Conservation in the Kootenays
Monthly eNews
February 2020
Trendy Tools
Monthly Stewardship Solutions Toolkit feature
Report nests or aggregations of Great Blue Herons to help monitor breeding and over-wintering populations and identify sites worthy of conservation or stewardship follow-up.

KCP Winter Webinar Series
Registration is now open!
Our four-part series on "Biodiversity of the Kootenays" features the following webinars:
  1. Getting to know Grebes: Different Species and how they link to Wetland Health & Conservation with Rachel Darvill - February 13
  2. We Should Plant Meadows”: A Systems Approach to Recovering Pollinator Pathways with Valerie Huff - February 26
  3. An Evidence-to-Action Approach for Carnivore Coexistence in Adapt-or-Die Landscapes with Clayton Lamb - March 4
  4. Back to the Basics: Re-evaluating Bat Boxes based on Bat Needs with Cori Lausen - March 12

Conservation Action Forum held in Creston
Summary Report soon available
A KCP Conservation Action Forum was held on January 22 in Creston. A group of over 25 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. A Summary Report will be made available later this month on our website. This was the fifth Action Forum KCP has facilitated, following ones in Slocan Valley, Columbia Valley, Lower Columbia and Elk Valley.

2020 KCP Fall Gathering - Save the (new) 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 new Kootenay conservation resource
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.
Ktunaxa Nation Council
Qat’muk slated to become Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area
The Ktunaxa Nation Council has announced it is working toward the creation of a new Qat’muk Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area in collaboration with federal and provincial governments and other parties that will include the long-contested Jumbo Valley, cover 700 square kilometres of Purcell Mountain wilderness, and connect with the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy to the south. This initiative was made possible by a $16.2 million contribution from the Government of Canada through the Canada Nature Fund. An additional $5 million has come from the Wyss Foundation, Wilburforce Foundation, Patagonia, Columbia Basin Trust and Donner Canadian Foundation. The Nature Conservancy of Canada worked on behalf of the Ktunaxa Nation to negotiate the buyout of all previous tenures and interests.

Wildsight Golden
Columbia Wetlands Waterbird Survey Final Report available
The final report for the 2015-2019 Columbia Wetlands Waterbird Survey (CWWS) is now available! The CWWS incorporated the efforts of more than 230 volunteer citizen-scientists, and documented 163 bird species that utilize habitat in the Columbia Wetlands, with 30 at-risk bird species. Three areas in the wetlands were determined to be important resting and feeding areas during migration as evidenced by the consistent high bird concentrations present at those locations. With the reported trend of decreasing global bird populations, this paper amongst other recommendations, suggests protecting these high valued habitat areas by designating them as refuges or Migratory Bird Sanctuaries. The Important Bird and Biodiversity Area nomination has been made — stay tuned for the outcome.

Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society
Invasive Asian clam shells found on Shuswap Lake beach
Clam shells found on a beach in the Shuswap last fall have been identified as invasive Asian clam. At this time, only dead shells have been found. Asian clams may have found their way to the Shuswap via accidental transport on watercraft, as fishing bait, or as live food. Monitoring for live or established populations will continue in 2020.  

Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners
Strategic plan for Columbia Wetlands now available for download
The Columbia Wetlands Conservation Action Framework for 2020-2025 outlines a strategy for the Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners and partners on how to approach conservation, stewardship and management activities over the next five years. The report details the biological and ecological values of the Columbia Wetlands and the most pressing threats to those values.

Wildsight Creston
Creston Valley Green Map available online
Wildsight’s Creston Valley Branch strives to inform and influence land-use planning processes in the Creston Valley to help preserve the area's exceptional biodiversity. They have developed the Creston Valley Green Map Project, a robust, objective mapping product, in order to help decision-makers take steps to preserve the most critical habitat areas. The first steps are to characterize the valley’s habitats, evaluate their relative importance, and highlight areas where conservation and ecological restoration efforts could most effectively support biodiversity conservation. 

Living Lakes Canada
Columbia Basin Water Data Research Consortium announced
Living Lakes Canada is a partner in the Fresh Water Data Commons, a recently announced pilot project that will collect water data in real-time using low-power, low-cost sensors in an initial pilot area that will cover 20 square kilometres in the Fruitvale and Trail areas. This project will assist the  Columbia Basin Water Monitoring Collaborative in developing an open source database to house water monitoring data from the Columbia Basin.

Columbia Basin Watershed Network
Summer Mapping Program intake now open
In partnership with the Selkirk Geospatial Research Centre, CBWN is now accepting applications for the 2020 Summer Mapping program. This is an opportunity for your watershed group to work with a GIS student to create valuable maps that engage your community. Communicate complex watershed information in beautiful and easy to understand maps.

Lake Windermere Ambassadors
2019 reports now available
The Lake Windermere Ambassadors direct a Community-Based Water Monitoring and Citizen-Science Education program within the Lake Windermere watershed, and ongoing diligence in monitoring the lake for the introduction of aquatic invasive plants is also imperative given that Lake Windermere appears to receive the highest amount of boating traffic within the entire Upper Columbia or contiguous Columbia Wetlands ecosystem. The 2019 reports for both programs are now available on the LWA website as Lake Windermere Community Based Water Quality Monitoring Program 2019 Final Report and Lake Windermere Aquatic Invasive Plant Species Inventory 2019.

Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program
Fifteen Lewis’s Woodpecker nests recorded in the West Kootenay
Fifteen West Kootenay nests for threatened Lewis’s Woodpeckers were confirmed in 2019 — the most active nests found since 2008 when FWCP started funding this monitoring project. Lewis’s Woodpeckers often return to the same nest site but 11 of the nests were at new sites.
NAISMA Spring 2020 Online Training Program
February 3 - May 20, Online
The North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA) Online Invasive Species Management Training Program is designed to provide the education needed for professionals and students who are managing or learning to manage invasive species.

CRED Talk: Pity the Analyst - Designing Camera Trap Software for Efficient Image Inspection
February 6, Revelstoke
This Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology talk describes and explains design patterns for software that supports how analysts can efficiently inspect camera trap images and encode its data. Broadly speaking, a design pattern identifies a commonly occurring problem and a general, reusable design approach to solving that problem. In particular, design patterns for camera trap image analysis address solutions to commonly occurring problems faced by analysts when inspecting a large number of images and entering data describing those images. 

Occupancy Modelling
February 11-13, Revelstoke
The presence or absence of a species in a set of units (polygons, landscape units, territories, etc.) is a fundamental concept in many ecological studies (e.g. resource selection modelling, biodiversity, range). This Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology workshop covers methods for modelling species occurrence while accounting for potential false negatives. Alternate dates have been selected in case of poor winter conditions on roads.

Getting to know Grebes: Different Species and how they link to Wetland Health & Conservation
February 13, KCP Webinar
In the first of four webinars that make up the KCP 2020 Winter Webinar Series, Rachel Darvill will be speaking about the five different marsh bird species we can find in the Columbia Basin, the results of her bird research projects in the Columbia Wetlands as they relate to grebes, how marsh birds can be important biological indicators of healthy wetland systems and how grebes may be useful in designating the Columbia Wetlands into the Important Bird and Biodiversity Area program.

Winter Film & Discussion Series
February 13 • 20 • 27 March 5, Golden
Wildsight Golden and the Youth Action Network present the Winter Film & Discussion Series. All films will be at the Golden Youth Centre and are family frien dly. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and movies start at 7 p.m.

Soil Biology Identification Workshop
February 17, Nelson
This one-day workshop will be a hands-on learning opportunity for producers to identify soil micro-organisms and discuss ways to enhance beneficial organisms. Intended audience is commercial vegetable producers. Offered through the Kootenay Boundary Farm Advisors.

Pesticide Applicator Course
February 25-28, Cranbrook
This multi-day training course offered by the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council has been created to ensure participants receive the necessary information to successfully obtain their pesticide applicators certificate as well as help become more employable in the field of invasive plant management.

"We Should Plant Meadows": A Systems Approach to Recovering Pollinator Pathways
February 26, KCP Webinar
Recent concerns about declines in pollinating insects are paralleled by concerns about concurrent declines in native plants. Plant and pollinator communities must be considered together for effective conservation of either. In the second webinar in the KCP Winter Webinar Series, Valerie Huff will share how the Kootenay Native Plant Society has been working toward plant and pollinator conservation, and ways to participate in reconnecting and recovering pollinator pathways in the Columbia Basin.

Introduction to Wildlife Bioacoustics
March 3-5, Revelstoke
The main goal of this Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology course is to provide attendees with hands-on knowledge of available technology, techniques, and assessment capabilities so they can confidently make decisions on when and how to implement bioacoustical surveys for vocal terrestrial species (birds, anurans, and mammals including bats). There is no field component, however, there will be plenty of opportunity to get hands-on with devices and software.

An Evidence-to-Action Approach for Carnivore Coexistence in Adapt-or-Die Landscapes
March 4, KCP Webinar
In North America, grizzly bears typify the human struggle to conserve and coexist with large carnivores amongst a matrix of competing land uses. In the third webinar in the KCP Winter Webinar Series, Clayton Lamb will provide insight into the response of bear density to mitigation measures for reducing road density and highlight several cases where evidence from this dissertation leads to meaningful conservation actions that will benefit bears, a variety of wildlife inhabiting similar areas, and people.

19th Annual Crown Managers Partnership Forum
March 10-12, Cranbrook (submit poster abstracts by March 2)
The Crown Managers Partnership is a multi-jurisdictional partnership amongst federal, state, provincial, tribal and First Nation agency managers and universities in Montana, Alberta and British Columbia. The Crown of the Continent ecosystem is one of North America's most ecologically diverse and jurisdictionally fragmented landscapes. The theme of the 2020 Forum is "Fire in the Crown of the Continent: Trans-boundary Collaborative Solutions to Landscape Scale Ecosystem Management". The forum will take place at St. Eugene Resort in Cranbrook.

Back to the Basics: Re-evaluating Bat Boxes based on Bat Needs
March 12, KCP Webinar
In the fourth and final webinar in the KCP Winter Webinar Series, Cori Lausen will revisit the roles that bat boxes can play in habitat mitigation and present critical background information that sets the stage for understanding problems associated with bat boxes and what might be done. She will also explore the advantages and disadvantages of bat boxes, and fundamental issues we need to address when considering artificial bat habitat.

Amphibian Inventory & Monitoring Techniques
April 14-15, 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.

Environmental Education Leadership Clinic
April 24-26, Nipika Mountain Resort, Kootenay National Park
The 2020 Leadership Clinic is an opportunity for EEPSA Local Chapters to come together to share, plan and collaborate. It will provide time and opportunities to do so in a beautiful setting, while also providing opportunities for outdoor recreation and rejuvenation. Must be a CBEEN member to participate. Registration is through EEPSA Local Chapters.

Scaling Up Camera Trap Surveys to Inform Regional Wildlife Conservation
May 5-6, Kimberley
This two-day Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology conference 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 
May 6-9, Yasodhara Ashram – Kootenay Lake
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 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.

Creston Valley Bird Fest – Save the Date!
May 8-10, Creston
Registration for the Creston Valley Bird Fest opens in April. See the website for the 2020 schedule of events. Keynote speaker John Acorn is an internationally known scientist, author, broadcaster, and Canadian naturalist who lives in Edmonton. 

Wings Over the Rockies Festival – Save the Date!
May 11-17, Invermere
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. 2020 will be the 24th annual event.

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.

Columbia Basin Symposia – Save the Date!
October 2-4, Trail • October 23-25, 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. And if you won’t be able to come in person, plan to participate online. More details to come. Registration opens Spring 2020. Be one of the first to register and learn about speakers and agenda highlights by subscribing to receive email updates about the Symposia.

KCP Fall Gathering & AGM – Save the (new) 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.
RBC Tech for Nature
Deadline: February 3
The RBC Foundation works with partners to leverage technology and innovation capabilities to solve pressing environmental challenges. RBC Tech for Nature funding is supporting technology-driven programs in three key areas: Data, Innovation Ecosystem, Behaviour Change. RBC Foundation is now accepting applications until February 3, 2020.

Brink McLean Grassland Conservation Fund
Deadline: February 14
The objective of the Brink/McLean Grassland Conservation Fund is to promote research, habitat restoration and other stewardship activities that will assist in the management of the land, plants and animals of BC’s native grasslands. All applications must be received on or before February 14, 2020 at 4:30 p.m.

Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk
Deadline: February 27
The protection of species at risk in Canada depends on a meaningful collaboration with Indigenous Peoples and organizations. The Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk (AFSAR) supports the development of Indigenous capacity to participate actively in the implementation of the Species at Risk Act.

Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk
Deadline: February 27
The Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP) provides funding for projects submitted by Canadians that contribute directly to the recovery objectives and population goals of species at risk listed on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act and prevent others from becoming a conservation concern.

2020 Y2Y Partner Grants Request for Proposals
Deadline: February 28
The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) is pleased to announce that its Partner Grants program has been extended to its 22nd year. Applicants must be associations, groups, organizations, tribes, bands, partnerships or networks working within the Yellowstone to Yukon region in support of the Y2Y vision and mission.

BC Hydro Grants for Community Groups
Deadline: March 31
For the 2020 grant cycle, BC Hydro is offering two types of grants to support non-profit organizations and registered charities that are making a difference in their communities. The next annual intake for applications opens February 3, 2020 and will run until March 31, 2020.

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.
Wings Over the Rockies Nature Festival
Festival Planner
Centred in Invermere, BC, the Wings Over the Rockies is one of the largest nature festivals in Canada with 100 events, both indoor and outdoor, spread over seven days every May. The festival planner is the liaison between the board of directors, volunteers, presenters, and clients. The successful candidate will receive training with the outgoing festival planner and assist with the 2020 festival before beginning to plan the 2021 festival. This is a part-time, paid contract for approximately 600 to 700 hours annually. Deadline to apply by is February 14.

BC Parks
Student Rangers
BC Parks within the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has created the BC Parks Student Ranger Program to promote outdoor youth employment opportunities across the province. Students studying and/or interested in pursuing future studies or employment in a related field are encouraged to apply. Locations for crews during the 2020 season include Nelson. The competition closes on February 23.

Kootenay Columbia Discovery Centre Society
Wetland Naturalist
Do you have a love of nature and science? Are you passionate about inspiring people about the natural world? As a Wetland Naturalist, you will motivate, inspire, and connect children and adults to the wonderful world of wetlands by providing quality environmental education programs and front country excursions at the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area. The Wetland Naturalist position is seasonal from May 5 to September 5, 2020 (35-hour work week/schedules overlap weekends). Candidate must be available from May 5 through 9 for training. Closing date is March 2, 2002.

Wildsight Golden
Seeking volunteers for the Golden Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep Project  
The Golden Rocky Mountain Bighorn herd has reduced in size since 2016 and Wildsight Golden has begun the Golden Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep Project in hopes of helping this herd of sheep survive. They are asking for help looking for dead or alive sightings of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep along Highways 95 between Radium and Golden and along Highway 1 east of Golden to the ten mile bridge. With the widening of Highway 1, these animals could face additional stressors and decline in number. Reporting of bighorn sheep and other   wildlife   takes place using the free   MAPS.ME app .
Center for Large Landscape Conservation
Wildlife Connectivity: Fundamentals for Conservation Action
This report is intended to provide a high-level summary of the fundamentals of wildlife corridors and ecological connectivity to people engaged in management and conservation actions. Conserving nature’s parts and processes requires working at ecosystem, landscape, and bioregional scales. Size matters in ecology; in general, the larger the scale of focus, the better the chance of conserving critical ecological processes.

Center for Large Landscape Conservation
Online Resource Library
The Center for Large Landscape Conservation strategically connects ideas, individuals, and institutions to catalyze collaboration and amplify progress toward the imperative of our time: to conserve Earth’s resilient, vital large landscapes. The Center’s resource library provides access to ideas, tools for policy makers and practitioners, case studies, and more.

Effects of roads and motorized human access on grizzly bear populations in British Columbia and Alberta
New report by Proctor et al.
A review of the scientific literature on the relationship between grizzly bears ( Ursus arctos), human motorized access, and the efficacy of motorized access control as a tool to benefit grizzly bear conservation in western Canada found that motorized access affected grizzly bears at the individual and population levels through effects on bears' habitat use, home range selection, movements, population fragmentation, survival, and reproductive rates; and that motorized access management was effective in mitigating these effects. 

Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute
Region-wide check-up now available
The Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute at Selkirk College has just released the 2019 State of the Basin Snapshot Report. This region-wide check-up investigates economic, social, environmental and cultural indicators for the Columbia-Basin Boundary.

Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
Columbia Headwaters report: the need to balance economy and environment
A new Y2Y-commissioned report for the Columbia River headwaters — Exploring Emerging Economic Opportunities in the Columbia River Headwaters Region of British Columbia — aims to spark discussion on how to balance the economy and environment. The study area is from Invermere and Kaslo northwards through Revelstoke to Kinbasket Lake and researchers in the study interviewed more than 30 community leaders in the region.

RoadwatchBC (Wildsight • Y2Y • Miistakis Institute)
2019 amendment to Highway 3 transportation and wildlife report
Since the Highway 3: Transportation Mitigation for Wildlife and Connectivity report was released by Clevenger et al. in 2010, progress has been made on the ground in British Columbia to advance science on wildlife movement, establish relationships with implementing agencies and grow public support for investment in wildlife transportation mitigation measures. In light of these changes and progress, the amendment for the BC portion of Highway 3 was undertaken.

Association of State Wetland Managers
ASWM-NRCS Wetland Training Webinar Series (2 webinars remaining) 
This webinar series has been designed to provide participants with a general level of knowledge about wetlands and wetland restoration options and considerations. Participants will come away from trainings with key knowledge, the ability to be more conversant about wetland issues, knowing what questions to ask when looking at restoration opportunities, and knowing when to contact or bring in an expert.

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.