45 environmental projects receive CBT funding

The Columbia Basin Trust today announced the recipients of funding through their Environmental Initiatives Program (EIP).

The Columbia Basin Trust today announced the recipients of funding through their Environmental Initiatives Program (EIP).

The CBT is handing out $580,000 in funding to 45 projects in the 2011/12 round of funding.

“It is a priority for CBT to encourage long-term stewardship of Basin resources and help build the capacity of residents to take action in meeting environmental challenges,” said Kindy Gosal, Director, Water and Environment. “We have been supporting residents, community groups and organizations since 2002 on projects that focus on reducing impacts on regional aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. We are excited about being able to help all the eligible projects.”

The EIP provides funding to community-initiative projects, including a small grant (up to $10,000) and large grant stream (up to $20,000).

Here is a summary of all the projects. Revelstoke-specific grants can be found below in the “Northwest Basin” section.

BASIN-WIDE/MULTIPLE REGIONS

Bird Studies Canada, BC Breeding Bird Atlas—Columbia Basin ($11,000): This project advances local and regional conservation planning, addressing issues including species at risk, critical habitat conservation, appropriate industrial development, refining dam mitigation measures and best practices in natural resource management. It is increasing the region’s scientific skill base and public contribution to conservation planning, policy and habitat management and augmenting the Columbia Basin Biodiversity Atlas. www.birdatlas.bc.ca www.birdscanada.org

Central Kootenay Invasive Plant Committee, Protecting Waterways From Alien Invasion ($15,000): This project will engage the general public as well as local stewardship groups and recreationalists to report easy-to-identify aquatic and riparian invaders and encourage recreational practices that reduce potential introduction and spread. A monitoring network for aquatic invaders will be established. www.kootenayweeds.com

Central Kootenay Invasive Plant Committee, Youth Pulling Together ($5,100): The committee intends to expand current programs to include several larger, youth-driven community events. These projects will include the development of Girl Guides workshops and assistance with the development of an “Invasive Plant Challenge” badge. In addition, several communities have expressed interest in hosting hand-pulling events to be delivered in collaboration with local schools. www.kootenayweeds.com

Kootenay Centre for Forestry Alternatives, Mitigating Forest Decline Through Science and Education ($19,915): This project will investigate health conditions in low-elevation juvenile lodgepole pine plantations and determine whether specific silviculture practices, ecosystems and/or climatic conditions have resulted in young forest decline.

Selkirk College, The Biodiversity Atlas and Citizen Science ($20,000): The mission of the Columbia Basin Biodiversity Atlas is to positively affect natural biodiversity conservation by providing public access to current, authoritative and accurate interactive map and report information via the Internet. This project aims to build on public interest by expanding the ways the public can contribute information to the site with two citizen science initiatives. www.biodiversityatlas.org

West Kootenay EcoSociety, Earth Day Challenge ($5,000): Between April 1, 2011, and National Environment Week, June 6 to 11, 2011, Basin residents will be able to log on to www.kootenayearthday.ca to share what they are doing for Earth Day and invite others to join them. During the last week of the challenge, residents and organizations can also sign on to the National Commuter Challenge. www.ecosociety.ca

Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation of Canada, Columbia Basin Whitebark Pine Restoration Program ($9,000): This project will involve education and outreach by professional biologists, agrologist and foresters to raise awareness about whitebark pine and achieve conservation goals. www.whitebarkpine.ca

Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation of Canada, Limber Pine Restoration Project ($20,000): This is year two of a three-year restoration program targeted for the blue-listed species limber pine. Activities include seed collections, planting, developing restoration prescriptions, monitoring and outreach activities. www.whitebarkpine.ca

Wildsight, Beyond Recycling ($20,000): Beyond Recycling is a school-based environmental education program that provides an action-oriented, solutions-focused curriculum that allows students to recognize the impacts of their lifestyle choices and highlights the importance of individual actions. www.wildsight.ca www.beyondrecycling.ca

Windermere District Farmers’ Institute, BC EG&S Program’s Columbia Basin Communications/Education ($20,000): The concepts behind ecosystem goods and services (EG&S) are new and unfamiliar in BC. This communication/education project is focused on communicating the concept of supported EG&S to establish a long-term EG&S program across the region and province.

Windermere District Farmers’ Institute, EG&S Program’s Columbia Basin Research and Monitoring ($10,000): This research and monitoring project is focused on monitoring the biological and economic response to implemented beneficial management practices in riparian areas on working farms in the Basin.

NORTHEAST BASIN

Alexander Park Elementary School, Hot Lunch Bowls ($1,820): This project will engage students to take active roles in environmental choices in their community and homes by creating an environmentally friendly alternative to the disposable plates currently used for hot lunch.

Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners, Water Monitoring in the Headwaters of the Columbia River ($10,000): This cooperative project develops a long-term water monitoring program for the Upper Columbia River watershed above Radium Hot Springs. www.columbiawetlands.org

Lake Windermere Ambassadors Society, Lake Windermere Ambassadors 2011/12 Program ($20,000): This project aims to continue scientific monitoring and stewardship programs based on the findings of the Lake Windermere Project and to support implementation of the Lake Windermere Management Plan and the Lake Windermere Shoreline Management Guidelines for Fish and Wildlife.

Lake Windermere District Rod & Gun Club, Boulder Creek Diversion Project ($20,000): This project involves re-diverting a portion of the headwaters of Neave Creek back to its original channel and installing an irrigation pipe in an existing diversion ditch to account for the volume loss in Wilmer Creek. The project will increase and maintain flows to wetlands, two fish-bearing streams and three lakes with high-value fish and wildlife habitats.

Wildsight, Columbia Headwaters Invasive Plant Species Project ($20,000): This project will combine aquatic plant surveys on priority lakes and streams, hands-on terrestrial restoration, data-sharing in a province-wide database and community-based education to eradicate weeds and prevent new infestations. www.wildsight.ca

NORTHWEST BASIN

BC Conservation Foundation: Meadow Creek Less-Lethal Grizzly Bear Management Project ($10,000): The aim of this project is to reduce grizzly bear mortalities in the Meadow Creek/Kokanee Spawning Channel area by educating both human and ursine residents. This project integrates improved attractant management with less-lethal management techniques to teach bears to stay away from residences. www.bccf.com

Friends of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks, Educational Project Coordinator ($20,000): This project helps fund the Educational Project Coordinator, who helps reconnect kids and adults to the natural and cultural environment. Through understanding, appreciation and education, kids and adults are able to experience wonders of the natural environment around the community of Revelstoke. www.friendsrevglacier.com

Lakehead and Beyond Produce Society, Ensiling Thistles and Gaining Farmland ($8,740): The purpose of this project is to educate the Lardeau Valley community about environmental processes and ongoing care for the land through workshops, website updates and personal hands-on involvement. It will also include mowing and ensiling invasive plants (mainly Canada thistle) for research into potential uses for this high-nitrogen-content plant and to begin restoration of previously viable farmland for use in local crop and livestock production.

Revelstoke Nickelodeon Museum, Inter-generational Stewardship Program ($6,000): This project consists of a series of educational workshops carried out by Aboriginal elders from the Basin in conjunction with the Nickelodeon Museum and citizens of Revelstoke. The workshops will be in the form of field trips during which edible plants will be identified by the elders and naturalists. www.revelstokenickelodeon.com

Slocan Lake Stewardship Society, Slocan Lake Water Quality Phase 2 ($20,000): This project consists of a continuation of a three-year study designed to monitor changes in the water of the lake. Samples will be taken, analyzed and collated with prior results to begin the development of a database for evaluating lake water quality over time. www.slocanlakess.wordpress.com

SOUTHEAST BASIN

Clear Sky Meditation and Study Foundation, Reclaiming BC Grassland Biodiversity Education Initiative ($5,000): This project offers land-use stakeholders a course on native grasses ID and develops a second course on sustainable land use planning, focusing on biodiversity and connectivity. www.clearskycenter.org

Cranbrook Community Forest Society, Informational Kiosk Restorations and Renovations ($5,000): This project involves the development of interpretive signage to inform the public about fragile ecosystems, endangered species and information of note regarding the functions of the Community Forest. www.cranbrookcommunityforest.com

Creston Valley Food Action Coalition, Harvest Share ($4,000): This program seeks to reduce orchard and garden fruit and vegetable waste through produce redistribution, supporting the environment by reducing waste, reducing human/bear conflict and reducing carbon emissions as people are able to access more local foods. The project also supports families in need by increasing access to fresh, healthy food and supports the social service agencies that serve these people. www.crestonfoodaction.ca

Creston Valley Forest Corporation, Interpretative Trail Maintenance/Knapweed Control ($3,875): The aim of the project is to foster public awareness about watershed management within the Creston Community Forest’s management area. This will be accomplished by completing maintenance work on three existing trail systems and removing knapweed located along the road systems leading up to the hiking trails. Interpretative signs and brochures will be placed at specific locations along the trails in order to explain the Community Forest’s management role within these watersheds. www.crestoncommunityforest.com .

East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council, Education and Outreach Program ($16,500): This program will engage residents and summer visitors by providing guidance, resources and information to support the prevention and minimize the spread of invasive plants in the East Kootenay. www.ekipc.com

East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council, Neighbourhood Invasive Plant Program ($10,000): This program assists in the efforts of invasive plant management on privately owned lands in the region by providing incentives to control priority invasive plant species. www.ekipc.com

Hawkins Creek Stewardship Committee, Freeman Creek Cattle Barrier ($7,685): A coarse woody debris barrier will be constructed to exclude range cattle from a selected stretch of the riparian zone on Freeman Creek. The enclosure will be monitored by community members and biologists to evaluate natural regeneration and effectiveness in excluding cattle without excluding wildlife.

Ktunaxa Nation Council, Moyie River Bull Trout Spawner Enumeration ($15,572): This project is to identify, confirm and enumerate bull trout spawning on select Moyie River tributaries. Bull trout are a provincially blue-listed species, and virtually no information regarding bull trout exists on the Moyie system.

Mainstreams Environmental Society, Joseph Creek Streamkeepers ($8,233): This project will raise water conservation awareness in Cranbrook through Joseph Creek stream keeper training and the purchase and showing of “Tapped,” a film about the water bottling industry, which will be made available to schools and other organizations so they can focus on the importance of water conservation. There will also be a community weed pull for burdock and thistle in Kinsmen Park in conjunction with planting and mulching seedlings and potted plants to enhance riparian vegetation. www.mainstreams.ca

Mainstreams Environmental Society, Riparian Restoration by Landowners ($10,000): This project will provide landowners with the knowledge and skills to carry out ongoing small-scale riparian restoration activities on their own, with their own equipment. It will also include councillors and staff from nearby municipalities who have expressed an interest in riparian restoration. www.mainstreams.ca

Nature Trust of BC, O’Grady Conservation Property: Invasive Plant Management ($6,000): This project proposes to treat the current invasive plant infestations on conservation land using a combination of chemical, mechanical and cultural controls while providing educational opportunities for crew members and information to the public. The restoration of this grassland/riparian complex to a healthy, functional condition will increase biodiversity and ecosystem values. www.naturetrust.bc.ca

Rocky Mountain Trench Natural Resources Society, Ecosystem Restoration Treatment Follow-up 2011 ($20,000): This grassland/open forest ecosystem restoration project is follow-up work on recent widespread hand-thinning treatment. It is contributing to meeting short- and long-term restoration goals of Trench Society member organizations and the Rocky Mountain Trench Ecosystem Restoration Program. www.trenchsociety.com www.trench-er.com

Rocky Mountain Trench Natural Resources Society, Ecosystem Restoration Education and Outreach ($12,950): This education and outreach project in support of fire-maintained ecosystem restoration will promote awareness and understanding of fire-maintained ecosystems (grasslands/open forests) and the ecological goods and services they provide, and the continued restoration of degraded fire-maintained ecosystems. www.trenchsociety.com www.trench-er.com

Rocky Mountain Trench Natural Resources Society, Thermal Woody Biomass Heating Hands-on Workshop ($10,000): This project will be a hands-on workshop for interested parties who are ready to develop or are in the beginning stages of development of small-scale thermal bio-energy projects within the region. It will include two days of workshop sessions that will address developing thermal biomass feasibility studies and specific technical project planning aspects of project development. www.trenchsociety.com www.trench-er.com

St. Mary Valley Rural Residents’ Association, St. Mary River Water Quality Monitoring Project ($4,850): St. Mary Valley Rural Residents’ Association will conduct a five-year water quality monitoring program to provide a baseline for water quality on St. Mary River. Association members will be trained in the monitoring process following CABIN protocols and the purchase of professional quality safety equipment will ensure safe monitoring.

Wildsight Elk Valley Branch, Elk River Alliance ($19,910): This project has four goals: 1) increase and ease access to information about the Elk River watershed; 2) encourage public participation to restore and enhance aquatic ecosystems, wetlands and riparian areas; 3) use education and community outreach to increase water literacy and participation in decision-making about water; and 4) encourage human behaviour that will reduce water consumption 20 per cent by 2015. www.elkriveralliance.ca

SOUTHWEST BASIN

Friends of Sunshine Bay, Design of Interpretive/Environmental Education Signs ($5,120): This project involves the development of interpretive/environmental signs for placement in and in the vicinity of Sunshine Bay Park. The signs will present information on the park and the importance of protecting riparian habitat in the Sunshine Bay area.

Nelson CARES Society, Earth Matters Compost Education Project ($20,000): This project will encompass a range of activities and events where education about composting and its many benefits will be offered to the public in clear, interactive and motivational ways intended to inspire people to get (re)started with composting. The project will offer opportunities for volunteers, particularly youth, to be engaged in a learning and teaching role, thereby building capacity for ongoing involvement in composting and for directly supporting local composters. www.nelsoncares.ca

Parent Advisory Council of Salmo Elementary, Salmo Elementary Learning Garden Project ($20,000): This project will implement a natural landscape design for Salmo Elementary School. The design will include an outdoor classroom, gardens that include native and traditional plants, a nature path, a dry stream feature, shade trees, seating, art murals and playground modifications. www.SD8.bc.ca

Rossland Sustainability Commission (City of Rossland), Rossland Community Energy Initiative ($19,975): This seven-month project aims to educate and engage the community on energy conservation, plus gain input into a Community Energy Plan. The project will be shaped by the input and involvement of community members to ensure the most desired and effective methods of engagement are utilized. www.visionstoaction.ca

Slocan River Streamkeepers, Slocan Side Channel Mapping and Prescription Development ($19,000): This project is designed to return the river back to a more natural functioning state. Residents of the Slocan Valley and surrounding area will benefit from the improved health of the Slocan River and associated wetlands.

West Arm Outdoors Club, Kokanee Salmon School Program ($5,000): This project guides community members, elementary, intermediate and high school students toward the awareness and importance of healthy ecosystems and their management in the Basin.

West Kootenay Eco-Society, Kokanee Creek Interpretive Centre ($20,000): The West Kootenay EcoSociety will be taking over the management and operation of the Kokanee Creek Visitor’s Centre at Kokanee Creek Provincial Park. The EcoSociety will provide interpretive displays and programs for thousands of visitors and hundreds of students from around the Basin, which will emphasize actions that people can take to protect and enhance the region’s ecosystems. www.ecosociety.ca

White Bark Consulting, Whitebark Pine Restoration in the Selkirk Mountains ($20,000): This project will help maintain and restore the endangered whitebark pine, a keystone species that provides food for a variety of wildlife, including grizzly bears. Seeds from healthy trees will be collected and planted at restoration sites in community watersheds.