Kootenay Conservation Program eNews

July 2015

Happy Canada Day! We in the Kootenays have a lot of reasons to celebrate our place in conservation in Canada.  We now have both the first and second Local Conservation Funds in Canadian history, the largest private conservation property in Canadian history, and many other national and international firsts by KCP partners.

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who participated in the KCP whirlwind of activity in June. East and West Kootenay Stewardship Committee meetings took place in Nelson and Cranbrook, and both the Executive Committee and Steering Committee met via conference call. We also coordinated a Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund field tour. You can click here to see a short story with photos.

Before summer gets into full swing, remember to save the date for our Fall AGM & Gathering on September 25-26. We are now accepting nominations for the 2015 KCP Conservation Leadership Awards which will be presented at the AGM & Gathering. These awards recognize individuals in our region for their contributions to conservation. Nominations are due by September 1.  Click here for more information.

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 26th of each month to info@kootenayconservation.ca.

Megan Peloso

Lake Windermere Ambassadors

As Program Coordinator of Lake Windermere Ambassadors, Megan develops projects to protect Lake Windermere and the watershed that drains into it. She gathers Directors, volunteers and partners with diverse backgrounds and expertise who share a passion for the watershed and community vitality in the region. Wanting to develop her skills for facilitating group initiatives and actions, Megan recently attended 'The Art of Hosting Water Dialogues' in Bowen Island, BC, with support from the KCP Professional Development Bursary Program. Megan shared that "the workshop allowed me to practice creative leadership skills, like how to consciously build spaces for meaningful conversations. We also practiced strategies for harvesting key messages about emergent water issues in our region. Our small group developed trust and teamwork by working on real projects, including the new BC Water Sustainability Act regulations, re-establishing relationships between people and water in urban cities, and efforts to build greater integration and recognition of First Nations rights and values into watershed management."  


Click here to see the full story and photos. 

BC Rescinds Jumbo Environmental Approval
West Kootenay EcoSociety
Mary Polak, BC Minister of Environment bowed to reason and tremendous public pressure in declaring that the Jumbo Ski Resort did not substantially start in time to maintain its environmental approval. The long-awaited decision has resort opponents celebrating after more than 20 years of opposition. In order to continue, the resort would have to go through a new environmental assessment, a costly and time-consuming effort. "We're very happy with the decision, and we're grateful to Minister Polak for doing the right and reasonable thing. Hundreds of people have worked for over two decades to see this terrible idea put to an end," said David Reid of West Kootenay EcoSociety. "Now it remains to make sure that the Jumbo Valley stays wild forever."
Click here to read more.

Volunteers Wanted for Community Shoreline Restoration Event
Friends of Kootenay Lake (FOKL)
On July 4th come and assist with an innovative research project to treat yellow flag iris infestations using benthic barriers (rubber membranes) and help reduce the threat of this priority invasive species from entering Kootenay Lake. The main project goal is to determine how effective the benthic barriers are to control and/or eradicate current yellow flag iris infestations. We need you help to install the benthic barriers, following the protocol developed by Thompson Rivers University, and for clipping flower heads and seed pods.
Click here to read more.

4th Annual Flathead Bioblitz
This July, scientists-both professional and citizen alike-will gather together in the Flathead and Elk Valleys for seven days to document and gather important information about the species that call the area home. The first Flathead Bioblitz focused on bugs, the second on birds, the third on bats, and this year it will be a multi-species all-in extravaganza. 
Click here to read more.

Managing Bats in Buildings
Kootenay Community Bat Project (KCBP)
The Kootenay Community Bat Project (KCBP) is doing site visits to buildings with bats again this year. Since the Little Brown Myotis was listed as Federally Endangered this winter, identifying colonies and conducting building exclusions appropriately is more important than ever. The KCBP, in partnership with the province-wide program, developed "7 Steps to Managing Bats In Buildings" this winter which can be downloaded by clicking here. The KCBP is also hosting display booths at community events, providing presentations, and coordinating bat-house building workshops. 
Click here to

Celebrating 10 Years of Protecting Ecosystems & Your Wallet
Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society (CKISS)
For the past 10 years, the Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society (CKISS) has minimized the environmental, economic and social impacts that invasive species has on communities. On Saturday June 27th CKISS hosted a party at the Old Church Hall in Nelson to celebrate their 10 year anniversary. The first portion of the day was the Biodiversity Bonanza, it was a fun filled and educational afternoon for kids of all ages. By evening the venue was transformed into a cocktail party for invited CKISS members and stakeholders. Fifty guests were treated to cold beverages, invasive species fusion appetizers, presentations and live music from the Clinton Swanson jazz duo. The Society looks forward to the next 10 years of continuing the vision of diminishing the impacts of invasive species on the ecosystems, communities, and economy of the Central Kootenay region. 
Click here to read more. 

Hiking Wycliffe Conservation Complex with Students from Kimberley
Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC)
On June 11, 2015, the Nature Conservancy of Canada's stewardship coordinator for the Canadian Rockies, Richard Klafki teamed up with Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations habitat biologist, Allana Oestreich to host a class of grade 3-4's from the Kimberley Independent School for a day hike on the Wycliffe Conservation Complex south of Kimberley BC. The Wycliffe Conservation Complex is made up of a series of conservation lands including the adjacent Pine Butte Ranch. In 2006, NCC and the Van Steinburg family announced the protection of the Pine Butte Ranch grasslands. An active cattle ranch, Pine Butte Ranch is known for the exemplary health and productivity of both its cattle and its grasslands. The school tour allowed 13 local kids and teachers to get out of the classroom and explore the area learning about native grassland plants, conservation corridors, species-at-risk, invasive weeds, and best practices for recreating on these sensitive ecosystems. Highlights of the tour involved a stop near a badger burrow where it was noted that the badger is endangered in BC and this also provided the opportunity to express the importance of allowing wild animals room to roam freely across the landscape and how conservation lands link these habitats together. The importance of fire and how proper planned prescribed fires can be used to maintain and provide homes for species-at -risk such as Lewis's woodpecker and winter range for wide-ranging elk and deer were also featured. Many native plants were in bloom including the beautiful mariposa lily and the unique Bitterroot. Western meadowlark songs accompanied the group along the trail up and around to the top of Lone Pine Butte, which is an isolated hill with steep sides and a small, relatively flat top. The significance of the Butte for soaring hawks and eagles were featured by a couple local paragliders who were testing their flying skills by capturing the warm thermals rising from the steep rocky slopes. The final hike down the steep slopes revealed the significance of how proper trail planning and staying on the trail helped avoid erosion and compaction of the sensitive plants that were observed throughout the day. 
Click here to read more.

Update on Invasives
Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area (CVWMA)
Students from Thompson Rivers University (Kamloops) came in early June to map the Yellow Flag Iris (YFI) infestation in Corn Creek Marsh around the Visitor Centre. They used a drone and GPS technology and the final "infestation map" is being worked on. The work is being coordinated with Dr. Catherine Tarasoff and Dr. John Church from TRU, Jennifer Vogel from the Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society (CKISS), and CVWMA.  Another part to dealing with YFI is an experimental project that looks at installing "rubber membranes (conveyor belts)" to choke the YFI root system. Dr. Tarasoff has installed several experimental plots across BC and the results have been very promising. The Friends of Kootenay Lake, CKISS and CVWMA are looking for volunteers to help with installing the membranes and cut YFI seedbeds. Please click here for details. Last, but not least, CKISS, FLNRO, CVWMA and FWCP (northern leopard frog recovery team) are partnering to address the potential of invasive bullfrogs moving into the Creston Valley from Idaho. Bullfrogs are present less than 5km south of the border and there are many great routes for them to get to Canada. A working group has been formed and is exploring different approaches to prevent the spread of bullfrogs to the Creston Valley. At stake is the population of endangered northern leopard frog. Active and passive monitoring will be used to detect tadpoles and adult bullfrogs.
Click here to read more.

Project Funding - TD Friends of the Environment Foundation

Deadline: July 15

The funding program supports habitat restoration, endangered species/wildlife protection and environmental research.
Click here to find out more.


Leadership Grants - TD Friends of the Environment Foundation

Deadline: July 15

The TD FEF Leadership Grant program aims to enhance the organizational capacity of environmental charities by providing funding for both formal and informal training and development opportunities for leaders within these organizations.

Click here to find out more.

Real Estate Foundation of BC

Deadline: September 16

Water, sustainable food systems and well-planned built environments are a priority for these grants.

Click here for more information.


Columbia Basin Trust Grassland and Rangeland Enhancement Program

Deadline: Ongoing

Over $200,000 still available for projects in 2015 - 2016. Ranchers and individuals with Crown range tenures, environmental groups and non-profit societies are encouraged to apply for funding to improve and enhance grasslands and rangelands. Ranchers, for example, can use the support to build fences, install cattle guards and do other improvements on Crown land--activities that permit better livestock management practices and therefore result in better stewardship of rangelands.

Click here for more information. 

Kootenay Conservation Program Professional Development Bursary Program

Deadline: Ongoing

The Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP) Professional Development Bursary Program provides financial assistance to our partner organizations to allow their staff and volunteers to attend professional development activities. It is funded by the generous support of the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) and delivered by the KCP.
Click here for more information.   
Community Shoreline Restoration Event
July 4, Creston
You are invited to assist with an innovative research project to treat yellow flag iris infestations using benthic barriers (rubber membranes) and help reduce the threat of this priority invasive species from entering Kootenay Lake. 
Click here for more information. 

International Conference on Forests and Water in a Changing Environment
July 6 - 9, Kelowna
Building on the success of past international Forests and Water conferences (Beijing in 2006, Raleigh, NC in 2009, and Fukuoka in 2012), the fourth conference will focus on forest disturbance and hydrological processes in a changing environment. The goal of this conference is to provide a forum for experts specialising in forest hydrology, ecohydrology, geomorphology, watershed management and climate change in forested environments around the world to share research progress, exchange ideas, and develop international research collaborations.
Click here for more information.

BC CABIN Field Practicum
July 28 - 29, Nelson
The objective of the CABIN Training Program is to provide participants with the necessary skills and knowledge to conduct nationally standardized freshwater benthic macroinvertebrate monitoring and assessments.  By adopting CABIN, certified partners reduce the work required in building their own biomonitoring program, benefit from the collective research efforts by practitioners across Canada and contribute consistent data to the national database. In turn, this data can be shared for building more accurate and up-to-date assessment models.  
Click here for more information.

CABIN Field Training
August 11 - 12, Golden
This Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network field training session requires advance completion of online training modules to gain access to the CABIN database. 
For more information contact rachel@wildsight.ca.

August 12, Nakusp
The warm spring and summer has led to very early breeding for the Western Toads at Summit Lake, near Nakusp. So Toadfest 2015 has been brought forward to:
August 12 (4.00 to 7.00p.m.) and August 13 (10.00a.m. to 1.00p.m.) For more information contact Angus Glass with the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program at 250-352-1300 or email angus.glass@bchydro.com
Click here for more information. 

Roundtable on the Crown of the Continent Conference
September 16 - 18, Missoula
New Ideas and Enduring Values: The Next Generation of Leadership on the Crown
Click here for more information. 

KCP Annual Gathering & AGM
September 25 - 25, Cranbrook
Join KCP partners for this professional development and networking opportunity. 
For more information email info@kootenayconservation.ca

Voices for Sustainability Symposium
October 2 - 4, Edgewood
Join environmental educators and outreach specialists at Whatshan Lake Retreat near Nakusp to share best practices and new ideas in communicating sustainability and stewardship in the Columbia Basin.
For more information email info@cbeen.org

3rd Annual Kootenay Lake Summit
October 24, Nelson
For more information email info@friendsofkootenaylake.ca

6th Annual Northwest Climate Conference
November 3 - 5, Coeur d'Alene
The NW Climate Conference annually brings together more than 250 researchers and practitioners from around the region to discuss scientific results, challenges, and solutions related to the impacts of climate on people, natural resources, and infrastructure in the Northwest. It is the region's premier opportunity for a cross-disciplinary exchange of knowledge and ideas about regional climate, climate impacts, and climate adaptation science and practice.
Click here for more information. 
Stewardship Practices Guide for Species at Risk
Stewardship Centre of BC
The Stewardship Practices guides for species and risk and wildlife presents options and examples of good stewardship practices that address major threats to species impacted. The guides encourages people to take voluntary stewardship actions, called stewardship practices, to safeguard wildlife and species at risk. Stewardship can be broadly defined as an ethic that promotes the responsible use, protection, and management of the natural environment through conservation and sustainable best practices.
Click here for more information.

Adaptation Potential for Ecosystems and Forest Management in Southeastern BC 

Kootenay Resiliance

Climate change is expected to bring changes in the frequency and severity of forest fires, storms and insect outbreaks, and in the amount of snow accumulated throughout the winter. All these factors affect the productivity, and even survival, of forest ecosystems. These changes will have significant impacts on most species over the coming decades, potentially resulting in increased stress, shifts in species ranges, and possibly a dramatic increase in the extinction rate. Numerous recent publications have called for strengthened conservation measures to reduce the potential negative impacts of climate change on biological diversity. There is also recognition that some traditional conservation tools, such as providing connectivity and representation analysis, need updating in response to the new challenges of climate change. With climate change slowly building intensity around the globe, the future of West Kootenay forests, and how they're managed, is also a growing concern for forest managers and local residents. This website provides information on two projects that are attempting to provide information on what changes may be anticipated, and potential measures that may assist in adapting to those changes - focusing on conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems.

Click here for more information. 

Landscape Conservation Management and Analysis Portal
Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative 
The Landscape Conservation Management and Analysis Portal, LC MAP, provides a collaborative virtual workspace allowing partners of the Great Northern LCC to securely share, access, and analyze common datasets and information to further coordinated research, management, and resource conservation. 
Click here for more information.


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