Park Place Lodge

From counting bird species to increasing composting, 32 projects from around the Columbia Basin will address environmental well-being thanks to $870,000 from Columbia Basin Trust Environment Grants.

“These projects will make a difference in improving terrestrial and aquatic habitat, helping communities adapt to climate change, monitoring water resources and engaging Basin residents in environmental stewardship,” said Tim Hicks, Columbia Basin Trust Senior Manager, Delivery of Benefits. “Together, these projects will contribute to the well-being of the diverse landscapes, waterways, fish and wildlife in the Basin.”

All projects focus on one or more of the Trust’s four environment goals: ecosystems, climate, water or environmental education. See the complete the list of projects at ourtrust.org/2017environmentgrants.

One of the recipients is the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation of Canada. It will plant whitebark pine seedlings in several locations in the Basin to help restore this endangered species, and will collect seeds from healthy trees to send to nurseries and researchers.

“Whitebark pine seeds are a very important food source for the Clark’s nutcracker, red squirrel and grizzly bear,” said Randy Moody, President. “But in the Kootenay-Columbia region they are greatly declining─as many as 90 per cent of the trees are infected by white pine blister rust in some stands. As only mature trees produce cones, it’s important to restore the trees to increase future seed availability in the ecosystem.”

Projects in the Elk Valley include:

– Making Community Water Data Matter – Evaluate and communicate the results of six years of community-based water quality monitoring to community members in the Elk River watershed.

– South Rockies Grizzly Bear Project – Support long-term monitoring of grizzly bear populations in the Elk Valley and involve local residents in data collection. A goal is to understand and reduce human-grizzly conflicts in the Elk Valley, thereby helping to conserve grizzlies.

– Grassland Restoration: Sulphur Cinquefoil Management – Carry out and assess the efficacy of various invasive species management techniques over the course of three years.

Supporting healthy, diverse and functioning ecosystems is one of the Trust’s 13 strategic priorities. Learn more about the Trust’s other environment programs, including its Climate Action Program and new Ecosystem Enhancement Program at ourtrust.org/environment.

Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin. To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, and how it helps deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the Basin, visit ourtrust.org or call 1.800.505.8998.

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