Updated 2019 Columbia Region Action Plans

Photo: A. Glass

Updated 2019 Action Plans

In 2018, the FWCP’s Columbia Region initiated a process to update its ecosystem‑based Action Plans and species of interest Action Plan. Updated 2019 Columbia Region Action Plans are now available. Our 2019 Action Plans define the Priority Actions eligible for FWCP funding. Anyone applying for an FWCP grant must clearly demonstrate how the proposed project aligns with Priority Actions identified in our updated 2019 Action Plans.

Our Action Plans guide FWCP investments in fish and wildlife projects, and are referenced annually by our regional Boards to track progress toward implementation, set annual priorities, and guide decision-making in setting out and approving the Annual Operating Plan for each region. Actions in our Action Plans are eligible for FWCP funding and align with our vision, mission, and geographic scope.

Our 2012 Columbia Region Action Plans have been archived for reference only and no longer provide current guidance on our priorities or projects eligible for an FWCP grant. Do not refer to our archived 2012 Action Plans when developing your project idea and submitting a grant application.

Strengthening our Actions Plans

Our updated Action Plans:

    • are based on the best available science and information;
    • reflect the objectives and priorities of our program partners;
    • considered input received during all phases of the engagement process;
    • include actions to address emerging issues (i.e., climate change) and ecological priorities (i.e., connectivity); and
    • support and reflect the FWCP’s forward‑looking approach to fulfilling its mission and working toward its vision.

What’s new in our updated draft Action Plans?

Results from our Strategic Project Review, a literature review, and engagement discussions provided important insights and resulted in a number of important updates to our Action Plans including, but not limited to:

    • increased recognition and consideration of Indigenous values;
    • more on-the-ground restoration, land securement and species-based actions;
    • increased recognition and emphasis on riparian areas and the connectivity of habitats;
    • clarity on the FWCP’s role regarding invasive species and the management of natural resources;
    • actions to support species of interest are included in each ecosystem-based Action Plan;
    • the addition of cross-plan actions that apply to all ecosystem-based Action Plans;
    • a streamlined approach to supporting strategies and initiatives outlined in species-at-risk recovery strategies and plans;
    • organizing the Priority Action tables to reflect a progression from research and information gathering, action and then monitoring and evaluation.

Anyone interested in applying for an FWCP grant must clearly demonstrate how the proposed project aligns with Priority Actions identified in our updated 2019 Action Plans. Our 2012 Columbia Region Action Plans have been archived for reference only and no longer provide current guidance on our priorities or projects eligible for an FWCP grant. For more information on our grants and project eligibility please visit fwcp.ca/apply-for-funding/.

How did we update our Action Plans?

In 2018, the FWCP’s Columbia Region initiated a process to update its ecosystem‑based Action Plans and species of interest Action Plan.

LGL Limited environmental research associates (LGL Limited) was contracted in 2018 to complete a desktop strategic project review of all FWCP‑funded projects, regardless of delivery method, from 2013 − 2014 to 2016 − 2017 and lead all technical aspects of the Action Plan update process. The FWCP’s Communications Coordinator, Lynne Betts, supported LGL Limited with Action Plan update engagement activities and worked with the Columbia Region Manager, Crystal Klym, to coordinate First Nations engagement in this process. The Columbia Region Board was responsible for the final endorsement of the updated Action Plans.

A multi‑step process was followed to update the Action Plans based on a Board‑approved engagement strategy (Figure 1) that included early engagement with First Nations (Ktunaxa Nation Council, Secwepemc Nation and Okanagan Nation Alliance), Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, fish and wildlife technical committees, partner agencies and regional and provincial organizations.

A detailed literature review and the strategic project review were critical first steps towards updating the region’s Action Plans as they assisted in gauging FWCP Columbia’s progress towards achieving Action Plan priorities; identifying knowledge gaps within the review period; and identifying priorities and recommendations for consideration in Action Plan updates.

Results from the above reviews, along with early engagement discussions, provided important insights about ecological priorities and emerging issues and helped form initial Action Plan ideas and draft action tables, which were reviewed and endorsed by the Board and posted to fwcp.ca in March 2019. The draft action tables were the basis of a broad community engagement from March 25 to May 3, 2019.

The broad engagement included eight technical workshops, eight evening information sessions and two online information sessions in April 2019. An online feedback form was available at fwcp.ca until May 3, 2019, when public and stakeholder input closed.

Engagement sessions included an overview of the FWCP’s vision, mission and geographic scope, along with a review of emerging issues and ecological priorities. Discussion included an introduction to the proposed updates to each ecosystem‑based Action Plan (e.g. draft changes or amendments proposed). Participants received a copy of the 51‑page draft action tables for review and received guidance on how and when to provide feedback on the proposed draft actions.

The engagement sessions were advertised in community‑level paid ads in print media; online google ads were geo‑targeted to the host community and surrounding areas; news release was sent to community print media; FWCP promoted the engagement on LinkedIn via FWCP‑generated and sponsored posts; two editions of WildBytes, the FWCP’s e‑letter promoted the sessions (February and March 2019); the govTogetherBC team shared information with all residents about the engagement through its public website and social media channels; public information about the engagement, including background documents, was posted on fwcp.ca as of November 2019; and the engagement process was publicized to the Columbia River Treaty local government’s committee in March 2019 and at a local government forum hosted by Kootenay Conservation Program in April 2019.

In addition to the broader engagement processes, the FWCP implemented a targeted First Nations engagement strategy based on the preferences and guidance of participating Nations, Bands and Tribes. Participating Nations, Bands and Tribes received draft action tables for review and the deadline for First Nation’s input was extended to June 2019 to provide additional opportunities for input. As a result of this engagement process, discussions with First Nations are ongoing as the FWCP continues to evolve and strengthen its partnership with First Nations.

All input was reviewed and considered, as appropriate, in draft updated Action Plans that have now been made available for final public review and comment from July 22 to August 6, 2019. Following Board review and approval, final updated 2019 Columbia Region Action Plans will be finalized and posted by August 21, 2019.

The updated 2019 Columbia Region Action Plans will provide guidance for approximately five years. The next Action Plan update is tentatively scheduled for 2025. The Action Plans are considered to be “living documents” and will be updated at the discretion of the Columbia Region Board.


 

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