Welcome to our May edition of eNews. It's about to happen! After several years talking about a coordinated and integrated West Kootenay approach to private land conservation and stewardship, on May 16th a West Kootenay Stewardship Committee is about to launch officially. Last Fall when EKCP's Executive and Steering Committees approved transitioning EKCP into the Kootenay Conservation Program -- covering both the East and West Kootenays -- they also approved creating two distinct Stewardship Committees, one for the East and one for the West, each with their own Terms of Reference.


We're looking forward to this event and will tell you about it in our next eNews. 


All our best to you this month,





EKCP's Annual General Meeting, September 21-22, 2012 - Creston, BC


Please save the date!


 Come celebrate EKCP's transformation into the Kootenay Conservation Program, or KCP, 

as we formalize our expansion of services Kootenay-wide and

build upon our tradition of

conserving natural areas for Kootenay communities.




May 7-13, 2012 - Invermere, BC

Have you ever come back from a trip to another province or another country and marveled at our own backyard: the Rockies, the Purcells and the Columbia wetlands? Well, that's the theme of the 2012 Wings Over the Rockies Festival-- Our Backyard, the Envy of the World. The Festival Events include a full week of field trips, presentations, hikes and paddles for you to enjoy. The Festival culminates with the Gala Banquet and our keynote speaker Bruce Kirkby, adventure traveler, bestselling author, photographer, former CBC television host, and Globe and Mail columnist whose home is in Kimberley.  


Some of the week's presentations include ornithologist Dr. Rob Butler, Russell Cannings who spotted a BC record setting 373 bird species in 2010, Leo Grillmair and Pat Morrow sharing their knowledge of the Bugaboos, Nadine Fletcher and Joel Hagen exploring the brainpower of birds, Howard Heffler exposing David Thompson as a birder, and geologist Bill Ayrton explaining the evolution of our backyard.


The focal point for the Wings Festival is the historic Pynelogs Cultural Centre, beautifully situated on the shores of Lake Windermere in Invermere. This is where to come for registration, evening presentations, the Bugaboos exhibit, an art show, silent and live auction items on display, and the Wings Roost Room.


Columbia Basin Trust (CBT)

More than 1,600 Basin residents took part in Columbia River Treaty (CRT) information sessions in 2011 and 2012, and their input is helping shape the next round that will get underway this spring. From June 2011 to February 2012, CBT, in partnership with the CRT Local Governments' Committee, hosted public information sessions in 14 communities, plus three online sessions. In addition, three information sessions were held for First Nations and a conference for young leaders has taken place.


In general, Basin residents said they want more information on several topics, including: the benefits and negative impacts of the current Columbia River Treaty; issues related to compensation; the feasibility of bringing salmon back to the upper Columbia River; climate change and how it may influence the CRT in the future; and scenarios for the future of the CRT. They also want to learn more about how the current CRT operates, including flood control and downstream power benefits, as well as roles and responsibilities of key players, including the federal and provincial governments. Documents summarizing the 2011 sessions are online and summaries from 2012 will be available soon.


The Friends of Kootenay National Park have something to Crow About!

It is their new Blog with stories about a cougar and bighorn sheep falling from a cliff to the announcement of a newly listed endangered species. You can read the results from the resent owl survey and learn about Parks Canada's biggest fault. Entries are always short, with photos and occasionally videos and audio clips. Look for new posts about which flowers are blooming, notes from the past and updates about park research and monitoring.



Real Estate Foundation - Water Sustainability Endowment Fund Grant

The application deadline for this Real Estate Foundation of BC grant is June 29, 2012. A $3,000 grant will be awarded in support of a project or program that focuses on water sustainability from a watershed perspective. The 2012 grantee will also receive a video of their project, which will be profiled at the Land Awards Gala on October 26th. Click here to learn more and download an application form.  Deadline: June 29, 2012



May 1-5, 2012 - Nelson, BC

The Association of Professional Biology is now in the 7th year for organizing and hosting one of the largest natural resource oriented conferences in western Canada. The 2012 conference, From Marshes to Mountains is planned for Nelson, BC at the Prestige Lakeside Resort. This multi-day brings together various proceeding speakers, natural resource professionals, tradeshow booth hosts and sponsors to network and share timely knowledge in the biological field. Every year the conference has grown exponentially and received providing very positive reviews. They have an excellent lineup of speakers and field trips planned in conjunction with various other networking and information sharing events.


May 3-5, 2012 - Cowichan Bay on Vancouver Island, BC

The Land Trust Alliance of BC is hosting a Seminar Series May 3-5 with pre-Seminar Workshops on May 2. This year the event will be in beautiful Cowichan Bay on Vancouver Island. The Thursday keynote speaker will be Mike Lewis presenting, "Conservation for What?"; and the Friday keynotes speaker will be and Rodger Hunter presenting, "Lessons Learned: Cowichan Bay Water Management Plan." Field trips will include: Keating Farm, Cherry Point Estate Wines and canoeing to Genoa Bay estuary plus there will be many other educational workshops on Ecogifts, Conservation Covenants, Species at Risk and more! Registration deadline is April 30, 2012. For more information, click here.


May 5 & 6, 2012 - Fort Steele, BC

Tools for Change: A Holistic Approach to Grasslands Reclamation/Restoration Workshop held at Clear Sky Center featuring biologist and agrologist Peter Davidson and landscape architect and environmental planner Leslie Lowe. Courses include: Hands-on practical experience; Rocky Mountain Trench History; values of grasslands; understanding biogeoclimatic zones and our environment; and native plants and native seeding. Click here for course description and then contact cara@clearskycenter.org or call 250-429-3929 to register for the early bird price before April 25, 2012.


May 10-11, 2012 - Kimberley, BC

The Columbia Basin Watershed Network will be hosting a conference with the theme, Science Matters: how water science influences decision-making, in Kimberley, B.C. at the Kimberley Conference & Alpine Training Centre. Learn more about how watersheds are managed in the Columbia Basin and how water science is used in decision-making. Discover opportunities for creating effective partnerships and participation in decisions affecting local watersheds. Science Matters will appeal to a broad audience such as interested residents, local community and watershed groups, government representatives, consultants and stakeholders in water decision-making. For more information click here.


May 16, 2012 - Selkirk College, Castlegar, BC

Fieldwork planning and navigation using GPS and on-line mapping tools is a one day course being offered by the Columbia Mountains Institute for Applied Ecology (CMI). Participants will be exposed to advanced techniques for planning backcountry routes. By the end of the day, students will be familiar with the use of GPS, online mapping tools, and advanced navigation techniques to improve field day route planning and navigation. The majority of the course will be held in a computer lab on the Castlegar campus (all computer hardware and software will be provided). There will be a 1.5 hour outside GPS session (GPS units will be available). The cost is $180.00 + HST, and includes two coffee breaks, lunch, use of computer lab, and use of Garmin GPS units. Click here for more details and to register. 


May 26, 2012 - Kimberley, BC

Join CBEEN (Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network) and Scouts Canada for Project WILD: a fun, outdoor workshop aimed at both formal and informal educators. Project WILD teaches how ecosystems function with an emphasis on wildlife. It is among the most used conservation and environmental education programs for grades K-12. The workshop takes place at Camp Stone and costs $15 per person, which includes a snack and guide. Contact CBEEN for more information or to register.


June 2-15, 2012 - Fort Steele, BC

Permaculture Design Certificate Course 2012 with Jesse Lemieux of Pacific Permaculture at Clear Sky Center. The course content will cover the full 72 hour standard PDC curriculum as laid out in "Permaculture, A Designers Manual,"(Mollison 1983) and a certificate will be issued upon completion. Many PDC graduates move on rapidly to initiate community groups and viable green business alternatives quickly building a strong resume of advanced practical experience. See Clear Sky Farm for more information on the course or call 250-429-3929 to register.


June 2, 2012-Trail, BC and June 16, 2012-Rossland, BC

Big bees, little bees, let's help the bees! Native Pollinators FREE outdoor field days June 2 and 16 will be held in the Trail and Rossland areas lead by entomologist Lynn Westcott. On the first field day, Lynne will show bees 'working' in a diverse garden in a low altitude site in Trail, and on the second field day she will show bees 'working' a diverse garden at high altitude in Rossland. These sessions are free and open to anyone, though pre-registration is strongly encouraged. For more information and to register for one or both of the sessions, please contact coordinator Hanne Smith by email or call 250-362-7767.


June 11-15, 2012 - Banff, AB

The International Committee on Continental Erosion (ICCE) of the International Association for Hydrological Science (IAHS) is hosting a conference entitled, Wildfire and Water Quality: Processes, Impacts and Challenges, focused on bringing together researchers and practitioners from diverse fields of hydrology, sediment transport, water quality and watershed management to improve knowledge of the impacts of large scale landscape disturbances by wildfire on freshwater ecosystems and better elucidate processes that influence the source, transport and fate of contaminants in the environment. A key goal of this conference is to enable key stakeholders to utilize this information to better model, plan and manage wildfire impacted watersheds. Click here for more information.


July 9-15, 2012 - Sea-to-Sky Corridor, Pemberton to Squamish, BC

BC Wildlife Federation's Wetlands Institute features the Sea-to-Sky Corridor starting in Pemberton and finishing in Squamish, B.C. The Wetlands Institute is an intensive 7 day hands-on workshop that educates participants about wetland stewardship, restoration and construction skills. Click here to view agenda. Participants often come to the Wetlands Institute with a wetland project they wish to implement in their home communities. During the workshop, participants receive support from knowledgeable experts and obtain hands-on training in order to successfully implement their wetland projects upon returning home. Participants spend most of the week in the field learning about the importance and diversity of wetlands, practicing up to date field techniques to inventory wetlands vegetation mapping, water quality, soils, birds, amphibians, and fish. In addition, participants discuss ways to contact and communicate with landowners and developers and to raise public awareness and influence conservation policies. Within the selected host communities, several different wetland sites are visited during the week to highlight different restoration, conservation and education methods. Upon completion of the Institute, participants from all types of backgrounds are fully trained to begin wetland projects in their home communities!


The 2012 Wetlands Highlights include: working directly with well-seasoned and respected trainers; bridging the science-policy gap: learning how to incorporate wetlands into municipal plans with experiences from Kelowna (a community with some of the strongest wetland protection in the province), constructing a geo-textile liner wetland on a decommissioned stretch of HWY 99 with the Squamish River Watershed Society, planning a wetland restoration project with the Stewardship Pemberton Society, gaining hands-on experience with emerging wetland survey techniques, and tapping into an enthusiastic network of wetland stewards. 


July 18-20, 2012, Rossland, BC

Did you know that up to 87% of people are visual thinkers? Sometimes our imaginations are sparked by a visual where words fail us. Think about when communities plan and imagine their futures, when teams consider the possible outcomes for their projects, when groups create maps to track their progress. Michelle Laurie is offering a Graphic Facilitation Workshop, an experiential workshop focuses on engaging people beyond words and text and takes place almost entirely at the drawing surface. You can expect to go away with icons, ideas and approaches which you can use immediately, as well as ideas about how to hone your current practice.


    Dates and Times: July 18th (6-9pm), July 19th (8:30am-4:30pm), July 20th (8:30am-2:30pm)

    Cost: $840 + HST (12%)


September 6-15, 2012 - Jeju, Republic of Korea

The IUCN Congress, held every four years, is the world's largest and most influential conservation event. In preparation for the 2012 Congress, the IUCN has developed a beautiful and informative website presenting components of their agenda. The 2012 Congress organizers chose the slogan Nature+ to capture the crucial role nature plays in all aspects of our lives. The Congress will consider nature's adaptability and resiliency in the face of change. It will share ideas about how to value and conserve nature, and share its benefits more fairly and equitably. 



Conservation Coordinator, Southwestern Alberta - Nature Conservancy of Canada

The Conservation Coordinator is responsible for the delivery of conservation programs on behalf of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in the eastern slopes of southwestern Alberta, responsible for NCC's Crowsnest Pass Natural Area and the Southern Foothills Natural Area. The Conservation Coordinator will report directly to the Manager of Conservation Operations in Calgary and will work closely and cooperatively with other Conservation Operations team members and Alberta Regional staff. Externally, the Conservation Coordinator will work with local landowners, partner organizations, conservation volunteers, funders and others. Click here for a more detailed job description.



What would Nature do? Check out this wonderful website with 2,000 strategies and hundreds of case studies for living in a manner that cultivates life based on Nature's genius. For 14 years, The Biomimicry Guild and The Biomimicry Institute have been re-introducing the natural world to the innovators and educators who are re-imagining ours. In the last few years, the biomimicry field has changed at a stunning pace. Like a time-lapse of a fiddlehead fern, this new discipline is unfurling and propagating throughout the world. Biomimics have discovered again and again that biomimicry works because it offers a turnaround strategy for our species, a practical way for us to fit in and flourish on this planet by emulating 3.8 billion years of brilliant designs and strategies. Biomimicry 3.8 is a new branch on their evolutionary tree. It's a new species of company with a global reach that weaves together their non-profit and for-profit goals, and expands upon their heritage of bringing together scientists, engineers, architects, and other innovators to create sustainable technologies and business practices.


The Peoples Way on US Highway 93 North in northwest Montana, is a reconstruction project that represents the most extensive wildlife-sensitive highway design effort in the United States to date. This project is on the Flathead Indian Reservation, the homeland of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT).The People's Way was the name of the travel route between the Bitterroot Valley and Flathead Lake, frequented by the Salish and Pend d'Oreillei Tribes (members of the CSKT) for generations. US 93 North now rests on that travel route, and the highway was recently expanded and reconstructed. This website is the 'go-to' source for information on the effectiveness of highway mitigation measures on US 93 North. It also provides photos and information on the overall effects of highways on wildlife.

To mitigate the expansion of this 56-mile long road section on the ecological and cultural integrity of the Reservation, the Montana Department of Transportation built 41 fish and wildlife crossing structures, 16 miles of wildlife fencing, 39 jump-outs, and many wildlife crossing guards. These mitigation measures are aimed at improving safety for motorists through reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions and at maintaining wildlife habitat connectivity and population viability for a wide variety of species by providing safe crossing opportunities for wildlife.

Loss of Predators in Northern Hemisphere Affecting Ecosystem Health- ScienceDaily (Apr. 9, 2012) - A survey on the loss in the Northern Hemisphere of large predators, particularly wolves, concludes that current populations of moose, deer, and other large herbivores far exceed their historic levels and are contributing to disrupted ecosystems. The research, published recently by scientists from Oregon State University, examined 42 studies done over the past 50 years. It found that the loss of major predators in forest ecosystems has allowed game animal populations to greatly increase, crippling the growth of young trees and reducing biodiversity. This also contributes to deforestation and results in less carbon sequestration, a potential concern with climate change. The journal article citation: William J. Ripple, Robert L. Beschta. 2012. Large predators limit herbivore densities in northern forest ecosystems. European Journal of Wildlife Research.


I look forward each month to compiling all of the happenings and good work in our region. If you have news or announcements you would like to contribute, please email them to me by the 26th of each month. 


Have a great May!


Marcy Mahr

Stewardship & Communications Manager

(250)-358-2669                                                                 ** Deadline for next eNews: May 26, 2012 **