Conservation in the Kootenays
Monthly eNews
April 2020
Trendy Tools
Monthly Stewardship Solutions Toolkit feature
Individual homeowners and wider communities can take simple steps to reduce the impact of wildfire. The time to act is now. Be proactive, be practical, and be FireSmart.

A Case for Conservation
New KCP brochure promoting private land conservation now available
KCP has created the “Case for Conservation” tri-fold brochure, which details 9 different reasons why conserving private land is so crucial to the health of the region’s ecosystems that support a myriad of plant, fish and animal species — many of which are currently rare or endangered or at risk of becoming so. The brochure opens up into an attractive poster that can be easily posted in offices, public spaces and homes. Printed brochures are available for distribution. If you would like copies, please contact KCP Program Manager Juliet Craig at .

KCP Winter Webinar Series
All four webinar recordings available online
Our four-part Winter Webinar Series on "Biodiversity of the Kootenays" has concluded. This year's webinar series boasted the highest attendance (average of 75 per webinar) in KCP history! Thank you to our excellent speakers and to those of you who tuned in. The recordings of all four webinars can be accessed via the links below:

2020 KCP Fall Gathering - Save the Date!
October 16-17, West Kootenay (location TBA)
Did you have a fun, enlightening time at the 2019 Fall Gathering - or wish you did because you missed it? Mark your calendar for the 2020 event, which will be taking place October 16 and 17 in the West Kootenay. The KCP Fall Gathering & AGM serves as one of the primary vehicles to connect and re-connect KCP partners from across the region, complete with a guest speakers series, field tour, catered meals and more, at no cost to attendees. 

Stewardship Solutions
Help promote our conservation resource for Kootenay landowners
Share and promote Stewardship Solutions with this handy online promotional package. You can also inquire about presentations for your organization or region. KCP will coordinate a limited number of presentations about Stewardship Solutions on a request basis.
Columbia Basin Trust
Postponed: Columbia Basin Trust Community Engagement
In response to COVID-19, Columbia Basin Trust is postponing the public engagement process to renew its strategic plan, including community meetings scheduled this spring and the two regional Symposia this fall. The postponement includes: deferring the previously  announced  March to June community meetings; suspension of the on line engagement on March 31; postponing the Basin Youth Network Leadership Summit, scheduled for April 24 to 26 in Kimberley; and Postponing the two regional Symposia which were planned for October 2020.

Parks Canada
National Parks closed to visitor vehicle access
To limit the spread of COVID-19, Parks Canada has temporarily suspended all motor vehicle access by visitors at all national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas effective 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 until further notice. These measures are additional to steps already taken and mean that all visitor parking facilities and associated services at Parks Canada places are closed until further notice. Highways and roadways which pass through Parks Canada places will remain open.

Calgary Zoo & Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund
Reintroducing North Leopard Frogs featured in short video
During its temporary closure, the Calgary Zoo is offering behind-the-scenes experiences via "Daily Dose” videos. This particular video features the project “Reintroducing Northern Leopard Frogs to the Columbia Marshes” that’s funded in part by the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund, which is administered by KCP on behalf of the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK). In this video (just under 3 minutes in length), Conservation Research Population Ecologist Lea Randall explains the program, and offers a look at the zoo’s Northern Leopard Frog captive breeding facility where egg masses from the Creston Valley are hatched out and raised for reintroduction into the Columbia Wetlands.

Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation
Preliminary Project List available on website
Each year, HCTF provides approximately $6 million dollars in Enhancement and Restoration Grants. These grants are provided to projects that: focus on native freshwater fish, wildlife and their habitats; have the potential to achieve a significant conservation outcome; align with our purposes as laid out in the  Wildlife Act . A preliminary list of HCTF's approved 2020-21 Enhancement & Restoration, Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund and Stewardship projects is now available on their website.

Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
Mountain Caribou Fact Booklet now available
The Province of BC has started engaging First Nations and local governments on southern mountain caribou and the Regional District of Central Kootenay has held a half-day engagement session. Y2Y has developed the attached Fact Booklet for local governments to consider during this engagement process.

Living Lakes Canada
Aquatic Species at Risk project funded; Groundwater data report ready
Living Lakes Canada has been awarded a Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk grant by the DFO to help protect at-risk aquatic species and their habitats in the Columbia Basin. The grant supports a four-year “Foreshore Inventory and Mapping (FIM) for Aquatic Species at Risk” project, which will map or re-map six to eight priority lakes in the Columbia Basin over four years. Read the full announcement here. And the Living Lakes Canada Columbia Basin Groundwater Monitoring Program has completed a summary of the data collected by the program to date. This is technical document that summarizes information about the wells and aquifers being monitored in Columbia Basin, the data collected, and preliminary graphs that describe the data.
Amphibian Inventory & Monitoring Techniques in Creston
This introductory course provides students with an opportunity to improve their amphibian species identification and handling skills, learn about survey design and standard inventory and monitoring techniques, and get hands-on experience surveying for amphibians in a variety of settings. Offered through Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology.

Scaling Up Camera Trap Surveys to Inform Regional Wildlife Conservation
This two-day Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology conference in Kimberley will address key questions in the development and application of camera trap methods. By showcasing established and emerging case studies, the conference will be a forum for sharing lessons on fundamental topics such as sampling design, data management and analysis, and multi-project collaboration. 

Art of Hosting Meaningful Conversations & Participatory Leadership Retreat 
This leadership training opportunity is hosted as a partnership between CBEEN and Selkirk College. This is the first time this renowned training has been held in the Kootenays — and it is focussed on climate change. This retreat at Yasodhara Ashram on Kootenay Lake will build your capacity for incorporating collaborative solutions, conflict resolution and collective wisdom building into your personal and organizational leadership practice with a focus on community action.

An Evening with David Suzuki
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, An Evening with David Suzuki and the related student events planned for May 1 are postponed until a later date. All ticket purchases will be refunded. 

Creston Valley Bird Fest
The Creston Valley Bird Fest offers the opportunity to explore the wonderful bird biodiversity of the Creston Valley. Besides guided birding tours and canoe trips, events include botany and native bee hikes, and visits to local food and wine producers.

Wings Over the Rockies Festival
Wings Over the Rockies is one of Canada’s largest wildlife festivals and takes place in various locations throughout the Columbia Valley each year in the month of May. The festival offers a rare opportunity to see and learn about birds and other wildlife species in their natural habitat.

Columbia Basin Symposia in Trail / Golden
Every three years, Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) offers this free opportunity for the people of the Basin to get together, connect with each other and the Trust, work toward solutions to common issues and celebrate collective accomplishments and CBT’s 25th anniversary. In 2020 CBT will be offering two symposia in two locations. That way, more people can take part. The agendas will be identical, so save the date to attend only one. Anyone who lives in Columbia Basin Trust region is welcome to attend one of the symposia.

2020 Virtual International Wildlife Film Festival
April 18-25, Online
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the 43rd IWFF will go digital and create a virtual festival experience the week of April 18-25. We aim to create an IWFF home experience that will honor films, sponsors, guests, educators and exemplify the way media can be utilized in a new reality. The film competition will continue to be juried and winners will be announced during the Virtual Festival. Programming will be posted in early April, including 45+ streaming films with a 1-7 day viewing window that’s free to the public, plus more.

Earth Day 2020: 50th Anniversary
April 22, Online
Earth Day 2020 marks 50 years of this global event. The theme for Earth Day 2020 is climate action. The enormous challenge — but also the vast opportunities — of climate change action have distinguished the issue as the most pressing topic for the 50th anniversary. Most Earth Day 2020 events have gone online, so check with your local network to see what’s available in your area.

Webinar: Indigenous Arts and Sciences: Connecting STEM to Indigenous Science
April 29, Online
Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network is partnering to present this webinar. Indigenous Arts and Sciences (IAS) is an approach to environmental science education that engages Indigenous wisdom and scientific processes rooted in respect and reciprocity. While these are distinct from the more linear and chronological traditions of Western science, there are intersections at which Western sciences and Traditional ecological knowledge can meet and interact with one another to their mutual benefit. This webinar is a story about Earth Partnership’s Indigenous Arts and Sciences — how it began, how the collaboration works, and what has been learned (and what is still being learned) along the way.

Advanced Field Ornithology: Identification and Surveys by Sound and Recordings
June 1-4, Revelstoke
This course will combine field-experience listening to bird calls and songs during three mornings at the height of the breeding season, with hands-on recording practice to generate sound files. Each afternoon, the class will learn to edit and review their recordings using sound visualization software on their personal laptop computers. Offered through Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology. Currently proceeding as planned; will re-assess in April.

Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society CABIN workshop
June 17-18, Nelson
This summer the Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society (FOKLSS) will be launching their latest citizen science water monitoring program on the West Arm of Kootenay Lake. Interested volunteers are invited to attend this 2-day workshop on the CABIN protocol, co-hosted by Living Lakes Canada. This program will offer an opportunity for passionate water stewardship advocates to develop the skills to monitor their watershed. This program will also assist FOKLSS in obtaining valuable data on stream health. Registration will open May 1. These dates and timelines will remain flexible to comply with any changing recommendations from the Interior Health Authority on public gatherings.

Graphic Facilitation Workshop 2020
July 22-23, Rossland
If you plan and assess projects, facilitate meetings and write reports – the skills from this workshop are applicable immediately. You do not need to be an artist and everyone can learn the basics to help enhance your meetings, engagement, and sense making. In the case that face-to-face meetings are not possible in July, other options for delivering this workshop are being considered.

KCP Fall Gathering & AGM – Save the Date!
October 16-17, TBA (West Kootenay)
The KCP Fall Gathering & AGM serves as one of the primary vehicles to connect and re-connect KCP partners from across the region. The Fall Gathering is a wonderful opportunity to learn about conservation projects in the Kootenays, share knowledge and information, and network with other organizations in the Kootenays. All KCP Partners and members of the public are invited to this free event. Currently proceeding as planned.
TD Friends of the Environment Foundation Grant
Deadline: July 15
The TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) is a national charity that funds environmental projects across Canada. The Foundation supports a wide range of environmental initiatives, with a primary focus on environmental education and green space programs. Eligible projects include schoolyard greening, park revitalization, community gardens, park programming and citizen science initiatives. 

Vancouver Foundation Systems Change Grants - Develop Grants
Deadline: Ongoing
Systems Change Grants support projects that take action to address the root causes of pressing social, environmental or cultural issues by influencing the behaviours of populations, organizations, and institutions. Short-term grants (Develop grants) are a one-time application that can be submitted any time throughout the year; decisions are made the following month. 

Grassland and Rangeland Enhancement Program
Deadline: Ongoing
If you have an idea that will maintain or enhance grassland resources while meeting conservation, environment and recreation objectives, this program could help support it. This program is delivered by the Kootenay Livestock Association.

Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program Community Engagement Grants
Deadline: Ongoing
Community Engagement Grants are typically $500 to $1,000 and help stewardship groups and others take action to benefit local fish and wildlife.

Columbia Basin Trust Career Internship Program
Deadline: First-come, first-served basis
The Columbia Basin Trust Career Internship Program provides eligible employers with up to 50 per cent of an intern’s salary (up to $25,000 over a seven to 12 month term) for full-time, career-focused positions that lead to permanent employment. Eligible employers are businesses, registered non-profits, municipalities, regional districts and Indigenous organizations within the Columbia Basin Trust region.
Wildsight Invermere
Branch Manager
The Branch Manager provides leadership and management to ensure Wildsight Invermere is achieving the organization’s mandate. This goal is achieved by working directly with the Wildsight Invermere Board of Directors, who set policy and strategic direction. This position requires a dynamic individual who will be responsible for program development and management, communications, outreach, fundraising, and administration. This is a permanent staff position, three days/week, starting April 20th, but could expand with the right person and new financial support. Deadline to apply is April 1.

British Columbia Conservation Foundation
WildsafeBC Community Coordinator
The British Columbia Conservation Foundation is seeking to fill the position of WildsafeBC Community Coordinator In different communities throughout BC, including Rossland, New Denver, Kaslo and Castlegar. The WildSafeBC Community Coordinator position is more than just a job; it is a unique opportunity to make a real difference in reducing human-wildlife conflicts where you live. This position requires maturity, self-reliance and the ability to work alone for long periods of time with minimal supervision. Professionalism, commitment and good communication skills are also essential. These are part-tine positions starting May 10 and ending November 30. Deadline to apply is April 6.

Columbia Lake Stewardship Society
Education and Sample Collection Assistant
Columbia Lake Stewardship Society is looking for a motivated and passionate water steward to join our team this summer as the Education and Sample Collection Assistant. The Education and Sample Collection Assistant will work alongside trained scientists and citizen scientists. They will assist in the collection of water quality and quantity samples and measurements, provide educational materials to community members and tourists through community outreach, and promote our initiatives at various community events. The Assistant will work up to 30 hours a week, with some evening and weekend shifts required. Deadline to apply is April 10.
Creston Valley Conservation Action Forum
Summary Report now available
The KCP Creston Valley Conservation Action Forum was held on January 22 in Creston. A group of 24 stakeholders, including conservation and agricultural groups, government biologists, environmental consultants, First Nations, local government, and land trusts spent a full day identifying Priority Conservation Actions for the Creston Valley to address conservation concerns ranging from transboundary wildlife migration to reconnecting floodplains to farm biodiversity plans.

North American Association for Environmental Education
Webinar: Communication During the COVID-19 Pandemic? Tips and Tricks for the EE Community
How should we be communicating internally and externally during the COVID-19 pandemic? How do we best communicate with our staff? With our members and supporters? With our funders and boards? With families focused on home-schooling? Kristen Grimm, President of Spitfire Strategies, provides ideas for what we can all be thinking about as we navigate this changing and challenging landscape. She answers your questions about the best way to think about your communications strategy.

Regional District Central Kootenay
RDCK releases Climate Action report
The Regional District Central Kootenay (RDCK) has released the State of Climate Action in the RDCK. This report, an initiative of the Community Sustainable Living Advisory Committee (CSLAC), provides an overview of the actions the RDCK is taking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the region. The report identifies indicators to better understand how the RDCK is: 1. Reducing Risks Associated with Climate Change, 2. Building Climate Resilient Communities. In addition to providing an overview of RDCK climate actions, the summary also provides suggestions on how RDCK residents can take action to reduce their own emissions. Available as both a summary handout and a full report.

Goldeneye Ecological Services
Columbia Wetlands Marsh Bird Monitoring Project Report available
The final report for the 2016-2019 Columbia Wetlands Marsh Bird Monitoring Project (CWMBMP) is now available. This was a multi-year study led by Goldeneye Ecological Services in collaboration with Canadian Wildlife Service, that was designed to estimate marsh bird populations, assess the distribution of target species, and identify significant breeding areas or habitat types within the Columbia Wetlands. A standardized call-broadcast protocol was focused on five focal species of secretive marsh birds. The data collected in this study is unique as it relates to elusive species identification and will continue to be influential in design of future projects in the Columbia Wetlands, including management recommendations, restoration projects, and outreach programming. 

Grasslands Conservation Council of BC
Responsible Off-Road Vehicle Use in Grasslands
The recreational and commercial use of off-road vehicles (ORV) continues to grow in British Columbia and there is an ongoing need to promote their safe, responsible use. The Grasslands Conservation Council of British Columbia (GCC) recently updated its guidelines for ORV use on grasslands and produced a summary in a pocket-sized G.R.A.S.S. brochure. These guidelines were developed in collaboration with the following ORV organizations: Quad Riders ATV Association of BC, BC Snowmobile Federation, Four Wheel Drive Association of BC and BC Off-Road Motorcycle Association.

Kootenay Conservation Program
Conservation Resources for our Region
The Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP) helps partners to coordinate and facilitate conservation efforts on private land, and in an effort to support this, KCP has developed a webpage that compiles some of the best conservation and stewardship resources available for our region.