Managing invasive plants in the East Kootenay grasslands, including using goats, is a joint project between Keefer Ecological Services Ltd. and Tobacco Plains Indian Band. It is currently being funded under UKEEP. Photo submitted

Year Five of Five for UKEEP

Applications for grants on the table for The Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP)

Applications are now being accepted for The Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP) for the coming year. First Nations, Stewardship groups, consultants, individuals and agencies are invited to apply for a grant to help conserve the fish and wildlife in the Columbia Region. Through a partnership with Columbia Basin Trust (the Trust), in the East Kootenay, the FWCP has funds to deliver projects under the Upper Kootenay Ecosystem Enhancement Plan (UKEEP).

“The strength of this program isn’t only the partnership between the Trust and the Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program, but the fact that it draws upon the expertise and efforts of so many passionate groups and individuals,” said Kindy Gosal, Columbia Basin Trust Director, Special Initiatives, in a press release statement. “Together, we’ve had real impact on this area’s ecosystems and the species that inhabit them. We look forward to seeing what projects will be realized through this intake.”

The partnership is in year five and calling for project ideas for work that will commence in April of next year. From the onset of UKEEP, over 40 projects have been supported with an investment nearing $2 million including applicants that have leveraged an additional $2 million to help deliver projects valuing at more than $4 million.

Projects that have obtained funds through UKEEP are varied and include restoration of critical wildlife habitat; Westslope Cutthroat and Bull Trout Research; controlling the spread of invasive species; wetland and amphibian inventories; monitoring of Kokanee populations in Koocanusa Reservoir; Mule Deer relocation and survival work; and restoring grassland ecosystems.

“UKEEP is one of seven strategic plans that guide the Board’s funding decisions each year, and applicants must propose projects that align with actions within those plans,” said Crystal Klym, FWCP Columbia Region Manager. “Given that this is the fifth year of the agreement with the Trust we are encouraging applicants to focus on those actions that are ranked as priority one.”

The 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 2017-18, and to access the Grant Application Information Kit for 2018-19 projects, visit fwcp.ca. The deadline for the online application is 5 p.m. October 27, 2017.

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