Conservation in the Kootenays
Monthly eNews

2016 Fall Gathering:  The KCP 2016 Fall Gathering will take place in Creston on November 25-26. The organizing theme for this year's Fall Gathering is "Promoting Conservation on Private Land: A Local Conservation Toolkit".  We will explore four main elements of a local conservation toolbox including landowner outreach, capacity building and resources, local conservation fund, and securement. Special guests include Lorne Fitch to share insights from the Cows and Fish program in Alberta, and Jill Robinson from Habitat Acquisition Trust in Victoria to share their successes with landowner outreach programs.  We will take advantage of this opportunity to also have a very short (45 minute) Annual General Meeting for KCP partners. 

Landowner Outreach Workshops: Caring for Land and Water: Improving Outreach to Private Landowners in the Kootenays is a workshop being offered by KCP this October that will explore how to be more effective in collectively reaching and supporting private landowners interested in taking care of their property. This free workshop will be offered in both the East Kootenays (October 19) and West Kootenays (October 20), and is open to organizations interested in exploring better ways to collaborate, coordinate and address gaps. More information and registration for the workshops will be available soon. In the meantime, please save the date and click here for more information.  

KCP Conservation Leadership Awards: KCP's 2016 Awards are now open for nominations. These awards recognize individuals who are proven leaders and contribute to the field of conservation in the Kootenays. Nominees must be affiliated with a KCP partner organization (click here for KCP Partner list) and they must show a demonstrated commitment towards KCP's vision of "landscapes in the Kootenays that sustain naturally functioning ecosystems that can in turn support economic and social well-being."

eNews Submissions: We hope you enjoy your monthly conservation update! You can click here at anytime during the month to check out current news and events on our blog. As always, please submit any news you'd like to share with our network by the third week of each month to .

Thanks! As always, a big thanks goes out to our supporters. You can click here to read more about the great organizations that support conservation in the Kootenays. 

Remembering Kelly Diamond

The KCP would like to take a moment to remember Kelly Diamond who passed away last week from cancer. Kelly was the KCP's Administration and Communications Coordinator until she was diagnosed earlier this year.

Kelly came to the KCP late in 2015 after becoming a mother. She brought with her a diversity of strengths in the conservation and environmental field. Prior to joining the KCP she worked in several positions with the Ministry of Environment as a Park Naturalist, Senior Park Ranger, and as an Assistant Park Planner. She lived in an off-grid Ranger Station as a Forest Service worker for six years before moving to the gulf islands to help establish and open a new Environmental Learning Centre. Kelly relocated to the East Kootenays from the Coast early in 2012 to work as Blue Lake Centre's Executive Director. After that she worked on a number of environmental contracts including the Lake Koocanusa Area Situational Analysis and Recommendation for Crown Land Recreation.

While her time was short with the KCP, she had a wonderful impact on our organization, and contributed strongly to conservation in the Kootenays in a variety of roles. We extend our deepest condolences to Kelly's family and her many friends and colleagues.

Faces & Places Monthly Partner Feature
Ian Parfitt: Selkirk College Geospatial Research Centre (SGRC)

Some of you may be familiar with this old definition of ecology: "the distribution and abundance of species." This definition illustrates why GIS is so useful for conservation, since distribution is the geographic area where a species occurs (geometry in GIS lingo) while abundance is a measure of the absolute or relative number of species at that location (an attribute of a spatial feature). This neat fit is one of the things that Ian loves about geographic information - just a bit behind his love for the way maps can transport us to another place or time.

Ian's conservation work began when he became the GIS department for various NGOs in the early 1990s and then matured as he toiled as GIS Coordinator for BC Hydro's Fish & Wildife Compensation Program from 1996 to 2003. Ian became an instructor and researcher at Selkirk College's Geospatial Research Centre (SGRC) in 2003 and is now mainly office-bound as the SGRC Coordinator. He has worked on many conservation projects in the region, most notably the Columbia Basin Biodiversity Atlas, wolverine habitat analysis, deciduous and old growth forest analysis, whitebark pine distribution, and citizen science. He got out of the office and into the field exactly twice this summer, but hopes that will increase as the SGRC expands its' use of unmanned aerial systems in the years ahead.

Feature Local Conservation Fund Project
Columbia Lake - Lot 48 Ecosystem Restoration

The Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP) in partnership with the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) and Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) provides funding for projects that benefit conservation through the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund (CVLCF) and Kootenay Lake Local Conservation Fund (KLLCF). The purpose of these funds is to provide local financial support for important projects that will contribute to the conservation of our valuable natural areas. This monthly feature highlights projects that have been supported by these funds. 

Columbia Lake - Lot 48 Ecosystem Restoration: The goal of the Columbia Lake - Lot 48 Ecosystem Restoration project undertaken by the Nature Conservancy of Canada was to create resilient ecosystems through the restoration of open forest structure and grassland communities in areas where forest ingrowth and encroachment are occurring. Open stands are more resistant to climate change, provide and safeguard communities from catastrophic forest fire and create habitat for threatened species. This restoration benefited the Upper Columbia Valley through the enhancement of wildlife habitat, fire hazard abatement and providing a buffer to the adverse effects of climate change (e.g. drought, increased risk of wildfire). Examples of habitat enhancement include increasing forage for wintering ungulates, such as Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and elk, and maintaining Columbia ground squirrel habitat which are a key prey species for the red-listed badger.

This project successfully restored more than 21 hectares of dense ingrown Douglas fir forests to an open forest/grassland state using low impact restoration techniques that include using light footprint machinery to transport slash to roadside where it is burned in a blower-assisted sloop. This project contributes to the on-going ecosystem restoration treatments on Lot 48, and future projects in the area will build on this work advancing the commitment of the Nature Conservancy of Canada to maintain and enhance resilient ecosystems, provide habitat for species-at-risk, and protect cultural values on Columbia Lake - Lot 48.

Elk River Watershed Alliance
Elk River Flood Strategy
In the strategy, flooding on the Elk River was analyzed by discussing the conceptual framework of a watershed. A quantitative analysis was then completed of the hydrology of the Elk River and tributaries, with particular emphasis on the conditions that result in flooding and how these are affected by land use and climate change. Watershed function and the interconnectedness between hydrology, ecology, and water quality were investigated. This addressed how changes to one element invariably affects the others, and that while a watershed can withstand a certain degree of change, dramatic or cumulative disturbance can eventually lead to a shift in watershed response.  Effective watershed management going forward must recognize that natural and human activity within the Elk Valley invariably affects watershed function and can cause fragmentation and a loss of diversity, both of which can further reduce the watershed's resiliency to future disturbances. 

Columbia Basin Trust
Environment Projects Receive Funding
CBT has announced funding through the Spring Environment Small Grants (up to $10,000). 14 projects across the Columbia Basin received funding.

Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society (CKISS)
Giant Hogweed vs. Cow Parsnip
CKISS has been receiving many reports of giant hogweed. To date, all reports have been identified as cow parsnip (Heracleum maximum), a common native plant species.
Click here to accurately identify cow parsnip and giant hogweed.

The KCP encourages partners to take advantage of our eNews - send your relevant content for submission to 
Real Estate Foundation of BC
Deadline: September 8
REFBC's grants program has five program areas and includes a focus on fresh water, sustainable food systems and well-planned built environments.

CBT Environment Grants 
Deadline: September 30
These grants help to support projects that address goals outlined in CBT's Environment Strategic Plan. This includes enhancing or conserving ecosystems and/or species of conservation concern, as well as reducing the threat of significant invasive species to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program
Deadline: October 28
FWCP funds projects that align with their conservation priorities and actions recommended in their regional Action Plans, which address priority ecosystems and species of interest.

Grassland and Rangeland Enhancement Program
Ongoing intake
Delivered for the Columbia BasinTrust 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. Currently accepting applications for projects for the 2016 funding. 
Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area 
Education and Communication Coordinator
The Creston Valley Wildlife Management Authority is looking for an enthusiastic and energetic individual to fill the position of Education and Communication Coordinator for one year. In this position, the successful candidate will be responsible for the operation of the Creston Valley Wildlife Interpretation Centre, the delivery of communications, and promotion of the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area (CVWMA). 

Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network
Wild Voices for Kids  Community Educators
Do you have some unique environmental knowledge, skill or expertise you can share with students? Wild Voices for Kids provides training and assistance with program development, promotes presenters and their programs, and provides presenter honoraria, as well as bussing to get students outside the classroom and into the field. 
IUCN World Conservation Congress
Sept 1 - 10, Hawai'i
Held every four years, the IUCN World Conservation Congress helps shape the direction of conservation and sustainable development. Join the IUCN to define the sustainable path for moving 2015's historic climate and sustainable development agreements into action.

Graphic Facilitation Workshop
September 19-20, Rossland
Imagine you are planning a project, facilitating a meeting or writing a report. Putting words on a page assumes people will understand them exactly.  Adding visuals invites conversation, discussion and exploration. Visuals spark the imagination, help communities plan their futures and help groups track progress. This two-day experiential workshop provides the skills and confidence needed to use a range of visuals in your work and engage beyond words.

Columbia Wetlands Waterbird Survey 
Sept 29, Oct 5 & Oct 15
Do you want to collect baseline data on waterbirds?  The 2016 Columbia Wetlands Waterbird Survey fall dates will be Thursday September 29th, Wednesday October 5th, and Saturday October 15th from 10am to 1pm. Participating in this valuable project is a wonderful way to learn about birds and the biodiverse Columbia Wetlands.  Come and join in on this fun and valuable initiative!  
For more information or to sign up for the surveys, please contact Rachel Darvill at or call 250-344-5530.

Inquiring Voices Sustainability Symposium
Sept 30 - Oct 2, Glacier National Park
The Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network will host their 2016 Sustainability Symposium at the Alpine Club of Canada's Wheeler Hut in spectacular Glacier National Park. This small-scale professional development retreat brings together educators who live in the same bioregion to form a rich learning community meet to share, support, and collaborate with one another. 

Roundtable on the Crown of the Continent Annual Conference 
Oct 13 - 14, Fernie
The Roundtable is an ongoing forum to bring together people who care about this special place. It is based on the observation that the future of the Crown of the Continent is being shaped by over 100 government agencies, non-government organizations, and place-based partnerships. While these various initiatives operate somewhat independent of each other, the Roundtable provides a unique opportunity to connect people that share a common commitment to the region.

Bio-engineering: A Restoration Course
Oct 18 - 19, Revelstoke
Join the Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology for this course. Soil bioengineering is an applied science that uses live plant materials, rocks, soil and landscape elements to perform an engineering function such as slope stabilization, soil erosion control or seepage control. Course instructor, David Polster, has been involved in the reclamation of severely disturbed sites for over 35 years.  He was president of the Canadian Land Reclamation Association and is on the board of the Society for Ecological Restoration (BC Chapter and International board). 

Trend Analysis and Environmental Impact Assessment
Oct 18 - 20, Revelstoke 
Environmental impact assessments want to know if trends over time differ between control and impact sites. Statistical methods for the analysis of trends over time use many of the same methods as the analysis of experimental data (e.g. ANOVA, regression) but must now deal with problems such as autocorrelation and process error.

Caring for Land and Water: Improving Outreach to Private Landowners in the Kootenays Workshop
Oct 19, Nelson / Oct 20, Cranbrook
This free workshop being offered by KCP  will explore how to be more effective in collectively reaching and supporting private landowners interested in taking care of their property. It  will be offered in both the East and West Kootenays, and is open to organizations interested in exploring better ways to collaborate, coordinate and address gaps.

International Land Conservation Network (ILCN) Cross-Boundary Collaboration Workshop
Oct 27, Minneapolis
The ILCN will host a daylong session at the Minneapolis Central Library focused on cross-border collaboration for private land conservation. Featuring case studies from Mexico, Canada, the European Union, the United States and others, we will explore successful models of cross-border conservation collaboration, planning, and fundraising. Presenters will share lessons learned and discuss how their successes may be replicated in other localities. There will also be time to network with other international participants and to discuss how the ILCN may best serve this community. 

Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative: 7th Annual Northwest Climate Conference
Nov 14, Stevenson
The annual NW Climate Conference is the region's premier opportunity for a cross-disciplinary exchange of knowledge and ideas relating to climate impacts and adaptation. The conference brings together up to 400 researchers, resource managers and policy makers from academia, public agencies, sovereign tribal nations, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector, to share the latest climate science, challenges to infrastructure, industry, environment and communities, and adaptive solutions. Abstracts will be due on July 15. 

Field Leader Certification Course and Get Outdoors Workshop
Nov 24 - 26, Fernie
Join CBEEN for the Outdoor Council of Canada's Field Leader certification course. This intensive two-day experiential and inquiry based course introduces the roles and responsibilities of the leader. Discover the values and systems that promote high-quality low-risk programs. CBEEN will also host a WildBC Get Outdoors Workshop. This 1-day outdoor workshop includes a new educator's guide which supports teachers in getting their students outside and engaged in experiencing the outdoor classroom. 

KCP Fall Gathering & AGM
November 25 - 26, Creston
The KCP Fall Gathering & AGM serves as one of the primary vehicles to connect and re-connect KCP partners from across the region. The organizing theme for this year's Fall Gathering is "Promoting Conservation on Private Land: A Local Conservation Toolkit". We will explore four main elements of a local conservation toolbox including landowner outreach, capacity building and resources, local conservation fund, and securement. Special guests include Lorne Fitch to share insights from the Cows and Fish program in Alberta, and Jill Robinson from Habitat Acquisition Trust in Victoria to share their successes with landowner outreach programs. We will take advantage of this opportunity to also have a very short (45 minute) Annual General Meeting for KCP partners.

River Restoration Northwest Stream Restoration Symposium
Feb 7 - 9, Columbia River Gorge
River Restoration Northwest is gearing up for the 16th Annual River Restoration Symposium at Skamania Lodge in Stevenson Washington  February 7-9, 2017 .  They have issued a call for Session Proposals and Oral/Poster Abstracts.  

Community-based Social Marketing (CBSM) Institute
June 1 - 2, Castlegar
This 2-day Institute will be hosted at Selkirk College's Castlegar Campus and will be facilitated by the world-renowned originator of CBSM, Doug McKenzie-Mohr. It will provide a comprehensive understanding of CBSM and how it is being applied successfully around the world to effectively foster sustainable behaviour.
Columbia River Basin Biodiversity Atlas
Providing information critical to making good conservation-planning decisions
The Biodiversity Atlas has been developed with geographic information system (GIS) technology to provide information on biodiversity and help people learn, understand, and make decisions. Biodiversity is defined in the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy as: "the variety of species and ecosystems on Earth and the ecological processes of which they are a part." Many people use the term interchangeably with nature-something which thrives in the Columbia River Basin. By using GIS, the Atlas offers a unique and enlightening perspective on biodiversity in the area. 


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