The Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP) is now accepting fish and wildlife grant applications for the coming year. Stewardship groups, First Nations, consultants, agencies or individuals are invited to apply for a grant to help conserve, restore and enhance fish and wildlife in the Columbia Region. In the East Kootenay, through a partnership with Columbia Basin Trust (the Trust), the FWCP has funds available to deliver projects under the Upper Kootenay Ecosystem Enhancement Plan (UKEEP).
Thanks to UKEEP, the FWCP is currently funding 14 fish and wildlife projects, for a total investment of more than $725,000 within the Upper Kootenay River watershed, including Koocanusa Reservoir. This is the second year that projects have been delivered through UKEEP, and the species benefitting from this work include: Westslope Cutthroat, Bull, and Rainbow, Trout; Mule and White-tailed Deer; Wolverine; Bighorn Sheep; Lewis’s Woodpecker; and many other grassland birds.
Examples of UKEEP projects currently being supported this year include:
- Bull Trout inventory and recovery in Wildhorse River;
- assessing Wolverine abundance and harvest sustainability;
- Alexander Creek habitat restoration and enhancement;
- identification of key habitats for Long-billed Curlews; and
- 144-hectare open grassland habitat restoration near Newgate to help ungulates.
“Last year, UKEEP funds supported a variety of projects in the East Kootenay,” says FWCP Columbia Region Manager, Crystal Klym. “Fish barriers were removed on Wickman Creek to improve fish passage for resident Westslope Cutthroat Trout. Grasslands near Elko were restored to improve ungulate habitat, and invasive plants were treated on 22 different conservation properties.”
“We’re excited to be launching the third intake of this program,” says Rick Allen, Columbia Basin Trust Manager, Special Initiatives. “These projects help strengthen our natural environment, and we thank everyone who has committed themselves to conserving and restoring fish and wildlife habitat in this area. We look forward to seeing what new, innovative and impactful projects come forward.”
The FWCP administers UKEEP projects through a funding partnership with the Trust, which provided $3 million over three to five years.
“Working with the Trust, we anticipate building a solid foundation of effective and results-based projects under UKEEP that guide conservation efforts in this watershed,” added Klym. 2
FWCP is a partnership between BC Hydro, the Province of B.C., Fisheries and Oceans Canada, First Nations and Public Stakeholders, to conserve and enhance fish and wildlife impacted by BC Hydro dams.
To see the full list of projects supported under UKEEP for 2016-17, and to access the Grant Application Information Kit for 2017-18 projects, visit fwcp.ca. The deadline for the online application is October 28, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. PT/ 6:00 p.m MT.