Formal boat launch to be considered at Range Road 2-1

Evaluating the potential for a formal boat launch at Range Road 2-1 is one of the goals which municipalities around the lake

Evaluating the potential for a formal boat launch at Range Road 2-1 is one of the goals which municipalities around the lake hope a study will address.

That’s one of the outcomes determined when representatives from all eight municipalities around Sylvan Lake met July 4 to discuss lake access.

At their meeting last Thursday, Lacombe County councillors unanimously agreed to allow Lacombe County to act as host authority in applying to Alberta Municipal Affairs for a regional collaboration grant to fund the study.

Councils from the other seven municipalities around the lake will be asked to pass a resolution agreeing to participate in the regional collaboration grant. Then a meeting will be called to determine terms of reference for use of the grant.

Other goals of the study are to “consider alternatives and provide recommendations for managing access onto Sylvan Lake” and “develop a strategy and action plan for moving forward to address lake access”.

Developing funding agreements and management agreements would be other goals of the study.

The purpose of the July 4 meeting was to discuss the status of Range Road 2-1 as well as the broader issue of lake access and management of lake access.

“Alberta Transportation is not prepared to authorize the closure of Range Road 2-1, reported Red Deer County representatives which included Councillor Richard Lorenz and Ric Henderson, the county’s assistant chief administrative officer. Notes from the meeting indicated the county is gathering background information on options for managing the informal boat launch at Range Road 2-1 and asked if municipalities adjacent to the lake are interested in developing some type of formal lake access at the location.

One of the outcomes stated in meeting notes was that there was “general support for looking at Range Road 2-1 as a potential boat launch site with an appropriate parking area and related facilities”.

Lacombe County Commissioner Terry Hager told his council another outcome of the meeting was agreement to have Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development complete a preliminary review of the Range Road 2-1 area to see if it could be considered for a boat launch site.

He met with representatives from that department earlier in the week and said their early indication was “quite positive. There is nothing initially identified to say stop.” Hager added they wanted to consult with the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans “but didn’t put up any red flags for us”.

One concern among some of the group was concern about how to manage lake access yet safeguard the lake given issues with invasive species.

“Our thought,” said Hager, “would be manned access sites during the high season, make sure boats are inspected before they go in the water.”