Ryan Durand

Ryan Durand is an ecologist living in the south Slocan Valley who does consulting work all over the province and beyond, including locally for the Slocan Lake Stewardship Society (SLSS). He is thrilled that the Kootenay Connect Priority Places initiative was expanded last year, and his backyard of the Slocan Valley was chosen as one of three new focal areas. The valley happens to have a diversity of habitats for many species that are federally listed as SARA (Species at Risk Act) and COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) species.

Tracy Flynn

Tracy Flynn was recently elected President of Wildsight Invermere, after holding the role of Vice President for one year, as well as being a Regional Board Director for four years. She is the 2024 winner of the Ellen Zimmerman Award, reflecting her dedication and ongoing efforts in conservation in the East Kootenay.

Collective impact: Kootenay collaboration takes conservation to the next level

On a bright October day, three dozen people crest a knoll in the Wycliffe Conservation Complex, a corridor of conservation lands just north of Cranbrook, BC. To the barn swallows overhead, the people—a meandering line of puffy jackets in earthy hues—look as much a part of the landscape as the creeks and groves that surround them. But high-quality binoculars, waterproof notebooks and spontaneous swooning over a rare grassland plant are not all this group has in common. They are connected by something much bigger: a deep-rooted partnership with over 20 years of experience bringing people together to collaborate on shared conservation priorities—Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP).

Kate Mizenka

Kate is the Director of Farm, Orchard & Apiary at Elk Root Conservation Farm Society (ERC). She admits that her vision of working to alleviate food insecurity while inspiring ecological stewardship is a lofty goal, but it’s this grand vision that has kept her going through the inevitable challenges and hard work of managing a non-profit organization. In the seven years since ERC was conceived, there have already been significant restoration efforts, including transforming a giant field of invasive thistle into gorgeous pollinator gardens.

Matt Christensen

Matt Christensen’s role as a Head of Conservation for Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) involves the coordination of both securement and stewardship within BC. The mandate of Ducks Unlimited Canada is to conserve, restore and manage wetlands and associated habitats for the benefit of North America’s waterfowl. In doing so, these wetland habitats also benefit other wildlife, as well as people.

Richard Johnson

The Slocan Valley is fortunate to have Richard Johnson amongst its residents. Richard is a professional engineer involved with many projects and local conservation organizations including the Arrow Lakes Environmental Stewardship Society, Slocan Wetlands Assessment and Mapping Project (SWAMP), of which he was a cofounder, and Living Lakes Canada, among others.

Clayton Lamb

Based in Jaffray in the East Kootenay, Clayton Lamb does wildlife research all over the province. For more than a decade, he has been involved with a study of grizzly bear survival, reproduction, coexistence and conflict in the Elk Valley.

Katie Reid

Katie Reid has been with the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council (EKISC) since 2013 when she started as the Field Operations Manager before transitioning to her current role as the Program Director. Her journey into the realm of invasive species management has been marked by her commitment to environmental stewardship and a passion for conserving the unique ecosystems of the East Kootenay region.

Greg Anderson

Greg Anderson had a 35-year career in all aspects of forest management including ecosystem restoration, and continues to bring this experience to the Kootenays, including as a Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund Technical Review Committee member.

Wildlife-Friendly Fencing Helps Humans Coexist with Nature

How can fences be designed and built to be friendlier to wildlife? The concept of ‘wildlife-friendly’ fencing means considering the needs of wildlife and includes the removal of fencing that is no longer serving a purpose, thoughtful planning of where new fences are located, as well as specifications for how those fences are designed and constructed.

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