Kootenay Connect takes a large landscape, multi-ecosystem approach to sustaining biodiversity, species at risk, and ecological connectivity and function within the upper Columbia River Basin in the Kootenay region of BC. The goal of this project is to sustain biodiversity across local landscapes by focusing on habitat connectivity within and between valley bottoms and mountain ranges to sustain exceptional places of biodiversity. This project stems from an analysis by Proctor and Mahr that identified a dozen key areas within the Kootenays that are critical for wildlife movement corridors and for conserving vulnerable and at-risk species into the future.
The focus of Kootenay Connect is on four of these key areas identified where KCP Partners have been active in conservation and stewardship: Bonanza Corridor, Columbia Wetlands, Creston Valley, and Wycliffe Corridor.
This project focuses on improving and protecting a broad spectrum of habitat types such as rich wetlands, cottonwood riparian galleries, mature cedar-hemlock forests, native grasslands, and open dry Ponderosa pine forests that support species at risk.
To date, there has been considerable effort to conserve important places in our region such as national and provincial parks, wildlife management areas and conservation properties held by a combination of land trusts and government. However, we are still concerned about the threats to habitat that in turn drive the loss of vulnerable species, especially in light of increasing human development and climate change.