One of the West Kootenay projects is to protect the endangered Northern Leopard Frog population. Photo: Marc-Andre Beaucher One of the West Kootenay projects is to protect the endangered Northern Leopard Frog population. Photo: Marc-Andre Beaucher

Kootenay wildlife restoration projects receive $5.5 million in grants

Many of the projects are taking place in the West Kootenay region

The Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program’s Clumbia region board has approved around $5.5 million in grants towards 44 wildlife restoration projects in 2020-21.

Included in the list is a variety of fish, frog and bee projects slated to get underway across the West Kootenay.

One of the biggest grants is over $44,000 to help the Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society track and eradicate the invasive American bullfrog. The project will take place in irrigation ponds, ditches, reservoirs and marshes and will help protect the endangered northern leopard frog population.

Another grant is over $37,000 to help the Kootenay Native Plant Society collect more information about bee pollination. The society will track the population, diversity and habitat use of bees and investigate the role they play in pollinating local plants.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development will also be provided an almost $750,000 grant to help boost nutrients for fish populations in the Arrow Lakes Reservoir. Nitrogen and phosphorous will be added to the reservoir to support phytoplankton, which is a critical food source for the kokanee population.

The forestry ministry will also use just over $175,000 to help restore habitat for dryland and upland species. The ministry will conduct slashing, piling, burning, post-burn monitoring and reporting to ensure the wildlife populations are flourishing.

You can view all of the grants in 2020-21 by visiting the FWCP website.

READ MORE: Columbia Basin Trust approves millions for new fish and wildlife program


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connor.trembley@castlegarnews.com

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