The Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor (BBC) includes the 15-km-long valley along Bonanza Creek between Slocan and Summit lakes. It encompasses an area of 12,865 hectares (ha) that link Slocan and Summit lakes within the upper Slocan Lake watershed.

The BBC is a small yet ecologically essential wildlife corridor connecting the Valhalla Range with the Central Selkirk Mountains, thereby linking Valhalla and Goat Range Provincial Parks.

Groups engaged in conserving and managing biodiversity and habitat connectivity in the Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor include: Slocan Lake Stewardship Society, Slocan Wetlands Assessment & Monitoring Project (SWAMP), Summit Lake Western Toad Project, Valhalla Foundation for Ecology, Valhalla Wilderness Society, and Okanagan Nation Alliance. For Kootenay Connect, the lead organization in this corridor is the Slocan Lake Stewardship Society.

Year 2 Highlights

The highlights from Kootenay Connect project work completed in the BBC for Year 2 (2020-21) are listed below.

Video: Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor Projects

An overview of Year 2 of the Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor Ecosystems Enhancement Projects.

Report: Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor Yr 2 Annual Report

The Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor (BBC) projects can best be described as a series of wetland restorations while expanding our biodiversity knowledge of sensitive ecosystems and habitats throughout the corridor. After the first year of initial field work was completed, the scenario was set for detailed assessments and field surveys to occur in the Summer of 2020. These studies and assessments were conducted at both the restoration site level and at the corridor level (re: SARS, Beaver Habitat and Old Growth). The following list of field surveys and assessments were completed in Year 2:

  • Archeological and Cultural Assessment (Oct 2020)
  • Bonanza Restorations Fish & Invertebrate Baseline (Okanagan Nation Alliance, Oct 2020)
  • SAR/Habitat Data Collection (Aug 2020)
  • Beaver Habitat Assessment (Feb 2021)

Report: Preliminary Summary of Biodiversity and Species-at-Risk Results

The Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor (BBC) is known as a biodiversity hot spot, with a diverse and ever-increasing list of species confirmed in the area. The Biodiversity and Species-at-Risk Project is a three-year sub-project of the Kootenay Connect – Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor Ecosystems Enhancement Projects. This report is the summary of the first two years of the project.

Report: Monitoring Plan – Bonanza Wetlands Enhancement Project

This document provides a descriptive overview of the short and long-term monitoring programs for the Bonanza Wetlands Enhancement Project (BoWEP). The BoWEP project is co-funded by the Columbia Basin Trust and Environment and Climate Change Canada. The project is located near Hills, BC and includes restoration and enhancement work in three wetland complexes referred to as Hunter Siding, Upper Bonanza, and Summit Lake Marsh. As a working framework, the content of this report will be continually updated as site restorations are completed and monitoring results are compiled.

Report: Bonanza Creek Fish and Invertebrate Baseline Monitoring

Bonanza Creek is a fourth order stream in the Slocan Watershed within the Columbia River Basin of British Columbia, flowing between Summit Lake near Nakusp to Slocan Lake near Hills. The Nakusp/Slocan Rail Trail parallels Bonanza Creek on its eastern bank. Its construction resulted in the disconnection of wetland habitat from Bonanza Creeks mainstem. The Slocan Lake Stewardship Society plans to remove sections of the rail trail and add instream woody debris in specific areas to restore Bonanza Creek’s connection to adjacent wetland habitat and increase habitat value. This report provides baseline data for the planned restoration work to help evaluate project success.

Report: Beaver Habitat Assessment Project

The Beaver Habitat Assessment Project is a three-year sub-project of Kootenay Connect in the Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor. The objective of the Beaver Mapping and Assessment Project is to inventory and map all wetlands and structures, identifying lodges and estimating occupied and unoccupied beaver habitats in the Bonanza Corridor to develop a plan for beaver restoration where appropriate. The project will also lead to an incorporation of current and historic beaver use in the wetland enhancement projects.   

Map: Beaver Habitat Suitability

This map provides on overview of suitable beaver habitat in the BBC.

Map: BBC Old Growth Mapping

This map provides on overview of Old Growth forest remaining in the BBC.

Year 1 Highlights

The highlights from Kootenay Connect project work completed in the BBC for Year 1 (2019-20) are listed below.

Video: Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor

An overview of Year 1 of the Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor Ecosystems Enhancement Projects.

Report: Background on Beavers to Support Planning for the Bonanza Wetland Restoration Project

This paper provides background research required to develop a beaver inventory and mapping program to support the wetland restoration project, and assess options to mitigate beaver obstructions. Information in this report includes an introduction to beavers, beaver habitat requirements, methodologies for determining beaver populations, information on setting up wildlife cameras to gain a deeper understanding of the local beaver populations, and how to mitigate beaver obstructions.

Map: Restoration Sites Year 1 Results

Wetland restoration work is occurring at three wetland sites (Summit Lake, Upper Bonanza Creek, and Hunter Siding) led by the Slocan Lake Stewardship Society.

Map: Cumulative Impacts

This map provides on overview of available data for cumulative impacts in the Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor including land ownership, management jurisdictions, and human activity to inform protection and management of wildlife movement corridors and habitat connectivity. Grizzly bear core (tan) and linkage (yellow) habitats as identified by the Trans-border Grizzly Bear Project have been overlaid with cumulative impacts relative to preliminary upland wildlife corridors.