Cherryville residents are discussing what activities should be allowed on Sugar Lake.

Cherryville residents are discussing what activities should be allowed on Sugar Lake.

Meeting targets Sugar Lake compromise

About 70 people attended a meeting held by the Cherryville Water Stewards Thursday

A compromise is being sought between recreational pursuits and environmental protection.

About 70 people attended a meeting held by the Cherryville Water Stewards Thursday to discuss a campaign to restrict motor boats on Sugar Lake.

“There is a will in general to protect the lake but some want to keep their motor boats,” said Russ Collins, one of the authors of a petition calling for rules.

Collins insists the goal is to reduce conflict between residents on both sides of the issue and find middle ground.

“An either or situation won’t work for anyone.”

Hank Cameron, Cherryville’s regional district director, was pleased with the meeting.

“It was a respectful and civil discussion,” he said.

“People were hard on the issues but easy on people. Few were silent and everyone listened.”

Collins says there’s common agreement that there should be no jet boats on the Shuswap River both upstream and downstream of Sugar Lake.

As for possibly restricting motor boats or limiting horsepower on Sugar Lake, Collins says those discussions continue within the community.

“To keep it clean, no motors would be allowed,” he said.

The issue of boat traffic has partially arisen because of proposed upgrades to the lodge there.

“Most of the people who will be there are from Vernon and Lumby,” said Cameron.

“I don’t see this as being a problem. New people are coming but they will mostly be good people.”

There was also talk at the meeting about day-use opportunities at Sugar Lake.

“Having a place for people to access the lake is important,” said Cameron.