplement modern scientific methods of stewarding and restoring aquatic ecosystems.

Music: “Mothertribe” by Aradia Chappelle