Conservation in the Kootenays
Monthly eNews
November 2020
Trendy Tools
Featuring profiles from the Stewardship Solutions Online Toolkit
If you see a wolverine, wolverine sign (tracks, scats, den), or what you might think was a wolverine sign, submit your sightings from anywhere in Canada, particularly within the Selkirks, Purcells, Monashees, Cariboos and Canadian Rockies.

Stewardship Solutions Online Toolkit
Check out the first 7 videos on the Conservation Ambassador Playlist!
We invite you to watch several short videos (2-3 minutes each) that are the first to populate the new “Conservation Ambassador Playlist” on the KCP YouTube channel. These videos feature Kootenay-based resources addressing conservation issues on private land that are featured on the KCP Stewardship Solutions Online Toolkit website. This toolkit is designed for stewardship practitioners, local government planners and other service providers as well as a one-stop shop for private landowners interested in stewardship options for their property.

Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund
Technical Review Committee Alternate
The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) in partnership with the Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP) are seeking qualified members for the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund (CVLCF) Technical Review Committee (TRC). The role of the TRC is to make recommendations on allocating annual funding for conservation projects for the area from Canal Flats to Spillimacheen. Applications will be received on an ongoing basis.
Columbia Basin Trust
New Strategic Plan 2020-2022 announced
The Columbia Basin Trust has released its new Strategic Plan 2020-2022 that will guide the Trust’s activities for the next two years. It includes six strategic priorities: community well-being, ecosystem enhancement, high-speed connectivity, housing, local food production and access, and support for business renewal. It also includes two integrated priorities—climate resilience and working with Indigenous peoples—that will be incorporated by the Trust in its work in the Basin.

Entering Ethical Space: A series on land-based reconciliation in the Kootenay-Columbia
Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative developed a three-part online workshop series to learn and discuss how Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and organizations can work together to create and sustain prosperous communities and healthy landscapes in the British Columbia’s Kootenay-Columbia. Recordings of the first two workshops are available online, and the third workshop is taking place on November 2 at 10 a.m. PST.

Living Lakes Canada
Upper Columbia Basin Hydrology Workshop proceedings available
On June 8, 2020, Living Lakes Canada on behalf of the Columbia Basin Water Monitoring Collaborative convened and facilitated a hydrology workshop with the purpose of developing recommendations for a phased expansion of the monitoring network for the Upper (Canadian) Columbia Basin. Greg Utzig, PAg, and Dr. Martin Carver, PEng/PGeo, PAg, provided a proposed approach to expanding the UCB monitoring network, and then the workshop participants actively engaged with the proposal, providing feedback on how it might be improved and implemented.

Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network
Outdoor Learning Store orders now open year-round 
As a result of the high demand for the Outdoor Learning Store, CBEEN has updated its process to allow for orders year-round. At the end of every month they will pool together orders and place them with their suppliers to access bulk pricing, and distribute them as soon as they’re received. All proceeds go back to outdoor and environmental education non-profits, including CBEEN, EEPSA & Take Me Outside.

Lake Windermere Ambassadors
State of the Lake Report
Lake Windermere Ambassadors (LWA) have undertaken a 10-year review of water quality monitoring and related activities of their organization on Lake Windermere in the East Kootenay region of British Columbia. LWA staff engaged the BC Lake Stewardship Society (BCLSS) to undertake this review with the assistance of LWA staff. The review found that LWA has had, and continues to have, exemplary programs to monitor and protect Windermere Lake water quality and other lake attributes.

West Kootenay EcoSociety
BC’s Old Growth Forest Webinar & Discussion, recording available
Rachel Holt and Greg Utzig are two local ecologists who have worked on old forest issues in BC for many years. In tis webinar recording, they provide an overview of what has and is happening provincially, and locally here in the Kootenays.

Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society
October was an action-packed month!
The Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society was busy engaging local volunteers and students in invasive weed pulls and planting activities throughout the month of October. Visit the News section on the CKISS website to read their recent updates, including: CKISS Volunteer Award Presented to a Mother-Daughter Invasive Plant Pulling Team in Creston; CKISS turns to volunteers from Selkirk College to remove invasive plants from Erie LakeVolunteers get their hands dirty to assist with native planting activities at Beaver Creek Provincial Park; The Battle Against Invasive Broom Continues in Nakusp with the help of local volunteers, and Restoration continues at Snk’mip Marsh with help from students and volunteers, to name a few.

The Nature Trust of BC
Together for Nature Virtual Gala recording available
On October 7, The Nature Trust of BC held their first-ever virtual Gala, Together for Nature, to celebrate their land conservation work in BC. If you missed it, you can watch the recording to hear stories about their land conservation projects across BC as well as performances by the Karla Sax and the Goh Ballet.

Roundtable on the Crown of the Continent 
2020 Virtual Symposium recording available
The 10th Annual Roundtable on the Crown of the Continent: 2020 Virtual Symposium took place on September 23 on the theme of “Leaders in the Crown During Unsettled Times.” Four key Crown leaders gave presentations to connect Roundtable partners and discuss the pursuit of sustaining and enhancing culture, community, and conservation.

Trent University
Outdoor Experiences Survey
Researchers with Trent University are seeking to understand how people experience time outdoors in the city, parks, and wilderness. They are interested in what animals you have seen recently, and your opinions about this. To learn more and help their research, complete their online questionnaire before the end of December 2020 (the survey is not compatible with Internet Explorer). Participants who complete the study will be entered in a draw for a $100 cash prize.

The Starfish Canada’s Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25
Celebrate Canada’s Next Generation of Changemakers
From coast to coast young Canadians are leading the environmental movement and showing us what innovation and creativity can do to create lasting impacts. The Starfish Canada’s Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25 program celebrates and rewards these young leaders creating positive change in their community by sharing their story through their national platform. The Starfish values an environment that is not only free from discrimination, but that is also proactively inclusive. Individuals from under-represented groups are encouraged to apply. The nomination period will close at 11:59 p.m. PST on November 8, 2020.
Entering Ethical Space Session 3: Indigenous Story and Law with Lauren Terbasket
November 2, Online Workshop
Indigenous Story and Law with Lauren Terbasket is the third session of "Entering Ethical Space: A series on land-based reconciliation in the Kootenay-Columbia" hosted by the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.

2020 Wetlands Institute Speaker Series: Wetlands and Legal Frameworks
November 4, Zoom
Join this free webinar offered by the BC Wildlife Federation Wetlands Institute to learn more about the legislative tools available to protect wetlands. Guest speakers are Deborah Curran, the Associate Professor and Executive Director of the Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria, who will be speaking on one of the resources she developed for environmental stewards: Green Bylaws Toolkit for Conserving Sensitive Ecosystems and Green Infrastructure; Dave Newman, the Director of Infrastructure Services for the Town of Gibsons, who will be speaking on the relationship of Natural Capital and Green Infrastructure; and Brittany Lange, an Environmental Planner with the Regional District of Central Okanagan, who will be speaking about Regional Floodplain Management Plan and sharing case studies. 

Webinar: The Ktunaxa story of Lightning, Thunder, Fox, and Coyote
November 4, Online
Using the Ktunaxa story of Lighting, Thunder, Fox and Coyote, Nasuʔkin (Chief) Joe Pierre will take you on a story journey that encircles our Mother Earth. After this, he will share some of his insights into this story and how these lessons can be applied to the times we find ourselves in. Facilitated by Nasuʔkin (Chief) Joe Pierre & hosted by Green Teacher in partnership with CBEEN.

Autumn Plant Walk; Wild Harvesting, Late fall Foraging
November 8, Golden
This walk, hosted by Wildsight Golden, is not a harvesting walk, but will be an opportunity to identify edible and medicinal plants; understand ethical and appropriate harvesting methods, and techniques; and once harvested, use and proper storage of the plants. Due to Covid 19, participation will be limited to 8. Registration is required. To register, please email: before Friday, November 6 at noon.

2020 Wetlands Institute Speaker Series: Wetlands and Climate Change
November 10, Zoom
Join this free webinar offered by the BC Wildlife Federation Wetlands Institute to learn more about using models to determine the risks to wetlands in the face of climate change. Guest speaker Nelson Jatel is the Water Stewardship Director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board, and he will be speaking on the Okanagan Wetlands Action Plan and the relationship and value of wetlands and the risks associated with climate change.

The Swallow Hotel: Compensation Habitat for Barn Swallows in the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area
November 12, Online Webinar
A Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology CREDtalk (Columbia Region Ecological Discussions). You probably already know that the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area (CVWMA) provides habitat for a variety of wildlife species, but did you know the CVWMA is also in the barn swallow hospitality industry? Their “Swallow Hotel” provides nesting habitat for barn swallows and is one of only a few such structures. In this webinar, Blaire will describe the history leading up to the installation of the Swallow Hotel, explain why this compensation habitat was required, and provide an overview on monitoring and success to date.

Grasslands Get-Together (Online)
November 17, Online
What are the Four Principles of Rangeland Management? How does cattle ranching protect species at risk? Should you graze native and tame forage differently? Learn about our rare and important grasslands and the people who are protecting them during a fun and interactive lunchtime online event with at the "Grasslands Get-Together" hosted by the BC Institute of Agrologists. This event is offered at no charge. Please register in advance. BCIA registrants must visit and log in to register. If you are not a BCIA registrant, please email Bonnie at to register. A link will be emailed to you closer to the webinar date.

2020 Wetlands Institute Speaker Series: Cultural Value of Wetlands and Archeological Assessments
November 18, Zoom
Join this free webinar offered by the BC Wildlife Federation Wetlands Institute to learn more about the cultural value of wetlands and the process of archeological assessments when working in or near wetlands. Guest speakers are Evelyn George, a Former Councillor with the Lake Babine Nation; and Dr. Genevieve Hill, Collections Manager and Researcher, Royal BC Museum.

Webinar: Game of Groans – Winter is Coming! Tips and Tricks for All Classes to extend successful outdoor learning into the winter months
November 19, Online
Outdoor learning is still the best way to achieve social distancing, AND a whole host of other social, mental, and academic outcomes for your students, so don’t let winter curb your enthusiasm for outdoor learning. Veteran winter Outdoor Educator Dave Quinn will share some basic ideas, tips, and tools from over two decades of delivering experiential, outdoor winter programming for organizations like the Wildsight, Avalanche Canada, and his own Treehouse Outdoor Education to help make winter outdoor learning a regular part of your class routine. Facilitated by Dave Quinn & hosted by CBEEN.

Watershed Moments: The Video Trilogy Series
November 19 • 26 • December 3, Online
The 3rd Annual Symposium on Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate has been reimagined as a “Video Trilogy Series”. Three videos, each 60 minutes in duration, are designed to be used as legacy resources that inspire action. Each is built around a “facilitated conversation”. The series’ focus is on the whole-system approach and restoring water balance in altered landscapes. The trilogy series will inform, educate and create understanding.

Wildsight Invermere’s 7th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival
November 21, Live Virtual Event
While the 7th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival can’t happen in its usual way — sitting shoulder to shoulder in the Columbia Valley Centre in Invermere — the virtual live event on November 21 offers an alternate way to be both entertained and informed, and to still support Wildsight Invermere in its annual fundraiser. Anyone from anywhere can be a participant (and the program will be available as video-on-demand for an additional seven days). Schools will also have a chance to screen the films. The 2020 event involves a “live” element of pre-recorded MC clips and nine specially-curated films of adventure and conservation across the globe. Thought-provoking stories about elephant guardians in Kenya and pangolin protectors in Nigeria contrast with North American issues, many of which reflect what is happening here in the Kootenays. And what would an environmental film fest be without a guest appearance by Greta Thunberg? 

Yaqan Nukiy Wetland and Floodplain Restoration
November 23, Online
Norm Allard, Community Planner for Yaqan Nukiy (Lower Kootenay Band) is going to take us on a tour of restoration projects on the Kootenay and Goat Rivers. The floodplain and wetland restoration work holds multiple benefits for wildlife, water and community. This virtual tour will take place 7 to 8 p.m. MST. 

Climate Change and the Biodiversity Crisis
November 26, Online Webinar
Join presenter Greg Utzig, MSc, PAg, with Kutenai Nature Investigations (Kootenay Resilience) for this Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology CREDtalk (Columbia Region Ecological Discussions). While the pandemic is creating a major crisis for Homo sapiens, climate disruption and the biodiversity crisis are affecting virtually all species. What do past experiences and current trends tell us about where we are likely headed in the next few decades? Are we living up to our Latin species and subspecies names?
Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation Enhancement and Restoration Grants
Deadline: November 6, 2020
Each year, HCTF provides approximately $6 Million dollars in Enhancement and Restoration (E&R) 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; and align with HCTF purposes as laid out in the Wildlife Act. One of HCTF priorities is to support habitat enhancement and restoration, therefore proposals that involve on-the-ground habitat enhancement and/or restoration activities are strongly encouraged. The deadline to submit an Enhancement and Restoration (E & R) Grant is Friday November 6, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. (PT).

Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative Sarah Baker Memorial Award
Deadline: November 15, 2020
Every year, the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative awards the “Sarah Baker Memorial Fund” grant ($5,000) for graduate students or postdoctoral fellows conducting applied conservation research in the Yellowstone-to-Yukon region. The deadline is November 15, 2020. If you know someone great, please encourage them to apply.

Real Estate Foundation of BC Grants
Deadline: early March 2021 (TBC)
Real Estate Foundation of BC grants support projects that strengthen communities and protect our shared land and water. The next General Grant application cycle opens in February and closes in early March 2021 (date to be confirmed). For information on eligibility and funding priorities, visit or email to discuss your project idea.

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.
Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund
Technical Review Committee Alternate, Columbia Valley Region
The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) in partnership with the Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP) are seeking qualified members for the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund (CVLCF) Technical Review Committee (TRC). The role of the TRC is to make recommendations on allocating annual funding for conservation projects for the area from Canal Flats to Spillimacheen. Applications will be received on an ongoing basis.

Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network
Wild Voices Community Educator
Are you a forester or geographer? A biologist or mountain guide? A historian or Indigenous storyteller? Do you have some unique knowledge, skill, or expertise you can share with students? Wild Voices for Kids is a program of the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network. It is a unique program in the Basin as it enables local specialists to develop programs connected to the local environment and tailored to their area of expertise and passion. Each educator brings their own unique knowledge of environment or natural history, adds their passion for education, and creates classroom or field-based programs that will both captivate students and satisfy the learning objectives of teachers. Community Educator applications and program submissions are assessed for approval bi-annually by the Wild Voices Advisory Committee. The Winter/Spring intake period closes on January 15.
For a comprehensive list of up-to-date job postings, check the CBEEN Job & Volunteer Board, an excellent resource for Kootenay conservation career and volunteer opportunities.

Revising the range of Rocky Mountain tailed frog, Ascaphus montanus, in British Columbia, Canada, using environmental DNA methods
Jared Hobbs, Ian T. Adams et al.
The Rocky Mountain tailed frog, Ascaphus montanus, is a species at-risk in Canada. A five-year (2014–2018 inclusive) environmental DNA (eDNA) survey revealed targeted qPCR-based eDNA approaches proved more effective than conventional physical search methods for detecting tailed frogs due to relatively rapid field collection, low cost of filter materials, elimination of observer bias, and higher detection probabilities compared to conventional time-constrained survey methods. These results expand the extant range of Rocky Mountain tailed frog in the Flathead, Wigwam, and Yahk watersheds and add two new watersheds (Moyie and Tepee) by identifying five newly recorded occupied drainages in Canada: Elder Creek, Upper Wigwam River, Tepee Creek, Gilnockie Creek, and Elmer Creek.

Network for Landscape Conservation
Virtual Policy Forum on the Future of Landscape Conservation, recording available
On Friday, July 31st, 2020, the Network for Landscape Conservation hosted a Virtual Policy Forum on the Future of Landscape Conservation. The Forum brought together leading policy experts to discuss the state of collaborative landscape conservation in the United States, and strategies for advancing landscape conservation funding and policy at this critical time. Moderated by Sacha Spector of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Forum featured the following panelists:

BC Wildlife Federation Wetlands Institute
Hunting Grounds floodplain restoration webinar recording available
On October 1, BCWF wetlands specialist Tom Biegbighauser and Lower Kootenay Band Community Planner Norm Allard Jr. delivered a webinar as part of the Wetlands Institute Speaker Series titled “Impoundment Decommissioning & Floodplain Restoration - A Case Study” featuring a wetlands project in the Lower Kootenay Band’s traditional Hunting Grounds.

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

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.