Winter Webinar Series2021-02-28T20:56:12-07:00

Winter Webinar Series

KCP supports developing the technical capacity of partners to become leaders and innovators in implementing biodiversity conservation.

To this end, KCP offers a webinar series each year to facilitate the sharing of technical resources among partners and others so that local conservation activities consider the best available information and practices. 

Our 2021 Winter Webinar Series has concluded.

This year’s theme was “From Alpine to Valley Bottom: Conserving Essential Habitats in the Kootenays”.

Drones & Dens: Using non-invasive techniques to find wolverine dens – WATCH THE RECORDING

AIR DATE: Thursday, January 28, 2021, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. PT / 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. MT

Wolverine are a species of conservation priority provincially and nationally, partially due to their naturally low reproductive rates. Female wolverine are vulnerable to disturbance, especially at reproductive den sites. Dens are excavations in the snow in high elevation cirque basins near tree-line and preferred areas are used repeatedly. Deep snow is favoured for denning habitat, making wolverine susceptible to climate change and a shrinking snowpack. Doris Hausleitner will describe female wolverine denning areas and how they have searched for them using a combination of new technologies and citizen science.

Based in Nelson, Doris Hausleitner is a wildlife biologist for Seepanee Ecological Consulting and an instructor of applied ecology at Selkirk College. Together with her research partner Andrea Kortello, Doris has been working on wolverine in the south Columbia Mountains since 2011. Following a five year genetic-based mark recapture study, the team has shifted focus to finding and conserving wolverine denning areas. In addition to working on wolverine, Doris specializes in research and conservation for rare and endangered species and feels most at home out in the field!

A Provincial and Regional Overview of BC’s Old Growth Forests: Where are we at and what happens now? WATCH THE RECORDING               

AIR DATE: Thursday, February 11, 2021, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. MT

Old forest matters; not only for its inherent qualities, but also because old forest retention is the Province’s principle strategy to maintain biodiversity. In the last year, a report by Price, Holt and Daust entitled BC’s Old Growth Forests: A Last Stand for Biodiversity highlighted the very poor condition of productive old forest in BC, and recommended key actions to prevent matters from getting worse. Key recommendations include immediate deferral of harvest of the rarest forests, developing and implementing ecologically defensible targets for old forest (e.g., minimum of 30%), and improving the implementation of policy to capture the best remaining old forest and maintain functional ecosystems for the future. At the same time, an independent panel (The Strategic Old Growth Panel) wrote a report for the Minister of Forests outlining the state of old forests in the province, and they also provided 14 recommendations. This talk by Rachel Holt will bring together the findings from these reports and provide an overview of what issues are relevant to the future of old forest regionally and provincially.

Rachel Holt, Ph.D., R.P.Bio. is an ecologist, trained in the science of conservation biology and land management, and spends her days working to apply science in the land and resource management context. Her areas of expertise include technical analysis of environmental conditions and trends, working with technical and negotiation teams to solve large and small scale conservation challenges, presenting and explaining complex issues to technical and lay audiences, and scientific development of management frameworks. She has been a member of multiple versions of provincial government Old Growth Working Groups and cumulative effects teams over the last 20 plus years. She has also been a member and Vice Chair of the Forest Practices Board. Rachel lives in Nelson with her lovely family, dog and too many chickens.

Looking for the Big Picture: the Creston Valley Green Map and habitat connectivity – WATCH THE RECORDING

Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. MT

Green Maps are used worldwide to highlight nature and its value to healthier communities. They often highlight values that are sometimes overlooked, yet are integral to sustainable human communities. Wildsight Creston Valley Branch developed the Creston Valley Green Map project to engage the public in environmental awareness through science and to highlight conservation leverage in the valley.  It should help advocates like Creston Valley Wildsight and decision-makers focus and protect the exceptional biodiversity of the Creston Valley and the habitat corridors essential to maintain it. The Green Map project analysed 28 pre-existing data sets for conservation themes. The visual representation allows for better comprehension of conservation values, threats and possible corridors. It also provides a focus and vision for conservation collaborations especially with changes looming from climate change predictions. Join Brian Churchill as he reviews the development and structure of the GIS based Green Map and discusses its use and future development.

Brian Churchill is a nominally retired biologist who schooled in Cranbrook, attained his B.Sc. from the University of Victoria and his M.Sc. in Forest Wildlife from the University of British Columbia. Brian has worked as an Environmental Biologist, Regional Wildlife and Habitat Section Head with the BC Ministry of Environment and subsequently as a consultant. Brian has worked on conservation biology and wildlife management projects involving swans, mountain goats, mountain sheep, caribou, moose, elk, deer, grizzly bear and biodiversity values. He is proud of his role leading a MOE team delivering Land and Resource Management Plans for three Peace Forest Districts (19% of BC). His community involvement included two terms each as a School Trustee and City Councillor, as a Director for Y2Y and president of The College of Applied Biology. Brian and spouse Rita returned to the Kootenays in 2011 making Creston their home. Brian is currently the President of Wildsight Creston Valley Branch and a Director with Creston Community Forest.

Columbia Valley Wetland Mapping Project: Combining digital technologies and wetland ecology – WATCH THE RECORDING 
Thursday, February 25, 2021, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. MT

In 2019, the Kootenay Connect and the Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners initiated a project to map the Columbia Valley Wetlands — a large internationally recognized RAMSAR wetland complex. The Columbia Wetlands, which encompass 180km of valley bottom from Canal Flats to north of Golden, are largely undeveloped and difficult to access and study. Using a combination of digital imagery, LiDAR, and drone technology, the entire complex was mapped and each wetland type classified using the provincial Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification system. The mapping is being used to help manage the wetlands and protect species at risk. Join Ryan Durand for a presentation on this project.

Ryan Durand is an ecologist and project manager with EcoLogic Consultants. He has spent the last 20 years working throughout western Canada and the arctic on a wide range of ecosystem mapping and inventory projects, with a focus on wetlands and species-at-risk.

Explore our library of recorded webinars below, by year or by theme, or visit the Winter Webinar Series playlist on our YouTube Channel.

2020 — “Biodiversity in the Kootenays”

2019 —  “Conservation in the Context of Climate Change – Restoration in Action”

2018 — “Grassland to Wetlands: Connecting Diversity”

2017 — “Tools in the Toolbox for Private Land Conservation”

2016 — “Large Landscape Conservation”

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