KCP is pleased to feature Adrian Leslie, our newest member of the KCP Executive Committee who was elected at KCP’s AGM in October.

Adrian moved to the Kootenays twelve years ago to play in the snow. He has been working throughout the Columbia Basin on ecosystem conservation, restoration and research ever since. Most of his efforts have been focused on high elevation whitebark pine ecosystem restoration where he continues to work in national and provincial parks, as well as in NCC’s Darkwoods property, and on crown land.

Two years ago, Adrian started working as a researcher for the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute (RDI) at Selkirk College. The RDI is a partnership between the college and CBT with a mandate to support informed decision making. The RDI has an interdisciplinary team of researchers that takes on applied research projects that require innovative solutions to address practical problems and real world needs. Adrian initially pulled together a series of environmental indicators for the State of the Basin reports and the Digital Basin.

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The RDI recently launched a research project funded by the Real Estate Foundation of BC looking at how we can produce more local food in environmentally, economically, culturally and socially sustainable ways. “How and where we grow our food is fundamentally an environmental issue. Nowhere in our lives do we interact more intimately with our environment than through the food we eat” Adrian said.

While the food systems research is multi-faceted, one aspect that might be of interest to KCP partners is that the RDI will be investigating the potential for establishing some sort of Agricultural Land Trust in the region. The idea that there should be an organization that is dedicated to either acquiring or placing covenants on farmlands has been suggested by many people and reports recently. A land trust could support the use of farmland for sustainable food production, and provide land for young farmers who might not be able to afford to buy their own land. Over the coming months, the RDI will be researching potential organizational structures, assessing demand and farmland availability, and identifying individuals and groups that might be interested in getting involved.

To find out more, please contact Adrian Leslie at aleslie@selkirk.ca