Photo courtesy of www.dougpyperphoto.com
This project benefits all community members, water users and local businesses of the six mile North Shore area. Educational components also benefit citizens in outlying areas and target all people within the West Kootenay region including Nelson, North Shore, Balfour, South Slocan, Blewett, Bonnington, Thrums, Castlegar, Pass Creek, Crescent Valley and the Slocan valley.
Duhamel creek is a 56.9 km2 watershed located in the Kokanee Range in the Selkirk Mountains approximately 10 kilometres northeast of Nelson, B.C.
The existing road which accesses the watershed and Six-Mile Lakes, the head waters of this creek, is designated as a public road through the Ministry of Transportation.
Duhamel Creek watershed yields substantial aesthetic, environmental and economic benefits to local residents and communities in the form of renewable resources such as wood, water, medicinal plants, berries, mushrooms, foods and materials for shelter. Sustainable management benefits local tourism and hunters, offers citizens a place of spiritual retreat and communion with nature, and it improves quality of life. This watershed is heavily utilized for recreational activities including camping, fishing, hiking, snowmobiling and mountain biking.
Hundreds of families, businesses and school rely on the healthy forests and riparian zones within the Duhamel Creek watershed to help cleanse the drinking water and to hold the soils to reduce the risks of landslides and flooding to ensure greater safety and affordable water user’s maintenance costs. The sustainable management of this watershed helps to restore Kootenay Lake and the connecting rivers which Duhamel creek drains into.
The natural resources in Duhamel Creek watershed have been under development since the late 1800's and historical logging activities are apparent in riparian areas and along channel banks in the lower portions of the creek.
Water levels rise quickly at Duhamel Creek in the spring in response to rapid runoff from the steep side slopes, and flooding has occurred many times in the past 100 years as a result.