John Lennon once said: ‘The people have the power. All we have to do is awaken the power in the people.”

It took 20 months, but that’s exactly what a West Kootenay group called the Cottonwood Lake Preservation Society has managed to do.

In 2017, a private land logger with experience all over the province, in some pretty controversial logging plans, purchased three parcels of forest south of Nelson, one of which was above and around Cottonwood Lake — a popular spot for fishing, hiking and skating, and also home to all sorts of wildlife that relied on Cottonwood’s mountainsides and wetlands, to live. The logger’s plan? Cut, basically, all of it.

The Preservation Society was formed, the public’s awareness urgently raised, and thousands of volunteer hours expended in an effort to save at least some of the land around the lake, for future generations.
And they did it.

With an end-of-February deadline looming, the Cottonwood Lake Preservation Society raised $400,000 that will help purchase some of the land for us Society spokesperson Andrew Mcburney shares this great tale of conservation victory, and the grassroots power of people.