Those involved with local fish and wildlife conservation projects that need funding will be glad to know that Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP) is accepting grant applications for just such projects, through theUpper Kootenay Ecosystems Enhancement Plan (UKEEP).
Local residents may already be familiar with FWCP, as it is the organization that helped the Lake WindermereDistrict Rod and Gun Club construct and place nesting boxes for at-risk Lewis’s woodpeckers across their
historical range in the Columbia Valley.
“Last year, UKEEP funds supported a variety of projects in the East Kootenay,” said FWCP Columbia RegionManager Crystal Klym in a press release.
In total, the plan helps 14 fish and wildlife projects throughout the entire Upper Kootenay River watershed, on which more than $725,000 has been spent.
This is the second year that such projects have been delivered through UKEEP, and species benefitting include westslope cutthroat, bull and rainbow trout; mule and white-tailed deer; wolverine; bighorn sheep; Lewis’s woodpecker; and other grassland birds.
In addition, Ms. Klym said invasive plants were treated on 22 different conservation properties.
The FWCP administers UKEEP projects through a funding partnership with the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT).
“We’re excited to be launching the third intake of this program,” said CBT special initiatives manager Rick Allenin the release. “These projects help strengthen our natural environment, and we thank everybody who has committed to conserving and restoring fish and wildlife habitat in this area. We look forward to seeing what new, innovative and impactful projects come forward.”
“Working with the Trust, we anticipate building a solid foundation of effective and results-based projects underUKEEP that guide conservation efforts in this watershed,” added Ms. Klym.
The FWCP operates a number of Columbia Basin-wide programs that impact or are close to the Upper ColumbiaValley, such as its wetlands stewardship program, invasive plant management program, mule deer survival monitoring program, westslope cutthroat trout hybridization study, and its wolverine abundance data gathering.
The FWCP was formed as a partnership between BC Hydro, the provincial government, Fisheries and OceansCanada, and local First Nations, with the intent of conserving and enhancing fish and wildlife impacted by BCHydro dams.
To learn more or to get a grant application information kit, visit www.fwcp.ca. The deadline for online grant application is October 28th , 2016.