In September, 2023, the Regional District of Central Kootenay approved Electoral Area F to join the Local Conservation Fund, after the Alternate Approval Process indicated public support for joining the fund to support water, wildlife, and habitat.

What is a Local Conservation Fund?

A Local Conservation Fund is a local government service that creates dedicated funding to support local high-priority conservation projects.

How much does it cost?

Landowners pay $15 per parcel per year towards local conservation projects.

Has this been done before?

Since 2014, a Local Conservation Fund has already been in effect in Electoral Areas A, D and E as an RDCK Service. This Local Conservation Fund on Kootenay Lake has provided grants totalling over ½ million dollars, and raised an additional 2.45 million dollars in financial and in-kind support from other funders.

In October 2022, residents of RDCK Electoral Area H voted by referendum to join the fund, expanding the service to the Slocan Valley.

Who decides which projects are funded?

Local organizations and Indigenous communities can apply for funding for conservation projects that benefit wildlife, habitat and water. These proposals are reviewed by an independent, volunteer panel of technical experts before being decided on by local Elected Officials.

What types of projects are funded?

Examples of the types of projects funded include:

  • Incentives for local farmers to steward their land for habitat & food production
  • Wetland and creek restoration
  • Improvement of fish and wildlife habitat
  • Water monitoring to understand impacts of climate change on water supply
  • Creation of native plant pollinator meadows
  • Reduced human-wildlife conflict projects like cost-share electric fencing
  • Monitoring for early detection of aquatic invasive species
  • Land acquisition of ecologically significant properties

Are there economic benefits to this service?

The Local Conservation Fund serves as seed funding for projects. Each $15 paid per parcel turns into $75 with matching and in-kind support.

  • Funds are spent locally, which creates added economic benefit through creating local jobs, the purchase of materials and supplies, and work for contractors and businesses.
  • From 2016 to 2022, the RDCK Local Conservation Fund distributed $535,000 which raised an additional $2.45 million towards the projects.
  • From 2008 to 2022, the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund distributed almost $2.7 million which raised an additional $23 million towards the projects.
  • Projects that receive Local Conservation Funds have successfully attracted a wide range of other funding partners based on this initial investment including regional funders, federal and provincial governments, utility companies, businesses, foundations, and non-profit societies.

Why was the AAP being used instead of a referendum?

  • The AAP is a much more cost-effective option for determining public assent than a referendum, particularly when there isn’t an associated local government election.
  • An AAP was used successfully to establish a Local Conservation Fund service in the Okanagan.
  • Market research polling conducted by KCP in 2018 determined that the majority of residents in the Kootenay Lake and Slocan Valley regions were in favour of the Local Conservation Fund service (67%).
  • Results for the 2022 Slocan Valley referendum was 66% in favour, indicating that the polling results are accurate and a referendum in Area F would pass.

Information for Landowners

Landowners who own two or more adjacent parcels of land can apply for a parcel combination, whereby they would only pay one parcel tax if their application meets the criteria. The application must be sent to the RDCK office for review in mid-February of each year. Landowners need to look for the parcel tax assessment notices on the RDCK website; parcel tax roll information can also be viewed at the RDCK office in Nelson. For more information, please contact RDCK Research Analyst Tom Dool at 250.352.8173 or

Madeleine Guenette Photo

RDCK Local Conservation Fund Service Area Map

Green: Current Service Areas A, D, E & H • Blue: Proposed Service Area F

Click map to enlarge view

What is an
Alternative Approval Process (AAP)?

  • In order to be successful, an AAP requires that less than 10% of qualified electors in Area F register formal opposition to the proposed bylaw once it has been advertised. The AAP process was open until 4:30 pm PT on September 5, 2023, and has now closed.
  • The RDCK has now approved Area F to join the Local Conservation Fund, after the Alternate Approval Process indicated public support for joining the fund to support water, wildlife, and habitat.

A Local Conservation Fund is a powerful opportunity to turn a modest contribution towards large achievements that will benefit us now and for generations to come.

More Information

For more information about the RDCK Area F AAP visit the RDCK Area F AAP Website or contact:
Tom Dool, RDCK Research Analyst • 250-352-8173

For more information about Local Conservation Funds, contact:
Juliet Craig, KCP Program Director • 1-844-775-2722

A Local Fund for Local Priorities

The Local Conservation Fund service was approved for Electoral Area F which includes the north shore of Kootenay Lake, Taghum, Beasley and Bonnington. Landowners in Area F will pay $15 per parcel, per year, into a dedicated conservation fund that would benefit wildlife, habitat, and water.

Please watch this 8-minute video to learn more about Local Conservation Funds in your area.

Frequently Asked Questions

Conservation Fund Guide

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