Conservation in the Kootenays
Monthly eNews

Conservation in the Kootenays in bustling now that spring is in the air with many events, workshops and career opportunities coming up. The KCP Winter Webinar Series concluded last month and recordings of the four webinars are available on our website in case you missed any or want a refresh. We had record registration this year - thank you to everyone who participated! Many of the great resources highlighted during the Winter Webinar Series are listed in our resources section (see "Useful Websites & Information" below).

Our next KCP event is taking place on April 10 in Invermere where local conservation groups, officials and community members will gather to celebrate 10 years of the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund - the first local conservation fund in Canadian history! Details on this event and many more can be found below.  
Please feel free to submit any photos, news or events you'd like us to share by the third week of each month to As always, a big thanks goes out to our supporters! 

Please click  here throughout the month to check in on current news and events. You can click here for our KCP Partner list and click here to read more about some of the great organizations that support conservation in the Kootenays. You can also "like" us on Facebook to hear more news from partners throughout the month.

KCP 10-year Anniversary Celebration for the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund
April 10, Invermere
It's been 10 years since the first Local Conservation Fund in Canada was established in the Columbia Valley. A community celebration to mark this historic achievement is taking place on April 10 in Invermere in the new Columbia Valley Centre lobby from 7 to 9 p.m. and will include guest speakers, display booths showcasing local conservation projects funded by the CVLCF and complimentary refreshments. Mark your calendars!
Click here for the event poster.

Critter Day 
May 12, Beaver Creek Park near Trail 
The Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP) and Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP) are organizing another "Critter Day" this year on May 12 at Beaver Creek Park near Trail. This free, fun family event for the general public is aimed to increase awareness of the special ecosystems in the Trail and Pend D'Oreille region and share information about the unique and at-risk plants and animals that call them home.
Click here for information on last year's Critter Day.  

2018 KCP Fall Gathering
Save the Date! October 12-13, Nelson 
Join us in Nelson on October 12-13, 2018 for the 2018 KCP Fall Gathering! Please "Save the Date" by marking it in your calendars. We will be announcing the location in the coming weeks.

Faces & Places Monthly Feature
Jami Scheffer   
The Wings Over the Rockies Festival is in its 22nd year of celebrating conservation of the Columbia Wetlands and everything wild. This event has grown by leaps and bounds in the last decade under the passionate guidance of Event Planner Jami Scheffer, who proves you don't need a science background to be a highly influential conservationist.  
Click here for the full story.

Columbia Basin Trust
12 projects supported in Year 1 of Climate Action Program
Columbia Basin Trust is supporting 12 climate action projects through the first year of its three-year Climate Action Program with $540,000. This support will help several communities in the Columbia Basin adapt to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To assist Basin communities in understanding the climate changes underway, the Climate Action Program engages leading climate scientists to provide up-to-date local climate change information, and brings people around the region together to collaborate on climate action priorities.
Columbia Basin Watershed Network (CBWN)
CBWN Spring Webinar Series underway
The CBWN Spring Webinar 4-part Series began March 29 and will run to the end of April with the next sessions taking place April 5, 11 and 25. See the events section below for details on the individual webinars. Recordings will be posted after each webinar.

Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
Cabinet Purcell Mountain Corridor films available on YouTube
The Cabinet -Purcell Mountain Corridor (CPMC) is one of only two remaining areas in the Yellowstone to Yukon region where grizzly bears can move back and forth between Canada and the U.S. The video series featuring conservation in this region, called Conservation Films of the Inland Northwest, has now been posted online.
Click here for the playlist.

Kootenay Community Bat Project
Wanted: Reports of dead bats and of bats flying in the winter
The Ministry of Environment has contracted the BC Community Bat Program to collect dead bats for White-nose Syndrome testing. The typical first sign of this disease is bats flying during the winter, an unusual sighting at a time of year when bats are hibernating. Another sign of the presence of WNS is the appearance of dead bats as they succumb to the effects of WNS. In the Kootenay region, please report dead bats, and bats flying in winter, to the Kootenay Community Bat Program (email or call 1-855-922-2287 ext. 14 or see for details).
The KCP encourages partners to take advantage of our eNews - send your content to 

Columbia Wetlands Waterbird Spring Survey (CWWS)
April 3,10 & 16, Golden
The CWWS is a coordinated bird count that uses citizen scientists to gather baseline data with the goal of having the Columbia Wetlands designated as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA). The 2018 spring waterbird surveys are set for April 3, 10 and 16 (8 a.m. - 11 a.m.). If you are keen to get involved in these surveys, please contact CWWS Program Biologist Rachel Darvill at, or call 250-344-5530.

Technology for Watershed Stewardship Non-profits Webinar
April 5 (online)
Emails getting you down? Do you get the responses you need from volunteers and board members? Is there a single cloud storage system that works best for volunteers and non-profits? What are the pluses and minuses of online calling systems for non-profits in the Basin? And is there a project management system that is easy enough for all your board members to use, and doesn't cost you an arm and a leg? Join the Columbia Basin Watershed Network for a discussion of how these systems work for in the Basin.

CVLCF 10-Year Community Celebration
April 10, Invermere
Celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund. The first of its kind in Canada and a model for other regions in B.C., the CVLCF has supported valuable conservation initiatives since its inception. Don't miss this engaging evening to learn more about the CVLCF and its achievements in the past decade.
Click here for the event poster.

Sharing the Kettle Webinar: The Kettle River Management Plan and Authority, from Idea to Implementation
April 11 (online)
For the third Columbia Basin Watershed Network webinar in the series, Graham Watt and Roly Russell will present on the process of developing the Kettle River Watershed Management Plan, including stakeholder engagement and involvement. The Kettle River Watershed Management Plan was adopted by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, and now serves as a guiding document for the Kettle River Authority. The webinar will offer lessons to all of us seeking open, predictable and equitable ways to link upstream to downstream.

CBWN Spring AGM and Member Meeting
April 20, Creston
The Columbia Basin Watershed Network will be holding its Spring AGM and Member Meeting at the Creston Hotel. Last year's event included a live stream webcast for those who couldn't attend in person.  
Turtle Day
April 24, Cranbrook
The Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program will be hosting its annual Turtle Day at the Elizabeth Lake Visitor Centre in Cranbrook on April 24 from 3 to 5 p.m. Talk to biologists and discover how this amazing creature has evolved and survives the winte Learn more about the projects FWCP funds to support these at-risk turtles.
A Water Sustainability Fund for BC Webinar
April 25 (online)
For the final Columbia Basin Watershed Network webinar, join Coree Tull and Megan Peloso from the Canadian Freshwater Alliance to learn more about opportunities for sustainable freshwater funding in British Columbia - how the province can move towards new, creative and equitable solutions to address our provinces most complex water challenges and how to advance a local conversation on the opportunities of a Water Sustainability Fund in your watershed.

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Managing Health of Fish and Wildlife
May 1-2, Kimberley
The expanding footprint of humans increasingly alters the complex dynamics of wildlife health and disease. An unprecedented rate of emergence and re-emergence of infectious disease has been enabled via transport of organisms, environmental degradation, and by other factors that compromise ecological stability, including climate change. To ensure proactive conservation of wildlife populations, there is a need for cross-discipline sharing of information on current disease issues by stakeholders from all sides. This upcoming Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology conference will provide an opportunity for improved dialogue among experts.

Introductory and Second Level QGIS 
May 3-4, Cranbrook
The free, open source QGIS program is used and supported by a world-wide array of developers. Sign up for one or both days of this Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology workshop with instructor Richard Johnson. Day one will be an introduction to QGIS, with students learning to produce high quality maps for print or digital presentation. Day two will be a Second Level QGIS course, where participants will expand their capabilities, working with raster, vector and satellite/air-photo imagery to become proficient using QGIS to solve more complex problems. 
Click here for more information.

Wings Over the Rockies Festival
May 7-13, Columbia Valley
The 22 nd Wings Over the Rockies Festival explores the theme Webs & Roots: Talk About Networking! in recognition of Keynote Speaker ecologist Dr. Suzanne Simard who while researching her doctoral thesis discovered that trees use a network of soil fungi to communicate their needs and send each other nutrients through a network of roots and web-type fungi buried in the soil. With over 100 events to choose from over 7 days, there is a variety of hikes, paddles, presentations and field trips hosted by a large cross-section of educators, wildlife experts, conservationists, ecologists, historians, biologists and more. Registration opens April 9 at 9 a.m.

Creston Valley Bird Fest
May 11-13, Creston Valley
The celebration of the birds, art, and the agriculture returns to the Creston Valley. The 2018 Creston Valley Bird fest will feature  Keynote Speaker James Duncan who will address address the ecology of the Great Gray Owl and why many refer to it as the Phantom of the Boreal Forest. Online registration opens April 3 at In person registration is taking place at College of the Rockies, Creston Campus, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Critter Day
May 12, Trail (TBC)
The Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP) and Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP) are organizing another "Critter Day" this year on May 12 at Beaver Creek Park near Trail. This free, fun family event for the general public is aimed to increase awareness of the special ecosystems in the Trail and  Pend D'Oreille region and share information about the unique and at-risk plants and animals that call them home. 
Click here for the Critter Day page on the KCP website.

Fishes of British Columbia Identification Course with a focus on the Columbia River Basin
May 14-15, Revelstoke
The fresh waters of the world house spectacular diversity of freshwater fishes, accounting for over 40% of all described taxa in less than 0.01% of aquatic habitat by surface area. British Columbia has a relatively small number of described native species (69), yet contains a considerable wealth of un-described diversity and endemic species. This Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology course taught by instructor Eric B. (Rick) Taylorbull serves as an introduction to the biogeography, evolution, and identification of native and introduced freshwater fishes found in British Columbia. Two lecture sessions focus on the biogeography, evolution of our fauna, as well as the morphological and molecular genetic techniques used in fish identification. Two afternoons focus on morphological-based identification of fishes, particularly those found in the Columbia River Basin.
Wetland Design Course
May 14-July 26 (online) 
Dr. Tom Biebighauser has been actively involved in wetland construction and restoration in the Kootenays and provides his expertise to many KCP Partners. This online course provides an opportunity to deepen that knowledge. Wetland Design is a graduate-level, online class taught by Dr. Tom Biebighauser through the University of Louisville Speed School of Engineering that shows how to design and build naturally appearing and functioning wetlands. The detailed lessons clearly explain the values of wetlands, how wetlands were drained, factors affecting site selection for restoration, construction techniques, and how non-functioning wetlands may be repaired. Assignments are completed independently and require working outdoors. Engineering, biology, hydrology, and landscape architecture students are welcome to register. The course has been developed and improved over a 5-year period by Dr. Tom Biebighauser, receiving numerous high reviews.
Click here for more information.

Wetland Classification 
June 21-22, Revelstoke
The classroom portion of this Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology course taught by Ryan Durand will be spent learning about wetland classification, with a focus on using the provincial Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification (BEC) system. Federal wetland classes will be discussed, as well as the physical and biological characteristics that can be assessed in the field in order to describe and classify wetlands. A day and a half will be spent visiting local areas to practice the wetland classification process in the field. 

August 22-23, Nakusp
The Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program will be hosting Toadfest at Summit Lake in Nakusp on August 22-23. More details about this annual outreach event will be made available on the FWCP website but save the date in the meantime.

EECOM 2018 Conference: Classrooms to Communities
October 18-21, St. Eugene Mission Resort
From coast to coast, over 300 educators will have the opportunity to gather to learn, share and connect at this made-in-Canada environmental education conference. The theme for the 2018 Conference is Classrooms to Communities (C2C) which envisions learners and educators being deeply connected to place, community and planet. EECOM 2018 will be hosted as a partnership between EECOM, the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN), the BC Environmental Educators Provincial Specialist Association (EEPSA) with the support of the BC Classrooms to Communities (C2C) Network. Registration will open in May 2018.  

Environment and Climate Change Canada Environmental Damages Fund
Deadline: April 6
On February 1, 2018, Environment and Climate Change Canada announced new funding through the Environmental Damages Fund. $2.85 million in funding is available for the purposes of the conservation and protection of fish and fish habitat, or the restoration of fish habitat in the Columbia River or Kootenay River watersheds. The deadline to apply is April 6, 2018. For more information and detailed eligibility criteria, please visit the Environmental Damages Fund website.
Following a webinar held on February 20, 2018 to go over the EDF application form and to take related questions, the following are available: (1) the webinar recording (2) a PDF of the webinar and (3) a transcript of the webinar's Q&A period.
Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation Public Conservation Assistance Fund
Deadline: May 16
The Public Conservation Assistance Fund provides small grants to organizations and individuals who have a conservation project in mind but need financial help to make it happen. Projects must be of a conservation nature, with priority given to projects that focus on activities that maintain, conserve or restore native (indigenous) fish and wildlife species and their habitats. PCAF will fund eligible expenses up to $10,000 in any one year. The annual application deadline is May 16th at 4:30 PM PST.

Grassland and Rangeland Enhancement Program
Deadline: Ongoing
Delivered for the Columbia Basin Trust by the Kootenay Livestock Association, the Grassland and Rangeland Enhancement Program supports efforts to maintain and/or enhance grassland resources while meeting conservation, environmental and recreational objectives. Objectives include promoting the stewardship of the grassland resource, striving to maintain and enhance biodiversity and long-term fish and wildlife productivity in public grassland ecosystems and improving compatibility between livestock management and recreation use.

Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program Community Engagement Grant
Deadline: Ongoing
The goal of the Community Engagement Grant is to provide an opportunity for FWCP stakeholders (e.g. environmental groups, rod and gun clubs, non-profits, stewardship organizations, government, and First Nations), to apply for small amounts of funding to support their conservation and enhancement work. 

The Roundtable on the Crown of the Continent
The Leadership Team for the Roundtable on the Crown of the Continent is seeking an enthusiastic and well-organized person with the vision, passion, and capacity to work with people and organizations across sectors and at all levels as the Roundtable Coordinator. The Coordinator will coordinate the activities and requests of the Leadership Team and represent the Roundtable as an active player in relevant aspects of community, culture, and conservation in the Crown of the Continent. It is highly desired that the coordinator reside within the Crown of the Continent-designated areas of Alberta, B.C., and Montana. The deadline to apply is April 6.
Masse Environmental Consultants
Junior/Intermediate Environmental Professional
Masse Environmental Consultants, a Nelson, B.C.-based company that provides environmental consulting services to the mining, forestry, hydropower, construction and government sectors, is looking for a junior/intermediate environmental professional. The successful candidate will be involved in a variety of projects, with a focus on aquatic assessments, water sampling, and environmental monitoring. The deadline to apply is April 6.
Click here for the full job posting and how to apply.

Wildsight (Golden)
Invasive Plant Program Coordinator
Do you love physical outdoor work, have a passion for the environment and have good communication skills? Wildsight Golden is seeking one qualified person to coordinate "Golden's Community Invasive Plant Program" and to develop and deliver public interpretive programs on invasive plants. This program is jointly supported by Wildsight Golden and the Town of Golden. The program runs from May 22 to mid August. The deadline to apply is April 13.
Wildsight (Kimberley)
Communications & Engagement Intern
Wildsight is seeking a student Communications and Engagement Intern to join its team for the summer. This is an ideal position for a returning university student that will provide opportunities to work and build experience in a wide variety of communications and community engagement skills while contributing to local conservation efforts. The intern will work closely with Wildsight's communications and engagement team to build support for environmental conservation in the East Kootenay. The ideal candidate is a strong communicator, enjoys interacting with the public, has a knowledge of local conservation issues and has a passion for wild places and sustainable communities. The deadline to apply is April 15.

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. 
Click here for more information.

Kootenay Conservation Program
KCP Winter Webinar Series Recordings
If you missed the 2018 KCP Winter Webinar Series or would like to revisit any of the webinars, the recordings are available on the KCP website.
Click here for the link to the recordings.

BC Government
BC Soil Information Finder Tool (SIFT)
Wondering what type of soil is at your restoration site? The BC Soil Information Finder Tool map application provides a user friendly interactive way to access historical soil survey data and agricultural capability data for British Columbia. Farmers, consultants, nutrient management planners, and other agrologists can easily access this soil information to support decisions about acquisition of land, management and conservation of soil and water resources, and optimizing crop growth while minimizing environmental impacts. For any data requests, the contact email is .
Click here to access SIFT.

BC Ministry of Environment
Fish and Fish Habitat Information
This document describes some of the commonly used specific or broadly applied tools, applications, websites, and online document catalogues that can be applied to accessing and capturing fish and fish habitat information.
Click here for the information sheet.

BC Ministry of Environment
Wildlife Species Inventory and Habitat Information
This document was developed to help direct environmental professionals, industry and the public to provincial government tools and products that are available for submitting, accessing, and interpreting wildlife inventory and habitat information
Click here for the information sheet.
Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program
FWCP Final Project Reports
The FWCP is a partnership between BC Hydro, the Province of B.C., Fisheries and Oceans Canada, First Nations and Public Stakeholders to conserve and enhance fish and wildlife in watersheds impacted by BC Hydro dams. The FWCP updates its report list often, as new reports are finalized. Contact the FWCP if you can't find what you're looking for.
Click here for the searchable list of FWCP reports.

Okanagan Basin Water Board
Local Government Planning
Since early 2016, the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) has been working with various partners to identify planning guides and toolkits that provide legal mechanisms, policies, and best practices for climate change adaptation and sustainable land and water use. Now we are working to improve the uptake of these valuable and important documents. We're excited to announce that the OBWB and CivicInfo BC have joined forces and created a new online hub that brings more than 60 resources together into one searchable database.
Click here for the database.
University of Alberta
Closing roads counters effects of habitat loss for grizzly bears
From the Journal of Applied Ecology: "In a recent study examining a long-term DNA dataset of grizzly bear activity in British Columbia, Clayton Lamb and his colleagues conclusively determined what scientists have long suspected: higher road density leads to lower grizzly bear density."
Columbia Basin Trust
Non-Profit Essentials Webinar Series 
The Trust has partnered with Vantage Point, experts in learning opportunities for volunteers and non-profits, to develop and deliver the webinar series that explores important topics non-profit societies face today. Combining online videos with slide notes and workbooks, the series offers tools to expand the knowledge and build capacity in non-profit organizations across the Basin.
Click here to read more.
Stewardship Centre of BC 
Stewardship Practices Guides
The Stewardship Centre of BC offers a diverse and comprehensive set of resources for the stewardship community of B.C., including four Stewardship Practices Guides on the following topics: Drainage Maintenance in Agricultural Waterways; Guidance for Restoration Activities in Riparian Areas; Riparian Areas in Settled Landscapes; and Reducing Domestic and Feral Cat Predation.


If you have news or announcements that you would like to share via our eNews, please email them to by the 25th of each month.