Conservation in the Kootenays
Monthly eNews
December 2020
Trendy Tools
Featuring profiles from the Stewardship Solutions Online Toolkit
Report invasive plants in the East Kootenay; learn more about how to control them on our property, and receive support for treatment.

Highlights from the KCP Board Meeting on November 19, 2020

• Tapestry Evaluation and Strategy are continuing work on the KCP Program Review. The Board reviewed their draft partner survey as well as an approach to a rubric for evaluating KCP.
• The Board had preliminary discussions on the action item from the AGM about time limits for Board members. Derek Petersen, KCP Chair, will gather more information and develop a backgrounder for the next Board meeting.

KCP Partner organizations are welcome to participate in a KCP Board meeting.
Our next meeting date has not yet been identified. Please contact us if you are interested!
KCP Winter Webinar Series
Online registration now open!
For 2021, our four-part Winter Webinar Series will be on the theme “From Alpine to Valley Bottom: Conserving Essential Habitats in the Kootenays” with four fascinating presentations confirmed. All four webinars will run 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. - noon MT.
  • January 28 - Drones & Dens: Using Non-Invasive Techniques to Find Wolverine Dens with Doris Hausleitner
  • February 11 - A Provincial and Regional Overview of BC’s Old Growth Forests: Where Are We At and What Happens Now? with Rachel Holt
  • February 17 - Looking for the Big Picture: The Creston Valley Green Map and Habitat Connectivity with Brian Churchill
  • February 25 - Columbia Valley Wetland Mapping Project: Combining Digital Technologies and Wetland Ecology with Ryan Durand

KCP Program Review
Feedback and suggestions encouraged
KCP is currently undergoing a program review and has engaged Tapestry Evaluation and Strategy to facilitate this. We are interested in improving our ability to measure outcomes of our programs and activities. Your organization may have effective systems and measurement tools in place to gauge your conservation impact and outcomes. We are looking for any suggestions on tools or measurement systems that would help us measure any of our strategic priority areas (serving as a network, capacity building, stewardship and securement). Please email with the subject "Outcome Measurement" and provide some information, links, documents and/or whatever information and/or ideas you have to share. 

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.
Caribou Conservation Breeding Foundation
A caribou conservation centre near Invermere
Southern Mountain caribou, unique to the mountains of southeastern British Columbia, are almost gone. Habitat protection and restoration measures, while key to the long-term recovery of caribou, are not enough to protect this vulnerable group of caribou. Conservation breeding, a science-based technique that has prevented the extinction of many endangered species, can help by breeding caribou at a dedicated conservation centre and releasing healthy young animals to the wild to reinforce small herds or reintroduce extinct herds. The government of British Columbia is considering establishing a caribou conservation centre in the Rocky Mountain Trench near Invermere.

Cottonwood Lake Preservation Society
Sinixt Elder featured in video
The Cottonwood Lake Preservation Society (visit is a concerned group of Nelson and area citizens who want to save the land around Cottonwood Lake from unregulated clearcut logging. Their website showcases a powerful video of Shelly Boyd, a Sinixt Elder, who shares her Nation's history in the Cottonwood Lake area.

BC Wildlife Federation
2020 Wetlands Institute Speaker Series recordings available
Due to COVID-19, the BC Wildlife Federation's Wetlands Institute was formatted into a virtual Speaker Series — a series of stand-alone webinars and workshops hosted throughout the Fall, covering topics that are of interest to those working in the environmental sector with wetlands (including environmental education).

BC Institute of Agrologists Kootenay Boundary Branch
Utzig, Roussin recognized with two new awards
The Kootenay Boundary Branch of the BC Institute of Agrologists has named Greg Utzig as the first-ever recipient of the branch’s Willow Tree Award. The Willow Tree award is intended for a Kootenay Boundary member who has made an impact or who has shown passion for the protection, preservation and healing of the earth and its inhabitants. The Branch has also awarded Rachael Roussin the first Green Shoot Award, intended for a Kootenay Boundary member who is new to the Branch (<2 years) and has shown growth in their career, passion for their work and offers a fresh perspective in field of agrology. Congratulations!
Click HERE for a KCP Faces & Places featuring Greg and HERE for Rachael to read about their work.

Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners
Online reference library for the Columbia Wetlands region
The Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners have been hard at work curating a reference library containing the current and historical known research papers, projects and land use plans for the Columbia Wetlands, including the area to the east and to the west bordered by the Rocky and Purcell mountains ranges. It is a work in progress with currently over 1,800 citations and more being added every year. CWSP where possible, houses the entire document of a reference in the library, which can be downloaded if desired. More reports are welcome and needed to keep the database current. Please email relevant resources to Verena Shaw at

Creston Valley Wildlife Management Authority
Duck Lake water control upgrade completed
In partnership with Duck Unlimited Canada, with funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada – Community Nominated Priority Places for Species at Risk Program through KCP’s Kootenay Connect program, the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Authority just completed a water control upgrade at the south end of Duck Lake. The project started on October 15, 2020 with a fish and amphibian salvage and was completed on October 30 with seeding of the site.

Comox Valley Conservation Partnership
Webinar recording available: The Promise, Potential and Pitfalls of Site-Specific Land Regulations
This conversation with experts Deborah Curran (University of Victoria, Environmental Law Centre) and Erin Gray (Arbutus Law Group LLP) explores how Development Permit Areas for Protection of the Natural Environment (EDPAs) can provide specific standards to support our decision-makers to further prioritize and protect ecologically sensitive areas in our current climate crisis. The presenters share knowledge and local examples (Comox Valley/Vancouver Island specific), as well as answer many questions from the live attending audience.

Arrow Lakes Caribou Society
Province supports caribou birthing pen
The Arrow Lakes Caribou Society (visit has been given the green light to proceed with its project to build a birthing pen for an endangered local caribou herd. The project will see about nine females taken from the near-extinct Nakusp herd of the Central Selkirk sub-population. They’ll be captured next spring, taken to the enclosure on a bench above the Nakusp hot springs, and kept safe there to give birth and raise their young.

Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
Entering Ethical Space: A Series on Land-based Reconciliation in the Kootenay-Columbia
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 all three workshops are available online
Calling Powderhounds: Wildlife Wise Virtual Workshops
December 2 • 9, Online
Working with the Alpine Club of Canada Columbia Mountains section, POW Gals, and regional biologists, Y2Y is excited to deliver a unique learning opportunity. Join one of two workshops in December to learn about mountain caribou and wolverine, and discuss ways to ski, ride and share the snow responsibly. Caribou biologists and wolverine researchers will present and answer your questions. The December 2 workshop is for those recreating in the North Columbia (near Revelstoke, Golden and area), and the December 9 workshop is for those recreating in Kootenay Lake & Lower Columbia region (near Nelson, Creston, Kaslo, Rossland, and surrounding areas). Each workshop which will focus on features and trails in these areas. All workshops are 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. PT. Please register in advance.

CBEEN AGM & Member Discussion Groups
December 2, Online
Join the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network for this annual gathering to share highlights and discuss how CBEEN can better support your work.

C2C Solstice Event
December 10, Online
Join the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network and their BC Classrooms to Communities (C2C) Partners for this seasonal celebration event. Learn, share and connect with educators from around the province. C2C envisions a province where all students and teachers are deeply connected to place, community and planet, are able to effectively communicate their stories of connectedness, and are taking responsibility to do so.

Webinar: Ecological Connectivity in the Crown
December 11, Online
Join the Crown Managers Partnership for this free webinar that will address the following questions: How can we prioritize human safety and multi-species connectivity across a regional road networks? What are some guidelines for conserving connectivity? How can we effectively conserve connectivity in the face of climate change?

Teaching EE and Climate Change: A New K-10 Big Ideas Framework
January 14, Online
Environmental Educator Dave Quinn will share a draft set of Environmental Education and Climate Change Education Big Ideas, with linked Curricular Competencies and Content for these critical, overarching subjects whose content is currently sprinkled throughout other curriculum areas. This workshop will help educators navigate the challenges of teaching critical concepts for environmentally literate students of all ages, and these new Big Ideas help guide teachers through age-appropriate concepts and topics relating to Environment and Climate Change.

Art of Participatory Leadership: Catalyzing Action to Address Complex Issues of our Time
January 22 • February 26 • March 26 • April 23 • May 28, Online
In our personal lives, in our organizations and in our communities, it is time to join hands, hearts and minds to create new paths forward. Climate disasters, COVID-19 pandemic, and calls to embrace equity and end racism — they all combine into unparalleled opportunities to reimagine and recreate the lives and communities we want, now. Help build a movement and a community to learn and build participatory leadership skills from the Art of Hosting tradition as well as developing other regenerative practices. The Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network is offering this series on the 4th Friday every month for 5 months from January to May. Two information sessions are being offered on December 11 and January 7. Early bird registration ends December 31.

Drones & Dens: Using Non-Invasive Techniques to Find Wolverine Dens
January 28, Online
Join Doris Hausleitner for the first webinar in the 2021 KCP Winter Webinar Series “From Alpine to Valley Bottom: Conserving Essential Habitats in the Kootenays”. Wolverine are a species of conservation priority provincially and nationally, partially due to their naturally low reproductive rates. Female wolverine are vulnerable to disturbance, especially at reproductive den sites. Dens are excavations in the snow in high elevation cirque basins near tree-line and preferred areas are used repeatedly. Deep snow is favoured for denning habitat, making wolverine susceptible to climate change and a shrinking snowpack. Doris Hausleitner will describe female wolverine denning areas and how they have searched for them using a combination of new technologies and citizen science.

A Provincial and Regional Overview of BC’s Old Growth Forests: Where Are We At and What Happens Now?
February 11, Online
Join Rachel Holt for the second webinar in the 2021 KCP Winter Webinar Series “From Alpine to Valley Bottom: Conserving Essential Habitats in the Kootenays”. Old forest matters; not only for its inherent qualities, but also because old forest retention is the Province’s principle strategy to maintain biodiversity. In the last year, a report by Price, Holt and Daust entitled BC’s Old Growth Forests: A Last Stand for Biodiversity highlighted the very poor condition of productive old forest in BC, and recommended key actions to prevent matters from getting worse. At the same time, an independent panel (The Strategic Old Growth Panel) wrote a report for the Minister of Forests outlining the state of old forests in the province, and they also provided 14 recommendations. This talk by Rachel Holt will bring together the findings from these reports and provide an overview of what issues are relevant to the future of old forest regionally and provincially.

Looking for the Big Picture: The Creston Valley Green Map and Habitat Connectivity
February 17, Online
Join Brian Churchill for the second webinar in the 2021 KCP Winter Webinar Series “From Alpine to Valley Bottom: Conserving Essential Habitats in the Kootenays”. Green Maps are used worldwide to highlight nature and its value to healthier communities. They often highlight values that are sometimes overlooked, yet are integral to sustainable human communities. Wildsight Creston Valley Branch developed the Creston Valley Green Map project to engage the public in environmental awareness through science and to highlight conservation leverage in the valley. It also provides a focus and vision for conservation collaborations especially with changes looming from climate change predictions. Brian Churchill will review the development and structure of the GIS based Green Map and discusses its use and future development.

Columbia Valley Wetland Mapping Project: Combining Digital Technologies and Wetland Ecology
February 25, Online
Join Ryan Durand for the second webinar in the 2021 KCP Winter Webinar Series “From Alpine to Valley Bottom: Conserving Essential Habitats in the Kootenays”. In 2019, the Kootenay Connect and the Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners initiated a project to map the Columbia Valley Wetlands — a large internationally recognized RAMSAR wetland complex. The Columbia Wetlands, which encompass 180km of valley bottom from Canal Flats to north of Golden, are largely undeveloped and difficult to access and study. Using a combination of digital imagery, LiDAR, and drone technology, the entire complex was mapped and each wetland type classified using the provincial Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification system. The mapping is being used to help manage the wetlands and protect species at risk.

Amphibian Inventory & Monitoring Techniques in Creston
April 13-14, 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
May 18-20, Kimberley
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.

Advanced Field Ornithology: Identification and Surveys by Sound and Recordings
May 31-June 3, 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 Trust Small Environment Grants
Deadline: January 30, 2021
If you have an idea that will strengthen environmental well-being within the Columbia Basin Trust region and your project requires $5,000 or less, you can apply for a small Environment Grant. Eligible applicants include non-profits, First Nation communities, municipalities and regional districts. Businesses may be considered depending on the project and its broad community impact (the project must not mainly benefit the interest of the business). The next deadline is January 30, 2021 at 2 p.m. PT / 3 p.m. MT

2021 Brink/McLean Grassland Conservation Fund
Deadline: February 12, 2021
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. This fund was established by The Nature Trust of BC in May 2001 and it honours two of Canada’s most celebrated conservationists and past Board members (Dr. Bert Brink and Dr. Alastair McLean) who devoted much of their lives to conserving BC’s native grasslands. All applications must be received on or before February 12, 2021 at 4:30 pm PT.

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.
Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation of Canada
Executive Director and/or Seed Orchard Coordinator
The Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation of Canada (WPEFC) is seeking a highly motivated and experienced individual to lead their non-profit as Executive Director and/or Seed Orchard Coordinator. The successful candidate(s) will have experience working with a variety of partners, including NGOs, The ideal candidate(s) will be organized, personable, skilled at facilitating meetings and developing partnerships and have a working knowledge of whitebark and limber pine. These are part time contract position and the contractor(s) can be based in BC or Alberta so long as they have a strong internet. Deadline to apply is midnight PT on December 6.

Nature Conservancy of Canada
Vice President, Strategic Marketing & Development
This is a unique opportunity to build and deliver a cohesive marketing and development strategy at Canada’s foremost not-for-profit conservation organization. The Vice President (VP), Strategic Marketing & Development is responsible for engagement, fundraising and marketing activities to further the mission of the Nature Conservancy of Canada and to maximize brand awareness and revenues. This position can be based anywhere in Canada. The deadline to apply is December 10.

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.

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.

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.

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.