The Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program hosted a workshop on setting local conservation priorities.

The Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program hosted a workshop on setting local conservation priorities.

Local groups help update fish and wildlife priorities

Local conservation groups, First Nations, local, federal and provincial government agencies, consultants, forestry companies and interested citizens attended a recent workshop hosted by the Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP).

The Campbell River watershed workshop was a chance for the FWCP to discuss local conservation priorities and potential fish and wildlife projects with people who live and work in the area.

“We’re updating our plans to conserve and enhance fish and wildlife impacted by BC Hydro dams in the Campbell River watershed and we want to get input on our draft ideas,” explains Julie Fournier, manager of the FWCP’s Coastal Region. “Our next step is to review the ideas we’ve received and consider which ones are within our mandate and appropriate for us to pursue in the future.”

Together, the group of more than 45 talked about fish, wildlife, the watershed and the kinds of projects the FWCP could fund in the future. The discussion identified many areas of interest including invasive species, at-risk species, and salmon. Participants underscored the need to consider climate change and First Nations traditional knowledge in potential projects.

Habitat mapping, purchasing land for conservation purposes, and effectiveness monitoring of restoration activities, such as the placement of spawning gravel in the Elk Falls Canyon and the Campbell River, were some of the other discussion themes.

Proposed actions for this watershed are online and at fwcp.ca.

“Many who attended the workshop told us it was a positive discussion and they’re looking forward to the next steps and turning the discussion into action,” says Fournier, adding that the FWCP’s Coastal Region Board will finalize the draft watershed action plan, which will be available for public comment by spring 2017.

Subscribe to FWCP news at fwcp.ca/subscribe to receive updates on the next steps and opportunities to comment on the draft action plan.

Since 1999, the FWCP has invested more than $10 million in 200 projects on Vancouver Island. In the Campbell River watershed, the FWCP has invested $5.5 million in 108 fish and wildlife projects. Learn more at fwcp.ca.

“Our action plans define the projects we fund and we will have the Campbell River Watershed action plan finalized before we open our annual intake of grant applications in spring 2017,” says Fournier.

The FWCP is a partnership between BC Hydro, the Province of BC, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, First Nations and Public Stakeholders to conserve and enhance fish and wildlife impacted by BC Hydro dams.

Campbell River Mirror

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