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 four areas featured in this project include, Creston Valley, Columbia Wetlands, Wycliffe Corridor, and Bonanza Corridor.
These areas are linked by common habitat types that contain rich biological diversity, multiple species at risk, and potential climate change refugia.
Our four focal areas are also zones of ecological connectivity and migration for species of special concern that rely on valley bottom riparian-wetland habitats for some portion of their annual life requisites and/or for inter-mountain connectivity with adjacent upland habitats and protected areas. Without action, the ecological value of these lands and their associated species will further deteriorate and may become at-risk over time.
The team, coordinated by the Kootenay Conservation Program, is undertaking comprehensive and detailed planning at the ecosystem, hydrologic watershed, habitat type, and individual species scales to inform a suite of over 50 conservation sub-projects designed to increase ecosystem and species resilience. Our efforts to identify and implement informed habitat and hydrological improvements in four key connectivity areas will increase their ability to provide multiple ecosystem services for which riparian-wetland complexes are so important.
“By 2025, conserve 25% of Canada’s land and 25% of Canada’s oceans, and work towards 30% of each by 2030.”