Conservation in the Kootenays
This month's eNews is once again full of excellent career and funding opportunities, exciting Partner news and a comprehensive list of conservation-related events taking place across the Kootenay region.
Elk Valley Conservation Action Forum
May 29, Fernie
The purpose of this Forum is to identify priority collaborative actions that contribute to maintaining healthy fish and wildlife populations and ecological functions in the Elk Valley over the next 5 years.
019 KCP Fall Gathering - Save the Date!
October 4-5, Invermere
Did you have a fun, enlightening time at the 2018 Fall Gathering - or wish you did because you missed it? Mark your calendar for the 2019 event, which will be taking place in Invermere in the East 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.
Visit the Fall Gathering page for coverage of the 2018 event.
Faces & Places Monthly Feature
As the Kootenay Conservation Land Manager for the Nature Trust of BC, Chris Bosman oversees the management of almost 27,000 acres of ecologically relevant land across the region on behalf of one of the leading land trusts, which focuses exclusively within British Columbia.
Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program
Columbia Region approves 38 projects for 2019 - 2020
The FWCP Columbia Region Board approved approximately $5.8 million for 38 projects. The 10 fish and 28 wildlife projects will be delivered by First Nations, agencies, stewardship groups, consultants and others. Together the projects will help build the science-based understanding of species, improve and restore spawning, riparian, grassland and upland habitats, monitor populations, conserve wildlife corridors, assess amphibians, restore wetlands, secure lands for conservation and fill gaps in science and understanding. The projects will benefit bull trout, kokanee, sturgeon, elk, caribou, birds, amphibians, bats and more.
Environment and Climate Change Canada
New Natural Heritage Conservation Program
On April 23, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced that the Nature Conservancy of Canada will lead the administration and delivery of a new $100 million, four-year national program (pending a final funding agreement) that will help protect more of Canada's nature. The Natural Heritage Conservation Program will be delivered by the Nature Conservancy of Canada and its partners, including Ducks Unlimited Canada, Wildlife Habitat Canada, and the Canadian Land Trusts Working Committee. The program will assist local, provincial, and national conservation land trusts in securing land from private landowners, as well as in securing private interests (e.g. forest tenures) on land to establish new protected and conserved areas.
Research project update
Doris Hausleitner and Andrea Kortello, two wildlife biologists from Nelson, launched a new phase of their wolverine project earlier this year. Their objective is to identify explicit locations used by wolverine for denning, thereby providing the specific information needed to target access management and improve habitat where it is most effective for conservation
click here for the info poster
. Since the launch, more than 200 reports of tracks have been submitted, and even some sightings of actual wolverines. There were five reports of dens, including some from Alberta, and several sightings from highways, which are particularly helpful because they provide extra information about wolverine connectivity and movement. They are still collecting sightings so please consider helping them by reporting any wolverine tracks and animal sightings.
Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network
Nominations open for 2019 Environmental Education Awards of Excellence
Do you know an educator in the Columbia Basin who encourages environmental stewardship and sustainability? The Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN) has opened nominations for the 2019 Environmental Education Awards of Excellence.
This year, award categories include Indigenous Educator, Climate Change Educator, Community Educator, Early Childhood Educator, Primary Teacher (K-3), Intermediate Teacher (4-7), Secondary Teacher (8-12) and Post-secondary Educator. Nominations are open online until May 31, and nominees must reside within the Canadian Columbia Basin region.
Award recipients will be presented with their awards at the Inquiring Voices Environmental Education Gathering on September 20-22 at Whatshan Lake Retreat, near Nakusp.
Regional District of Central Kootenay
RDCK passes climate change 'call to arms'
On April 11, the RDCK's board of directors passed two motions declaring an imperative that every government's policies for building construction, energy systems, land use and transportation be changed or developed with climate change in mind. It also directs staff to report back on work underway, as well as ways in which those efforts might be increased or accelerated.
Elk River Alliance
New Water Quality Pamphlets
The ERA has been monitoring Lizard & Alexander Creeks since 2011/2012 (respectively) through their community-based water monitoring program. All the data has been analyzed and is now presented in new "e-pamphlets" available on the ERA website.
Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society
Open Letter in Response of the South Salmo River Fuel Spill
On March 27, a motor vehicle incident south of Salmo caused a petroleum spill into the South Salmo River and the Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society crafted an Open Letter in response to the incident. On April 11, the Streamkeepers went downstream of the South Salmo River confluence to have a look at the Environmental response activities following the fuel spill.
May 2, Cranbrook
This year, the Rocky Mountain Naturalists, with support from the Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program, are organizing Turtle Day on May 2, between 2 and 5 p.m. at Elizabeth Lake. It's a great opportunity to learn about the turtle's life-cycle, talk to biologists, and see some hatchlings just hours out of their nests.
Wings Over the Rockies Festival
May 6-12, Columbia Valley
Every year, the Wings Over the Rockies Festival is celebrated in the Upper Columbia Valley in early May. The 2019 event is planned around the theme: "Go ahead... Explore!" and offers over 100 events to choose from. The keynote speaker is Laval St. Germain, the only Canadian to have climbed Mount Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen, the only person to have climbed and skied Iraq's highest peak, and the holder of the fastest ever crossing of the North Atlantic Ocean by solo ocean row boat from mainland North America to mainland Europe. Registration starts on Monday, April 8 at 9 a.m.
Help release juvenile White Sturgeon
May 7, Shelter Bay Provincial Park (south of Revelstoke)
Come to Shelter Bay Provincial Park Tuesday, May 7, 2019 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and help release hundreds of juvenile White Sturgeon into the Arrow Lakes Reservoir. Approximately 675 juvenile White Sturgeon, up to three years of age with an average weight of 400 grams, will be released at this event. It is anticipated that these larger and older juveniles will have an increased chance of survival, compared to smaller and younger sturgeon. There are an estimated 50 adult sturgeon in the Arrow Lakes Reservoir, and they are known to spawn near Revelstoke.This event is organized by the Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program with support from BC Hydro, Revelstoke Rod and Gun Club, and the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC.
Regulated Rivers II: Science, Restoration, and Management of Altered Riverine Environments
May 8-9, Nelson
Regulated waterways provide important services; nevertheless, the damming and regulation of rivers incurs ecological costs via the operation of reservoirs and alteration of downstream flows, combined with the often permanent loss of valley bottom habitat. An increase in smaller hydro-electric (i.e. run-of-river) projects has led to a spike in research around their unique impacts, and many of these projects are concluding their 5-10 year monitoring programs. Several multi-year studies on large reservoir systems (e.g., Arrow Lakes and Kinbasket) in the Columbia River basin are also now nearing completion and these results may play a role in determining future operational scenarios under the Columbia River Treaty. Despite their large footprints, considerable ecological function remains in these regulated systems. The wealth of research that continues to emerge increases our understanding of ecosystem processes within regulated rivers with the potential to mitigate footprint and operational impacts to plants, fish, and wildlife. Through a keynote address, 2 days of presentations, a poster session, and networking opportunities, this conference will provide a cutting-edge opportunity for scientists and managers to share results of recent research on regulated river environments, processes, and operations in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere.
EKISC 2019 Annual General Meeting & Speaker Forum
May 9, Cranbrook
The 2019 Annual General Meeting will take place at the Heritage Inn Hotel & Convention Centre in Cranbrook. This year's theme, "Research for the Future," invites guest speakers to speak on a wide-range of topics about up-to-date research and information in the invasive species in the RDEK. This is an excellent opportunity to learn the latest on how organizations fighting invasive species are succeeding and what their future plans are.
Click here to learn more and to register.
Osprey Monitoring Workshop
May 11, Kokanee Creek Nature Centre
Learn about this iconic West Kootenay species and how you can get involved in helping the Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society gather data on breeding Ospreys. In this workshop participants will learn all about the Osprey
including their breeding habits, diet, and what they tell us about our environment. This
information session prepares our citizen scientists with the background knowledge of Ospreys
in order to be effective when helping gather data on this iconic species. If you have any
questions email email@example.com. Limited spots available so sign-up soon.
Creston Valley Bird Fest 2019
May 10-12, Creston
Explore the wonderful bird biodiversity of the Creston Valley. Besides guided birding tours and family friendly kayaking on the Kootenay River, events include night outings, art workshops and visits to local food producers. Keynote speaker Dr. David Bird will present on "Watching Birds Naked", a humourous but educational slide show on the sensory ecology of birds. Remove those beautiful coats of feathers and you'll discover that birds have some of the most incredible physical and physiological adaptations to keep them in tune with their environment and with each other. As an Emeritus Professor of Wildlife Biology of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Dr. Bird has published close to 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers and supervised 50 graduate students on a wide range of wildlife themes, most recently the application of UAVs (drones) to wildlife research and conservation. Online registration and in-person registration at the College of the Rockies opens first week of April 2019.
Priority Invasive Plant Identification Course
May 21, Invermere
This professional level course offered by the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council identifies the top priority invasive plant species across the East Kootenay region. These species have known sites in the region with varying degrees of establishment. Proper identification of these species is critical to preventing new infestations. The course takes place at College of the Rockies - Invermere Campus from 1 to 5 p.m.
Beavers - Brilliant and Bizarre Ecosystem Engineers
May 22, Golden
Come out and take a swim around the pond with our buck-toothed national critter,
Castor canadensis, on the International Day for Biological Diversity. Annette Luttermann, PhD will explore some fascinating facts about the rodent that has shaped our landscape over millennia and contributed more than its furry share to enhancing ecosystems in the northern hemisphere. Wildsight Golden will also share observations from preliminary research on the beavers in the west bench of the Columbia Valley near Golden. The presentation will start at 7 p.m. at the Lady Grey School Library.
Apprentice Interpreter Certification Course
May 24-26, Blue Lake Camp
Apprentice Interpreter Course is two days in length and is designed as a stepping stone to the Professional Interpreter Accreditation. It is for guides who are relatively new to interpretive guiding, but it is appropriate for any guides or interested individuals who want an introduction to effective interpretation skills, local natural history, cultural history and park management. This course will be taught by t
he Interpretive Guides Association (formally Mountain Parks Heritage Interpretation Association) is a professional body representing interpretive guides who connect people to Canada's mountain parks.
Click for more information and to register.
Invasive Plant Management Techniques
May 28, Cranbrook & May 30, Invermere
This introductory level course offered by the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council teaches proper management techniques for people who manage invasive plants at an operational level. The course takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at both locations.
One River: Ethics Matter
May 30-31, Selkirk College - Castlegar Campus
The sixth annual international ethics conference will be held May 30 - 31 at the confluence of the Kootenay and Columbia Rivers. The 2019 One River, Ethics Matter conference will explore remedial options through respectful dialogue and further public education specifically regarding the Columbia River Treaty by the following considerations: adding a third Treaty purpose co-equal to existing Treaty purposes of hydropower and flood control, and new approaches to ethical governance of the river that strengthen river and community resiliency, restore salmon and other fisheries, and right historic wrongs done to the Upper Columbia River region, indigenous peoples, and other citizens of the watershed.
Strategic Approaches for Management Professionals
June 4, College of the Rockies Cranbrook Campus
An EKISC Professional level course designed for management professionals, land managers, and other interested individuals with management techniques relevant to industrial sites, roadsides, and lands used for producing crops. A great networking opportunity.
Click here to learn more and to register.
Meadowscaping Citizen Science Training Workshop - Save the Date!
June 8, Balfour Community Hall
Both meadow plant species and the native pollinators (bee, butterflies) of these wildflowers support are imperilled. Meadowscaping, the creation/enhancement of meadow habitat through a coordinated planting of native wildflower seeds, can result in direct and effective conservation benefits. In partnership with the Idaho Panhandle Bees to Bears Climate Adaptation Project (B2B) and Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation (Y2Y) Initiative, and funding from Kootenay Lake Local Conservation Fund, Kootenay Native Plant Society (KNPS) is hosting a Meadowscaping Citizen Science Training Workshop during which participants will learn plant identification, seed collection methods, and the meadowscaping process. As part of this project, Kootenay Lake residents also can aid in the establishment of a regional Wildflower Seed Library and the enhancement or creation of new pollinator meadows. The workshop will run 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Bumble Bee Biodiversity, Ecology, and Identification
June 17-18, Revelstoke
British Columbia has around 36 bumble bee species and identification to species can be challenging. This Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology course will provide instruction on Bumble Bee (Bombus) taxonomy and identification and will be accomplished in a classroom setting through a combination of lectures, problem solving activities, and microscopy. The goal is to provide participants with the skills to conduct research, monitor, and assess these taxa. The instructor is
Lincoln Best who is the lead taxonomist for the Oregon Bee Project and Atlas at Oregon State University, Corvallis in partnership with the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
Columbia River Field School
August 15-28, Columbia River
This summer, 16 inspiring Columbia Basin youth will take up paddles and navigate the complex social, economic and natural history of the might Columbia River. Traveling by canoe through key sections of the river, participants will learn from local expert voices as varied as the river itself. Participants will gain important canoe and camping skills, will earn certifications from the Recreational Canoe Association of BC and will be inspired to engage and help shape the future of the Columbia River.
Click here for more information and to register.
The 6th International Columbia River Transboundary Conference
September 12-14, Kimberley
Online registration is open for the Columbia Basin Transboundary Conference: One River, One Future, an international conference addressing key issues related to the future of the Columbia River, its ecosystem, management, and international implications. Join Columbia Basin Trust and the Northwest Power and Conservation Council from September 12 to 14, 2019 in Kimberley, B.C. to connect and collaborate on the future of the Columbia River.
2019 Inquiring Voices Environmental Education Gathering
September 20-22, Whatshan Lake Retreat (near Nakusp, West Kootenay)
CBEEN's 2019 Inquiring Voices Environmental Education Gathering will take place at Whatshan Lake Retreat near Edgewood (south of Nakusp) from September 20-22, 2019. The goal of this annual event is to bring together educators to form a rich learning community meet to share, support, and collaborate with one another. These retreats are a great opportunity to network, share resources and stories, inspire one another and have fun through dialogue and activity.
2019 KCP Fall Gathering - Save the Date!
October 4-5, Invermere
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.
Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation PCAF Grants
Deadline: May 16
The Public Conservation Assistance Fund provides small grants to organizations and individuals who need financial help to implement a conservation project. Since 1974, the Province of BC and the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation provide approximately $150,000 each year to help implement on-the-ground conservation work, with a particular focus on hands-on, community-based, and public awareness initiatives.
Columbia Basin Trust Career Internship Program
Deadline: First-come, first-served basis
CBT's new Career Internship Program provides wage funding for employers to hire college and university graduates in permanent, career-focused positions. Eligible employers are businesses, registered non-profits, municipalities, regional districts and Indigenous organizations within the Columbia Basin Trust region that have a demonstrated fiscal and organizational need for an intern and wage funding. The funding is up to 50 per cent of the new employee's wage over the first seven to 12 months, to a maximum of $25,000. The intern position must include a training plan that provides structured learning to the new employee and transitions to full-time, permanent employment at the end of the internship.
Vancouver Foundation Systems Change Grants - Develop Grants
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 and decisions are made the following month. The next granting cycle for multi-year grants (Test and Scale grants) opens January 2, 2019.
Grassland and Rangeland Enhancement Program
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
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.
Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
Columbia Headwaters Education & Engagement Intern
Y2Y is seeking a Columbia Headwaters Education & Engagement Intern to assist their Columbia Headwaters Program Manager with education and outreach activities aimed at growing a cross-sectoral constituency in support of increasing conservation in the region. This exciting summer job is suited to someone interested in ecology, biology, conservation, environmental education and/or communications, and applying their skills and passion for wildlife and ecosystems to educate and engage people in the region. Ideally the candidate will be based in Revelstoke or Nakusp, BC, however candidates from anywhere in the region will be considered. Y2Y BC staff are located in Nelson and New Denver. The deadline to apply by is May 15.
Summer Youth Environmental Education Coordinator
Wildsight Golden is looking for a highly motivated and organized individual to act as the main leader for 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 camp prides itself with its experiential education style, local collaborations and projects. The deadline to apply by is May 17.
Click here for the full posting.
Elk River Alliance
Elk River Watershed Outreach Educator
The Elk River Alliance is seeking to hire a summer student for this position. Responsibilities include: raising community awareness about Elk River Alliance activities by attending local community events and markets (Sundays required), participating in the delivery of the Elk River Watershed Discovery Day camps, assisting with restoration, stewardship and research activities, and more. The deadline to apply by is May 20.
Columbia Lake Stewardship Society
Education and Sample Collection Assistant
The education and sample collection assistant will work alongside trained scientists and citizen scientists. S/he will assist in the collection of water quality and quantity samples and measurements, provide educational materials to community members and tourists through community outreach, and promote our initiatives at various community events. The successful candidate will also educate boaters about invasive species and check for those species.
East Kootenay Invasive Species Council
Pesticide Applicator Job Opportunities
EKISC aims to increase the number of experienced, licensed Pesticide Applicators in the East Kootenay region. If you are currently licensed and would like more information about contract opportunities, please contact Katie Reid, EKISC's Field Operations Manager, at
for more details.
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.
Stewardship Solutions Online Toolkit
For Landowners and Land Managers in the Kootenays
The KCP team has developed a fantastic resource for landowners and land managers in the Kootenay region featuring conservation groups engaged in landowner outreach in their respective regions. Find your "Conservation Neighbourhood" based on your location to access all the private land stewardship services available in your area. The toolkit is accessible online as an engaging and interactive website, or comes in the form of full-colour handouts that can also be downloaded from the website. The goal of this tool is to support organizations that do landowner outreach for conservation to showcase other organizations and services available in their region. This resource leverages the outreach work of partner organizations. Email KCP Stewardship Coordinator Adrienne Shaw at
if you would like print copies of the Stewardship Solutions for your region.
KCP Local Government Forum
Access presentations (video recordings & PDFs) online
The KCP Local Government Forum in Creston on March 13 brought almost 30 local government staff, elected officials and conservation group representatives together for a full-day workshop that showcased examples of voluntary and regulatory tools used in the Kootenays and elsewhere in B.C. to promote conservation in local government activities. The goal of this Forum was to identify specific tools/resources required by local governments of the Kootenays to integrate conservation principles into planning. Video recordings of all the speakers are now available on our website, as are PDFs of the slideshow presentations.
Preliminary Report now available
Sponsored by KCP, Dr. Michael Proctor from the Trans-Border Grizzly Project and Marcy Mahr from EcoMosaic Consulting captured the concept of Kootenay Connect in the document "Kootenay Connect: Riparian Wildlife Corridors for Climate Change". This report outlines the concept of landscape connectivity in the Kootenays including biodiversity hot spots to focus on, provides a "proof of concept" for conservation actions to protect corridors, and outlines next steps moving forward.
Government of B.C.
Species at Risk 2018 Public Engagement Summaries
From April through July 2018, British Columbians provided feedback to inform B.C.'s first standalone species-at-risk legislation. During the first week of March 2019, the B.C. Government's Species at Risk team published summaries of their 2018 engagement activities with stakeholders, citizens, and Indigenous nations. In the coming weeks, a discussion paper containing draft proposals on key themes will be released. This will be followed by more targeted engagements with Indigenous nations, stakeholders, and the public to discuss key themes heard to date, the opportunities and potential solutions around protecting species at risk. Government anticipates publishing a policy intentions paper for proposed species-at-risk legislation in fall 2019.
Association of State Wetland Managers
ASWM-NRCS Wetland Training Webinar Series
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.
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