January 2014 eNews


To help us welcome 2014, we are pleased to launch the KCP's new website!  You can check it out at kootenayconservation.ca.  


As you'll see, this site emphasizes the 'human face' of conservation in the Kootenays, and you will likely recognize many familiar smiling faces.     


We will continually update this site with news, events, partner features and more, so please check back regularly.  


All the best as we kick off 2014! 


As part of the KCP's new website, each month we will have a new 'Faces and Places' feature

This month we are excited to feature a familiar face to conservation in the Kootenays: Jim Duncan

Jim Duncan has worked as a research technician at UBC, as a Junior High School librarian and as a Media Librarian/Curriculum Development Coordinator at College of the Rockies. His area of responsibility includes curriculum-development, grant management, project coordination, and communication services for Mainstreams. Jim has a MA degree and a Certificate in Technology-Based Distributed Learning.

One of Jim's latest projects is designing a Water Science Certificate program for senior high school with partner Laura. The program involves pre and post-class activities and up to seven hours of fieldwork. Mainstreams has piloted the program within nine different classes with great success.


Please click here to read the full feature story on Jim, and learn more about his contributions to conservation.



Feedback on proposed Environmental Strategic Plan due January 9th

Columbia Basin Trust

Since spring 2013, Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) has been engaging with Basin residents and organizations to help renew its water and environmental strategic plans. CBT is now asking for feedback on the culmination of that input-the draft 2014 - 2019 Environmental Strategic Plan.


Once finalized, the plan will guide how CBT supports activities to strengthen the Basin's collective ability to address current and future environmental priorities. The draft plan sets goals in five areas: water, ecosystems, climate change, environmental education and enhancing the capacities of environment-focused organizations.


To help shape the goals, objectives and activities in the draft plan, CBT sought out a range of perspectives. Residents participated in workshops and meetings across the Basin, and in a Basin-wide online survey process called Thoughtstream. CBT also consulted with environmental experts and a range of organizations, plus reviewed technical documents that identify environmental challenges in the Basin, and strategic plans from other Basin organizations doing environmental work.


To read a summary of the Thoughstream process, and the workshops held across the Basin last June, click here.


To read the draft plan, click here and provide your input by emailing environment@cbt.org by noon on Thursday, January 9, 2014.   



'Mystery of Migration' is the theme for the 18th annual festival - May 5 - 11, 2014
Wings over the Rockies Festival

Many different aspects of migration will be explored including the migration of waterfowl and songbirds and the seasonal movement of ungulates, carnivores, butterflies, bats, fish and even humans.  The Festival coincides with International Migratory Bird Day May 10, 2014.  A full week of more than 70 field trips, presentations and workshops will culminate with a Gala banquet at the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort on May 10. 


Our Keynote speaker will be Brian Keating, a world-renowned naturalist who has explored nearly 50 countries on all seven continents. He has been awarded an honorary PhD by the University of Calgary for being "an observer, steward and champion of natural wonders, whose exuberance, love of beauty, generosity of spirit and genius for communication...to teach us about the world's astonishing, fragile biodiversity and the need to conserve it".  As our invited guest naturalist, Brian will be spending three full days at the Festival giving school presentations and leading field trips. 


The Wings Over the Rockies Festival will provide the opportunity for visitors and locals alike to learn more about the mystery of migration and about the Columbia Valley, our backyard - the envy of the world. The historic Pynelogs Cultural Centre on the shores of Lake Windermere will again be the focal point for the Festival and the venue for evening presentations and workshops.


For more information please click here.   



Expanded conservation corridor helps at-risk grizzlies find new mates

The Nature Conservancy of Canada 

NCC has just made it easier for the threatened South Selkirk population of grizzly bears to connect with a larger population to the east. The group has added over 370 acres (150 hectares) to the Frog Bear Conservation Corridor that runs through the Creston Valley and creates a safe passage for grizzlies travelling between the Selkirk and Purcell mountains.  Connecting the threatened South Selkirk grizzly bears with the more abundant grizzly population to the east is considered critical to the long term prospects for this species in this corner of the province. Biologists have identified the lands being conserved as key areas used by bears as they move through the valley.


The Frog Bear Conservation Corridor is named for two important species that will benefit from these conservation efforts: grizzly bear and northern leopard frog. The two parcels announced today enhance efforts to create a protected wildlife corridor through the valley.  One parcel is a 162-acre (65-hectare) forested property on the western edge of the valley that serves as a gateway for bears moving down from the mountains. The land was purchased from Creston-based Wynndel Box and Lumber and is adjacent to the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area.  An additional 211 acres (85 hectares) has been protected through a conservation covenant that will prevent the subdivision of the valley-bottom land. The property will continue to be used for agriculture.


Click here to read the full story, along with images, video, quotes and interesting facts about the project.  



Columbia Basin Watershed Network (CBWN)

Call for Steering Committee Members - Closes February 15, 2014

The Columbia Basin Watershed Network (CBWN) invites residents of the Columbia Basin to apply to be part of their volunteer STEERING COMMITTEE. The CBWN works to support water stewardship groups by sharing knowledge, building skills, and facilitating community action in the Columbia Basin. It also promotes water literacy, effective communication and networking amongst all sectors including communities, watershed groups, public agencies, First Nations, academic institutions, local governments and industry.  Click here to find out more.  

Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN)

Wild Voices for Kids (WVFK) Community Educators

Are you a forester or geographer?  A biologist or mountain guide?  Do you have some unique knowledge or skill you want to pass on to students?  If so, CBEEN would like to talk to you!  Wild Voices for Kids (WVFK) provides training and assistance with program development, promotes presenters and their programs, and provides honoraria to Community Educators (CE's).  The best part is that CEs can work as often or as little as their schedules permit, making it very simple for you to be involved.  For more information please contact program coordinator Susie MacDonald at wildvoices@cbeen.org or go to www.cbeen.org/wvfk.  




Real Estate Foundation of BC 

Deadline: January 10, 2014     

The Foundation supports three project areas: the built environment, fresh water sustainability and sustainable food systems. Requests of up to $20,000 are accepted until the deadline. Larger requests involve a two step process.  Click here for more information.


Canada Summer Jobs

Deadline: January 10, 2014
The federal government subsidy program, Canada Summer Jobs, has announced a change in the application process. They will start accepting applications on December 2, 2013 until January 10, 2014 for summer 2014 student hiring. These new dates will allow for employers to be notified about their application status earlier. Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to help employers create summer job opportunities for students. It is designed to focus on local priorities, while helping both students and their communities.  Click here for more information.  

Bird Studies Canada Baillie Memorial Fund

Deadline: January 15, 2014

Small grants of up to $1000 support projects that engage the skills and enthusiasm of amateur naturalists and volunteers to help us understand, appreciate, and conserve Canadian birds in their natural environments. Click here for more information.

WWF Community Water Fund
Deadline: January 27, 2014
The fund provides grants to registered charitable organizations working on critical projects that aim to conserve, protect, or restore freshwater and riparian habitats and the species living within them.  Click here for more information.  

Waneta Terrestrial Compensation Program (WTCP)
Deadline: January 31, 2014
This program provides up to $50,000 annually to projects in the Waneta area that promote conservation and restoration through research, physical works, and other on-the-ground or applied projects.  Eligible projects include research, species inventories, educational programs, development of management plans, habitat creation (restoration, rehabilitation), weed control, habitat protection and land acquisition.  Click here for more information.

TD Friends of the Environment Foundation

Deadline: February 15, 2014         

Funds amounts under $2500 for community habitat, restoration, gardens and education projects. Click here for more information.


Watersheds 2014: Towards Watershed Governance in BC and Beyond 
January 27-29, Duncan, BC  
A forum to support skills and capacity-building for watershed groups, First Nations, and community watershed champions. Click here for details.  


Environmental Education Leadership Clinic
April 26 - 29, Nipika Mountain Resort, BC
The Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN) has teamed up with the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication (EECOM) to bring an EE leadership clinic to the Kootenays!  This intensive 4-day retreat will be available for up to 4 teams of 4 from across the Kootenays.  Full or partial subsidization may be available.  Applications will open later in January.  Email info@cbeen.org for more information.  


Wings over the Rockies Festival
May 5-11, Invermere
This year's festival will provide the opportunity for visitors and locals alike to learn more about the mystery of migration and about the Columbia Valley, our backyard - the envy of the world. The historic Pynelogs Cultural Centre on the shores of Lake Windermere will again be the focal point for the Festival and the venue for evening presentations and workshops.  Click here for more information.  


Resource Roads in BC: Environmental Challenges at a Landscape Level

May 14-15, Nelson

This conference put on by the Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology (CMI) hopes to address road-network effects and management responses for addressing landscape-level environmental and social impacts.Talks will summarize the positive and negative effects of road networks across large regions or landscapes.Call for presentations closes on November 22, 2013.  For more information and registration, click here


5th Annual Conference of the Roundtable on the Crown of the Continent

September 10-12, Waterton, AB

More information coming soon at www.crownroundtable.org.   

KCP Annual Gathering
October 3 - 4, Location TBA
Save the date!  Details TBA.


Click on the links below for more information:


South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program


Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative


Blackfoot Challenge


Heart of the Rockies Initiative


Roundtable on the Crown of the Continent



If you have news or announcements you would like to share via our eNews, please email them to duncan@kootenayconservation.ca by the 26th of each month. 


All the best in the year ahead!