Jenny Wallace searching in typical nighthawk habitat for nest sites in Fort Shepherd.

Jenny Wallace searching in typical nighthawk habitat for nest sites in Fort Shepherd.

Waneta expansion project accepting applications for environmental conservation and restoration projects

Partners in the Waneta Expansion Project have provided funding to five local projects and are now accepting applications for 2013.

  • Aug. 29, 2012 12:00 p.m.

Partners in the Waneta Expansion Project – Fortis Inc., Columbia Power Corporation and Columbia Basin Trust, through the Waneta Terrestrial Compensation Program (WTCP), have provided funding to five local projects and are now accepting applications for 2013.

This program provides up to $50,000 annually to projects in the Waneta area that promote conservation

and restoration through research, physical works, and other on-the-ground or applied projects.

“The Waneta Expansion Project is focused on a high standard of environmental protection,” said Audrey

Repin, spokesperson for the project. ”The Waneta Terrestrial Compensation Program provides an

opportunity for organizations to undertake projects which benefit our natural environment.”

As one of the five recipients of funding from the WTCP in 2012, Seepanee Ecological Consulting is

providing cutting-edge nighthawk monitoring research in the Fort Shepherd area, across the Columbia River

from the Waneta Expansion Project. These agile insectivores, are active mostly at dusk and dawn, and are

highly cryptic, making monitoring very difficult. With the help of funding through this program, Seepanee is

hoping to build on existing data regarding these birds regionally and publish their findings scientifically in the

future.

“These birds have been assessed federally as a species of special concern,” said Doris Hausleitner of

Seepanee Ecological Consulting. “Yet, to our knowledge, there is no data out there describing the habitat

needs for these birds during nesting. We hope to change that with this research.”

Eligible projects include research, habitat creation (restoration, rehabilitation), habitat protection, species

inventories, educational program, development of management plans, weed control, and land acquisition.

Applications are now being accepted for next year’s Waneta Terrestrial Compensation Program. The

deadline for submissions is January 31, 2013. Visit www.columbiapower.org/wanetaexpansion for more

information.

Interested in learning more about the construction of the Waneta Expansion Project? Planning is underway

for a public community day celebration at the construction site in 2013.

The Waneta Expansion Project is a partnership between Fortis Inc., Columbia Power Corporation, and

Columbia Basin Trust. For more information please visit: www.columbiapower.org/wanetaexpansion.