Full protection could ultimately cover a sensitive ecosystem in Greater Vernon.
Plans are moving ahead to possibly establish a wildlife management area at Swan Lake.
“We want this to be a good news story,” said Tim Clermont, with the Crown Land Securement Partner Program.
A wildlife management area is an area of land designated under the Wildlife Act for the benefit of regionally to internationally significant fish and wildlife species or their habitats.
The lake is home to fish, painted turtles and more than 200 species of birds, including some that are at risk.
Clermont insists that passive pursuits, such as fishing, kayaking and bird watching can continue with a wildlife management area designation.
“Through the process, you work with local communities, First Nations and stakeholders to manage for down the road (future years),” he said.
Among the issues of concern with the integrity of Swan Lake are illegal infill, docks, float planes and high speed motor boats, clearing of wetland and commercial development.
Consultation will occur with local government, First Nations and land owners.
“All existing tenures on the lake are unaffected by a WMA but new ones would need approval,” said Clermont.
Depending on how consultation proceeds, the provincial cabinet could consider creation of the wildlife management area in February.
“It`s great something is underway. It`s been a long time coming,” said Bob Fleming, BX-Swan Lake director.
Support is also coming from Mike Macnabb, BX-Silver Star director.
“It’s an incredibly diverse lake and what we can do to preserve it for future generations is worthwhile,” he said.