About the State of Rossland Report

Welcome to the State of Rossland Report where we report in on 32 unique indicators to help us track our path toward sustainability and the implementation of our Strategic Sustainability Plan.

As part of the Strategic Sustainability Plan, the Visions to Action Sustainability Commission has been requested to establish a comprehensive sustainability monitoring program. The purpose of the State of Rossland project is to monitor and report on Rossland’s sustainability progress and the implementation of the Strategic Sustainability Plan.

In 2009, Rossland received funding from Columbia Basin Trust to develop this sustainability monitoring program. The goal of the project was to develop a set of indicators to measure Rossland's progress towards sustainability and implementation of our Strategic Sustainability Plan. A key element of this was to develop a set of Rossland specific sustainability indicators based on public input, collect data for those indicators and prepare a State of Rossland Report.  The report will then be updated every 3 to 6 years to provide us with the ability to analyze trends and track our progress towards sustainability. 

The project proceeded in three key steps.  In Step One, we developed a set of sustainability indicators.  In Step Two, we collected the readily available data and prepared the 2010 State of Rossland Report and Website.  Step Three included a poster campaign, collecting community data regarding six indicators through the State of Rossland Indicator Survey in which 280 Rosslanders participated, and a community grading process in which 70 Rossland told us how Rossland is doing with regard to the 32 State of Rossland indicators. The final 2010 State of Rossland report has now been produced and is available here online. Hard copies are available for viewing at City Hall and at the Rossland library.

Columbia Basin Trust's State of the Basin project has been used as a model in the creation of this project. Many of the indicators included in the State of the Basin model have been incorporated into our program. These indicators have been enhanced by a set of Rossland-specific indicators.


This indicators project is a continuation of Rossland’s ongoing sustainability efforts that were initiated in 2007 with the Visions to Action sustainability planning process. The State of Rossland report is a result of the ongoing volunteer efforts of the Rossland Sustainability Commission, the Housing and Affordability Task Force, the Economic Development Task Force, the Water Stewardship Task Force and the Energy Task Force. We would also like to thank the staff at the City of Rossland and the organizations that provided support for the original funding application and/or data for the final report:

  • Davies Sales and Service
  • Fortis Inc.
  • Fraser Basin Council
  • Lower Columbia Community Development Team
  • Red Mountain Resort
  • Rossland Chamber of Commerce
  • Rossland Culture and Arts Council
  • Rossland Secondary School
  • Selkirk College Geospatial Research Centre
  • Selkirk College Regional Innovation Chair in Rural Economic Development (Dr George Penfold)
  • Tourism Rossland, and
  • Whistler Centre for Sustainability

The original draft of this report was prepared by Erin McGuigan, Molly Moshofsky and Cecilia Valencia, through Forests and Communities in Transition in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Colum- bia. Report editing, portions of the text, survey indicator analysis, the final draft of the report and project coordination were provided by Jennifer Ellis. Graphic design was provided by David Livingstone of Empire New Media.

Many thanks to Columbia Basin Trust (CBT), the Green Municipalities Fund and the City of Rossland for funding this project.

What is Indicator Reporting



An indicator is a yardstick for assessing trends and change; it is a measure that helps track progress. In addition to providing the means to accurately measure progress, a meaningful set of sustainability indicators should motivate and inform future actions. Of course, it is not possible to measure everything. For example, the SSP has 11 Focus Areas and 55 End-state Goals. If we had even a single indicator for each End-state Goal, we would already have a large set to monitor and would probably be overlooking some very basic community profile indicators. The greatest challenge in this project has been identifying a manageable set of indicators that together convey the crucial information pertaining to Rossland’s sustainability progress. The project aimed to produce results that are:

  • meaningful and motivational;
  • information enhancing;
  • reliable;
  • accessible; and
  • affordable.

State of Rossland Reporting Process

The Process

The State of Rossland process was initiated in the spring of 2009 with a stakeholder workshop. Representatives from various local groups and organizations were invited to provide feedback on how indicators might be used and what types of information were already available. In September 2009, the community was invited to comment on a proposed set of indicators. Thirty-two unique indicators and four repeats were approved by the Sustainability Commission and Rossland City Council in January 2010.

The table on this page outlines the sources of data for the indicators. The initial beta version of the report, prepared in October 2010 addressed 25 of those unique indicators (including three repeats) that could be assessed using pre-existing data. In some cases, only baseline data was available, and as a result, trends for these particular indicators cannot be described. 

Data Source Number of Indicators
BC Ministry of Community
and Rural Development
BC Stats
City of Rossland
Civic Info and the
City of Rossland
Davies Sales & Service
Fortis Inc.
Trail RCMP and the City of Rossland
Red Mountain Resort
Rossland Council for Arts and Culture
Rossland Recreation
School District 20 and BC Ministry of Education
BC Transit
State of Rossland Indicator Survey
Statistics Canada


The second version of this report completed in April 2011 incorporates the 6 additional indicators (and one repeat) that were measured using a State of Rossland community survey. The survey was administered in January 2011 in both paper and web format. The survey results were analyzed and the State of Rossland report and website were updated. In total, 280 survey responses were received. For a population of 3,532, 280 responses results in a 95% confidence level and a 5.62% confidence interval in the data. This means that for any given survey question, we can be 95% sure that the larger population would respond in the same way as survey respondents plus or minus 5.62%. So if 90% of survey respondents feel a certain way, we can be 95% sure that between 84% and 96% of residents feel that way.

Data for one remaining indicator was not available at in either October 2010 or April 2011 and will be sought again when the next iteration of this report is prepared.

The grades for each indicator were developed through a subsequent community grading survey conducted in April 2011.
Many informative comments were received from Rossland residents in both the Indicator Survey and the Community Grading Survey. These comments highlight both Rossland’s successes in moving towards sustainability and the challenges we still face. The comments add a more personal element to some of the indicator results. These comments were compiled and summarized and are available for download.

State of Rossland Indicator Survey Comments

State of Rossland Community Grading Survey Comments


Reporting Schedule

The State of Rossland project is intended to be a long-term sustainability monitoring process that tracks trends over time. As a result, a schedule for collecting data for the 32 indicators and updating the State of Rossland report is required. One approach would be to update the State of Rossland report every three years in an effort to align the reporting schedule with municipal elections. However, Census Canada information is only available every five years. Thus, short and long report updates are proposed. In the short report, only the 24 indicators with new data available every three years will be reported.  This will require administration of the State of Rossland Survey every three years.  In the long report – completed approximately every six years – data for all 32 indicators will be collected and reported on. The following proposed reporting schedule is designed to account for Canada Census data availability.

Census Years State of Rossland Years Report Type
2006 2010/2011 long
2011 2014 long
  2017 short
2016 2020 long
2021 2023 long
  2026 short
2026 2029 long
2031 2032 short