Our purpose is to act to ensure the health and
protection of the Cowichan watershed; to inform and educate landowners, other
citizens and governments about the environmentally sustainable use of the upper
Cowichan watershed and its riparian zone; and to work with schools, citizens and
other like-minded groups for this purpose.
We are a not for profit organization operating under Schedule-1, effectively
our by-laws, of the BC Societies Act.
In the summer of 2009, two public meetings were held in Lake Cowichan, each
attended by upwards of 100 local residents. At each meeting residents spoke of
historic, unresolved concerns (corporate management of the dam/weir, and river
flow since 1957, harmful forest practices), current disrespectful behaviour by
visitors and locals (pollution from river tubers, excessive noise from boaters,
property damage from vandals) and concern for the future of the natural flora
and fauna. Their once pristine natural environment was at serious risk! They
realized that stewardship of their watershed was immediately necessary to safeguard the natural water heritage of the Cowichan Lake and River. What began as
concern about the immediate problems soon embraced the future of the Cowichan
Lake and River watershed.
As a result of these two large public forums, The Cowichan Lake and River
Stewardship Committee (CLRSC) was formed to plan actions for the stewardship of
the Cowichan Lake and River. Respect was to be the new byword! This was
participatory democracy in action.
Five interest-based sub-committees were formed, each setting its own goal and
priorities. An umbrella organization overseeing the stewardship work, presided
over by two co-chairs and supported by a secretary and web administrator, met
monthly. Meetings were often attended by elected local area politicians
and other expert guests and speakers and were open to all concerned citizens to
The Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Committee (CLRSC) applied for status
as a registered non-profit society. This was granted in March of 2011 and
its name was changed to the Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Society (CLRSS).
Our first Annual General Meeting was held in July of 2011, electing a new Board of
At the 2017 AGM of the CLRSS, we changed our by-laws from Schedule B of the
BC Societies Act to adopt the new Schedule 1 (a change mandated by the changes
to the BC Societies Act).