A local project to reduce the risk of M.ovi, a disease that domestic sheep can carry and infect local bighorn sheep, was funded by the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund. Nicole Trigg Photo

Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP), on behalf of the Regional District of East Kootenay, is now accepting 2023 project proposals for the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund.

“The Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund supports local projects that help conserve the valley’s fish and wildlife habitat, water quality and other conservation values,” says Juliet Craig, KCP Program Director. “For $20 per parcel per year, landowners are helping conserve and restore the Columbia Valley’s world-renowned natural areas.”

The Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund (CVLCF) is a tax-based dedicated fund that each year provides financial support to local projects ranging from ecosystem restoration and invasive species control, wildlife conservation, water quality monitoring, and more. From 2010 to 2021, the CVLCF disbursed 101 grants totalling $2.55 million. This local funding has helped raise nearly nine times that amount in additional grants and in-kind contributions — a substantial return on initial investment.

In 2022, nine projects successfully received CVLCF funding: lake monitoring and education on Columbia Lake and Lake Windermere by the Columbia Lake Stewardship Society and the Lake Windermere Ambassadors; a large-scale habitat enhancement project for at-risk swallows by Wildsight Golden; natural and human-made habitat enhancements for bats by the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada; stewardship of important habitat on agricultural lands through the Farmland Advantage program via the Windermere District Farmers’ Institute; wetland restoration for Westslope Cutthroat Trout at the Thunder Hill Ranch Conservation Property by the Nature Conservancy of Canada; mitigating the risk of disease affecting bighorn sheep populations by the Wildsheep Society of BC; preserving biodiversity in the internationally recognized Columbia Wetlands by the Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners; and the widespread treatment of the invasive plant Leafy Spurge by the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council.

KCP, which works in partnership with the Regional District of East Kootenay to administer the CVLCF, is encouraging non-profit organizations and Indigenous nations operating in the Columbia Valley to submit funding proposals for 2023 projects. Community groups and individuals can also apply by partnering with an eligible organization. If you have a new project idea, it is highly recommended that you contact the KCP Program Director prior to submitting an application to discuss your project idea.

The deadline for applications is 4:30 p.m. MT on October 28, 2021. In November, a Technical Review Committee will review project proposals and make recommendations to the RDEK Directors for final funding approval.

For more information and how to apply, please visit https://kootenayconservation.ca/columbia-valley-local-conservation-fund/. For phone or email inquiries, please contact KCP Program Director Juliet Craig at 250-352-2260 or juliet@kootenayconservation.ca.


Juliet Craig
Program Director
Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP)