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RDCK Local Conservation Fund helping support local habitats, water and wildlife

By Contributor
June 1st, 2023

Submitted by Kootenay Conservation Program

Six important conservation projects were approved earlier this year by the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) Directors to receive funding from the RDCK Local Conservation Fund (RDCK LCF) in 2023.

A local government service, the Local Conservation Fund provides funding to valuable conservation projects in Electoral Areas A, D, and E. Beginning this fall, organizations with projects based in Area H (Slocan Valley) will also be able to apply for funding. 

“Local organizations in the RDCK are doing important conservation work that contributes to our quality of life here,” said Juliet Craig, Program Director for the Kootenay Conservation Program, which works in partnership with the RDCK to administer the fund.

“These projects are supporting a variety of wildlife species, habitat restoration, and water monitoring in the area.”

A new recipient of Local Conservation Funds this year is the Ktunaxa Nation Council, which will receive $10,000 for their project: Protecting Indigenous Cultural Values and Fish and Wildlife Habitat on Kootenay Lake.

This important project will update and improve the existing Kootenay Lake Shoreline Guidance Document to assist with long-term planning for all levels of government and protect Indigenous cultural values, as well as high-value fish and wildlife habitat. 

The Wildlife Conservation Society Canada (WCSC) will receive $20,441 for their Bat Roost Habitat Monitoring in the Kootenay Lake Region project.

The goals of this project are to enhance and monitor roosting options for bats, identify seasonal migration/movements of bats, map all known roost locations to inform disease surveillance, and continue to provide bat conservation outreach to landowners. 

The RDCK LCF is supporting the third year of the Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society’s (FOKLSS) Harrop Wetland Restoration project.

FOKLSS will receive $14,662 to restore 0.3 ha of degraded wetland habitat in Sunshine Bay Regional Park. Restoration of two small wetland basins will continue, as will combating the monoculture of invasive reed canary grass, and installing habitat features for amphibians, reptiles, and birds. 

The Grizzly Bear Coexistence Solutions project, facilitated by the Lardeau Valley Opportunity LINKS Society, will receive $11,500 to assist private landowners with reducing grizzly bear conflicts through a 50% cost share with residents for electric fencing equipment to protect their livestock and/or crops from bears. 

The BC Conservation Foundation will receive $10,000 towards their Habitat Restoration for Beavers project along the Duncan Lardeau River Floodplains.

This project aims to restore healthy, self-sustaining beaver populations along both the Lardeau and lower Duncan Rivers by encouraging improved habitat conditions through a broad range of integrated approaches. 

Finally, Living Lakes Canada will receive $7,773 for the Kootenay Watershed Science project, which involves collecting hydrometric data, snowpack measurements, and lake health and function data that will inform land-use response in the face of climate change.

This information is crucial to better conserve and restore ecosystems, support sustainable community development, and prepare for increased hazards. 

The RDCK Local Conservation Fund was established by the RDCK in Areas A, D and E in 2014 by referendum, and in Area H in 2022.

Property owners in these Electoral Areas pay an annual tax of $15 per parcel towards this dedicated fund, which provides financial support to local projects that help conserve and restore the area’s valuable natural surroundings. 

To find out if your idea for a conservation project qualifies, or if you have any questions about the fund, contact KCP Local Conservation Fund Coordinator Kendal Benesh at 1-844-775-2722 or email

The application intake for 2024 projects will open in August 2023 and all applications must be received on or by October 31, 2023. For more information on the RDCK LCF, please visit

For more information on the 2023 approved projects as well as past RDCK LCF funded projects, please visit:

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