I hope you have all managed to find a way to make the most of living in a pandemic and I am sure your Pemichangan connection has been an integral part of the plan.
Pandemic or not, the FLP Board has been hard at work and, as usual, it has a full workload this year to fulfill its mission of protecting the lake. What is unusual though is the number of new faces on our highly skilled team. Seventeen people expressed an interest in joining the FLP’s Board at the AGM! The FLP now has 12 directors, in addition to five committee members who have taken on responsibilities in their areas of interest. Here is a quick overview of what has happened since last fall and what’s in store for this year:
Because of health restrictions limiting social gatherings, the AGM was held on Zoom. Many thanks to the approximately 30 members (from as far as Pennsylvania and Alberta) who took the time to attend on November 16. The Board reported on its accomplishments of the last year and answered many questions. Once again, the virtual format allowed members who are not necessarily at the lake in July to attend.
As mentioned, a renewed team of 17 people now represent your interests (up from 7 last year). Good to know about the 2022 team: it is comprised of 7 men and 10 women from various areas of the lake (south – 5, north – 8, Chantigny Island – 4), 4 people are Francophones, most are bilingual, and 3 are American.
Many new areas of interest and projects have already been identified to further the FLP’s mission of protecting the lake thanks to our new members. Here are the Board and Committee priorities for this year in no particular order:
- GFGC Boat Launch (North End)
- Milfoil Control
- Watershed Protection
- Camping Culture
- Lake Health Initiative
- Code of Ethics
- Communications and Social Media
- Membership Outreach
GFGC Boat Launch Update.
The boat launch committee at the Gatineau Fish and Game Club has been working to advance a plan for the new boat launch location identified on Club land in the same bay, but south of the Pemichangan/GFGC gas pump. The process however is complex, with many layers of work underway, including preparing feasibility studies for land surveying, engineering (road, parking lot, ramp), environmental impact and remediation, and cost estimates. The committee has also begun discussions with the municipality, led by newly elected mayor Mathieu Caron, to negotiate a legal arrangement between the Club and the local government that will ensure effective operation of the launch in a way that ensures the best interests of the lake, property owners and Club members.
As the Municipality and the Club continue to hammer out the operational details, the FLP has made its position abundantly clear: the new ramp is the best opportunity we have to preserve the lake. As it stands, the unfettered “free for all” launch is not only unsafe for its users, it is also a contributing factor to the deterioration of the environment. The current ramp lets dirty boats bring invasive species into our lake, while the ever increasing numbers and size of boats contribute to the propagation of milfoil and the deterioration of the shoreline. Let us reassure our members that the FLP has made its position abundantly clear to both the Municipality and the Club: the ramp must be managed while having boat washing as a mandatory condition. Without these two fundamental principles in place, we will see the lake we love deteriorate before our eyes.
Lake Health Initiative.
For many years the FLP has managed programs to help ensure Pemichangan remains as healthy and unspoiled as possible. We have a water quality monitoring program, strategies and outreach to help minimize the spread of Eurasian milfoil and other invasive species, and we’ve cleaned up campsites and taken steps to encourage responsible use of those campsites. However, as human activity and development pressures on our lake continue to increase, there is a risk that much of what we love about Pemichangan could become compromised by the cumulative impacts of that activity. To that end, a few FLP members have stepped forward to help the board explore additional opportunities that exist, or could be created, to more thoroughly and proactively monitor the health of the lake over time. We have big aspirations of ultimately having a more rigorous evaluation of the health of the lake and its ecosystem. Ideally this would include an understanding of the cumulative effects on the lake from a variety of factors including increasing human activity, loss of natural shoreline, and our changing climate. But, given our finite resources, capacity, and expertise, we are starting small. That means in this first year we will focus on looking into what exists that we can leverage:
- Collecting information, reports, and studies that have focused on issues related to lake and/or aspects of ecosystem health on Pemichangan or neighbouring lakes,
- Looking into what other pro-active initiatives are happening on other lakes within and beyond our watershed,
- Contacting organizations, local and/or provincial government agencies and academic institutions that could possibly help us out, be that through recommendations, information, funding, partnerships, etc.
If you have any ideas, recommendations, contacts, or a willingness to get involved in this initiative, please contact Tracey Henderson (email below).
The 17 months of border closure due to the pandemic highlighted the unique aspects of non-Canadian citizen cottage owners. US citizens have been enjoying Pemichangan since the 1930s, and the regulations for owning property – and even crossing into Canada – have changed dramatically over the years. We now have a US Liaison, Wanda Taylor, who will be looking into social, legal, and citizen-related topics of interest for those Friends of Lac Pemichangan who are US citizens. The first step is to find out all cottagers who are US citizens. Please send Wanda a message (email below) with your name, lake address and US contact information so that we can communicate about the special needs of US cottage owners.
The FLP is happy that owners and visitors can enjoy the lake’s 15 camping and 7 picnic sites. It has now completed the survey of all of the sites undertaken a few years ago and has posted an updated map on its website. The FLP hires Marcel Chantigny every year to maintain the sites but is creating an Adopt-a-Site program where families can be involved in the maintenance of a site of their choosing by checking the site periodically over the summer. Details to come in the next newsletter. If you are interested, please contact Todd Norton (email below).
Code of Ethics.
In keeping with its mission of protecting the lake, the FLP is now working on a Code of Ethics for cottagers and other lake users (such as renters and campers), similar to that of many other lake associations, to set down basic principles and guidelines on three main topics : the environment, noise and other pollution, and safety. If you have any ideas on the topic or wish to obtain literature for renters, please contact Marie-Pierre Diotte or Marianne Kennedy Beaulne (emails below).
Membership and Automatic Renewal.
No newsletter is complete without a word on membership and renewals. The FLP now has approximately 171 members (out of a possible 330), down slightly from last year but well above numbers for previous years. If you used the new automatic membership feature last year, your renewal (which remains at $40) will occur automatically. As announced at the AGM, membership fees have now increased to $50 BUT since our automatic renewal feature has not yet been updated on the website you may still be able to benefit from the $40 membership if you act soon. Sign up for automatic renewal HERE. You do not have to be a member to receive FLP mailings, but your membership helps fund FLP initiatives and lets the Board and Committee members know that you support their efforts. Thank you to all our members! If you have questions regarding your membership, please contact Pat Zakaib (email below).
Rick Robertson, President (613) 513-7425 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Stanier, Secretary and IT (613) 324-7277
Patrick Beaudry, Public and Government Relations (819) 635-6680
Michèle Patry, Communications email@example.com
Todd Norton, Camping Culture firstname.lastname@example.org
Pat Zakaib, Membership email@example.com
Cameron Jackson, Water Testing and Social Media Calendar firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicole Laframboise, GFGC Boat Launch Committee email@example.com
Wanda Taylor, USA Liaison firstname.lastname@example.org
Marie-Pierre Diotte, Code of Ethics and South End email@example.com
Marianne Kennedy Beaulne, Code of Ethics and North End firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Butterfield, Camping, Watershed and Lake Health email@example.com
Board Committee Members
Tracey Henderson, Camping, Watershed and Lake Health firstname.lastname@example.org
John Hilbrich, GFGC Liaison email@example.com
Kristina Inrig, Alie Bay firstname.lastname@example.org
Samantha Perrin, Finance email@example.com
David Lees, Membership Outreach (613) 866-5337 firstname.lastname@example.org