June 21, 2014 – Nelson, British Columbia
The Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP) congratulates the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) for its strong commitment to protecting our natural heritage through thecreation of the Kootenay Lake Local Conservation Fund. Residents will now decide whether they share this commitment on November 15, 2014 through referendum.
This Local Conservation Fund will provide local financial support for important projects that conserve valuable natural areas and restore and preserve a healthy environment. The funding for this effort would come from an annual parcel tax of approximately $15.00/parcel in Areas A, D and E within the RDCK.
In 2008, Columbia Valley residents in the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) voted in favour of establishing a similar fund through referendum. Over the past five years, this fund has provided over $1,500,000 in support to over 44 projects that benefit the environment and local communities.
In 2012, the KCP conducted market research to gauge public support for establishing a similar fund in the RDCK. The findings concluded that “there is a strong base of support for conservation initiatives in the region” and that “there is room for greater effort by local and regional governments which explains why there is considerable support for a mandatory levy being established throughout the region”. Based on the findings, the researcher concluded that the majority of West Kootenay residents would support such a levy.
“For the past five years, the Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP) has been a proud partner of the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) to deliver the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund (CVLCF),” said Dave Hillary, Program Manager of the KCP. “We are now excited to extend this partnership to include the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) if residents there vote to establish the Kootenay Lake Local Conservation Fund. “We look forward to working together with the RDCK to provide tangible, on-the-ground results for nature, and for the residents around Kootenay Lake.”
- On June 19, 2014, the RDCK approved a motion to propose the establishment of a Local Conservation Fund for Areas A, D and E.
- Voters in RDCK Areas A, D, and E will have the opportunity to decide whether to create the fund by voting in a referendum on November 15, 2014.
- The Kootenay Lake Local Conservation Fund will provide local financial support for important projects that contribute to the conservation of valuable natural areas and restore and conserve a healthy environment.
- Projects that address the following local priorities are eligible for support through the fund: clean water, working family farms, habitat conservation, shoreline restoration, invasive species control, and wildlife and fish species conservation.
The Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP) is a partnership of over 70 organizations interested in private land conservation. Partners include land and water conservation organizations, industry, business, educational institutions, First Nations, and all levels of government.
KCP partners seek to cooperatively conserve and steward landscapes that sustain naturally functioning ecosystems. We envision vibrant communities that demonstrate the principles of environmental stewardship that can in turn support economic and social well-being.
VIDEO AND IMAGES:
Video: Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund: http://kootenayconservation.ca/conservation-fund/
Kootenay Conservation Program: http://kootenayconservation.ca/
Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund: http://kootenayconservation.ca/conservation-fund/
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Dave Hillary – Program Manager, Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP)
Photo Credit: Marc-Andre Beaucher