The endangered northern leopard frog is one of the species benefitting from the ‘Kootenay Connect’ initiative. (Marc-Andre Beaucher photo).

Species at risk get a boost in the Kootenays

The Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP) has recently been awarded $2 million over four years in a federal environment and climate change Canada grant to protect and restore species-at-risk habitat and ecological connectivity in four biodiversity hotspots in the Kootenays.

“We are so delighted by this news,” said Marcy Mahr, KCP stewardship co-ordinator. “This Canada Nature Fund ‘Community-Nominated Priority Places’ grant allows us to fund multi-year projects that put our collective efforts on the ground to conserve important habitat and help grizzly bears, northern leopard frogs, western screech owls, American badgers, Lewis’s woodpeckers, and many other important species.”

In a region-wide project funded by B.C.’s Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program coined “Kootenay Connect,” 12 areas were identified by Dr. Michael Proctor with the Trans-Border Grizzly Project and Mahr as being important wildlife movement corridors and biodiversity hotspots.

“When large terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are connected they are more resilient to climate change because ecological processes important for ecosystem stability are able to function and species are able to move and shift their ranges to adapt to new habitat and climates,” said Mahr.

From the dozen landscapes identified by Proctor and Mahr, the Canada Nature Fund grant allows on-the-ground conservation activities in four of them that focus on valley bottoms.

“Valley bottom habitats are extremely important for grizzly bears and other large mammals to travel through in order to get from one wild area to another,” said Proctor. “The riparian and wetland habitats in these areas make them even more important for biodiversity and adapting to a changing climate.”

The Canada Nature Fund grant will focus on the Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor (north of New Denver), Creston Valley, Wycliffe Wildlife Corridor, and the Columbia Valley Wetlands. Many partner organizations will be managing the projects including the Slocan Lake Stewardship Society, Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Nature Trust of BC, Wildlife Conservation Society Canada, and Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners, to name a few.

“This project demonstrates the level of collaboration that we have in the KCP partnership,” said Mahr. “We are a network of organizations that do conservation work across multiple jurisdictions and know that we can achieve so much more by working together.”

Local funders are also extremely important partners in this grant because their investment in projects helped leverage matching funds. These funders include the Columbia Basin Trust, Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, and the provincial government.

For more information, visit www.kootenayconservation.ca/kootenay-connect/.

The Kootenay Conservation Program is a broad partnership of over 80 organizations from across the Kootenays that works to conserve landscapes in order to sustain naturally functioning ecosystems. Learn more at www.kootenayconservation.ca.

Also read: Creston Leo Club disbanding after four years


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Creston Fire Rescue responds to seven calls

Creston Fire Rescue responded to seven calls from Nov. 4 –7 it… Continue reading

We are grateful and we will never forget

Submitted by MP Rob Morrison Over the years, Canadians have bravely served… Continue reading

BCTF rejects mediator’s recommendations for settlement

Negotiations between B.C. teachers and the province will continue

PLACE NAMES: Creston: a town between two Kootenays

Is Creston in West Kootenay? East Kootenay? Central Kootenay?

Bingo night returns to Creston

Bingo Buddies, a non-profit society, has brought bingo night back to Creston.… Continue reading

‘We love you, Alex!’: Trebek gets choked up by ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant’s answer

The emotional moment came in Monday’s episode when Trebek read Dhruv Gaur’s final answer

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

B.C.’s high gasoline prices still a mystery, Premier John Horgan says

NDP plans legislation this month, seeks action from Justin Trudeau

Group walking on thin ice at B.C. lake sparks warning from RCMP

At least seven people were spotted on Joffre Lakes, although the ice is not thick enough to be walked on

VIDEO: Don Cherry says he was fired, not sorry for ‘Coach’s Corner’ poppy rant

Cherry denies he was singling out visible minorities with his comments

B.C. teacher suspended for incessantly messaging student, writing friendship letter

Female teacher pursued Grade 12 student for friendship even after being rebuked

Disney Plus streaming service hits Canada with tech hurdles

Service costs $8.99 per month, or $89.99 per year, in Canada

Trudeau’s opponents: One gives him an earful, another seeks common ground

PM meets with Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe

Rona’s ‘truly Canadian’ ads are inaccurate, watchdog says

Ads Standards points out U.S.-based Lowe’s acquired Rona in 2016

Most Read