Conservation in the Kootenays
Monthly eNews

July 2023

Field Tour of Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor.

Photo by Camille Roberge

On behalf of the KCP Board, Team and Partners, we would like to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to Mark Thomas from the Shuswap Band, who recently stepped down from the KCP Board. We have greatly appreciated his input, perspectives, and contributions to the Partnership during his time on the Board. We would also like share a warm welcome Braydi Rice who has been appointed as a new KCP Board member from Shuswap Band.

KCP’s Conservation Leadership Awards are open for nominations for 2023! The annual KCP Conservation Leadership Awards recognize individuals who have demonstrated leadership, innovation and dedication to conservation in the Kootenay region. The awards will be presented at the KCP Fall Gathering. Be sure to get your nominations in soon! Please see KCP News for more information.

The East Kootenay and West Kootenay Stewardship Committee meetings were both well attended with plenty of great discussions. Field tours to the Bull River Grassland Corridor Conservation Complex and the Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor were representative of the contrasts between these two ecosystems. The EK field tour to the grasslands was on a sunny, hot, and dry day, whereas the WK field tour to the lush, green temperate rainforest received rain in abundance. Please see KCP News for more information.

Make sure to 'Save the Date' of October 13 and 14 for KCP's 2023 Fall Gathering! This year's theme will be the Kootenay Connect Summit, featuring results from species at risk and habitat restoration projects achieved over the past four years. The event will take place in Cranbrook with a field tour on the second day. Early registration is now available to KCP partner organizations.

Check out our Biodiversity Buzz section below, where this month we are featuring a video showcasing conservation projects being done through Kootenay Connect Priority Places initiative in the Columbia Basin. Special thanks to Valerie Huff of the Kootenay Native Plant Society for the gorgeous photo of the Metallic Green Sweat Bee on Bitterroot. Bitterroot is an important native food plant for many Indigenous peoples including Ktunaxa, Sylix, and Sinixt.

KCP logo

Faces and Places

Four barn swallow chicks in nest.

Photo by Rachel Darvill

More Habitat, Less Bugs:

Co-existing with Bats & Swallows is Good for All

At first glance one might imagine the Kuskanook Chalet in a coffee table book on modern architecture— a slant roof cabin perched on stilts at the edge of a pine forest. With its minimalist aesthetic and lake vista it seems set to score five stars on Airbnb. Except, small problem: there’s no door. At least not one for humans. This tiny chalet is designed and built for bats. 

Building accommodation for bats may seem unusual, but this project is one of a handful that provides important habitat for species at risk in the Kootenays. Who benefits from these new builds? Bats and swallows.

And according to Marcy Mahr, Kootenay Connect Manager for the Kootenay Conservation Program, their neighbours benefit too. “Bats and swallows are ‘aerial insectivores’ meaning they catch their food on the wing,” says Mahr. “Some people might think they’re a nuisance, but given how many mosquitoes they consume they’re actually great neighbours who efficiently clear the sky of insects – swallows working the day shift and bats the night shift.” 

Read the full story.


Please feel free to submit any news, events or photos you'd like us to share in our monthly eNews by the 26th of each month to:

And if you are providing a stewardship service in the Kootenays, and would like to be included in the KCP Stewardship Solutions Toolkit, email:

Like us on Facebook for current news from partners and see our YouTube channel for great conservation content!
Facebook  Instagram  Youtube  

Spotlight on

Kootenay Connect

Have a look at the innovative work of the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada program to enhance and restore habitat for bats and monitor bat populations in the Columbia Basin.

Access our online KCP Partner Directory

Highlights from the KCP Board Meeting on June 28, 2023

• The KCP Board would like to extend their appreciation to Mark Thomas from the Shuswap Band who recently stepped down from the Board. We have sincerely appreciated his input and perspectives to KCP. We would like to welcome Braydi Rice who has been appointed as a new KCP Board member from Shuswap Band.

• The KCP 2023/24 workplan is underway.

• East and West Kootenay Stewardship Committee meetings were both held in June.

• The KCP strategic priorities are almost in final draft form. Input has been received from the East and West Kootenay Stewardship Committees, Securement Committee, and Board. A final draft will be circulated in July with the aim to have a final version in August for approval at the KCP AGM. The dates have been changed to 2024-2029 Strategic Priorities.

• Lynne Betts and Crystal Klym, who have done extensive First Nations engagement in the region, provided reflections and food for thought about the draft Indigenous priorities and a path forward.

• Michael Proctor and Marcy Mahr provided an update on the Kootenay Connect Working Group, which is an initiative that focuses on park-to-park connectivity, particularly in the Columbia Valley region.

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 Stewardship Committee Meetings & Spring Tours

East and West Kootenay events took place in June

We had a great turnout and beautiful weather for our spring Stewardship Committee meetings and field tours in person, although both meetings had the option of virtual attendance via Zoom. The East Kootenay meeting took place in Cranbrook on June 6 followed by a field tour at the Bull River Grassland Corridor Conservation Complex, and the West Kootenay meeting was in New Denver on June 14 followed by a field tour in the Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor at the north end of Slocan Lake. The weather on each tour was representative of these two contrasting ecosystems. The EK field tour to the grasslands was on a sunny and hot afternoon, and the WK tour to the temperate rainforest had rain in abundance in the morning.

Click here for the photo galleries.

KCP Conservation Leadership Awards

Open for nominations for 2023

Do you know someone who deserves to be recognized for their conservation work in the Kootenays? The annual KCP Conservation Leadership Awards recognize individuals who have demonstrated leadership, innovation and dedication to conservation in our region. Nominees must be affiliated with a KCP partner organization and they must show a demonstrated commitment toward the KCP vision. Award winners will be announced at the KCP Fall Gathering in October. Get your nominations in soon!

Click here to download the nomination form.

2023 KCP Fall Gathering 'Kootenay Connect Summit' - Save the Date!

October 13 - 14, Cranbrook

The focus of this year's Fall Gathering is the 'Kootenay Connect Summit' which will feature results from wildlife and habitat restoration projects achieved over the last four years. KCP's Fall Gathering and the Summit will be a full-day affair from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm MT on Friday followed by a delicious banquet dinner and conservation leadership awards ceremony. We will be meeting at the Prestige Inn in Cranbrook. The Saturday field tour will be a full day outing to see on-the-ground work for species at risk in the Wycliffe Region. Early registration is now available to KCP partner organizations. Keep an eye on future newsletters for more information. 

Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society

Gerry Nellestijn: Recipient of BC Achievement Award 2023

Congratulations to Gerry Nellestijn, recipient of a BC Achievement Award in May of 2023 for his work in founding and continuing to play a vital role in the Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society (SWSS). Gerry is the Special Projects Coordinator and has shown dedication to the communities of the Salmo watershed as coordinator for the past 25 years. SWSS is an organization that promotes research, awareness and restoration of threatened fish and wildlife and their habitat in the Salmo watershed and beyond. Among many other contributions, Gerry has organized and coordinated the multi-stakeholder Watershed Technical Committee and the Watershed Planning Team to produce a comprehensive action-based Salmo/Pend d’Orielle River Watershed-based Sustainability Plan Report: Setting Watershed Priorities. He is also a Salmon Ambassador for the Ktunaxa Nation, touring elementary, high schools and colleges in the region to talk about salmon and their recovery. Gerry was featured in Faces & Places in September of 2020.

Click here for more information on Gerry’s BC Achievement Award. 

Valhalla Foundation for Ecology

"Bringing Back the Name" on Indigenous Peoples Day at Snk'mip Marsh

On National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21, as an act of “Applied Reconciliation,” the Valhalla Foundation for Ecology (VFE) along with their Autonomous Sinixt allies officially renamed the site of a former Sinixt village Snk’mip with an Indigenous-themed feast and honouring celebration entitled “Bringing Back the Name.” The event celebrated the completion of the Valhalla Foundation for Ecology's six-year project to restore Snk'mip marsh and marked the formal stewardship partnership between the settler-run VFE land trust organization and Indigenous allies the Autonomous Sinixt. The event was also a thank you to the many funders and donors who made it possible for the VFE to acquire the property and undertake such an exhaustive restoration project. 

Click here to read all about it and view some great photos.

Canadian Wildlife Federation

Canadian Aquatic Barriers Database – looking for stream crossing data

The Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF), with help from partners including the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), is building the Canadian Aquatic Barriers Database (CABD) - a national repository of aquatic barriers to freshwater connectivity that will support a variety of work from large-scale policy and reporting, restoration planning and prioritization, infrastructure asset management, and more. The database currently contains data for over 22,000 waterfalls, 36,000 dams, and 400 fishways that you can explore by visiting The next phase of project development will focus on the incorporation of stream crossings along roads, railways, and trails, and the Columbia River Basin is a pilot region in this project. If your organization has or maintains an inventory of stream crossing assessment data, and is interested in contributing to the project, please contact us at For more information on the project and how to navigate the web-mapping tool, please visit the CABD Documentation site

Farmland Advantage

Payment for Ecosystem Services

Farmland Advantage is the first Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) program in BC. Ecosystem services include things like wetlands that filter and purify water, grasslands which act as carbon sinks, and forests that clean the air and provide habitat for healthy wildlife populations. The PES model is voluntary and uses a market-based system to directly protect specific ecosystem services. PES programs are happening around the world, and are employed on international, national, and local scales. A well-known example of an open-trading PES model is the international carbon market, established by the Kyoto Protocol. The Farmland Advantage PES program began as a community-led initiative in 2008 with the goal of implementing the PES program model in BC. Funding under the program is conditional on the farmer or landowner taking action to improve ecological services on their land. The program intends to mitigate compounding landscape problems such as flooding, loss of habitat, and increased water filtration requirements.

Click here for more information on this program.


Grassland Conservation Council of BC

Video: Badgers in BC’s Grasslands

The American badger can be found in grasslands, forest clearings, and agricultural lands where the soils are easy to dig, and they have access to key prey species such as the Columbian ground squirrel. This video explains the important role of badgers as a keystone species in grassland ecosystems. Their ecological role includes helping keep other populations in check, and their abandoned burrows provide homes for many other species including the endangered burrowing owl. This video shows what the Simpcw Natural Resource Department is doing to help badger populations in the Kamloops region.

Click here to see the video.


British Columbia Wildlife Federation (BCWF)

Stop just counting wildlife and take action: BCWF Executive Director addresses the BC Finance Committee 

The Executive Director for the BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF), Jesse Zeman, recently addressed the BC Finance Committee in Parliament. The BCWF is the largest and most active conservation organization in BC, with over 41,000 members, and 100 clubs across the province. Zeman stated that the most fundamental issue BC faces is a lack of funding for our land, air, water, fish, and wildlife. Since 1993, BC has reduced the proportion of the provincial budget spent on these resources by over 75 percent. In fact, 2022 appears to be the worst year on record with just over 1 percent of BC’s budget being spent on conserving our natural resources. Zeman proposed that the BCWF would like to see $200 million put into fish and wildlife conservation, immediately. He proposed that all resource projects should be required to contribute back to conservation, and that fines under the Wildlife Act should be increased.

Click here to read the full speech and discussion.

British Columbia Wildlife Federation (BCWF)

We Are of Water: A Graphic Novel released by BCWF Illustrator

The BC Wildlife Federation’s Wetlands Workforce has collaborated with First Nation communities for the past two years, as part of a series of restoration and enhancement projects touching every region of British Columbia, funded by the Healthy Watersheds Initiative. Illustrator Chenoa Gao has spent this time listening to the stories of First Nations Elders through her work as the Conservation Illustrator for the BCWFs Wetlands Workforce. Last month, the BCWF announced the result of that dedicated work with the launch of her graphic novel We Are of Water to celebrate National Indigenous History Month. “We Are of Water spreads a powerful message about the role we all play in protecting, conserving and restoring fish, wildlife and habitat,” said Jesse Zeman, BCWF Executive Director.

Click here for more information and to download your copy of We are of Water.

Lake Windermere Rod & Gun Club, Golden Rod & Gun Club & Parks Canada

Wildlife overpass coming to protect Radium bighorn herd

The BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) has announced that a new wildlife overpass will be constructed south of Radium Hot Springs. The goal of the overpass is to reduce vehicle collisions with bighorn sheep, making that stretch of Highway 93/95 safer for residents and other highway users while protecting the iconic local bighorn sheep herd. The location on the highway near Mile Hill was chosen through a collaboration between MOTI, the Ministry of Forests, the Village of Radium Hot Springs and Parks Canada, along with Teck Resources Ltd., Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Ktunaxa Nation Council and the Shuswap Band. “With the help of our partners, this new overpass will support safe passage for the bighorn sheep, protecting this herd that is so important to local First Nations and all the people of the East Kootenay," said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. This project would not be happening without the dedicated work of many people and organizations including the Lake Windermere and District Rod and Gun Club, Golden Rod and Gun Club, Ktunaxa Nation Council, Akisq’nuk First Nation, Shuswap Band, Columbia Basin Trust, Village of Radium Hot Springs, Regional District of East Kootenay, Slow your Roll Campaign, Parks Canada, and many others.

Click here to read an article about this.

Living Lakes Canada

Watershed Story: Braiding Indigenous Knowledge & Western Science

The environmental sector is often monopolized by Western science, a human-centered worldview defined by the collection and analysis of data. But this is just one lens through which to see and understand the world around us. Indigenous worldviews are diverse across nations and cultures. They’re interconnected with the timxʷ (people, animals, plants, air and water). In addressing climate change and water security, both worldviews must be present, heard and understood in policy and decision making. Developed in partnership by Living Lakes Canada and the Upper Nicola Band with the support of the University of British Columbia’s Sustainability Scholars Program, the recently released Local Indigenous Knowledge and Values Framework report innovatively instructs ways of harmonizing Indigenous Knowledge and Western science to support ground-up change for climate resilient lake management.

Click here to read more. 

Living Lakes Canada

East Kootenay Lake Blitz volunteer featured

From BC to Nova Scotia, 442 volunteers signed up for the Living Lakes Canada National Lake Blitz to create a snapshot of lake health from May to September 2023 by collecting temperature readings and taking photos of the lake they’ve decided to monitor to better understand climate impacts. In June, Kurt Swanson was featured for his volunteer monitoring work on Garbutts (Norbury) Lake in the East Kootenay.

Click here to learn more.

Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network

4 Seasons of Indigenous Learning - Early bird registration is open!

Early bird registration is open for the upcoming 4 Seasons of Indigenous Learning.

This initiative encourages and empowers educators to deepen their understanding of Indigenous knowledge and perspectives while strengthening connections with the local land. 

We have confirmed an incredible line-up of Indigenous presenters and learning content as part of this initiative running from October 2023 - June 2024. And for those who just want to take in the presentations, resources & support (not the modules) you can now register for this part of the learning. This learning opportunity is open to EVERYONE. We are partnering to offer this as an acknowledgement that authentically undertaking a personal learning journey takes more than just a day or month each year, but should be across all four seasons. 

Click here for more information and to register.

Western Canada Bat Conservation

Three species of bats assessed as endangered by COSEWIC

Three bat species: Eastern Red, Hoary, and Silver-haired, have declined dramatically in recent years and COSEWIC, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, recently assessed each of them as Endangered. Because they fly at night and don’t roost in large groups, Eastern Red, Hoary, and Silver-haired bats are elusive. These bats have faced losses in both habitat and food, as their roosting trees have been logged and their insect prey reduced by pesticides. And collisions with wind turbines on the bats’ migratory flight south in the autumn pose a substantial threat – hundreds of thousands of bats are estimated to be killed this way every year. The good news is that mitigation can allow renewable energy and bats to coexist on the landscape.

Click here to read an update from COSEWIC, and click here to access related news on the WCBC website

BC Wildlife Federation

Yaqan Nukiy First Nation to release one million fish into restored wetland

The Yaqan Nukiy Lower Kootenay Band will release more than one million burbot in a restored wetland in the Creston Valley this year. Five years ago, in partnership with the BC Wildlife Federation, the Band began the process of restoring 517 hectares of floodplains, streams and rivers after decades of aridity. The wetland areas being restored were once part of a natural floodplain, they were diked off causing a disconnect from the rivers and streams in the late 1960’s. Since 2004, the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho has been running a burbot hatchery using Canadian brood stock, in cooperation with the government of British Columbia. Now, the descendants of those fish are coming home. 

Click here to read the article. 


Wildsight Golden

Raffle to support bird conservation initiatives of UCSHEP

Support Wildsight Golden’s bird conservation initiatives of the Upper Columbia Swallow Habitat Enhancement Project (UCSHEP). Barn Swallows are a beautiful species with intrinsic value that provide immense mosquito control. A single adult can eat up to 850 mosquitoes in a single day! They are a majestic bird, but now a species at risk in Canada. Contribute to swallow conservation and celebrate this species by purchasing a raffle ticket to have the opportunity to win a beautiful wooden carving by Parson resident Cory Schacher. Online ticket sales end on July 24, and tickets can be purchased in-person until July 26.

Click here for more information and to buy a raffle ticket.  

Western Canada Bat Conservation Program

Bat fungus that causes white nose syndrome detected in BC

The fungus that causes white nose syndrome in bats has been detected in bat guano in the Grand Forks area. Since the arrival of the fungus on the west coast of the United States in 2016, the Province has been monitoring for its arrival in BC. The Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship is working with multiple partners to implement enhanced surveillance for the disease, as well as reduce threats to bat habitat. Since bats eat a wide variety of insects and pests, they are essential for keeping BC’s ecosystems in balance. The public is asked to contact the BC Community Bat Program or the Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship with any information on the location of winter bat roosting sites, unusual behaviour, such as flying during the day, and observations of dead bats.

Click here for more information

BC Ministry of Water, Land & Resource Stewardship

Tree Frog Study

Wildlife ecologist Ian Adams and Leigh Anne Isaac, BC Small Mammal and Herpetofauna Specialist with BC Ministry of Water, Land & Resource Stewardship are working on a project to determine if there are two species of treefrog, Pseudacris sp., in southern British Columbia. Currently only one species, the Northern Pacific Treefrog, Pseudacris regilla is recognized to occur from the coast to the Rocky Mountains. However, recent evidence suggests that treefrogs in at least the Kootenay region belong to Sierra Treefrog, Pseudacris sierra. Ian and Leigh Anne are looking to collect treefrog tissue samples from the Southern Interior for genetic testing to determine if there are two species and, if so, where that change might occur. See this photo of a Pseudacris sp. tree frog. If you know of a site where treefrogs breed in British Columbia that is east of the Cascade and Coast Mountains, please get in touch with Ian and Leigh Anne via email at:

Canadian Council on Invasive Species 

Seeking research papers with linkages between invasive species and climate change

The Canadian Council on Invasive Species (CCIS) is working with partners across Canada to develop a National Invasive Species and Climate Change (NISCC) Network, which leverages the approach of the successful Regional Invasive Species and Climate Change (RISCC) Network in the USA. Like the RISCC management network, NISCC will work to reduce the joint effects of climate change and invasive species by synthesizing relevant science, sharing the needs and knowledge of managers, and building stronger scientist-manager communities. We are seeking Canadian-based research papers that have linkages between invasive species and climate change. With approval from the authors, submitted research will be summarized into one page, highlighting key findings, and shared online to support invasive species management. Submit research papers to Please include “NISCC Research Submission” in the subject line.

Click here for more information

Ducks Unlimited Canada

Rancher Partnership Program 

BC ranches are hotspots for biodiversity and play a critical role in our overall landscape resiliency and the health of our rural communities. Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) launched the Rancher Partnership Pilot in 2022. The multiyear pilot is a partnership-based program focused on the conservation, restoration, and stewardship of wetlands, riparian areas, and grasslands of BC’s interior. Through the pilot program, DUC is working directly with ranchers to steward and protect species at risk habitat, enhance biodiversity, and increase carbon sequestration. On-the-ground conservation activities take many forms, but in terms of the Rancher Partnership Pilot they include infrastructure needs such as fencing and water developments or wetland and grassland enhancement and restoration. The Cariboo-Chilcotin region is a priority area for the 2023 Rancher Partnership Pilot, but Ducks Unlimited is happy to discuss potential projects on ranchlands across interior British Columbia. Interested? Let’s talk. Contact Matthew Christensen at, or by phone at 604-341-0672.

3rd Annual Lake Biodiversity Photo Challenge

May 1 to July 31, Lakes everywhere

The 2023 Lake Biodiversity Photo Challenge is now open! Living Lakes Canada’s Photo Challenge is the sister event to the National Lake Blitz that celebrates the beauty of lakes in Canada and raises awareness around what’s threatening their incredible biodiversity. This year, submissions across 4 different categories will be accepted until July 31: (1) Lake Landscapes, (2) Lake Biodiversity, (3) Lake Impacts, and (4) Kids Category (photographers under 12). Photos can be submitted via the online form or on social media using the hashtag #LakeBlitzPhoto2023. Winners will receive prizes from Earth Rangers, LUSH, Kicking Horse Coffee, Float-Eh and Teadore.

Click here to enter the Photo Challenge.

Community Weed Pull

July 5, Warfield near Trail

Calling all Warfield residents - it’s time to give back to the community you love! The Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society (CKISS) is coordinating a Community Weed Pull in Warfield. We are teaming up with the Warfield Food Advisory committee to remove invasive plants in the community in order to improve ecosystem health, enhance wildlife habitat and protect infrastructure. Some of the plants that we will be targeting are policeman’s helmet, burdock and knapweed. From 10 am to 12 pm PT.

Click here for more information and to register.

Bat Ambassador Workshop

July 7, Online

Interested in learning more about bats? Keen to volunteer to help these animals? The Kootenay Community Bat Project (KCBP) announces its upcoming Bat Ambassador Training Workshop to be held online this month. This three-hour virtual workshop is designed to provide attendees with the knowledge and skills needed to become a bat ambassador for their region. Participants will learn the skills needed to collect guano samples, conduct annual bat counts, and provide presentations on bats. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about these fascinating animals including bat basics like behaviour, habitat, and population dynamics, as well as the threats they face and strategies for their protection. Priority will be giving to people living within the Kootenays. Pre-registration is required. From 9 am to 12 pm PT / 10 am to 1 pm MT.

Click here for more information and to register, or contact

Community Weed Pull

July 7, Golden

Join us for Wildsight’s Annual Community Weed Pull event. This family-friendly event is an excellent opportunity to learn more about invasive plants. Participants will learn about how to identify, control, and properly dispose of invasive plants. Wildsight Golden’s Community Weed Program will provide volunteers with tools, bags, and a complimentary burrito for all volunteers! If you are interested in participating or you would like more information, please email From 10 am to 2 pm MT.

Click here for more information.

Community Weed Pull

July 7, Marysville

Join the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council (EKISC) and Wildsight KimCran for a weed pull and BBQ event at the Marysville Eco Park. As part of greater recovery efforts on Mark Creek, Wildsight Kimberley Cranbrook established the Marysville Eco Park in 2004. Once a gravel parking lot serving the Marysville Falls, Wildsight partnered with the City of Kimberley to excavate and restore the streambank, and to establish native tree, shrub, and herbaceous plant species on the site. From 5 to 7 pm MT at Marysville Eco Park.

Click here for more information

Native Flora Garden Tour

July 12, Golden

Join Nick Laferriere; artist, photographer and gardener, as he tours us around his local flora garden. Nick has been planting local plants in his nursery for a few years and has created magical gardens, which are good for pollinators, birds and other local fauna. His garden is beautiful and he loves to share his knowledge and tips with other gardening aficionados. We will car pool from Reflection Lake to Nick's place as there is limited parking. Registration is required through Wildsight Golden, and there will be a small registration fee requested. This is going to be a very fun time, not to be missed. From 5:45 to 8 pm MT.

Click here for more information and to register.

Monitoring for Native Plants Workshop

July 13, Harrop Wetland near Nelson

Presented by plant ecologist and ethnoecologist Bren Beckwith, this workshop hosted by the Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society (CKISS), will provide information on how to monitor native plant establishment in ecological restoration and habitat enhancement projects. Focusing on terrestrial communities, participants will learn about the importance of monitoring, and will be provided with examples of different monitoring and plant survey techniques. Native plant identification and ecology will be included. This free workshop will include instruction, discussion, and hands-on practice. From 9 am to 1:30 pm PT.

Click here for more information and to register.

Building a Shared Vision of Outdoor Recreation in BC

July 13, online

Hosted by the BC Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy, this is an opportunity to participate in building a shared vision of outdoor recreation in BC. As land management in British Columbia has become increasingly complex and the role of Indigenous Nations in land governance and co-management evolves to align with our commitment to reconciliation and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, an opportunity exists to establish a shared vision for outdoor recreation in BC. A shared vision will ensure the province remains an exceptional jurisdiction for outdoor recreation and that the province’s approach is aligned with the commitments to Indigenous reconciliation and environmental stewardship. You are invited to participate in this interactive, online session on July 13 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm PT / 2:30 to 4:30 pm MT.

Click here for more information and to register.

Kaslo Garden Party

July 14, Kaslo

Calling all gardeners! Join the Central Kootenay Invasive Species Council (CKISS) and FireSmart Canada for an informative afternoon where we will discuss how you can have an invasive free garden that is also Firesmart. This event is for both experienced gardeners and beginners. There will be some information tables set up for you to come talk to staff one on one about your garden. There will be plenty of free resources up for grabs and refreshments. At 2 pm there will be casual presentations on Firesmart landscaping and tips on how you can keep your garden invasive free. We look forward to seeing you in Kaslo from 1 to 3 pm PT at the Kemball Memorial Building.

Click here for more information.

CABIN Training Workshop

July 18 - 19, Nelson

Have you ever wanted to become a certified Field Assistant to monitor creeks in the Kootenay Lake watershed? Now is your chance! As part of their Kootenay Lake Watershed Monitoring Project, the Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society (FOKLSS) is offering free training in the nationally standardized Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Inventory Network (CABIN) water quality monitoring protocol. If you participate in this 2-day workshop, you will receive your CABIN Field Assistant certification and will be reimbursed for the online modules to upgrade to Field Technician. After receiving your Field Assistant certification, you can then sign up to help monitor one of ten creeks included in our monitoring project, gaining real-world experience.

Click here for more information and to register.

Aquatic Invasive Species Workshop and Weed Pull

July 20, Nelson

Co-hosted by Living Lakes Canada and Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society, this half-day workshop and weed pull will cover the following: Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) 101 - what they are, impacts and how they spread; Best Management Practices when working/playing around water to prevent the spread; AIS identification, management and weed pulling. Participants will meet at Lakeside Park’s Rotary Shelter at 9 am PT for the workshop followed by the weed pull. Lunch is included afterwards.

Click here to register.

Watercolour with Weeds Workshop: Exploring Invasive Species through Art

July 25, Fernie

Join the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council (EKISC) for an evening of creativity and conservation at the "Watercolour with Weeds" workshop, brought to you by EKISC. In this unique workshop, we will dive into the fascinating world of invasive species, learning about their impacts on ecosystems and the environment. But here's the twist: we'll explore these invaders in a whole new way - through art! Get ready to unleash your inner artist as we introduce you to a variety of invasive plants and guide you in creating stunning watercolor paintings using their unique features and colors. Throughout the evening, you'll discover how these invasive plants disrupt natural habitats, threaten biodiversity, and compete with native species. Gain a deeper understanding of the importance of early detection and effective management strategies while enjoying the therapeutic and expressive qualities of watercolor painting. Materials are provided. From 6 to 8 pm MT.

Click here for more information and to register.

Big Backyard Bioblitz!

August 3 - 7, your backyard

The Nature Conservancy of Canada's Big Backyard BioBlitz unites thousands of people across Canada in a collective community effort to celebrate and document the diverse species across our beautiful country. Our collective observations can grow our knowledge of native species’ distributions and help conservationists target areas to eradicate invasive species. These efforts may help conservation efforts to restore the balance and health of our local ecosystems. This August long weekend, you can be a part of the BioBlitz by documenting native species you see in your own backyard and region.

Click here for more information and to sign up

Toadfest 2023

August 16 & 17, Summit Lake near Nakusp

We look forward to welcoming you to Toadfest at Summit Lake Provincial Park near Nakusp this summer! Bring the family and learn more about Western toads and other species that call the region home. Toadfest is organized by the Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP), BC Parks, Ministry of Forests, and the Okanagan Nation Alliance. Thanks also to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Toadfest is on August 16 from 4 to 7 pm PT and August 17 from 9 am to 12 pm PT.

Click here for more information.

Ktunaxa Language Course – Connecting to the Land Through Local Language

September 18 - December 11, Online

Due to high demand, a third course has been added! Join Alfred Joseph and Mara Nelson for 12 weeks of Foundational Ktunaxa Language Learning this fall. Learn the sounds, words, and some history of the Ktunaxa Language. This course is designed for you to garner skills that will enable you to carry Ktunaxa Language forward to your classrooms, in schools, and on the land. From 6 to 7:30 pm PT / 7 to 8:30 pm MT online.

Click here for more information

Introduction to Camera Trap Data Management and Analysis in R

September 20 - 22, Revelstoke

This course aims to guide participants in effective ways to store, manipulate and analyze camera trap data within the R statistical environment. It will cover data storage and exploration of best practices, introductions to the major methods used to analyze camera trap data, all using real world camera data. The course will give participants the tools to manage, analyze and share camera trap data in an approachable and practical way! 

Click here for more information and to register. 

Pines & People: Human Impacts on Five-Needle Pine

October 12 - 13, Revelstoke

The time has come to register for the annual Whitebark Pine Science and Management Conference. This year's theme: Pines & People: Human Impacts on Five-Needle Pine. This year’s conference will be in Revelstoke, BC, with two optional field trips: a pre-conference trip on Oct 11 to tour the Kalamalka Research Center & seedling inoculation facility in Vernon; and a post-conference trip on the 14 to visit 5-needle pine stands near Golden. Co-hosted by Parks Canada, this year's theme covers the myriad ways that the activities of people intersect with the welfare of five-needle pine. Over the two-day conference, there will be current technical talks, a public talk, a poster session, silent auction, networking events, and more. This conference has something for everyone: skiers, students, members, researchers, land managers, and other 5-needle pine enthusiasts! Click here to access Conference details and Registration.

2023 KCP Fall Gathering 'Kootenay Connect Summit' – Save the Date!

October 13 - 14, Cranbrook

The focus of this year's Fall Gathering is the 'Kootenay Connect Summit' which will feature results from wildlife and habitat restoration projects achieved over the last four years. KCP's Fall Gathering and the Summit will be a full-day affair from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm MT on Friday followed by a delicious banquet dinner and conservation leadership awards ceremony. We will be meeting at the Prestige Inn in Cranbrook. The Saturday field tour will be a full day outing to see on-the-ground work for species at risk in the Wycliffe Region. Early registration is now available to KCP partner organizations. Keep an eye on future newsletters for more information. 

Map our Marshes course

November 4, Online (Register now)

The BC Wildlife Federation's Wetlands Education Program presents Map our Marshes, a free 1-day virtual workshop, open to the public. Wetlands can filter water, mitigate flooding, and provide critical habitat to hundreds of species. Unfortunately, wetlands are disappearing at an alarming rate and need our protection. Come join us to learn about the different types of wetlands and how to protect them. This entry-level workshop will introduce you to the basics of wetlands and mapping, using free software and your smartphone. Using Zoom and other online applications, the Wetlands Education Team will guide you through a workshop that is fun and engaging. Participants can explore and learn more about wetlands and mapping through interactive activities. This workshop is best experienced using a desktop or laptop computer. A stable internet connection is strongly recommended. A secondary device (smartphone, tablet) is required to fully participate in this workshop. For more information, you may contact Alana Higginson, Wetlands Education Program Coordinator at

Click here for more information and to register.

Ecosystem Enhancement & Restoration Grants from Columbia Basin Trust 

Deadline: July 12 for Expressions of Interest 

Based on input from Basin residents, one of our priorities is to support healthy, diverse and functioning ecosystems. Our Ecosystem Enhancement Program will have a meaningful and measurable impact in supporting and strengthening ecosystem health in the Basin. The Program goal is to help maintain and improve ecological health and native biodiversity in a variety of ecosystems, such as wetlands, fish habitat, forests and grasslands. This year is a Basin-wide call for eligible project ideas that restore and/or enhance a variety of ecotypes, including terrestrial, aquatic and wetlands. The Trust will identify projects focused on enhancement and restoration by seeking input from community groups, First Nations representatives and government experts, and existing regional plans and research.

Click here for more information and to apply

Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk

Deadline: July 14 for Expressions of Interest

The Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk (CNFASAR) aims to support the recovery and protection of aquatic species at risk. The fund supports multi-species, place-based, and threat-based stewardship actions that recover and protect aquatic species at risk. The fund will prioritize Indigenous led projects, as well as projects that clearly demonstrate the inclusion of Indigenous partners as part of the development, design, and implementation processes. Preference will also be given to projects that engage many partners and address program priorities. Funding is available for projects that can be completed by March 31, 2026.

Click here for more information.

TD Friends of the Environment Foundation Grant

Deadline: July 15

The TD Friends of the Environment Foundation 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. Organizations eligible to receive funding include registered Canadian charities, educational institutions, municipalities, and Indigenous groups or communities.

Click here for more information.

Native Wildflower Seed Grant from Pollinator Partnership

Deadline: July 20

Pollinator Partnership will be offering a native wildflower seed grant program again this year. Through this program, Pollinator Partnership seeks to provide free supplemental native wildflower seed to assist large-scale habitat projects and further the impact of their current efforts. Our goal is to help enhance 26,000 acres of pollinator habitat by 2025. To qualify for this seed grant program, you must have a ‘shovel ready’ project that will be implementing pollinator habitat enhancement activities between fall 2023 and spring 2024. Project sites that engage their community in education, outreach, and volunteer opportunities or that support known populations of imperiled wildlife are especially encouraged to apply.

Click here for more information

Small-scale Ecosystem Grants from the Columbia Basin Trust

Deadline: November 23

Do you have a small-scale project that helps improve ecological health and native biodiversity in the Basin? If so, the Trust wants to hear from you. Does your new project enhance a terrestrial and/or aquatic ecosystem, such as wetlands, fish habitat, forests or grasslands? Implement on-the-ground action? Have a small local scale? Take less than two years to implement? If your project meets these criteria, email Natasha Barisoff, Delivery of Benefits Manager, at to discuss your project further.

Click here for more information

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.

Click here for more information and how to apply.

Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program Community Engagement Grants

Deadline: Ongoing

Community Engagement Grants are typically $500 to $1000 and help stewardship groups and others take action to benefit local fish and wildlife.

Click here for more information and how to apply.

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.

Click here for more information and how to apply.

Parks Canada - Mount Revelstoke & Glacier National Parks

Resource Management Officer II (Ecosystem Science)

The successful candidate will work with a diverse and dynamic team to plan and implement Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks strategy on regional caribou conservation, restoration and recovery. Specifically, this position will coordinate field work, data management and engage with partners as part of the caribou conservation program. This program includes managing a broad scale remote wildlife camera network, as well as analysis of caribou collar and other wildlife data. The candidate will collaborate with partners including provincial biologists and/or officers, First Nations, ENGOs and other scientists on caribou conservation and ecological connectivity. Deadline to apply is July 4 at 11:59 pm PT.

Click here for more information and to apply.

ʔaq̓am, Ktunaxa Nation

Director of Lands and Natural Resources, ʔaq̓am near Cranbrook

The Director of Lands and Natural Resources is responsible for managing the implementation and administration of the ʔaq̓am Lands Department, according to natural law and qanikitȼi (ʔaq̓am values and principles) for the use and benefit of all ʔaq̓amnik’ (ʔaq̓am people present and future generations). This position manages and provides leadership to the Lands and Natural Resources department and is a member of the leadership team, playing a key role in the development and implementation of the ʔaq̓am strategic plan. The successful candidate will have a minimum Bachelor Degree in Resource Management (forestry, ecology, natural resources, land use planning or another relevant field), with significant experience managing a team of employees. Applications will be accepted until a qualified candidate is hired and will be reviewed as received. Preference will be given to candidates of Ktunaxa or other Indigenous ancestry and ʔaq̓am encourages applicants to self-identify within your application.

Click here for more information

Stewardship Center for BC

Green Shores Program Assistant, remote

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Green Shores Program Assistant will support the Executive Director and the Stewardship Centre for BC (SCBC) team. The primary duties include conducting research, supporting the creation of training and communication materials, and performing data entry. The Green Shores Program Assistant will join the SCBC team in our work to strengthen ecological stewardship by providing educational, technical, and capacity programs and resources to organizations, governments, the private sector, and the public through collaborative partnerships. We are seeking a candidate with an interest in and understanding of ecosystem restoration to support SCBC’s growing Green Shores Program: Restoring and Protecting Shorelines. This position will begin this month, and applications are being accepted as soon as possible.

Click here for more information and to apply

Wildlife Conservation Society Canada (WCS Canada)

Key Biodiversity Areas Indigenous Outreach Associate, remote

WCS Canada’s Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) program is seeking an Indigenous Outreach Associate to join a dynamic team on a national effort to identify places in Canada that contribute the most to the persistence of biodiversity. KBA sites are identified using a global quantitative and scientific standard that requires extensive research into species distributions, population sizes and biology. The KBA program is overseen by a coalition of partners including NGOs, academic scientists, governments and Indigenous communities. WCS Canada and the KBA initiative are committed to supporting Indigenous values and stewardship efforts, to respecting Indigenous knowledge, and to enabling informed participation of Indigenous Peoples throughout the KBA identification initiative. Applicants for this full-time, year-long internship must be between 15 and 30 years old, and a graduate of a related degree or diploma program. Applications are accepted until July 7.

Click here for more information.


Youth Climate Action Technician, Golden

The Youth Climate Corps empowers you to inspire and implement solutions to the climate crisis through employment, training and leadership development. This position will primarily include hands-on work and skill building, to contribute to projects focused on food sustainability and wildfire risk reduction. There will also be some remote online programming, including training, and regular communication and public outreach about your experiences throughout the program. Applicants for this position must be 17 to 30 years of age at the start of the contract, which goes from August 8 to November 17. Applications are reviewed as they are received and will be accepted until July 14.

Click here for more information and to apply.



Communications and Philanthropy Lead, Kimberley or remote

If you are a storyteller with a proven ability to communicate to different audiences, and are interested in executing change-based communications strategies, Wildsight wants to hear from you. Working remotely from anywhere in the Kootenay-Columbia or in our Kimberley office, this position will be responsible for leading Wildsight’s communications, engagement, and philanthropy strategies. You will work closely with the conservation team to shape and deliver communications to defend our wild places, wildlife, and clean water. You will lead and deliver our philanthropy strategy, including written fundraising appeals and direct major donor engagement, with support from our team. Finally, you will direct broader communications and engagement strategies for our organization, including education and Youth Climate Corps programs, to be carried out by our communications team. This is a full-time position starting in September. Preference will be given to candidates based in or willing to relocate to the Columbia Basin. Applications are accepted until July 20.

Click here for more information.


Elk Root Conservation Farm Society

Native Plant Educational Demonstration Gardens Manager

As the Elk Root Conservation (ERC) Native Plant Educational Demonstration Gardens Manager, you will receive mentorship to become a skilled leader and manager of ERC’s ‘beyond’ organic regenerative Native Plant Educational Demonstration Gardens (NPEDG). This role encompasses managing the native plant nursery and seed library, as well as implementing ERC’s Native Plant Educational Programs to promote ecological stewardship. The ERC Native Plant Educational Demonstration Garden is 1.5 acres of land, carefully restored with ‘local ecotype’ native plants. It includes a seed library and plant nursery, which serve both land restoration efforts and provide plant material to the community. Elk Root Conservation is currently developing the NPEDG into a beautiful outdoor classroom with signage, educational curriculum, and a Native Plant Field Guide to accompany the ‘local ecotype’ gardens. You must be between the ages of 16 and 30 to apply. This position is for 18 weeks commencing September 5, and there is potential for it to become a permanent position with ERC in the future. Please send your cover letter and resume to

Click here for more information.

Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society (FOKLSS)

Looking for volunteers to help at the recently restored Harrop Wetlands!

Learn how to monitor Western Toads and other amphibian species at Harrop Wetland and help collect data on their reproductive success, plant diversity, water levels, and more. Please email if you would like to sign up. FOKLSS would love to see you there!

Living Lakes Canada

Board Members

Are you interested in collaborating to protect freshwater sources in a changing climate? Living Lakes Canada is looking for progressive thinkers with diverse voices, backgrounds and perspectives who are keen to contribute their expertise and knowledge to the growth and strategic direction of a water stewardship non-profit. This is a volunteer commitment that involves attending quarterly meetings and sitting on sub-committees as needed. 

Click here to read the full posting.

Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund

Technical Review Committee Member, 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 volunteer 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.

Click here for the full posting.

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.

Osprey Monitoring Report

Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society (FOKLSS)

The Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society (FOKLSS) are thrilled to announce the release of their long-awaited osprey monitoring report! Osprey are considered a worldwide indicator species for aquatic ecosystems, and monitoring their reproductive success can help inform changes within aquatic food webs This is due in part by their almost exclusive diet of fish, their long lifespan, their strong nest fidelity, their global distribution, their tolerance to human development, their known sensitivity to human contaminants and their ability to accumulate most fat-soluble contaminants. FOKLSS tracked long-term changes in population sizes of breeding osprey (Pandion haliaetus) and bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by conducting nest surveys to better understand the cumulative impacts of stressors on the lake. Data from 25 years of osprey nest observations collected on the West Arm of Kootenay Lake (1997–2021), and 6 years of osprey and bald eagle nest observations from the main lake (North and South Arms, 2016–2021) is analyzed.

Click here to access the report.

Film: Guardians of the Grasslands

Story Brokers Media House

This beautiful short film is brought to you by a group of dedicated conservationists, ranchers from southern Alberta, and Canadian filmmakers. The film explores the current state of one of the world’s most endangered ecosystems, the Canadian Prairies and Great Plains grasslands, and the role that cattle play in its survival. As we reach new critical levels in the loss of these iconic landscapes, there are important truths we must face about humanity’s relationship with the land and our food. Filmed on the Waldron Ranch in southern Alberta and in Grasslands National Park in southern Saskatchewan.

Click here to view the film

Proceedings from Responsible Recreation Conference

Columbia Mountains Institute for Applied Ecology (CMIAE)

This document is a summary of events, information shared, and resources from the conference: Responsible Recreation – Pathways, Practices and Possibilities. Event presenters have submitted a summary of their work for this document including PDF copies of posters, and a write up of discussions that took place during workshops and the Conversation Café are also included. We hope this document will serve as a resource to further the discussion and necessary work to mitigate the impacts of recreation on the landscape, helping to foster responsible and vibrant recreational activities and planning.

Click here to access the Conference Proceedings document.


Sector Wide Stewardship Endowment & Legal Defence Webinar

Centre for Land Conservation

This is the recording of a webinar exploring the feasibility of establishing sector wide mechanisms for stewardship endowment and legal defence. This webinar was presented by the Centre for Land Conservation, Canada’s institute for land conservation research, policy, and program development. The webinar was on May 4, 2023.

Click here to access the recording.

Mycorrhizal fungi hold CO2 equivalent to a third of global fossil fuel emissions

Current Biology

A recent study published in Current Biology estimates that more than 13 billion metric tons of CO2 from terrestrial plants are passed on to mycorrhizal fungi each year, equivalent to about 36 percent of global fossil fuel emissions. The study highlights the overlooked role of mycorrhizal fungi in storing and transporting carbon underground through their extensive fungal networks. Researchers analyzed nearly 200 data sets from various studies that traced carbon flow and found that plants allocate between 1% and 13% of their carbon to mycorrhizal fungi. Understanding the role of mycorrhizal fungi is essential for conservation and restoration efforts, as soil degradation and the disruption of soil communities pose significant threats to ecosystems and plant productivity.

Click here to read the article and access the report.

Indigenous-led Conservation in Canada

The Narwhal

Canada’s climate commitments rest in Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas - often called IPCAs. While the concept isn’t new, it’s gaining better recognition and funding from, at least, some governments. IPCAs, which are governed by Indigenous nations and laws, represent a massive opportunity in the collective effort to preserve biodiversity, fight climate change and recognize Indigenous Rights. To date, the federal government has committed more than $1.2 billion to Indigenous-led conservation efforts since 2018, including $800 million announced in December 2022, which will support four Indigenous-led conservation areas that will collectively protect up to one million square km's of land and water.

Click here to read the article.

Indigenous-led Approaches to Salmon Reintroduction

Columbia River Salmon Reintroduction Initiative

This event was part of the online Bringing the Salmon Home festival held in early May, and includes an overview of our current research studies, the vital contributions US Tribes are making to salmon reintroduction in the Columbia River system, and a short video about Indigenous-led habitat restoration in the Kootenays of BC. Please join members of our Technical Working Group members and US Tribal representatives as they present updates on their latest work to restore salmon and habitat. This recording is available here, as are all the recordings from May’s Bringing the Salmon Home online festival.

Click here to view all the recordings

Documentary: Bringing the Salmon Home

Columbia River Salmon Reintroduction Initiative

Bringing the Salmon Home: The Columbia River Salmon Reintroduction Initiative is an Indigenous-led collaboration of the Syilx Okanagan Nation, Ktunaxa Nation, Secwépemc Nation, and the governments of Canada and British Columbia. Salmon have been blocked from returning to the Canadian portion of the upper Columbia River for more than 80 years. The long-term vision is to return salmon stocks for Indigenous food, social and ceremonial needs, and to benefit the region’s residents and ecosystems as a whole. This documentary was produced with the Syilx Okanagan, Secwépemc and Ktunaxa Nations, and the goverments of Canada and BC, and premiered at the recent online festival also called Bringing the Salmon Home. For more info and to support the work of the Columbia Salmon Reintroduction Initiative, please see their website.

Click here to see the documentary

Film: Dene K’éh Kusān, Always Will Be There

The Dena Kayeh Institute

The Dena Kayeh Institute is proud to bring together our communities, friends, and supporters, to share in Kaska storytelling with Dene K’éh Kusān, Always Will Be There. Through this film, we hope to introduce the world to Dene K’éh Kusān, and to our people, culture, and our way of life. All are anchored to the land. Narrated by DKI’s President, Kaska Elder, and well-known Indigenous Leader, Dave Porter, Always Will Be There shares the Kaska Dena vision for how we can protect and care for four million hectares of land and water—the largest remaining intact landscape in British Columbia. The Kaska Dena have cared for these lands and waters since time immemorial. Now, we are drawing on Kaska knowledge and stewardship to protect Dene Kʼéh Kusān for all to experience, honour, and sustain, for future generations.

Click here to see the short film.


State of the Bats report

Conservation Status and Threats to North American bats

This very readable report highlights the current state of bats in North American, including trends of bat species in Canada. The report includes the benefits of bats, existing threats to bat species, and what people can do to help protect bats. 

Click here to read the report.


Video: Research on Micro-organisms on Bat Wings

Wildlife Conservation Society Western Bat Program Team

The Wildlife Conservation Society Canada (WCSC) Western Bat Program Team continues to work to understand how naturally occurring micro-organisms on bat wings can be used to help reduce the effects of the invasive, introduced fungal species that causes white-nose syndrome in bats. This work has been dubbed the "probiotic project" and work continues with research partners at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and with both state and provincial wildlife biologists in Washington and British Columbia. This beautiful short video was shot by the WCSC Bat Team videographer, Jason Headley as the team conducted work in Lillooet, BC, during the summer of 2022. Watch as the team sets up nets and extracts bats in the warm summer nights of the dry interior of BC.

Click here to watch the short video.

Indigenous and Western Knowledge: Bringing Diverse Understandings of Water Together in Practice

Global Commission on the Economics of Water

The importance of multiple perspectives in understanding human-nature relationships and

associated benefits for biodiversity, ecosystems and overall quality of human life, is underscored by Indigenous Peoples’ values, worldviews and knowledge systems. Indigenous

Peoples, while geographically, linguistically and culturally diverse, share common cultural and

spiritual beliefs that elevate the value of water beyond material function. For many Indigenous Peoples, water is a living entity with inherent value to be revered and protected – an

essential relationship that extends beyond dominant Western approaches that value water

as a resource only for the economic, social and environmental benefits provided to humans.

While efforts are being made to bring diverse Indigenous and Western values, worldviews

and knowledge systems together to restore freshwater systems, on a practical level the

question remains: “how to do so?” in an ethical and responsible way. This report responds to that gap by synthesizing insights gained through a review of documented experiences from projects across the area currently known as Canada and the United States.

Click here to read the report.

Living Lakes Canada

High Elevation Monitoring in the Columbia Basin: Pilot Year Summary

The High Elevation Monitoring Program aims to generate baseline data on alpine ecosystems and establish long-term monitoring to understand how these ecosystems, and the watersheds they are a part of, are responding to climate change. In 2022, Living Lakes Canada piloted the High Elevation Monitoring Program in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park and Shannon Lake in B.C. This report outlines the methodology, monitoring locations and results. The data collected will be made publicly accessible through the Columbia Basin Water Hub database.

Click here for the report.

Province of BC

Video: An Overview of The Old Growth Strategic Review

Managing forests in British Columbia is changing in response to pressing ecological and community needs. Nowhere is this more evident than in the way we are changing how we manage our oldest and rarest forests. We are engaging with First Nations and collaborating with sector participants across the province as we accelerate the protection of these vital ecosystems. New Forest Landscape Planning tables are underway to ensure science, established and innovative practices, and indigenous knowledge guide our decisions as we contend with extreme events like wildfire, beetle kill and invasive species.

Click here to watch the video.

Key Biodiversity Areas of Canada


We are very excited to announce the launch of the KBAs of Canada iNaturalist project! This project showcases the amazing diversity of species at Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs). KBAs are areas that are exceptionally important for wildlife and biodiversity. All habitat types within in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems can be KBAs if they meet the standardized criteria thresholds for a KBA designation. The criteria used to identify KBAs include threatened biodiversity, geographically restricted biodiversity, aggregations of species, high ecological integrity, or high irreplaceability for multiple biodiversity values. Observations from all Canadian KBAs will be summarized in this Umbrella Project. Help add to the growing list of plants and wildlife observed at these sites by visiting a KBA near you! Note that boundaries provided for Candidate KBAs are preliminary - these sites are being investigated as a potential KBAs and it is not yet confirmed whether they will become KBAs or not. Candidate KBAs in the Kootenays include the Creston Valley KBA and the Skookumchuk Prairie KBA. Add your biodiversity observations at these sites to help guide conservation efforts!

Click here to see the website.

Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners

Reference Library with new resources added

The Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners (CWSP) reference library contains 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 2000 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.

Click here to access the reference library.

Kootenay Connect featured

Community Nominated Priority Places Canadian wide showcase

Earlier this year in April, Kootenay Connect Manager Marcy Mahr presented at a cross-Canada showcase of Community Nominated Priority Places (CNPP). More than 100 people joined to learn about some of the amazing conservation work happening in CNPPs across Canada. In the Kootenay Connect presentation, Marcy summarizes some highlights from the first four years of Kootenay Connect (KC) projects, as well as outlining the bigger picture of the importance of the KC Community-Nominated Priority Places program.

Click here to access a recording of the presentation, and Click here to see a PDF of the presentation.

Kootenay Connect website updated

Year 4 highlights now available online

KCP's multi-year Kootenay Connect project wrapped up Year 4 at the end of March, and the highlights of all the work accomplished to date are available on the Kootenay Connect website. You'll find reports, maps and videos from the previous four years of Kootenay Connect.

Click here for the Kootenay Connect highlights.

KCP Stewardship Solutions Toolkit

Resource updated with growing number of stewardship listings

In 2019, KCP launched Stewardship Solutions, an easy-to-access stewardship resource for landowners and land managers in the Kootenays available both in print and online. We keep this resource up to date, and encourage you to access all the available stewardship "solutions" (i.e. services and resources) available in each of the 14 Conservation Neighbourhoods. Visit the website, select your location on the homepage map, and you'll be brought to the growing list of stewardship options available in your region.

Visit the Stewardship Solutions website.

KCP backgrounder document

Conservation Priorities in the Kootenays

This year the Columbia Basin Trust has been hosting community engagement sessions throughout the Basin. The Kootenay Conservation Program has created a document to outline effective conservation priorities recognized by KCP and our partners, and collaborative approaches to work towards achieving these conservation goals for the next 10 years. The Conservation Priorities document was developed to be used as a reference when attending the Trust's community engagement sessions. Thank you for speaking up for continued funding of conservation activities as a priority.

A Case for Conservation

KCP brochure promoting private land conservation available

KCP's “Case for Conservation” trifold brochure 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 Director Juliet Craig at:

Click here to view the brochure and download the PDF.

Kootenay Conservation Program

Conservation Resources for our Region

The Kootenay Conservation Program 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.