The Arrow Lakes Environment Stewardship Society (ALESS) was awarded mapping support under the Columbia Basin Watershed Network (CBWN)- Selkirk Geospatial Research Centre mapping program. ALESS requested a physical 3D model of the Box Lake Wetland, a complex of approximately 52 hectares located at the eastern end of Box Lake, east of Nakusp. It is the home of an amazing number of species, including Western Painted Turtles.

Summer student Maggie Finkle-Aucoin, began work on the ALESS project in June 2018. The Nakusp and Area Community Forest (NACFOR) provided LIDAR data to the CBWN-Selkirk program free of charge. Unfortunately the LIDAR data only partially covered the wetland. Selkirk College flew their drone over the remainder, taking detailed videos. The non-LIDAR portion of the wetland was merged with the LIDAR shape to produce a composite map of the elevations of canopy, ground and water of the Box Lake Wetland.

The data was input into Trail’s Midas Labs 3-D CNC (Computer Numerical Control) router to cut a 3-D model of the wetland from high density foam.

The south eastern end of Box Lake can be seen as the flat area on the right edge of the model. The near edge follows Highway 6, heading toward Nakusp. This work will support Western Painted Turtle research, data to enable further GIS work and shared as a teaching and demonstration tool.

ALESS thanks the Columbia Basin Watershed Network, Selkirk College and Nakusp and Area Community Forest for this unique view of this important wetland.

Thank you to the Columbia Basin Trust for their generous support of this program.

For more information on the program, please visit CBWN mapping program and SGRC community mapping project.