February 2014 eNews


January has flown by, and spring planning is in the air.  There are a number of grant deadlines approaching quickly, and plenty of opportunities for networking, collaboration and professional development in the coming months.  


In this issue we've included some great stories from our partners including Wildsight's Juri Peepre being awarded the Order of Canada, the announcement of the successful Adaptive Management Initiative Projects, and an update on the BC Sheep Separator Program.  You can also click here to check our the KCP News Blog.


We'd also like to thank Randy Harris for being our monthly 'Faces & Places' feature highlighting the Lewis' Woodpecker project.  You can click here to see his full feature story.  If you know of a personal story of conservation in the Kootenays that you think should be shared, please email us at info@kootenayconservation.ca.

We hope you enjoy your monthly conservation update... 


KCP welcomes new Executive Committee

Please click here to see full bios and photos.  


Derek Peterson - Ecosystem Scientist, Parks Canada 

Nancy Newhouse - Program Manager, Nature Conservancy of Canada 
Crystal Klym - Executive Director, Central Kootenay Invasive Plant Council 
Ken Brock - Head Protected Areas and Stewardship Unit, Environment Canada 
Rob Neil - Lands Manager, Nature Trust of BC 
Dave White - Past President, BC Wildlife Federation / Board member, Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program - Columbia region
Dave Hillary (non voting member) - Program Manager, Kootenay Conservation Program

KCP wins BC Hydro Award

The Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP) has been presented with a $3750 donation through BC Hydro's FirstWave program. 

Please click here for the full story. 


A few upcoming KCP dates to add to your calendars:

East Kootenay Stewardship Committee Meeting: 1:00pm - 3:30pm Mountain, Thursday, March 6 - District of Invermere Office (914 8th Avenue)

West Kootenay Stewardship Committee Meeting:  10:00am - 12:00pm Pacific, Thursday, March 13 - Sandon Room in the Nelson MOE Office (#401 - 333 Victoria Street)

KCP Steering Committee Meeting - 2:00pm Mountain / 1:00pm Pacific, Thursday, March 13 via conference call

KCP Annual Gathering & AGM - October 3-4, 2014 (venue/location tba) 


Randy Harris

Lewis' Woodpecker Project


One of Randy Harris' most recent projects has been the Lewis's Woodpecker project in the East Kootenay in the Dutch-Findlay Range Unit between Canal Flats and Fairmont Hot Springs. The Spen wildfire that burned 11,000 hectares in 1985 produced ideal habitat for the Lewis's Woodpecker, particularly in the vicinity of Fir Mountain overlooking Canal Flats. Up to 25 nesting snags have been identified there, prompting the Ministry of Environment to protect this significant population by designating certain critical sites as wildlife habitat areas.

However, habitat created by the Spen fire 25 years ago is deteriorating. The open forest landscape is filling in with trees and existing nesting snags are falling down. Fortunately, a partnership of conservation landowners and Crown land stewards including the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Rocky Mountain Trench Ecosystem Restoration Program, The Nature Trust of British Columbia and Thunderhill Ranch, has stepped up to the plate.


Click here to read the full story. 


Reducing the risk of disease transmission from domestic to wild sheep

BC Sheep Separation Program (BCSSP)

The Habitat Conservation Trust Fund (HCTF) has been a supporter of the BC Sheep Separation Program (BCSSP) on and off for over a decade, providing funding for the program's provincial coordinator position working to keep domestic sheep separated from wild sheep due to the risk of disease transmission. Over several years, the BCSSP has been involved in policy efforts with multiple levels of government to try to create legislation that prevents or at least controls domestic sheep farming in high-risk areas. Unfortunately progress has now stalled and the survival of bighorn sheep herds near domestic sheep farms hangs in the balance. The Agriculture Ministry is reluctant to discuss any new legislation that would limit domestic sheep farming in the province, despite the known risks and predictable outcomes of pneumonia related die-offs in bighorn sheep herds. 

Click here to read more about the work the BCSSP is undertaking.  

Local Conservationist Receives Order of Canada

Juri Peepre, Chair of Wildsight's Regional Board, has been recognized along with 90 other high-profile Canadians with one of the nation's highest honours: membership in the Order of Canada. The award "recognizes a lifetime of distinguished service in or to a particular community, group or field of activity".  Specifically, Peepre was honoured for his role in protecting Canadian wilderness for future generations.  While Peepre now resides and focuses much of his conservation effort in the Upper Columbia Valley and East Kootenay region of BC, most of his career was spent in Northern B.C. and the Yukon, working on a variety of large-scale conservation issues.  "In this era of rapidly dwindling wild nature, and in light of our relentless assault on so many wild species," says Peepre, "I am grateful that this Order of Canada recognizes the importance of conservation in Canadian society."  

Click here to read the full story.


Cutting Edge Blueprint Established: Ecosystem Restoration Program reports out after 15 years and sets sights on next 15

Rocky Mountain Trench Ecosystem Restoration Program

British Columbia's showcase ecosystem restoration partnership has released a pivotal document that reports out on 15 years of activity and results. Last week, the Rocky Mountain Trench Ecosystem Restoration Program presented the first copies of its Blueprint for Action 2013 to Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines.  Thomson's ministry is a key ER Program partner and funder, and uses the pioneering Trench program as a model for ecosystem restoration elsewhere in the province.

Click here to read the full report.


Report dead bats in winter

Kootenay Community Bat Project

The Ministry of Environment has issued a press release to encourage residents of BC to report dead bats in winter as part of early detection for White Nose Syndrome. For the full release click here 


Adaptive Management Initiative (AMI) Research Projects Selected 

Roundtable on the Crown of the Continent

Sixteen new Adaptive Management Initiative (AMI) research projects selected by a diverse review team last month. The projects will implement a collaborative climate adaptation program throughout the Crown of the Continent.  

Click here for the full list.


Survey on CMI Programs

Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology

CMI has prepared a survey so that you can tell them what courses, workshops, and conferences you would like to see offered by CMI.  This survey will only take 2 minutes of your time.  
Click here to take the survey.  


Kootenay Livestock Association

Grassland and Rangeland Enhancement Program Project Coordinator - Closes February 7, 2014

The Grassland and Rangeland Enhancement Program (GREP) is an on-going program that is funded by Columbia Basin Trust and delivered by the Kootenay Livestock Association (KLA).  This program delivers grassland and rangeland enhancement programs on "Crown Range Tenures" within the Columbia Basin in partnership with the Crown Range Tenure holders, the MOFLNRO, and other user groups. 

Click here for more information.


Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area (CVWMA)

Wetland Naturalist - Closes March 2, 2014

As a Wetland Naturalist with the CVWMA, you will be a member of a team dedicated to providing quality environmental education programs and front country excursions. You will interpret natural history; explain the purpose and management techniques of the CVWMA; conduct canoe, gallery, walking and bird watching tours; facilitate and lead school programs, develop and deliver interpretive programming; assist volunteers; prepare daily wildlife sighting reports; and perform key holder and maintenance duties.  

Click here to find out more.


Columbia Basin Watershed Network (CBWN)

Call for Steering Committee Members - Closes February 15, 2014

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

Click here to find out more.  

Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN)

Wild Voices for Kids (WVFK) Community Educators

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



TD Friends of the Environment Foundation

Deadline: February 15     

Funds amounts under $2500 for community habitat, restoration, gardens and education projects. 

Click here for more information.


Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF)

Deadline: February 15
Helps pay for bus transportation, outdoor project materials and field trip leader or program fees for BC schools and classes
Click here for more information.


Mountain Equipment Coop

Deadline: March 10

Support for projects involving land acquisition, capacity building, advocacy and awareness, and access and activity.

Click here for more information.  


Real Estate Foundation of BC

Deadline: March 14

Stage 1 deadline for grants over $200,000 supporting sustainable food systems, freshwater sustainability or the sustainable built environment. 
Click here for more information.  
For a more complete list of funding opportunities, please visit http://kootenayconservation.ca/funding/.  

CBT Project Development and Grant Writing Workshops
February 4 - 19 - Various Locations
CBT's community liaisons are hosting free grant writing workshops. Learn how to identify funders, focus your project idea, hit the key elements of a project proposal, set your budget and write clearly. Plus hear an overview of the Trust's granting programs.  
Click here for more information.

Kootenay Community Bat Project "All About Bats" Presentation 

February 19 - 7 pm, Robson Community Hall

Join Juliet Craig, in partnership with Robson Community School, to find out more about bats. You'll get information on: Bat basics and myths; bat conservation; bat-house plans and tips; and bat eviction from buildings. Juice and cookies provided. 

Click here for more information.

CBEEN National Environmental Education Leadership Clinic
April 26 - 29, Nipika Mountain Resort, adjacent to Kootenay National Park, BC
The Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN) has teamed up with the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication (EECOM) to bring an EE leadership clinic to the Kootenays.  Teams of four can apply for a spot at this Clinic which will give them the opportunity to team-build, action-plan and network with other environmental educators from across BC.  
Click here for more information or to apply.


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


Creston Valley Bird Festival
May 9 - 11, Creston
Some of the highlights of the 2014 Bird Fest are keynote speaker Dave Quinn, CBC radio's "outdoor adventure guy, a photography workshop hosted by well-known West Kootenay photographer Jim Lawrence and raptor specialist Brian Baxter from Libby Montana.  Registration opens March 1st an closes May 9.  
Click here for more information.  

CMI - Resource Roads in BC: Environmental Challenges at a Landscape Level

May 14 - 15, Nelson

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

For more information and registration, click here


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

September 10 - 12, Waterton, AB

More information coming soon at www.crownroundtable.org.   

CMI - Solving Wicked Problems: Using human dimensions to inform natural resource management

October 1 - 3 - Kimberley, BC       

During this CMI conference participants will examine how to use human dimensions research and methods to help resource practitioners resolve "wicked problems" in southeastern BC.  

Click here for more information.  

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

Columbia River Basin International Conference
October 21 - 23, Spokane, WA
Learning from Our Past to Shape Our Future
Click here for more information.


Click on the links below for more information:


South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program


Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative


Blackfoot Challenge


Heart of the Rockies Initiative


Roundtable on the Crown of the Continent



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