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Keeping the Kootenays Natural

We all love the Kootenay Rockies for its unique towns, friendly locals, and laid-back lifestyle. But what sets the Kootenays apart is the incredible access to nature in its purest, raw form. Within minutes of any town, you can find yourself alone in the wilderness, taking in views of snowy peaks, swimming in a pristine lake or floating our untamed rivers. 

The Kimberley Nature Park within the City of Kimberley’s boundaries; photo by Kari Medig

As visitors to the region, we are responsible for keeping our nature pristine and natural for generations to come. By committing ourselves to practice sustainable tourism on our journeys through the Kootenay Rockies, we can ensure the Kootenay’s stay natural & wild. 

To help guide your sustainable Kootenays journey, keep these guidelines top of mind:

  • Get informed:  Know what activities are permitted in the areas you plan on exploring. Understanding what areas are non-motorized only, knowing where you can cast your fly, and sharing the trail with other users helps make everyone’s day more enjoyable.
  • Leave the area better than you found it: We’re blessed with some of the cleanest lakes, rivers, and trails in the world. Let’s keep it that way. Pack out what you packed in, pick up after your pets, and make sure there’s no sign of your presence once you leave.
  • Respect everything local: Whether it’s the Indigenous people who care for our land, the shop keepers who provide for our needs, or the wildlife that graces us with their presence, respect for our spaces and places allows us to live in harmony with our surroundings.

What are our businesses doing to keep the Kootenays Sustainable?

CMH Heli & Summer Adventures has been an industry leader in sustainable practices since their first Sustainability Report in 2003. CMH is constantly looking for ways to reduce their impact on the land and wildlife in their tenures.

Guided hike at CMH Bugaboo Lodge; photo by Topher Donahue

Emerald Lake Lodge carefully selects local, sustainably grown and harvested foods to supply their restaurants to help keep their impact low. 

Outdoor patio dining at Emerald Lake Lodge; photo by Andrew Penner

Mistaya Lodge uses solar and micro-hydro energy to power their off-grid facilities. They are dedicated to reducing, reusing, and composting as much of their waste as possible.

Mistaya Lodge in the high alpine of the northern Canadian Rockies; photo courtesy of the Lodge

Nipika Mountain Resort uses harvested deadfall for heat and hot water. Power is provided by the sun’s energy through 15kW solar panels.

Nipika Mountain Resort’s solar panels; photo courtesy of the Resort

Mount Carlyle Backcountry Lodge provides their guests with information about the local environment and promotes local and self-propelled adventure at its resort. 

Area views from Mount Carlyle Backcountry Lodge; photo by Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism / Tamarack Media

Talus Lodge has reduced their impact on the environment by encouraging local travel to their lodge. They also recently transitioned to only self-propelled access in the summer months.

Talus Lodge tucked in the Canadian Rocky Mountains; photo courtesy of the Lodge

Know Before You Go – Plan ahead so you can travel safely and responsibly. Familiarize yourself with weather, road conditions, general alerts for travellers and provincial health orders & recommendations.

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~ Follow the Trail: Kootenay Hiking Adventures
~ Forest Therapy: Replenish the Spirit and Reawaken the Soul
~ Get Informed: Before your Wild Adventure in the Kootenays
~ Indigenous Connections to our Kootenay Hot Springs
~ Kootenay Ambassadors: Mindful Explorers
~ Laid-back Kootenays: Wellness Getaways
~ Multi-Generational Family Hiking in the Kootenays
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~ Stewards of the Land: Positive Effects
~ We are All Connected
~ Where to see Wildlife in the Kootenay Rockies

Top/cover photo by Kari Medig, at Nipika Mountain Resort, near Radium Hot Springs BC. 

Words by Mark Locki. Mark is a photographer and writer based in Kimberley, BC. An avid traveller throughout the Kootenays and abroad, he enjoys exploring the natural world, camera in hand, seeking out compelling stories. He’s often found deep in the backcountry, running, climbing or on skis, challenging himself to discover new scenes and viewpoints. 

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