Columbia Basin Trust approves millions for new fish and wildlife program

Partnership with other agencies aimed at protecting and enhancing fish and wildlife habitats

Kootenay Reservoir

The Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) has approved $3 million in funding for the purposes of establishing a new program aimed at protecting and enhance fish and wildlife habitats in and around Koocanusa Reservoir and its tributaries in the Kootenay River system.

The funding is a one-time amount to be spent over a period of time not exceeding five years for the creation of the Kootenay-Koocanusa Fish and Wildlife Program.

Through a partnership between CBT, the BC Ministry of Environment and BC Hydro, the existing Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program will be used as a delivery agent for this program and existing staff will be used in its implementation.

Through the partnership, the CBT is expecting cost savings and an effective, integrated approach for delivery of the program.

As a result of Koocanusa Reservoir being created by a U.S. dam and the fact that there is no water licence associated with Libby Dam issued by the Province of BC, there is currently no fish and wildlife compensation program associated with the historical footprint impacts of Koocanusa Reservoir in Canada.

“Through a variety of consultation processes, Basin residents have identified a program like this to be a priority for the region,” said Neil Muth, Columbia Basin Trust president and CEO. “Support has been overwhelming, so we’re pleased to be able to partner with the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program to make the idea come to fruition.”

“The Fish and Wildlife Program Board welcomes this opportunity to work with Columbia Basin Trust and strengthen our partnership. We are looking forward to the planning process and hearing from local community members and First Nations to develop and deliver an Action Plan that will benefit fish and wildlife in this area,” said Dave White, Fish and Wildlife Compensation Board member representing the East Kootenays.

The next steps are to develop a Kootenay-Koocanusa Watershed Action Plan that will set goals, outcomes and proposed activities.

The development of the action plan will be guided by a strategic planning working group made up of representatives from Columbia Basin Trust, the Fish and Wildlife Compensation board, provincial government agencies, First Nations, local governments, industry and community groups within the geographic area.

The new program will cover an area of more than 20,000 sq. kms, including the Kootenay River drainage and associated tributaries within Canada, such as the Elk, Bull, St. Mary’s, Lussier, White and Wigwam rivers and the Koocanusa Reservoir itself.

A map of the region is available atwww.cbt.org/KootenayKoocanusaProgramMap.

Just Posted

Choir leader’s selfless work wins her Castlegar Citizen of the Year

Christina Nolan has grown the community choir into a strong and vibrant asset for the city

Water main maintenance ongoing in South Castlegar and Blueberry

Project will take two weeks — city says there should not be any service disruptions

Downtown businesses want you to love them this weekend

Third annual event encourages people to shop in their own community.

Police investigating man’s death in Winlaw

Foul play not established, but major crimes unit is investigating

Grand Forks woman assaulted in home invasion

The incident took place Wednesday morning

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Most Read