Island Lake Lodge is putting our mission of 'Best Wilderness Experience Possible' into practice.
We own 7000 acres of rare Rocky Mountain ecosystem. With this privilege comes responsibility. Here is a list of solutions that we have developed and implemented to promote environmental stewardship while balancing the needs of economic sustainability and profitability for our company.
- Purchase local and organic produce and products whenever possible.
- Foster a supportive relationship with small businesses in the Elk Valley. Make it a priority to hire local sub-contractors, consultants, and promote other local tourism operators. Purchase materials and office supplies from local vendors and above all else encourage local partnerships whenever possible.
- Maintain an open dialogue with community grassroots conservation groups like Wildsight, as well as other local organizations like the Fernie Rod and Gun Club and Snowmobile Associations to communicate management decisions, restrictions and openings when it is possible. This open dialogue strengthens relationships and builds mutual trust and respect.
- Provide ample opportunities for local people to visit or bring friends and family for a meal, hike, or to enjoy our spa services.
- Partner with the College of the Rockies Fernie Campus and Mountain Activities Skills Training (MAST) Program for programs and services offered on contract through many of Island Lake Lodge’s professional guides and/or by providing access to the property.
- Allow access to lands for Avalanche Awareness programs and education
- Whenever possible hire local staff.
- Support local community conservation efforts by displaying literature and cooperating with programs raising the profile or organizations like Wildsight, Y2Y, etc. to visitors and staff.
Energy Use and Fuel Consumption
- We produce all our electricity (85 KW) using 2 flow through, hydro generators on Breyanne Springs and Iron Creek.
- Use diesel generator only as an emergency backup system.
- Utilize energy efficient light bulbs and other energy efficiency planning & tools.
- Encourage a conservation ethic amongst guests to hang towels to reuse again and wash bed linens only every 3 nights or on check out.
- Limit set points of thermostats.
- We use 4 stroke snowmobiles for lower emissions, fuel consumption, low oil use, less sound pollution and fewer belt replacements.
- Thermostats for the floor heating systems are throttled back during times of low occupancy to keep pipes from freezing.
- All motorized vehicles restricted to the main roads. Off road use of motorized vehicles is prohibited.
- Public snowmobile use on any of the property is prohibited.
- Hard surface parking area for staff and guest vehicles to minimize erosion.
- Limited access to the property during off-season (spring and fall).
- Double walled Enviro-Tanks to eliminate fuel spills.
- Minimize packaging when ordering supplies.
- Recycle waste where possible.
- Septic system is a combination of aerobic (forced air) and anaerobic effluent field.
- On-site laundry facilities use only phosphate-free laundry soap.
- Recycle oil filters, fuel filters, waste oils and anti-freeze.
- Supply reusable cups for guests while catskiing.
- Regularly service and maintain bear proof waste containers for outside operations.
- Bags for garbage disposal are a biodegradable, compostable plastic meeting ASTM D6400 standards.
- Monitor the water quality of Island Lake to ensure a healthy habitat for aquatic vegetation and wildlife, ranging from moose to cutthroat trout and bald eagles.
- Cut alder and other shrubs in order to glade runs for skiing in a mosaic pattern that mimics natural wildfire, which provides a variety of age classed forests with a broad range of forage plants for wildlife.
- Work with BC Parks to provide a buffer zone for wildlife that utilize Mount Fernie Provincial Park.
- Be aware of the Provincial regulations and legislation for operations and set a high standard with respect to compliance.
- Facilitate the work of scientists in the Elk Valley generally and more specifically in Cedar Valley.
- Housekeeping cleaning products are certified by Green Seal, Envirodesic, Enviromental Choice and the European Union’s Eco-Label: The Flower, to have minimal impact on indoor air-quality and reduced human and aquatic toxicity. As well, these products have shown excellent biodegradability in aerobic and anaerobic environments.
- Restrict access to sensitive species such as lynx, mountain goats, moose and grizzly bears during critical periods of their life cycle specifically during birthing, denning, and foraging.
- Prohibit trapping since purchasing the land in 1996.
- Protect historical ‘Cedar Valley Old Growth’ forest & the integrity of this rare ecosystem and forest stand. The future of this reserve depends on the goodwill, conservation ethic and ecosystem management of the company.
- Build winter/snow roads to offer moose an easy escape route when snow cats and snowmobiles are approaching to minimize harassment of the animals.
- Protect undeveloped, low elevation habitat along Lizard Creek and populations of wintering ungulates.
- Provide a wilderness refuge for animals pressured by Fernie’s sprawling urban development and development at the base of Fernie Alpine Resort.
- Hire professional biologists to assess environmental impacts and when necessary practices that will minimize the effect of activities.
- Utilize appropriate construction methods and maintenance practices on the road to minimize siltation of tributary creeks harming fish populations in Lizard Creek.
Minimizing Human Impacts
- Prohibit grazing of domestic livestock.
- Developed a map of our trails, and built bridges and cairns to keep visitors on the paths, reducing the trampling of sensitive vegetation, especially in the alpine.
- Instruct guests about wildlife behavior encouraging viewing from a safe, appropriate distance.
- Practice and promote a “pack it in; pack it out” behavior so no evidence of visitors remain in the backcountry.
Education and Awareness
- Develop a Wildlife Encounter Plan to notify guests and staff of recent wildlife encounters.
- Development of a purchasing policy whereby supplies and products are only purchased from suppliers who share our beliefs and commitment to sustainable business practices and the environment.
- Joined the Hotel Association of Canada’s ECOmmodation Program to receive feedback on areas where we can improve our environmental initiatives and to help promote environmental ethics in the hotel industry.
- Have an updated safety plan in place including wildlife encounter plans.
- Brief clients and staff on ways to avoid and handle wildlife encounters so as to minimize the risk to clients and protect wildlife.
- Cleaning products are chosen based on low or non-toxicity and selected to improve indoor air quality and reduce toxicity.
Office and Administration
- Aiming to ensure that all paper products contain a minimum of 30% post-consumer recycled material
- Unplug office deepfreeze during shoulder seasons
- Formation of a Green Committee to audit practices, brainstorm and implement new ideas, and promote green activities within the company and community.