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Columbia Basin Trust announces ecosystem protection grants

Three projects are sharing a $1.35-million grant
The Columbia Basin Trust has announced grants for biodiversity initiatives. Photo: Submitted

Columbia Basin Trust has funded $300,000 to protect the ecosystem within the Salmo River.

The grant to the Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society announced Feb. 25 is part of a three-year initiative to restore sections of the river such as eroding banks or the protection of nearby old-growth cedar trees.

“Human activities have left a simplified ecosystem, while bank erosion threatens key habitat features, degrades water quality and widens the channel, which raises water temperature,” said Gerry Nellestijn, co-ordinator with the Salmo society, said in a statement.

“We look forward to proceeding with this project to address both erosion and simplified habitat. This will help us obtain our long-term vision of restoring the Salmo River watershed and increasing aquatic biodiversity.”

The money is part of a $1.35-million grant that funds three projects supporting biodiversity.

The Trust is also providing $650,000 to a five-year initiative improving the habitat of eight eight-risk species between South Slocan and the Pend d’Oreille River, while a $400,000 grant will go toward enhancing elk habitat in the Big Ranch Conservation Property Complex in the East Kootenay.