Dear Editor:

For years, conservation organizations in the West Kootenay have admired the achievements of the East Kootenay Conservation Program and its partners and asked for something similar.

Local groups are applauding news that the program now includes the West Kootenay. The new umbrella organization is called the Kootenay Conservation Program. To reflect that we have expanded our service area and are ready to assist groups in conserving and stewarding important private land in both east and west.

The new conservation program will work on local conservation priorities, and support groups and agencies already working to sustain naturally functioning ecosystems. Its logical for the program to be working Kootenay-wide to forge regional bonds since people who live here value the fish, wildlife and natural spaces that make this part of B.C. so special.

Since its beginning in 2002, the program has built partnerships throughout the Kootenays that have resulted in the conservation of over 300,000 hectares of biological diverse and high value land, representing a conservation investment of over $100 million in the region.

Marcy Mahr

Kootenay Conservation Program