The Trust’s Ecosystem Enhancement Program will help maintain and improve ecological health and native biodiversity in a variety of ecosystems, such as wetlands, fish habitat, forests and grasslands. (Submitted)

Significant boost for Basin ecosystems

Columbia Basin Trust announces new five-year, $10-million program

Submitted by the Columbia Basin Trust

Ecosystems around the Columbia Basin will receive a major boost thanks to a new Ecosystem Enhancement Program announced by Columbia Basin Trust. The program will run for five years with a budget of $10 million.

The goal is to help maintain and improve ecological health and native biodiversity in a variety of ecosystems, such as wetlands, fish habitat, forests and grasslands. While the Trust has other programs that support ecosystem health—including its Environment Grants program—this new initiative is unique because it will carry out large-scale, on-the-ground projects with significant benefits.

RELATED: Columbia Basin Trust set to aid child care in Revelstoke

“The intent of this new Ecosystem Enhancement Program is to have a meaningful and measurable impact in supporting and strengthening ecosystem health in the Basin,” said Johnny Strilaeff, Columbia Basin Trust President and Chief Executive Officer. “Based on input from Basin residents, one of our strategic priorities is to support healthy, diverse and functioning ecosystems. This program will bring benefits to fish, wildlife and their habitats that endure into the future.”

The Trust will identify projects focused on enhancement, restoration and conservation by seeking input from community groups, First Nations representatives and government experts, and reviewing existing regional plans and research. Through request for proposal processes, the Trust will work with organizations to implement the selected projects over the next five years.

RELATED: The Columbia Basin Symposium will be streamed live this year

Learn more at ourtrust.org/ecosystems.

The Trust also helps Basin residents and groups address environmental priorities through programs like Environment Grants, the Grassland and Rangeland Enhancement Program, the Invasive Species Partnership, the Land Conservation and Stewardship Initiative, and the Upper Kootenay Ecosystem Enhancement Plan Grants. Learn more at ourtrust.org/environment.

Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin. To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, and how it helps deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the Basin, visit ourtrust.org or call 1.800.505.8998.

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