The highlights from the Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor for Years 1 – 4 (2019-2023) are listed below.

Year 1 Highlights

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

Report: Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor Yr 1 Restoration Management Plan

Wetlands in the Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor (BBC), along Bonanza Creek between Slocan and Summit lakes, are sensitive ecosystems with high biodiversity values. The target landscape for ecosystem enhancement is a portion of the 15-km-long BBC, comprising 12,865 hectares (ha) that link Slocan and Summit lakes within the upper Slocan Lake watershed. The project focuses on three wetland complexes within the BBC that have been highly impacted by the old CPR rail line constructed over 100 years ago. 

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.

Year 2 Highlights

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

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).

Year 3 Highlights

An overview of Year 3 of the Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor Ecosystems Enhancement Projects.

This annual progress report covers the expansion of our existing biodiversity knowledge to further develop and identify conservation values in the BBC, along with a series of wetland restorations in the Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor (BBC). The expanded biodiversity and landscape level assessment included SARS, Beaver Habitat and Old Growth field studies, identifying and mapping the key ecological processes and values in the corridor in Year 3. Based upon this elevated knowledge base and with the completion of the three wetland restorations, a draft BBC Conservation Management framework and plan has been developed to guide future requirements for ongoing conservation management in the BBC.

Year 4 Highlights

An overview of Year 4 of the Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor Ecosystems Enhancement Projects.

This closing year wraps a series of Bonanza biodiversity, habitat and restoration projects supported through the Kootenay Connect Priority Places since 2019. The scope of this project focusses on the next steps for conservation management and the delivery of post implementation restoration site monitoring programs in the Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor (BBC). All three restoration sites are now fully established as long-term reference sites for continued wetland monitoring in the BBC. This baseline is now established for monitoring change through time. BBC site monitoring is an established annual process with the Slocan Lake Stewardship Society. The BBC Conservation Plan was crafted from the range of data, information and assessments accumulated over the years, guided by the BBC Conservation Framework developed in Year 3. It is the accumulation of knowledge for the BBC from a Stewardship perspective and identifies many compelling reasons to seek legislated conservancy status for the entire corridor. The Plan includes an overview of the regional importance of the BBC as a connectivity corridor and a climate refugia.

The Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor (BBC) Conservation Plan is intended to be a strategic-level document, providing a roadmap for local and Indigenous communities, provincial authorities, and vested stakeholders to move forward with a progressive and adaptive approach for protecting the BBC. The overall strategy presents a knowledge-centric view for holding ecological and cultural values in face of rapid climate change, natural disturbances and other human impacts. The objective of this report is solely to provide context and focus for moving forward to move to the next level of strategic collaboration for the BBC. We recognize that this BBC Conservation Plan will lead to the development of detailed Implementation Plans to further articulate specific activities, responsibilities and timelines. The Slocan Lake Stewardship Society will continue maturing our knowledge and network of working partners in the execution of this plan through ongoing collaboration with First Nations, regulatory agencies (federal and provincial), commercial, recreational, local communities and environmental entities.