Conservation in the Kootenays
Monthly eNews
May 2020
Trendy Tools
Monthly Stewardship Solutions Toolkit feature
Living Lakes Canada has been co-ordinating groundwater level monitoring of priority aquifers. Wells are being monitored throughout the Upper Columbia Basin. If you are interested in monitoring a well in your area, contact Living Lakes Canada.

Highlights from the KCP Board Meeting on April 29, 2020

  • KCP 2019/20 workplan was successfully completed! It was a very busy and productive year.
  • The Board acknowledges the accomplishments of the KCP "staff” and appreciates their hard work.
  • KCP has prepared a COVID-19 Response plan which includes adjustments to the workplan, key messaging during this time, and other considerations.
  • The 2020/21 workplan is being adjusted, with the approval of our funders, to replace the spring tour with a virtual tour and adapt other activities in light of COVID-19.
  • The Board approved spending $5,000 from the KCP Reserve Fund towards the external program review which will be conducted this year.
  • Preliminary discussions of potential adaptations to the Fall Gathering including a short online component and socially distanced field visits. A decision will be made in June with regards to how to proceed.
  • KCP Partner Survey results were discussed to better inform this year’s activities.

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!
Kootenay Lake Local Conservation Fund
2020 funded projects announced
KCP works in partnership with the Regional District of Central Kootenay to administer the Kootenay Lake Local Conservation Fund (KLLCF). The purpose of the KLLCF is to provide local financial support for important local projects that will contribute to the conservation of valuable natural areas in Electoral Areas A, D and E of the RDCK. For 2020, 7 projects were funded for a total of $65,000. 

Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund
2020 funded projects announced
KCP works in partnership with the Regional District of East Kootenay to administer the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund (CVLCF). The purpose of the CVLCF is to provide local financial support for important local projects that will contribute to the conservation of valuable natural areas in the Columbia Valley subregion of the RDEK. For 2020, 8 projects were funded for a total just over $114,000. 

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 [email protected] .

2020 KCP Fall Gathering - Save the Date!
October 16-17, Creston
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. Plans for this event will be adapted this summer based on public health recommendations.

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
Non-profit Advisors Program
COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for people and communities in the Columbia Basin. Non-profits are dealing with the challenges and impacts of COVID-19 and, whether you are new to the Non-profit Advisors Program or have received previous support, the Columbia Basin Team is here to help. This program can provide you with information resources and can also connect you with an advisor who can provide guidance as you navigate current operational challenges and impacts. Advisors are also available to assess your organization and provide recommendations. These services are free. If the advisor thinks more specialized consulting support is needed, the program may also subsidize those services.

Wildsight Golden
Launching the Columbia Valley Swallow Project
Recently, both the barn swallow and bank swallow were listed as Threatened species under the Canada’s Species at Risk Act. There is a lack of information on the status of swallows in the Columbia Valley, including where important habitats (e.g. nesting and roosting locations) are located, but it is well known that both bank and barn swallows’ do breed and feed in the Columbia Valley. The Columbia Valley Swallow Project (CVSP) will begin this year, and it intends to be a two-year project.

Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society
Submit a ‘Lake Observation’ online
The Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society (FOKLSS) has just updated the Lake Watchers page on their website. They’ve added updated areas of interest and a fillable form with a mapping component. Folks who live near/around Kootenay Lake can submit observational data. Whether they see wildlife or an instance of pollution, they can let FOKLSS know by submitting a “Lake Observation” to help build a database with a visual map showing where reports are coming from. 

Living Lakes Canada
New Film: People Power for Healthy Rivers
Living Lakes Canada has produced a 4-minute video, “People Power for Healthy Rivers: DNA Technology Meets Citizen Science in STREAM”, which features how the CABIN (Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network) protocol is being used in Living Lakes Canada’s current STREAM project, a national water monitoring pilot that began in the Columbia Basin which is working to collect a total of 1,500 environmental DNA samples from 15 watersheds across Canada over three years through community-based water monitoring. 
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.

Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society CABIN workshop
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.

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. 

Celebrate World Migratory Bird Day
May 9, Columbia Valley
Wildsight Golden would like you to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day with them by participating in Global Big Day. This is the day where people all around the world go out bird watching and enter their sightings on eBird. All you need to do is get outside and look for birds on May 9th in and around the Columbia Wetlands. Everyone who sends us their bird sightings will be entered in a draw to win a lovely bird house built by Lawie Nichol. Please practice physical distancing when participating.

Columbia Basin Watershed Network AGM
May 12, Online
This year the Columbia Basin Watershed Network (CBWN) will be holding their AGM online through the Zoom platform. Beginning at 3 p.m. PT/4 p.m. MT, CBWN will be discussing current projects and future directions. Contribute to the discussion or listen along as they share about the work they’ve been doing.

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.

Art of Hosting Meaningful Conversations & Participatory Leadership Retreat 
August 20 - September 2, Kootenay Lake (Yasodhara Ashram)
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. In light of COVID-19, a series of online discussions and training opportunities leading up to the in-person training is being offered.

KCP Fall Gathering & AGM – Save the Date!
October 16-17, Creston
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. Plans for this event will be adapted this summer based on public health recommendations.

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.

Advanced Field Ornithology: Identification and Surveys by Sound and Recordings
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.
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.
Wildlife Preservation Canada
Fundraising & Communications Manager (home-based, 1-year maternity leave)
Wildlife Preservation Canada (WPC) is a small but growing national charity with active projects in multiple provinces and a donor base across the country. WPC focuses on hands-on care and management of animal species at imminent risk of extinction in Canada. Reporting directly to the Executive Director, the Fundraising & Communications Manager will work to expand the range of WPC’s core fundraising and communications activities. Deadline to apply is May 15.

Wildsight Golden
Youth Environmental Education Coordinator (x2)
Wildsight Golden is looking for two highly motivated and organized individuals to coordinate the GET WILD! Summer Camp. The GET WILD! Summer day camp provides an environment and outdoor education program for children from ages 6-12. The Youth Environmental Education Coordinators’ work will be to develop and run the GET WILD! Summer Day Camp with assistance, and under the guidance of the Branch Manager and the Wildsight Golden Board of Directors.  Deadline to apply is May 22.
Kootenay Connect
Climate Disruption and Connectivity in the West Kootenays
The Kootenay Connect initiative has identified a series of riparian-wetland complexes that can act as wildlife linkages across human-impacted valley bottoms. Hot off the press is a new report (Utzig 2020) to outline a potential approach to incorporating changes associated with climate disruption into threat assessments and management planning for Kootenay Connect wildlife linkage areas. The report focuses on the Creston Valley and the Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor (BBC) as examples.  

Kootenay Connect
Literature Review of Species at Risk in the Columbia Valley
In year one (2019-2020) of the Kootenay Connect-Columbia Wetlands project, a literature review was conducted in order to determine what is known about federally and provincially listed species at risk in the Columbia Valley. This report provides the first comprehensive list of species at risk from Canal Flats north to Donald, and is being used to help assess data gaps and provide recommendations for conservation actions that will help conserve and enhance SAR in the Columbia Valley.

Society for Conservation Biology
New analysis of corridors and climate‐change refugia in North America
Using recently developed indicators of climatic macrorefugia, environmental diversity, and corridors, a systematic, climate‐informed prioritization of conservation values across North America was conducted. Although areas of high conservation value under climate change were partially aligned with existing protected areas, ∼80% of areas within the top quintile of biome‐level conservation values lack formal protection.

Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network
Webinar recording: Financial Supports for Environmental Non-profits in SE BC during COVID-19
Many non-profit organizations in our region need access to additional financial support at this time. CBEEN member Katie Wells of Turning Point Advisory provides a presentation on many sources of financial support available to environmental non-profits and/or charities in the Canadian Columbia Basin.

Kootenay Conservation Program
Webinar recording: Back to the Basics - Re-evaluating Bat Boxes based on Bat Needs
Cori Lausen revisits 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 also explores the advantages and disadvantages of bat boxes, and fundamental issues we need to address when considering artificial bat habitat.

Kootenay Conservation Program
Webinar recording: An Evidence-to-Action Approach for Carnivore Coexistence in Adapt-or-Die Landscapes
In this webinar, Clayton Lamb provides insight into the response of bear density to mitigation measures for reducing road density and highlight several cases where evidence from this dissertation lead to meaningful conservation actions that will benefit bears, a variety of wildlife inhabiting similar areas, and people.

Kootenay Conservation Program
Webinar recording: We Should Plant Meadows - A Systems Approach to Recovering Pollinator Pathways
In this webinar, Valerie Huff explores the glorious diversity of plants, insect pollinators and pollination networks. Local examples will highlight the beauty and complexity of pollination systems through time and space. The importance of taking a systems approach to recovery, particularly in the face of climate disruption, is discussed. You will learn how the Kootenay Native Plant Society has been working toward plant and pollinator conservation, as well as ways to participate in reconnecting and recovering pollinator pathways in the Columbia Basin.

Kootenay Conservation Program
Webinar recording: Getting to know Grebes - Different Species and how they link to Wetland Health & Conservation
Rachel Darvill speaks to some of the results of her projects as they relate to grebes, and describes 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 (IBA) program.

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.