Native bees and other pollinators are being helped by the Kootenay Lake Local Conservation Fund, which is financially supporting the Wildflowers for Pollinators project. Photo by Valerie Huff/Kootenay Native Plant Society

Eight important conservation projects were recently approved by the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) to receive funding from the Kootenay Lake Local Conservation Fund (KLLCF) in 2021. A local government service with dedicated funds for conservation, the KLLCF distributes funding to successful projects in Areas A, D and E that are approved by the service areas’ RDCK Directors each year.

“Organizations in the Kootenay Lake area are doing important conservation work,” said Juliet Craig, Program Manager for the  Kootenay Conservation Program, which works in partnership with the RDCK to administer the fund. “These projects are supporting a variety of wildlife species, pollinators, habitat restoration, water monitoring and land acquisition, which contribute to conserving our quality of life.”

Four projects helping wildlife species will once again be supported through the KLLCF: habitat restoration for beavers along the Duncan and Lardeau rivers; cost-sharing on electric fencing to prevent grizzly bear conflicts; protecting local bat populations from White-Nose Syndrome; and enhancing Western Toads survivability along Highway 31A.

The KLLCF is also continuing to contribute to the Kootenay Native Plant Society’s work with landowners to increase native wildflower populations for native bees and other pollinators; and support critical water monitoring through the North Kootenay Lake Water Monitoring Project (now known as Kootenay Watershed Science), which is helping inform water management in the region in the face of climate change.

Two new projects will also receive funding: the securement of ecologically important land around Cottonwood Lake to protect it from clearcut logging, and a follow up assessment and monitoring of the 2014 Harrop Wetland Restoration Project at Sunshine Bay Regional Park to identify areas for additional wetland function enhancement to address declining critical habitat for western toad, blue heron, painted turtle, and other at‐risk species that depend on these wetlands along the West Arm of Kootenay Lake.

The KLLCF was established by the RDCK in 2014 by referendum. Property owners in RDCK Electoral Areas A, D and E pay an annual tax of $15 per parcel towards this dedicated fund, which provides financial support to local projects that help conserve and restore the area’s prized natural surroundings.

To find out if your idea for a conservation project qualifies, or if you have any questions about the fund, contact KCP Program Manager Juliet Craig at 250-352-2260 or email

The application intake for 2022 projects will open in August 2021 and all applications must be received on or by October 30, 2021. For more information on the KLLCF, please visit