RDCK Local Conservation Fund

In partnership with KCP, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) provides funding for projects that benefit conservation in the rural areas around Kootenay Lake and the Slocan Valley through the RDCK Local Conservation Fund (RDCK LCF).

Specifically, the RDCK LCF services RDCK Electoral Areas A, D, E and H (click here for map).

The purpose of the RDCK LCF is to provide local financial support for important projects that will contribute to the conservation of our valuable natural areas; one step towards restoring and preserving a healthy environment. The intent is to provide funding for conservation projects that are not the existing responsibility of the federal, provincial or local governments.


Building on the experience of establishing the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund, Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP) led the initiative to establish a conservation fund in the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK).

Because KCP had polled widely in the Kootenays prior to the establishment of the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund, there was some information already available to support the Central Kootenay process. In addition to widespread polling, the leadership team held six focus groups in 2013. As was the case with the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund, this research helped to determine the RDCK fund’s service area, as well as offering insight into residents’ values, priorities, and willingness to pay for a conservation fund service.

The RDCK established the RDCK Local Conservation Fund (referred to as the Kootenay Lake Local Conservation Fund at the time) after a successful vote in November 2014, which was held in conjunction with the local election in electoral areas A, D, and E. The financing mechanism is a parcel tax of $15 per parcel per year, which is applied to all parcels (residential, industrial, commercial) in the service area. Water issues emerged as an important focus in the area. The Local Conservation Fund’s terms of reference reflect this, listing aquatic systems and conservation of water, wildlife, and habitat as the fund themes.

In October 2022, residents of RDCK Area H voted by referendum to join the fund, expanding the service to the Slocan Valley. In 2023, KCP will be seeking Technical Review Committee members from the Slocan Valley, and applications will be open for projects in Area H in the fall of 2023.

From 2016 to 2022, the RDCK Local Conservation Fund approved 44 grants totalling $535,000. This local investment has leveraged over four times that amount in external grants and in-kind support, not including two conservation acquisitions, which if included, raises the leveraged funding to almost 40 times additional funding.

Project Proposals

RDCK LCF funding is available for conservation projects that result in the reduction to a known threat to biodiversity. Projects that are technically sound and effective, and provide value for money through partnerships with other funders will have priority. Proponents must be a registered not-for-profit organization, First Nations community, or local government. Unqualified groups or organizations may partner with a qualified organization. Multi-year projects are acceptable to a maximum three years. A Technical Review Committee will review project proposals and make recommendations to the RDCK for final funding approval.

Annual Timeline

  • August 31 – Call for Proposals
  • October 31 – Applications Due
  • November – Technical Review Completed
  • January – RDCK Review Completed
  • February – RDCK Board of Director’s Final Approval
  • March – Applicants Notified
  • April – Funding Agreement Documents Finalized

Note: Land acquisition or covenant proposals may be submitted at any time during the year provided there is sufficient time for the KCP Technical Review Committee and the RDCK to review proposals.Any money not allocated from the Local Conservation Fund in any given year will be added on to, and available as part of, the following year’s funding allocation.

Information for Landowners

Landowners in the RDCK who own two or more adjacent parcels of land can apply for a parcel combination, whereby they would only pay one parcel tax if their application meets the criteria. The application must be sent in to the RDCK office for review in mid-February of each year. Landowners need to look for the parcel tax assessment notices on the RDCK website; parcel tax roll information can also be viewed at the RDCK office in Nelson. For more information, please contact RDCK Research Analyst Tom Dool at 250.352.8173 or TDool@rdck.bc.ca.


Application Requirements

Proposals must meet the Mandatory Requirements before they will be considered. These are:

1. Projects must be delivered in the Fund Service Area where the Local Conservation Property Parcel Tax is collected in the rural areas around the Kootenay Lake and Slocan Valley areas, specifically Electoral Areas A, D, E and H (click here for map) within the RDCK.

2. Projects must address at least one IUCN threat to biodiversity as specified in the Terms of Reference.

3. Projects must address at least one of the Direct Conservation Action priorities (see Table 5) indicated in the RDCK LCF Guidance Document. The Executive Summary of the guidance document can be found here.

4. Proponents must be non-profit, have registered society status or must partner with an organization that has registered society status.

5. Proponents must be prepared to make a 10 minute presentation on the outcomes of their work on an annual basis, in addition to submitting a written report.

6. Only eligible activities will be considered for funding. See Appendix 1, Ineligible Activities, of the Terms of Reference for a list of the types of projects that will not be considered for funding.

All applicants must review the Terms of Reference before applying to the fund. The framework for the Technical Review of applications is based on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classification of direct threats.

Grant Application Forms

2024 project intake has now closed.

Grant Reporting Forms

2023 Final Reports are due January 31, 2024. Please download, complete, and submit the following forms to kendal@kootenayconservation.ca.

Securement Application Form

Securement application forms can be submitted to info@kootenayconservation.ca on an ongoing basis.

Form Help

Please follow these instructions for filling out the .pdf forms:

1. Install the most recent version of Adobe Reader
2. Save the form to your local drive on your computer
3. Open the Adobe Acrobat Pro/Reader application
4. On the Acrobat Reader menu, go to File->Open. Open the file from where you saved it.
5. Complete the form and save the changes before emailing or printing.

More Info

Kendal Benesh

KCP Local Conservation Fund Coordinator

It is highly recommended that applicants contact KCP prior to submitting an application to discuss their project idea.