Conservation Resources

The following is a selection of conservation and stewardship resources available for our region listed in alphabetical order.

These resources are highlighted because they have been featured in the KCP eNews. This is not intended to be a comprehensive library of all conservation resources in the Kootenays. Please email us if you have any additional resources that you think should be on this list.

See below for resources organized by the following categories. For a list of KCP publications, visit KCP Resources.

  • Stewardship
  • Landscape & Habitat Conservation
  • Species at Risk
  • Wildlife Monitoring
  • Indigenous Knowledge
  • Climate Change
  • Water
  • Invasive Species
  • Restoration
  • Databases, Directories & Toolkits
  • Technical
  • Miscellaneous


A Field Manual to the Conservation, Restoration and Stewardship of Low Elevation Brushland (Gb), Grassland (Gg) and Dry Forest Ecosystems in the West Kootenay Region

Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) and the Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP) Section of the Ministry of Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development

This field manual (Version 3.0) was developed to provide clear and concise best management practices for conserving and protecting the sensitive ecosystems of low elevation brushland (Gb), grassland (Gg) and dry forest ecosystems. These ecosystems are ecologically important, uncommon on the landscape, very sensitive to human disturbance and highly threatened due to their location in valley bottoms where human activity is concentrated. The sensitive ecosystems also have low resiliency to disturbance.

The manual summarizes best management practices for avoiding/minimizing disturbance on sensitive sites, rehabilitating, revegetating and restoring disturbed/impacted areas, and monitoring to evaluate the effectiveness and success of treatments. The area covered by this manual is the south and central parts of the West Kootenay Region that includes the Boundary area.

Prepared by Evan McKenzie Ecological Research and Thomas Hill Environmental, Nelson, BC (February 28, 2023).

Background Information Document for the Conservation, Restoration and Stewardship of Low Elevation Brushland (Gb), Grassland (Gg) and Dry Forest Ecosystems in the West Kootenay Region

Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) and the Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP) Section of the Ministry of Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development

This background document describes the project objective, goals and project area and provides information related to guiding work activities in low elevation Gb, Gg and dry forest ecosystems. It was developed to supplement and support the field manual summarizing the best management practices. The background document provides additional information on the following topics:

  • Target ecosystems in the West Kootenay Region
  •  Ecological and cultural importance of target ecosystems
  • Threats and potential negative impacts to ecosystems
  • Conservation and protection strategies and practices
  • Site and Ecosystem Restoration

Prepared by Evan McKenzie Ecological Research and Thomas Hill Environmental, Nelson, BC (February 28, 2023).

A Field Guide to Ecosystem Classification and Identification: Boundary–Eastern Okanagan–Shuswap–
Southern Arrow

Province of British Columbia

This field guide presents site classification and identification information for ecosystems following the Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification (BEC) system. It is part of a four-volume series for southeast British Columbia that updates the biogeoclimatic and site classification previously published for the former Nelson Forest Region (Braumandl and Curran 1992; Braumandl and Dykstra 2005) and for parts of the former Kamloops Forest Region (Lloyd et al. 1990).

A Field Guide to Ecosystem Classification and Identification: Southern Thompson-Okanagan (Interim draft)

Province of British Columbia

This field guide presents site classification and identification information for ecosystems of the southern Thompson–Okanagan following the Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification (BEC) system. It is part of a three-volume series for the Thompson–Okanagan Region that updates much of the biogeoclimatic and site classification previously published for the former Kamloops Forest Region (Lloyd et al. 1990)

A Resource for Kootenay Lake Living

Regional District of Central Kootenay 

Best practices to keep your lakeshore natural can protect your property from flooding since deep-rooted trees and roots absorb water and wave energy, reducing shoreline erosion. Native plants, trees, rocks and soil help filter rain and storm water runoff by trapping sediment and contaminants which protect water quality. Since all wildlife need a healthy and safe place to survive and thrive, keeping the lake shore natural preserves fish and wildlife habitat. Download “A Resource for Kootenay Lake Living” for more information.

Green Shores for Homes Guide

Stewardship Centre for BC

Green Shores for Homes (GSH) is a program that focuses on positive steps to reduce the impact of residential development on shoreline ecosystems, and helps waterfront homeowners restore natural shorelines and enjoy the many benefits they bring.

Off-Road Vehicle Guide to B.C.’s Grasslands

Grasslands Conservation Council of BC

The recreational and commercial use of off-road vehicles (ORV) continues to grow in British Columbia and there is an ongoing need to promote their safe, responsible use. The Grasslands Conservation Council of British Columbia (GCC) recently updated its guidelines for ORV use on grasslands and produced a summary in a pocket-sized brochure.

Stewardship Practices Guide

Stewardship Centre for BC

The Stewardship Centre for BC offers free resources to the stewardship community. These diverse and comprehensive documents are available for use on all ecological projects. The Stewardship Practices series is intended to encourage people to take voluntary stewardship actions to safeguard wildlife and species at risk.


An Honest Accounting: Improving BC’S Approach to Claiming Other Conserved Areas

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society & EcoJustice

It will take collaborative efforts from all levels of government – Indigenous Nations, community partners and experts – to create meaningful, effective protected and conserved areas that conserve ecological and cultural values. “Other conserved” areas were initially conceived as a tool to make the creation of protected areas more inclusive, recognizing Indigenous and community conservation values. As pointed out in this recent report,  unfortunately, BC has misused this tool to falsely inflate their progress towards protected area targets. This report was created to take a deep dive into the three designations – Old Growth Management Areas, Wildlife Habitat Areas, and Wildland Zones – that make up more than 97%, by size, of BC’s claimed “other conserved” areas. The authors underscore it is critical that BC and other jurisdictions apply rigorous standards in their accounting of protected areas and other effective conservation measures to ensure these areas legitimately promote in-situ (i.e. “in place”) biodiversity conservation, to comply with Canadian and international standards in order to meaningfully contribute to 30 by 30.

Center for Large Landscape Conservation Resource Library

Center for Large Landscape Conservation

The Center for Large Landscape Conservation strategically connects ideas, individuals, and institutions to catalyze collaboration and amplify progress toward the imperative of our time: to conserve Earth’s resilient, vital large landscapes. The Center is inspired and led by a team of professionals with heart who bring their expertise and experience to the cause in support of good science and government, vision and on-the-ground practice, engineering, and communications. The Center’s resource library provides access to ideas, tools for policy makers and practitioners, case studies, and more.

BC’s Old Growth Forest: A Last Stand for Biodiversity

Karen Price (PhD), Rachel Holt (PhD, RPBio) and Dave Daust (MSc, RPF)

Karen Price (PhD), Rachel Holt (PhD, RPBio) and Dave Daust (MSc, RPF) conducted these analyses to investigate the province’s claims about the state of old growth, and arrived at a more accurate and, unfortunately, alarming view. For example, of the 13.2 million hectares of “old-growth”, the vast majority (80%) consists of small trees, including bog forests and subalpine forests. In contrast, only about 400,000 hectares of remaining old forest supports large trees, covering less than 1% of BC’s forested land. The report includes urgent recommendations, and concludes current policy will make matters worse.

Building Resilience in the Kootenays

Kootenay Resilience

These pages describe a number of local projects that are: examining ongoing threats to biodiversity and communities; assessing vulnerabilities, and; identifying opportunities for building resiliency.

Columbia Basin Action Plan

Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program

The Columbia Basin Plan sets forth the strategic direction for the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP) in the Columbia Region. The priority setting process is then described, followed by a short synopsis of the priority Action Plans. Taken together, this Basin Plan and the accompanying Action Plans present the FWCP priorities for investments in compensation activities within the Columbia Basin.

Conservation Resource Directory

Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative

To enhance communications and information exchange on landscape-level conservation efforts, the Great Northern LCC has developed an online resource directory containing descriptions of landscape initiatives and organizations that conduct conservation work within the Great Northern geographic area.

NCC Resource Centre

Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC)

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is a leader in conservation science and planning. Learn more about some of the concepts and terms behind our work, or download some of our conservation planning documents.

Research Brief: Ecosystem Services and British Columbia’s Inland Temperate Rainforest

Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative

This research brief provides a summary of new research on ecosystem services in B.C.’s inland temperate rainforest, as well as highlights from the Upper Columbia basin and southern mountain caribou habitat.

Taking Nature’s Pulse: The Status of Biodiversity in British Columbia

Biodiversity BC

This addresses the full range of land and freshwater biodiversity, including elements that overlap with the marine (saltwater) realm, such as salmon and seabirds, as well as important elements of biodiversity not addressed at a species or ecosystem level. It also discusses the pressures on biodiversity caused by human activity, including climate change.

Wildlife Connectivity: Fundamentals for Conservation Action

Center for Large Landscape Conservation

Conserving nature’s parts and processes requires working at ecosystem, landscape, and bioregional scales. Size matters in ecology; in general, the larger the scale of focus, the better the chance of conserving critical ecological processes such as hydrologic function, natural disturbance regimes, species life cycles, and functional trophic interactions. This document is intended as a guide in advancing wildlife corridor and ecological connectivity conservation.


Berries and bullets: influence of food and mortality risk on grizzly bears in British Columbia

Michael Proctor, Clayton Lamb, A. Grant MacHutchon, et. al.
In southeastern BC, populations of the mostly omnivorous grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) are fragmented into a mosaic of small isolated or larger partially connected sub-populations. They obtain most of their energy from vegetative resources that are also influenced by human activities. Roads and associated motorized human access shape availability of food resources but also displace bears and facilitate human-caused mortality. Effective grizzly bear management requires an understanding of the relationship between habitat quality and mortality risk. The authors integrated analyses of bottom-up and top-down demographic parameters to understand and inform a comprehensive and efficient management paradigm across the region. Research found that huckleberry patches within 500 m of an open road make almost no contribution to grizzly bear density. The proximity of roads to huckleberry patches therefore essentially results in habitat loss. Approximately 38% of predicted huckleberry patches are within 500 of an open road, so this has a large effect on grizzly bear populations.

Best Management Practices for Bats in British Columbia

BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
The British Columbia Ministry of Environment has developed this document to provide development proponents, researchers, consultants and British Columbia ministry staff with information about the potential impacts of resource development and other human activities on the bats and their habitats in British Columbia, with a focus on bridges. These documents were prepared by experienced bat biologists, with input from user groups, industry, biological consultants, ministry staff, researchers and members of the BC Bat Action Team.

Columbia Wetlands Marsh Bird Monitoring Project Report

Goldeneye Ecological Services/Canadian Wildlife Service

The 2016-2019 Columbia Wetlands Marsh Bird Monitoring Project (CWMBMP) was a multi-year study led by Goldeneye Ecological Services in collaboration with Canadian Wildlife Service, that was designed to estimate marsh bird populations, assess the distribution of target species, and identify significant breeding areas or habitat types within the Columbia Wetlands.

Movement ecology of endangered caribou during a COVID-19 mediated pause in winter recreation

R. Gill, R. Serrouya, A. M. Calvert, A. Ford, R. Steenweg, M. J. Noonan

The long-term conservation of species at risk relies on numerous, and often concurrent, management actions to support their recovery. Generally, these actions are habitat-based while others are focused on a species’ position within its ecological community. Less studied are the impacts from human presence, despite evidence that human activity may reduce the area functionally available for occupancy or resource acquisition. In the winter of 2020/2021, Covid-19-related travel restrictions led to a reduction in helicopter-assisted back-country skiing (heli-skiing). In the moist to wet interior mountains of southern BC, the authors examined how these reductions in heli-skiing (termed the anthropause) affected the movement ecology and resource selection of southern mountain caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) as compared to two prior years (2018/2019 and 2019/2020) and the following year when heli-skiing resumed (2021/2022). They found that home-range size was on average 80–120% larger during the anthropause than in years of normal heli-ski operations.

Natural and human-made nesting habitat use by Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia) in Canada

Noémie Pelletier, Janice E. Arndt, Rachel Darvill, and Marc-André Cyr

A 2022 publication in the Canadian Field Naturalist includes some findings from the Upper Columbia Swallow Habitat Enhancement Project, which is partially funded by the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund (CVLCF), and the Kootenay Bank Swallow Survey. This peer-reviewed literature speaks to natural and human-made nesting habitat use by Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia) in Canada, including some implications for conservation.

Species at Risk Fact Sheets

Species at Risk Partnerships on Agricultural Lands

Species at Risk Partnerships on Agricultural Lands (SARPAL) is an initiative supported by the Government of Canada under the National Conservation Plan. The goal of this initiative is to help recover and protect species listed under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) through voluntary stewardship on farmland where critical habitat for SARA-listed species are found.

Species at Risk Management Plan and Conservation Framework

BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy

British Columbia is home to tens of thousands of plant and animal species living in a rich diversity of habitats. Many of these species and their habitats are at risk of extinction or extirpation. This site is a gateway to information about species and ecological communities (ecosystems) at risk in B.C.

Species at Risk Public Registry

Government of Canada

The Public Registry contains news, information, and documents related to species at risk in Canada. The website has been designed to help the public better understand Canada’s approach to protecting and recovering species at risk, learn about species at risk and what’s being done to help them, and get involved in decision making and recovery activities.

Species-at-risk Recovery in BC: An Audit of Federal and Provincial Actions

Jared Hobbs, M.Sc., R. P. Bio

This report was commissioned by Sierra Club BC and Western Canada Wilderness Committee to provide an assessment and effectiveness evaluation of legal protection afforded to species-at-risk in BC. In Canada, recovery of threatened, extirpated and endangered species falls under the purview of the federal Species-at-risk Act (SARA) with responsibilities shared between governing bodies in each of Canada’s provinces and territories. The intent of this report is to audit current accomplishments and challenges hindering recovery of species-at-risk in BC, to better facilitate recognition of potential improvements that could be made at all levels of government, in order to ensure the goal and intent of the SARA are met for the betterment of species-at-risk and conservation of biodiversity.

Species-at-risk Recovery in BC: Case Study

Jared Hobbs, M.Sc., R. P. Bio & Todd Mahon, M.Sc., R.P. Bio

An independent case study found that logging is the biggest contributing factor for the decline of southern mountain caribou and spotted owls in BC. In the case of spotted owls, logging is pervasive across the habitat, extreme in the severity of harm and has an extremely high overall risk ranking. The case study assesses wildlife decline in BC and the legal gaps responsible in three geographic regions of BC (coastal, southern and northern areas), for six different species; caribou (southern mountain and boreal), spotted owls, western rattlesnake, great basin gopher snake, great basin spadefoot, and tiger salamander, representing diverse threats causing their decline. The study uses eleven threat categories developed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to assess whether these threats are addressed in provincial law. Findings highlight that the federal Species-at-risk Act (SARA) does not have automatic legal authority on provincial crown land, which makes up 94% of the land base, and that no provincial legislation is designed specifically to protect critical habitat.

State of the Bats report

Conservation Status and Threats to North American bats

This very readable report highlights the current state of bats in North American, including trends of bat species in Canada. The report includes the benefits of bats, existing threats to bat species, and what people can do to help protect bats.

Survey of Long-billed Curlews and Grasslands in BC 

David Bradley, Birds Canada

In 2017, Birds Canada began a study of Long-billed Curlews breeding in the East Kootenay grasslands at the Skookumchuck Prairie Important Bird and Biodiversity Area. This work had three main aims: to fit satellite transmitters to curlews to track their movements over a full year, to determine the breeding success of those birds in a natural prairie environment, and to connect with farmers and local naturalists in the area to learn from them about the species and what it means to them. In 2022, a BC-wide citizen-science curlew survey was initiated, which revealed an interesting trend in the distribution of those birds.


Abundance Estimates for Marsh Bird Species in the Columbia Wetlands

Rachel Darvill, Ashleigh M. Westphal, Scott A. Flemming, & Mark C. Drever

The Columbia Wetlands are one of the largest contiguous wetland complexes in western North America. Current population estimates are necessary for designation of priority conservation areas and for reliable assessment of population status for species of conservation concern. This multi-year study (2016–2019) was designed to estimate abundances of focal and secondary marsh birds using standardized call-broadcast protocols and distance sampling methods. Abundances of focal species varied by year, and mean population estimates indicated the most abundant secretive marsh birds were Sora (Porzana Carolina), followed by American Coot (Fulica americana), Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola), and Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps). Most abundant secondary species were Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris), Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus), and Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata). Habitat covariates for detection functions varied by species, tended to include woody vegetation, tall vegetation, and open water; supporting previous studies proposing that a ‘hemi-marsh’ state is an important habitat condition for many marsh bird species. The Columbia Wetlands provide important wetland habitat and these estimates underscore the need for effective management for the conservation of BC’s avifauna.

Dynamic balancing of risks and rewards in a large herbivore: Further extending predator–prey concepts to road ecology

Marie-Pier Poulin, Seth G. Cherry & Jerod A. Merkle

Animal behaviour is shaped by the ability to identify risks and profitably balance the levels of risks encountered with the payoffs experienced. Anthropogenic disturbances like roads generate novel risks and opportunities that wildlife must accurately perceive and respond to. Funded by Parks Canada, this study tested whether animals dynamically balance risks and rewards relative to roads using extensive field-based and GPS collar data from elk in Yoho National Park, where a major highway completely bisects their range during most of the year. The researchers found that elk generally selected intermediate and high forage biomass and avoided crossing the road. Most of the time, elk modulated their behaviour given varying risks and rewards.

Osprey Monitoring Report: Kootenay Lake (1997 – 2021)

Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society (FOKLSS) 

Osprey are considered a worldwide indicator species for aquatic ecosystems, and monitoring their reproductive success can help inform changes within aquatic food webs. This is due in part by their almost exclusive diet of fish, their long lifespan, their strong nest fidelity, their global distribution, their tolerance to human development, their known sensitivity to human contaminants and their ability to accumulate most fat-soluble contaminants. FOKLSS tracked long-term changes in population sizes of breeding osprey (Pandion haliaetus) and bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by conducting nest surveys to better understand the cumulative impacts of stressors on the lake. Data from 25 years of osprey nest observations collected on the West Arm of Kootenay Lake (1997–2021), and 6 years of osprey and bald eagle nest observations from the main lake (North and South Arms, 2016–2021) is analyzed.

Secretive marsh bird occupancy across a spectrum of hydroelectric reservoir management in western montane Canada

Ashleigh M. Westphal, David J. Green, Janice E. Arndt, Rachel Darvill & Mark C. Drever

This report outlines how the alteration of hydrological regimes for generating hydroelectric power has affected the occurrence of secretive marsh bird species in the West Kootenay and Columbia Wetlands regions of BC. Sampling was done across a spectrum of hydrological regimes and other potentially relevant factors. At each survey station, the researchers assessed wetland occupancy during the breeding season using broadcast-callback surveys focused on five secretive marsh bird species: American bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus), American coot (Fulica americana), pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps), sora (Porzana carolina), and Virginia rail (Rallus limicola). Additionally, they measured vegetation structure and the proximity and size of nearby water bodies for each survey station, and then used occupancy models to assess important correlates behind wetland occupancy for these marsh bird species, considering water management operations, regional differences, and local- and landscape-level wetland characteristics. Secretive marsh bird species were more likely to occupy wetlands in areas with less frequently altered hydrological regimes. Therefore, the authors suggest that reservoir management is altering vegetation communities within these wetlands, indirectly promoting lower occupancy of secretive marsh bird species.


4 Phases of Indigenous Engagement

Indigenous Corporate Training Inc.
Indigenous engagement for your proposed project is so much more than ‘getting to yes.’ Your organization needs to understand that the goals of engagement are to respect the community’s Aboriginal rights and treaty rights, understand the community, respect issues they may have with the project, and provide capacity funding, if needed, so that the community can process the reports and make informed decisions about the project.

Bringing the Salmon Home

Columbia River Salmon Reintroduction Initiative

Bringing the Salmon Home: The Columbia River Salmon Reintroduction Initiative is an Indigenous-led collaboration of the Syilx Okanagan Nation, Ktunaxa Nation, Secwépemc Nation, Canada and British Columbia. Salmon have been blocked from returning to the Canadian portion of the upper Columbia River for more than 80 years. The long-term vision is to return salmon stocks for Indigenous food, social and ceremonial needs, and to benefit the region’s residents and ecosystems as a whole. Includes the Bringing the Salmon Home Festival.

Documentary: Bringing the Salmon Home

Columbia River Salmon Reintroduction Initiative

This documentary was produced with the Syilx Okanagan, Secwépemc and Ktunaxa Nations, and the governments of Canada and BC, and premiered at the recent online festival also called Bringing the Salmon Home. For more info and to support the work of the Columbia Salmon Reintroduction Initiative, please see their website.

Entering Ethical Space: A Series on Land-based Reconciliation in the Kootenay-Columbia

Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative developed a three-part online workshop series to learn and discuss how Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and organizations can work together to create and sustain prosperous communities and healthy landscapes in the British Columbia’s Kootenay-Columbia. Recordings of all three workshops are available at the link.

Guide for Land Acknowledgements

University of British Columbia
A land acknowledgement (or territorial acknowledgement) is considered a respectful, yet political, statement that acknowledges the colonial context of the Indigenous territory/territories where a gathering is taking place. It recognizes relationships between land and people, and in particular Indigenous peoples’ continued presence on the lands being acknowledged.

How to Be an Ally of Indigenous-led Conservation

Land Needs Guardians
Indigenous Peoples across Canada face a growing crisis. Climate change, disappearing wildlife, and the ever-growing demand for timber, minerals and energy have combined to threaten our homelands and ways of life. Guardians programs are being created to help take responsibility for the health of the land, its wildlife, our Peoples and the Earth. Indigenous Peoples need allies to help secure long-term support for Indigenous-led conservation.

Indigenous and Western Knowledge: Bringing Diverse Understandings of Water Together in Practice

Global Commission on the Economics of Water

The importance of multiple perspectives in understanding human-nature relationships and associated benefits for biodiversity, ecosystems and overall quality of human life, is underscored by Indigenous Peoples’ values, worldviews and knowledge systems. For many Indigenous Peoples, water is a living entity with inherent value to be revered and protected – an essential relationship that extends beyond dominant Western approaches. While efforts are being made to bring diverse Indigenous and Western values, worldviews and knowledge systems together to restore freshwater systems, on a practical level the question remains: “how to do so?” in an ethical and responsible way. This report responds to that gap by synthesizing insights gained through a review of documented experiences from projects across the area currently known as Canada and the United States.

Indigenous Ally Toolkit

Segal Centre for Performing Arts
There are multiple terms a person can use when identifying the role that they actively play within anti-oppressive work. Neither is better than the other and regardless of what you call yourself, each role plays an important part in this kind of work. Many want to be an ally, which is why this pamphlet focuses on that term. Being an ally is about disrupting oppressive spaces by educating others on the realities and histories of marginalized people.

Indigenous Conservation Agreements in Canada: A Review of Best Practices, Challenges, and Implications for the Future

Makeway & The Firelight Group
Conservation agreements provide a new realm of opportunity for Indigenous communities to enter into agreements that support their stewardship priorities and continued use of their traditional lands. Many existing Impact and Benefit Agreements (IBAs) to date are associated with the extractive industry, often related to mining and oil and gas activities, and the literature and guidance is focused on this sector. Working together with MakeWay, The Firelight Group was mandated to prepare a scan of best practice associated with Indigenous agreements leading to conservation designations of lands in Canada.

Indigenous Laws in the Context of Conservation

Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership
To successfully build Nation-to-Nation and Crown-to-Inuit relationships that recognize and reconcile Crown and Indigenous jurisdictions and authorities, Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs) governance arrangements must find ways to bring together Indigenous and Crown legal systems. This report examines SGaan Kinghlas-Bowie Seamount Marine Protected Area in Haida Gwaii and Thaidene Nëné in Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation territory as two contemporary examples of how Indigenous laws operate alongside Crown laws within IPCAs.

Indigenous-Led Approaches to Salmon Reintroduction

Columbia River Salmon Reintroduction Initiative

This event was part of the online Bringing the Salmon Home festival held in May 2023, and includes an overview of the current research studies, the vital contributions US Tribes are making to salmon reintroduction in the Columbia River system, and a short video about Indigenous-led habitat restoration in the Kootenays of BC. Please join members of the Columbia River Salmon Reintroduction Initiative’s Technical Working Group and US Tribal representatives as they present updates on their latest work to restore salmon and habitat. This recording is available here, as are all the recordings from May’s Bringing the Salmon Home online festival.

Indigenous-Led Water Relationships within the Columbia Basin

Living Lakes Canada
This 3-part webinar series was organized to make time, space and place for the Ktunaxa, Secwepemc, Syilx-Okanagan/Sinixt Peoples to share values, relationships and responsibilities for and with Water, now and for the future of the water in the Columbia Basin.

Native Land Digital
Native Land is an app to help map Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages. Native Land Digital strives to create and foster conversations about the history of colonialism, Indigenous ways of knowing, and settler-Indigenous relations, through educational resources such as the online map and Territory Acknowledgement Guide.

One with Nature: A Renewed Approach to Land and Freshwater Conservation in Canada

Pathway to Canada Target 1
One with Nature: A Renewed Approach to Land and Freshwater Conservation in Canada presents pan-Canadian opportunities jointly developed by federal, provincial and territorial governments to support progress towards achieving the terrestrial and inland water components of Canada Target 1, the first of Canada’s 19 biodiversity goals and targets.

The Promise of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas in Canada

The Narwhal

Bolstering Indigenous-led conservation will be critical if Canada wants to follow through on its climate, biodiversity and reconciliation promises. So what are the best practices? How can we get this right? And what we can learn from similar, longer-running efforts in Australia. Four expert panellists came together to share insights on how IPCAs can help us manage species, reduce wildfire risk and safeguard the environment

Transboundary Indigenous-led Conservation of Nature and Culture (Fourth Transboundary Dialogue)

Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
Learn about ongoing efforts led by Indigenous Peoples working across what is today the U.S. and Canada border on conservation and connectivity of nature and culture. This conversation recoded live on Sept. 2, 2021 includes: Norma Kassi, Karlin Itchoak and Meda DeWItt on transboundary work relating to the Porcupine caribou herd that moves between Yukon and Alaska, the lands on which they depend, and the transboundary Indigenous Peoples that are intertwined; and Leroy Little Bear and Terry Tatse with an overview of the transboundary work relating to restoration of bison (Iinnii), the land, and the transboundary people of the Blackfoot Confederacy.

Walking Together to Care for the Land and Water: NCC’s Indigenous Conservation Engagement Framework

Nature Conservancy of Canada
NCC, as a leading conservation organization, has a unique opportunity to assist Indigenous communities and nations in achieving their conservation and stewardship goals. Looking to the future, NCC plans to work more purposefully with Indigenous communities and nations, in the spirit of reconciliation, to achieve more long-term conservation. To implement these strategic changes, NCC has developed this framework.

We Rise Together: Achieving Pathway to Canada Target 1 through the Creation of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas in the Spirit and Practice of Reconciliation

Parks Canada
This report posits that the time has come for Indigenous knowledge systems, legal traditions, and customary and cultural practices to be appropriately recognized as equally valid and binding versus other frameworks. To achieve this, this report illustrates an important aspect of such appropriate recognition: Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs).

Whose Land is it Anyway? A Manual for Decolonization

Peter McFarlane and Nicole Schabus
Whose Land is it Anyway? A Manual for Decolonization
Peter McFarlane and Nicole Schabus
This handbook, which has been supported by the British Columbia Federation of Post-Secondary Educators (FPSE), brings together some of the most important Indigenous academics, activists and allies to explore the impacts of colonization on Indigenous peoples and to look at paths toward decolonization that can right those wrongs and may, some day, lead us toward true reconciliation.

Y2Y Principles for Working With Indigenous Peoples

Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
The Yellowstone to Yukon region encompasses the traditional territories and lands, reserves/reservations, and land claim settlement areas of many Indigenous Peoples. The purpose of this document is to guide Y2Y in building and strengthening effective and respectful working relationships with Indigenous governments, people, and organizations.


Climate Change Education Resources

Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN)

CBEEN has compiled an online library of climate change resources on its website. This is a one-stop shop that provides access to easy-to-use, localized and credible climate change resources and information for the Columbia Basin.

Climate Disruption in the Upper Columbia Basin

Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology
Season 6 of CREDtalks recordings now available in full, easily accessed for free. In this series, 8 leading climate scientists addressed the projected impacts, potential for adaptation, and what we can do with ecosystems that may in fact contribute to climate mitigation.

Columbia Basin Climate Source

Columbia Basin Trust & Selkirk College

The Columbia Basin Climate Source website was initiated by Columbia Basin Trust and developed by Selkirk College’s Applied Research and Innovation Centre. The site is for people seeking easy-to-understand information on climate change specific to communities throughout the Columbia Basin and boundary regions. The Climate Data Tool on the website has been enhanced to improve the presentation of data for over 40 climate variables in an easy-to-use format. Through data, videos, maps and more, the website offers information to help users understand the data and make better informed decisions locally.


BC Water Tool

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development 

The BC Water Tool is a modular application which provides access to water related data and knowledge in support of sustainable resource management. On this site you’ll find custom watershed reports for every stream, river and watershed in the Kootenay Boundary Region. You’ll also find monitoring data from more than 50 organizations, at more than 50,000 locations across southern B.C.

Columbia Basin Water Hub

Living Lakes Canada

The Columbia Basin Water Hub makes water data readily available to those who need to access it. The Water Hub contains numerical and spatial data, reports, photos and other types of information about streams, lakes, wetlands, groundwater, snow, glaciers and climate in the Columbia Basin, both historical and current. The data is accessible for decision makers, researchers, students, professionals and the public. Data can be submitted by community-based monitoring groups; municipal, regional or First Nations governments; Indigenous knowledge holders; the private sector; or academia. Data can also be linked to existing databases. Learn more by reading the full-length report about the Water Hub.

Expanding Water Monitoring Within Canada’s Upper Columbia Basin

Living Lakes Canada

On June 8th 2020, Living Lakes Canada on behalf of the Columbia Basin Water Monitoring Collaborative convened and facilitated a hydrology workshop with the purpose of developing recommendations for a phased expansion of the monitoring network for the Upper (Canadian) Columbia Basin (UCB). Greg Utzig, PAg, and Dr. Martin Carver, PEng/PGeo, PAg, provided a proposed approach to expanding the UCB monitoring network, and then the workshop participants actively engaged with the proposal, providing feedback on how it might be improved and implemented.

Indigenous and Western Knowledge: Bringing Diverse Understandings of Water Together in Practice

Global Commission on the Economics of Water

The importance of multiple perspectives in understanding human-nature relationships and associated benefits for biodiversity, ecosystems and overall quality of human life, is underscored by Indigenous Peoples’ values, worldviews and knowledge systems. For many Indigenous Peoples, water is a living entity with inherent value to be revered and protected – an essential relationship that extends beyond dominant Western approaches. While efforts are being made to bring diverse Indigenous and Western values, worldviews and knowledge systems together to restore freshwater systems, on a practical level the question remains: “how to do so?” in an ethical and responsible way. This report responds to that gap by synthesizing insights gained through a review of documented experiences from projects across the area currently known as Canada and the United States.

The importance of groundwater to the upper Columbia River floodplain wetlands

Casey Remmer, Rebecca Rooney, Suzanne Bayley, and Catriona Levena

Declining river flows in western North America, including the upper Columbia River, have reduced the area of open water wetlands in the floodplain and raised concern that the Columbia Wetlands will not remain viable under increasing climate change. In this study researchers used water isotopes and electrical conductivity to quantify the proportion of groundwater, river water and precipitation contributing to wetland water balance, as well as the role of evaporation, in the Columbia Wetlands through the spring, summer and fall of 2019, and found strong seasonality of water input sources. Groundwater and precipitation were important in spring and fall, while river water was dominant during the summer.

Why Care About Water Data in the Columbia Basin?

Living Lakes Canada

The purpose of this three-part webinar series hosted by the Columbia Basin Water Hub and Living Lakes Canada is to increase awareness of what water data is, and the value and applications of water data for decision makers and the public. Webinar 1: Climate change in the Columbia Basin and why water data is needed for adaptation; Webinar 2: Who is collecting water data in the Columbia Basin?; Webinar 3: Applications of Water Data for Decision Making.


Canadian Columbia Basin Regional Framework for Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)

Canadian Columbia Basin Invasive Species Program

This AIS Program Framework was designed primarily to increase collaboration between regional committees and their partners in the Basin, such as local stewardship groups and provincial agencies, for delivering their AIS programs.

Multiple impacts of invasive species on species-at-risk: a case study in BC, Canada

Natascia Tamburello & M. Aline Litt

The historical and ongoing focus on single-species management of invasive species and species at risk contributes to inefficiencies in management strategies that present an obstacle to achieving desired outcomes. We present a case study of a more holistic approach from BC, which synthesized the identity, mechanisms of impact, mechanisms of spread, and magnitude of impacts across 782 unique pairs of invasive species and federally listed species at risk, based on a literature review of species at risk documentation.

Report Invasives BC App

Report a Weed BC

This Report Invasives app lets you report invasive species sightings anywhere in B.C. in a few quick and easy steps. Your report goes directly to a B.C. specialist for the reported species who will then coordinate follow-up activities with appropriate authorities when required. Downloads available for both Androids and iPhones.


Forest Fuel Treatments for the Southern West Kootenays

Kutenai Nature Investigations Ltd.

This report prepared by Greg Utzig of Kutenai Nature Investigations Ltd. explores what types of fuel treatments would likely be most effective for application in forests in the Southern West Kootenays. The project has primarily involved a focused literature review of studies that assessed the efficacy of fuel treatments where those treatments have been tested under active wildfire conditions.


BC Breeding Bird Atlas

British Columbia Breeding Bird Atlas Partnership

The British Columbia Breeding Bird Atlas partnership is proud to publish online one of the largest volunteer-based initiatives in British Columbia’s history, and a major new resource for conservation. Leading British Columbian bird experts describe the distribution, abundance, habitat and conservation of about 320 species of birds.

BC Species & Ecosystems Explorer

Government of BC Conservation Data Centre

Use the BC Species & Ecosystems Explorer to search for data and information about plants, animals and ecosystems in B.C.


BC Ministry of Forests and Range

This is the web portal for the Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification (BEC) and Ecology Research program of the British Columbia. This website is the source for information about the BEC system and access point for current and historical reports, maps, software, and other products of the program.

Columbia River Basin Biodiversity Atlas

Selkirk College Geospatial Research Centre

The Biodiversity Atlas has been developed with geographic information system (GIS) technology to provide information on biodiversity and help people learn, understand, and make decisions.

Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners REFERENCE LIBRARY

Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners (CWSP)

CWSP’s reference library contains the current and historical known research papers, projects and land use plans for the Columbia Wetlands, including the area to the east and to the west bordered by the Rocky and Purcell mountains ranges. It is a work in progress with currently over 2000 citations and more being added every year. Where possible, CWSP houses the entire document of a reference in the library, which can be downloaded if desired.

Conservation Atlas

Heart of the Rockies Initiative

The Heart of the Rockies Conservation Atlas is delivering the latest science in climate change adaptation and habitat connectivity to our land trust partners to help identify and validate selection of future conservation targets. This Atlas has a collection of spatial data specific to the conservation planning needs of our land trust partners. It is grouped into themed galleries: Connectivity, Habitat, Climate Change, Working Lands, and Planning. Thousands of additional datasets are also available to users through this platform.

Environmental Education Organization Directory

Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN)

CBEEN’s online searchable directory includes over 100 organizations that support environmental education opportunities for all ages in the Columbia Basin. This list can be searched and sorted by region, activity type, audience, and theme, and includes many KCP partners.

Kootenay National Park Resource Database

Friends of Kootenay National Park

This Research Database contains over 600 references on research and monitoring in Kootenay National Park. It can be searched by author, subject or any key word and download digital copies of the reports where available.

Forest Practices Board Reports & Publications

Forest Practices Board of B.C.

The Forest Practices Board serves the public interest as the independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices in British Columbia.

Natural Legacies (securement) Toolkit

Land Trust Alliance of British Columbia

In 2014, the Land Trust Alliance of British Columbia embarked on an ambitious project known as the BC Conservation Toolkit. This project was designed to gather information of conservation in a simple, easy-to-use format for landowners, land trusts, professionals and municipalities.

Susan Bond Memorial Library

Rocky Mountain Trench Ecosystem Restoration Program

Thompson Rivers University has compiled 20 years of data from 11 intensive monitoring plots into a report. This ecosystem restoration monitoring data is critical to the Ecosystem Restoration program; as a new discipline it has to check its projects to make sure the goals of an improved healthier ecosystem are met. Monitoring also gives the program a chance to fine tune and improve its operations. The RMTERP monitoring protocols are based on draft plans from the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program and this strategy was standardized specifically for the Rocky Mountain Trench ER program in 2002.


A Field Guide to Ecosystem Classification and Identification

B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development

This field guide (MacKillop et al. 2021) covers the Boundary-Eastern Okanagan-Shuswap-Southern Arrow areas and includes ecosystem classifications for forested and non-forested units.

Field Guide to Site Classification & Identification for Southeast BC

BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations (MFLNRO)

This field guide presents site classification and identification information for ecosystems of the south-central Columbia Mountains in southeast British Columbia.

Guidelines for Amphibian and Reptile Conservation During Road Building and Management Activities in British Columbia

Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Amphibians and reptiles are the most at risk species assemblages in British Columbia (B.C.), with more than 50% of species in each group listed provincially and/or federally as species of conservation concern. Road mortality is identified as a significant threat to amphibians and reptiles, and mitigating this threat is identified as a priority action in the recovery planning documents for most of these species. The purpose of Guidelines for Amphibian and Reptile Conservation during Road Building and Management Activities in British Columbia (hereafter referred to as Guidelines) is to provide comprehensive information on assessing, avoiding, minimizing, and mitigating road impacts on amphibians and reptiles in B.C. Please contact, Small Mammal and Herpetofauna Specialist, if you have any questions about this material.

Riparian Health Assessment

Cows and Fish

Wondering how to measure the health of your riparian area? This 4-page fact sheet will give you some ideas on why you may want to look at the health of your riparian area, and how you can use the information to make management decisions.


Cumulative Effects Framework

BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations (MFLNRO)

The province is implementing a cumulative effects framework, a management approach that close attention to a number of environmental, social and economic factors, including biodiversity, riparian conditions, water and air quality, fish and wildlife impacts, cultural and heritage concerns, community needs and economic development opportunities.

Planning 101

Regional District of Central Kootenay
Planning is meant to be a collaborative process. The creation of Official Community Plans and Zoning Bylaws require information, feedback and review from the community. This recorded presentation provides information on Planning Tools available in the RDCK including Official Community Plans and Zoning Bylaws. For background on Community Planning, visit the RDCK website here.

State of the Basin

Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute

The State of the Basin is an RDI initiative to monitor and report on information relating to well-being in the Columbia Basin-Boundary region. Understanding our region’s environmental vitality involves research focused on themes that include Biodiversity, Land (including food), Air (including climate), and Water.

Toward Natural Asset Management in Kootenays

Municipal Natural Assets Initiative
Six local governments in the Kootenays region of British Columbia completed preliminary natural asset inventories with MNAI, thus taking their first critical step towards natural asset management. The local governments are the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK), Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK), Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB), City of Cranbrook, Town of Golden, and the City of Rossland, with support from Selkirk College.