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Columbia Region Fish and Wildlife Projects Announced

Fish and Wildlife Projects Announced
Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program Approves Funding for 2015 Projects

COLUMBIA REGION – From bull trout to grizzly bears, sturgeon to snakes, and caribou to bats, there is a long list of local species that will benefit from projects announced today by the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP). Members of the FWCP’s Columbia Region Board approved approximately $5.6 million in funding 53 hands-on and research-based projects that get underway now.

“This year we continue to fund large projects, such as the successful nutrient restoration programs in Kootenay Lake and Arrow Lakes Reservoir, and much smaller community-based ones such as riparian restoration monitoring in the wetlands near Revelstoke,” said FWCP-Columbia Board public representative Grant Trower. “Regardless of the project size, they all align with our strategic Action Plans.”
The FWCP is a partnership between public stakeholders, First Nations, BC Hydro, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Province of B.C. to conserve and enhance fish and wildlife impacted by BC Hydro dams.

It delivers conservation and enhancement projects in three ways: calls for project applications each year; through a long- term agreement, currently with the Province of B.C., to deliver some of the core FWCP operational projects; and finally through issuing calls for proposals (directed projects) to deliver projects viewed as local priorities by the FWCP-Columbia Board.

“This has allowed us to increase grants, project diversity, and the number of project partners,” said FWCP-Columbia Program Manager, Crystal Klym. “Working more closely with First Nations, government agencies, consultants, stewardship groups and others has enabled us to broaden the range of hands-on and science-based fish and wildlife projects implemented.”
Such projects include installing a culvert south of Nakusp to open up fish spawning and rearing habitat, revitalizing a kokanee spawning channel in Revelstoke, ecosystem enhancement to improve forage for ungulates in both the East and West Kootenay, wetland restoration work, and numerous activities to support species-at-risk, such as white sturgeon, northern leopard frogs and mountain caribou.

FWCP spending of $5.6 million in the Columbia Region in 2015-2016 includes $513,315 spread across 11 projects in the Upper Kootenay River watershed, thanks to support from Columbia Basin Trust. The FWCP receives the bulk of its funding from BC Hydro and also operates in the Coastal and Peace regions.

“It’s our responsibility to ensure that fish and wildlife are conserved and enhanced for future generations,” said Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines. “This year alone, the FWCP will be helping to deliver approximately 124 projects across the province, at a value of $8.9 million, to support fish, wildlife, and their habitats in areas with hydroelectric operations. The projects are selected by local regional boards that have representation from the public, First Nations, DFO, the Province of B.C. and BC Hydro.”

For more information contact
Angus Glass, FWCP Communications Coordinator

Columbia Region News