Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund

In partnership with KCP, the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) provides funding for projects in the Columbia Valley region that benefit conservation through the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund (CVLCF).

Specifically, the CVLCF services the area from Spillimacheen to Canal Flats

The purpose of the CVLCF is to provide local financial support for important projects that will contribute to the conservation of our valuable natural areas; one step towards restoring and preserving a healthy environment. The intent is to provide funding for conservation projects that are not the existing responsibility of the federal, provincial or local governments.

History

The Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund was the first of its kind established in Canada.

In 2005, Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP, then East Kootenay Conservation Program) — a partnership of conservation organizations, resource industries, educational institutions, First Nations, and government agencies — saw the opportunity to establish conservation funds in Canada similar to funds being established throughout the United States.

At that time, it was unclear whether these types of funds could be established in Canada and, if so, what the available political processes were. KCP conducted polling at two different times during the establishment process, and held several focus groups. This research helped select the fund service area, not only for the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund, but also for the Kootenay Lake Local Conservation Fund.

The original goal was to have all municipalities and electoral areas in the RDEK participate in the service; however, the conservation fund idea only received support from the Upper Columbia Valley portion of the RDEK.

The residents who were clear that they wanted the opportunity to vote on the initiative wanted it to happen in the most cost-effective way possible. This translated to an assent vote (referendum) being conducted in conjunction with a general election in 2008. Property owners in the service area pay a parcel tax of 5¢ per $1,000 of taxable assessed value, up to a maximum of $230,000 annually, which works out to about $20 per parcel.

From 2010 to 2017, the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund approved 69 grants totalling $1.7 million, including ecosystem restoration, invasive species control, lake management, water quality monitoring, and a pilot ecological services project. This local investment has leveraged six times that amount in additional grants.

The Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund was a 2013 Public Sector Finalist in the Real Estate Foundation of BC Land Awards (see above video) and the RDEK Columbia Valley Directors Directors won the Species and Ecosystems at Risk Local Government Working Group Peer-Nominated Award for 2017 for their role in the establishment and continuation of the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund.

Project Proposals

CVLCF funding is available for conservation projects that result in the reduction to a known threat to biodiversity. Projects that are technically sound and effective, and provide value for money through partnerships with other funders will have priority. Proponents must be a registered not-for-profit organization, First Nations band, or local government. Unqualified groups or organizations may partner with a qualified organization. Multi-year projects are acceptable to a maximum three years.  A Technical Review Committee will review project proposals and make recommendations to the RDEK for final funding approval.

Annual Timeline

  • August 31 – Call for Proposals Opens
  • October 30 – Applications Due
  • November – Technical Review Completed
  • January – RDEK Review Completed
  • February – RDEK Board of Director’s Final Approval
  • March – Applicants Notified
  • April – Funding Agreement Documents Finalized

Note: land acquisition or covenant proposals may be submitted at any time during the year provided there is sufficient time for the EKCP Technical Review Committee and the RDEK to review proposals.

Any money not allocated from the Local Conservation Fund in any given year will be added on to, and available as part of, the following year’s funding allocation.

Application Requirements

Proposals must meet the Mandatory Requirements before they will be considered. These are:

1. Projects must be delivered in the Fund Service Area where the Local Conservation Property Parcel Tax is collected which is from Canal Flats to Spillimacheen in the East Kootenay.

2. Projects must address at least one IUCN threat to biodiversity as specified in the Terms of Reference.

3. Proponents must be non-profit, have registered society status or must partner with an organization that has registered society status.

4. Proponents must be prepared to make a 10 minute presentation on the outcomes of their work on an annual basis, in addition to submitting a written report.

5. Only eligible activities will be considered for funding. See Appendix 1, Ineligible Activities, of the Terms of Reference for a list of the types of projects that will not be considered for funding.

All applicants must review the Terms of Reference before applying to the fund. The framework for the Technical Review of applications is based on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classification of direct threats.

Grant Application Forms

The call for 2021 proposals closed on October 30, 2020. Please check back in September 2021 for application forms for 2022 projects.

Grant Reporting Forms

Final reports must be submitted to info@kootenayconservation.ca by 4 p.m. MT on January 31, 2021.

Form Help

Please follow these instructions for filling out the .pdf forms:

1. Install the most recent version of Adobe Reader
2. Save the form to your local drive on your computer
3. Open the Adobe Acrobat Pro/Reader application
4. On the Acrobat Reader menu, go to File->Open. Open the file from where you saved it.
5. Complete the form and save the changes before emailing or printing.

More Info

Juliet Craig

KCP Program Manager
manager@kootenayconservation.ca

It is highly recommended that applicants contact the KCP Program Manager prior to submitting an application to discuss their project idea.