$2.6-Million Approved in Fish & Wildlife Projects in East Kootenay

(Credit: Kootenay Business)

BC Hydro is putting significant funding into 19 projects throughout the region through the annual Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program.

The Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP) conserves and enhances fish and wildlife in watersheds impacted by BC Hydro dams.

The FWCP is a partnership between BC Hydro, the Province of B.C., Fisheries and Oceans Canada, First Nations and Public Stakeholders.

In 2019-2020, their three regional boards – Coastal, Columbia, and Peace – approved funding for 97 fish and wildlife projects valued at approximately $9.2 million for the fiscal year.

Each project went through a three-stage review and evaluation process prior to a final decision by BC Hydro's local boards and addresses one or more conservation priorities in their action plans.

In the Columbia Region, the Board approved approximately $5.8 million for 38 fish and wildlife projects to be implemented April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020.

First Nations, stewardship groups, consultants, and agencies are leading the 10 fish and 28 wildlife projects that will help conserve and enhance fish and wildlife impacted by BC Hydro dams.

Grant recipients in the East Kootenay, or impact the entire Columbia Basin, are as follows:

  • East Kootenay:
    • Columbia Outdoor School:
      • Restore and enhance fish habitats in Cranbrook's Joseph Creek
      • $39,240
    • Aq'am First Nation:
      • Restoring the Ponderosa Pine ecosystem, benefitting several wildlife species
      • $78,600
    • Akisqnuk First Nation:
      • Fire-maintained ecosystem restoration on the First Nation
      • $95,500
    • Keefer Ecological Services Ltd.:
      • Controlling invasive species, support the recovery of rare and threatened species, improve habitat connectivity at Tobacco Plains Indian Reserve
      • $59,872
    • Nature Conservancy of Canada:
      • Increase the resiliency of forests of the Marion Creek Benchlands conservation property
      • $22,000
    • Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development:
      • Improving bighorn sheep habitats near the Wigwam Flats and Bull River
      • $22,000
    • Sparwood Fish and Wildlife Association:
      • Studying elk migration in the Upper Kootenay River Watershed
      • $27,600
    • Rocky Mountain Trench Natural Resources Society:
      • Restoring open forest and grasslands in the Rocky Mountain Trench
      • $60,500
    • LGL Limited Environmental Research Associates Ltd.:
      • Protection wetland habitat near Golden
      • $4,998
    • East Kootenay Invasive Species Council:
      • Mitigating the impacts of invasive species in the Upper Kootenay River Watershed
      • $30,000
    • Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development:
      • Enhancing habitats for upland and dryland species in the East Kootenay
      • $345,949
  • Basin-Wide:
    • Birchdale Ecological:
      • Conserving 12 wildlife corridors from the effects of climate change
      • $39,900
    • B.C. Wildlife Federation:
      • Restoring wetland habitats near Kimberley, Creston, Rossland
      • $291,200
    • Wildlife Conservation Society of Canada:
      • Collecting baseline bad data before White Nose Syndrome arrives in B.C.
      • $54,593
    • Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development:
      • Stewardship of conservation lands in the Columbia Region
      • $391,824
    • Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development:
      • Enhancing habitats for non-game species 
      • $181,674
    • Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development:
      • Supporting caribou recovery efforts
      • $105,199
    • Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development:
      • Restoring and enhancing wetlands
      • $167,866
    • Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development:
      • Land securement
      • $646,917

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