Nichols Lake Protection Initiative
Over the past couple of years, Nichols Lake has become a popular place for unauthorized nighttime parties. During some of these parties, fires have been started in improvised fire pits that were dangerously close to trees. The RCMP has been called whenever these parties have occurred, and their ongoing support in stopping these activities is greatly appreciated by local residents. Area residents have had to spend many hours on the day after each party to clean up the mess that was left behind. Underage drinking is not uncommon today, and secluded areas such as Nichols Lake are prime locations for these parties to take place. Over 75 young persons were counted leaving the area when the RCMP shut down one such event. The fires are very troubling, especially if one ever got out of hand in the middle of the night. If a fire was not reported in a timely fashion, it could spread to the McDonald Lake sub-division very quickly. In the process, most of the parkland would likely be destroyed.
The MLRA has decided to support the residents concerns. A local resident who was familiar with the problem drafted a letter detailing the issues. This letter was hand delivered on March 3rd, 2008 to Bill Estabrooks (MLA for Timberlea - Prospect), Reg Rankin (Councillor for District 22, Timberlea - Prospect), and William Matheson (Chair of the Wilderness Commons Advisory Committee).
We have learned that Nichols Lake has already been designated as a parkland area, and that signage will be erected to identify it as such. The installation date for this signage is unknown at this time.
In the letter it was recommended that a document should be created that consolidates all of the laws, bylaws, acts, and others directives governing the usage of designated parkland areas into a guide that can be used by both law enforcement agencies, and the public to facilitate the proper usage, and protection of these valued recreational areas. Ultimately this guide would be made available online through the MLRA, and other websites.
Formal responses from the recipients of the letter have not been received as of 31 May 2008.