The action plan doesn’t only concern fish populations, but other wildlife affected by habitat change. Photo: BCHydro

BC Hydro seeks input on fish and wildlife programs

Upcoming meetings in Castlegar, Kaslo

BC Hydro wants to hear from West Kootenay citizens about what it can do to better protect and rehabilitate fish and wildlife populations affected by hydro dams.

The Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program is hosting workshops and online information sessions to discuss updates to its Columbia region action plans. The ecosystem-based action plans guide close to $6 million a year toward fish and wildlife projects in watersheds impacted by BC Hydro dams.

Meetings are scheduled for April 17 at the Castlegar public forum and April 18 at St. Andrew’s United Church Heritage Hall in Kaslo.

“We’re looking for the public to comment on some of the draft priority actions we’re proposing, and we’d like to hear their comment on any new or additional ideas they’d like us to consider,” says Lynne Betts, the communications coordinator for the program. “We’re looking for ideas that are appropriate for our geographic area, for our scope and our mission and mandate.”

The updated plans will define the program’s priority actions for fish and wildlife and support funding decisions in the Columbia region for the next several years.

The first set of action plans — they’re divided between large and small lakes, river systems, species of interest and other categories — were first drawn up in 2014.

A lot has changed in the last five years, and Betts says the planning reflects that.

“We are trying to consider how we are putting a climate-change lens on the projects, what can we do that might be appropriate for us,” she says. “There’s a more engaged indigenous voice in the Columbia Basin now, and that didn’t happen as much in 2014.

“We want to have more monitoring and evaluation actions, more habitat-based actions — so more hands-on actions — and we’ve tried to strengthen the linkages to address dam impacts.”

Input from First Nations, agencies, stewardship groups, and others is central to the discussion about updating the plans and program priorities for the Columbia region, Betts says.

The plan doesn’t necessarily address a specific project for a lake or river but rather sets a priority, and then let’s proposals come that address it.

“These are not necessarily project descriptions, these are the types of things that we’d like to do that then translate into projects,” says Betts.

The final updated action plans, to be completed by August, will include priority actions that support our strategic objectives, mission, and vision.

Current action plans are available at Draft action plans will be available for public comment in early summer.

The workshops start at 1 p.m. and adjourn by 4:30 p.m. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. A light lunch will be provided.

An online feedback form is available at until May 3.

If you can’t make it to a workshop, consider coming to the evening open house to learn more about the program, projects underway, action plans, and how you can apply for a grant. The open house is from 5:30 to 7 p.m. with a short presentation at 6 p.m.

Just Posted

Logging protester arrested near Balfour

Jessica Ogden remains in custody until a hearing date is set

First Nations included in latest Columbia River Treaty talks

Seventh round of negotiations between Canada and U.S. wrap up in Washington D.C.

Close to 1000 people expected to hear international evangelist Angus Buchan this weekend

The Mighty Men’s Conference is taking place in Castlegar June 28-30.

Former Nelson swimmers competing in NCAA

Jordan and Kelsey Andrusak will be rivals in in the Western Athletic Conference

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Top B.C. court upholds ruling that struck down indefinite solitary confinement

Feds had appealed ruling in case brought by B.C. Civil Liberties Association, John Howard Society

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

B.C. students’ camping trip goes ahead despite tents getting stolen

Nanaimo businesses, school staff and parents ensure trip goes on

Disaster relief: four tips for coping with wildfires, smoky skies

Being shrouded in smoke or having to flee from wildfires can cause anxiety, stress, depression

Only legal pot shop between Vancouver and Kamloops now open

Private cannabis store on Skwah land in Chilliwack is first B.C. licensee to be Indigenous owned

Victoria woman in L.A. hospital after she was run over twice

Lynn Phillips has suffered from multiple broken bones and internal bleeding

Most Read