In this issue:

Reflecting On Our Cooperation
Supporting Our Species – SOS
OCCP Action Team News
Partner & Conservation News
Conferences & Workshops
Events
Funding Opportunities
Employment Opportunities
Volunteer Opportunities

Reflecting On Our Cooperation

As we eagerly await Easter time with family, the earthy eruptions of early flowers, and Earth Day appreciation of each and every essential environment function in April, we invite you to consider how OCCP's Statement of Cooperation that 35 member organizations have committed to, outlines priorities and commitments for collaborations which help conserve habitat and mitigate climate change in the Okanagan Valley. Our Statement of Cooperation commits OCCP Partners in their belief that...

"…biodiversity is a key component of Canada’s national heritage.
Both Canada and British Columbia have made international and national commitments to conserve biological diversity. Canadians from all walks of life are committed to preserving this rich component of our national heritage for the enjoyment and education of future generations. Biodiversity has inherent and ecosystem services values as well as economic consequences that justify its conservation. These values must be preserved for many future generations of Canadians.

… it is not too late to save the natural system for our children and for their children.
We have today an opportunity for action as unique as the natural system itself. All the necessary factors for a successful conservation program are in place. Governments (including First Nations), non-government organizations, community groups and individuals are aware of the many challenges to the natural system. We have the desire to preserve this special place. The sound science we need to make informed policy choices is at hand. The commitment to cooperation and partnerships is stronger than ever.

… protecting this special place is our shared responsibility.
With this Statement of Cooperation we are focusing the energies and efforts of the conservation partners so that each can make a distinctive yet coordinated contribution toward addressing the environmental challenges facing the natural system. We will engage the considerable skills, energy and resources of governments, community groups, educators, youth, workers, industry, and business. We intend to work through the many cooperative mechanisms currently in place to inform and involve local governments, community groups, educators, youth, workers, industry, and business."

In this edition of the OCCP newsletter, you can learn more about OCCP's initiatives for helping each and every Okanagan earthling to expand their enthusiasm for the Earth and environment. Contact us today to find out how OCCP can help you meet your conservation goals.

Supporting Our Species - SOS

There are two forms of the species Oncorhynchus nerka: one that travels to the ocean and back (sockeye salmon), and one that remains in freshwater for its entire life (usually called kokanee). Kokanee populations have evolved independently many times, and offspring of kokanee and sockeye occasionally switch their lifestyles. The Cultus Lake population of this species was classified as endangered by COSEWIC in 2003 because it is genetically unique and has been deemed irreplaceable. Our own populations are not considered to be at risk now, but climate researchers predict that the changing temperature and precipitation patterns could have a large impact our local salmon populations through lower water levels in streams and rivers, higher water temperatures, and more intense flood events that can scour eggs from the spawning beds.

There are a number of groups taking initiatives to conserve our local salmon populations. The Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) are holding a Sockeye Fry Release Ceremony on May 17th, and the ONA Fisheries Department has developed a number of initiatives to support healthy sockeye salmon stocks in the Okanagan, including their Sockeye Reintroduction Program and hatchery, habitat restoration, helping reestablish the connection for the fish to travel between the ocean and our local lakes past a number of hydroelectric dams, and a "Stream to Sea" program where local classes raise sockeye salmon fry. The Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship Society and their volunteers work to restore native plants along salmon-bearing rivers to enhance habitat. The Okanagan Basin Water Board is also collaborating with partners to study Environmental Flow Needs, which is the quantity, timing, and quality of water flows in a stream needed to sustain the aquatic life.

Can you think of any ways you can get involved to support our local sockeye salmon? Local action and collaboration adds up to make a provincial impact.

OCCP Action Team News

This month, OCCP has facilitated and participated in a number of collaborative efforts that aim to enhance everyone's appreciation of the Earth, and everyone else that lives in the Okanagan, leafy, furred, and winged.

It was standing room only inside the Mission Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library on a sunny April 1st afternoon, as over 65 people attended a community workshop about planting native Okanagan wildflowers for bees. One participant even came all the way from Kamloops! This workshop was part of the Kelowna Nectar Trail Sessions, a series of workshops to help people support wild bees in their neighbourhoods. The Nectar Trail is a 7.4 km series of flowery stepping stones through the south Mission neighbourhood that will link three places rich in wild bee populations – the Summerhill Organic Winery, the Myra Bellevue Creek corridor, and the UnH2O Xeriscape Demonstration Garden. The goal is to find at least 70 homes, schools, businesses, gardens, farms, churches, and shops along the route that will plant at least one meter of wildflowers for the bees.

OCCP, in partnership with the Habitat Stewardship Program and Environment and Climate Change Canada, provided the supplies for community members at the workshop to make clay and compost "seed bombs" that contained native Okanagan grassland wildflower seeds excellent for supporting bees. The seed bomb technique is useful for big planting projects where the seeds need extra protection and good soil to start germinating. The seed bombs were taken home by workshop participants, and extra seed bombs were made to be handed out in the Bee Ambassador packages that community members receive when they sign up to be part of the Nectar Trail, shared with community members at a bee stewardship event the following weekend, and planted at the Public Art Pollinator Pasture.

Over 35 volunteers worked together to battle weeds and plant native species in the Pollinator Pasture at Brent's Grist Mill Park

On the morning of Saturday April 8th, OCCP helped Border Free Bees and Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship Society (OSSS) host a Volunteer Stewardship Day at the Public Art Pollinator Pasture in Brent's Grist Mill Park in Kelowna, through the support of the EcoAction Community Funding Program and Environment and Climate Change Canada. This project intends to create a safe oasis for bees that provide a diversity of flowers and shelter throughout the year.

Last year Dr. Nancy Holmes and her team of volunteers cultivated four circular test plots into the weedy land in the park, which were treated with different combinations of tilling, and mulching with cardboard or plastic sheeting to remove the weeds. The circular shape was chosen to mimic the shape of underground bumblebee nests. After the mulch worked on the weeds over the summer, each plot was planted with bee-beneficial plants and seeds in the fall. The Border Free Bees team also constructed a bee condo and a small rainwater collection system on-site.

The clear plastic sheet mulching seemed to be the most successful in clearing the weeds in the test plots, but the black plastic was similarly successful, and much less costly. The test plot that was only roto-tilled was almost completely invisible again this spring with weedy grasses, and although the cardboard and bark mulch test plot was very successful with keeping the weeds down, the seeds that were planted were also not able to grow very well.

This year the goal is to expand the native flowers into the whole planting area. Black plastic sheeting was used to cover the remaining area of the Pollinator Pasture, and a long line of cardboard and bark mulch was laid down to create a pathway through the pollinator meadow. The black plastic will remain over the summer to kill the weeds, and then it will be removed and the area will be seeded with native species in the fall.

The April over 35 volunteers planted 250 native Okanagan shrubs and plants on one side of the row of test plots, and removed invasive weeds from the planting area. The volunteers received some stewardship training from OSSS, made soil seed balls containing native Okanagan grassland species to plant in the pasture and at home, and enjoyed wildlife specimens and activites provided by the Nature Kids BC Kelowna Club. We would like to thank everyone who came out to support this event, and we are looking forward to seeing the Pollinator Pasture grow this year.

On Saturday April 15th from 1-3 pm OCCP was on hand at a very special event where over 150 children and community members got a rare opportunity to get up close to a real wolf! This event, organized by NatureKids BC’s Kelowna club at the Rutland Boys and Girls Club, hosted Gary Allan and his side kick, the ‘wolf’ Tundra, who offered a unique opportunity to learn about what makes wolves so special and valuable to our ecosystems. OCCP provided information about the importance of biodiversity, and keeping wildlife pathways connected between parks and wild habitat. One of the children that visited the OCCP information display recognized the map of the Okanagan Valley and the concept of the wildlife corridors from the gallery exhibits in the Kelowna Heritage Museum that OCCP recently supported.

This event was a fun, family-friendly, education event that also included games, activities and displays from other community groups related to nature, ecology, and conservation. All proceeds from this event went to Kelowna NatureKids and the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club to support science and nature related programs. NatureKids BC is a nature exploration organization for children and their families, and they help children get outdoors to explore, play, learn about and take action for nature. Through their participation in NatureKids BC, our vision is that children develop a love of nature, a lifelong connection to the natural world, and have the environmental literacy and skills to take action for nature.

Partner & Conservation News

Bringing North Okanagan Concerns to the Candidates

North Okanagan Naturalists Club

The writ has been dropped in BC, meaning the province's candidates and parties are in full campaign mode leading up to the May 9th election. We, a group of community members who love and worry for the Okanagan's environment, want to make sure that local candidates are aware of local issues and are listening to local people.To that end, we designed this brief survey to gauge what concerns Okanagan community members have when it comes to the environment, and what action they would like to see taken to address it.

We would love your input. Please fill out the survey, and share with your friends, family, peers, etc. The more people who fill out the survey, the more candidates will know how much we care about environmental protection. In ten days, we will send the survey results to Okanagan political candidates, and ask them where they stand on the issues in the survey. Before the election, we will send you an update of how candidates responded.

Ecosystem Services Online Tool

Here is a great new resource – a national Ecosystem Services Toolkit available here. On behalf of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) governments’ Value of Nature to Canadians Study Taskforce, it is with great pleasure that we present the new Ecosystem Services Toolkit. Canada’s FPT Ministers responsible for conservation, wildlife, and biodiversity announced the release in a public communiqué resulting from their February 22 meeting in Ottawa.

Thank you again to those of you who reviewed and provided comments on draft versions of the Toolkit. The Toolkit is now freely available for download.

It provides practical step-by-step advice on how to:

  • determine whether an “ecosystem services” approach is needed in a given situation
  • complete a robust interdisciplinary ecosystem service assessment
  • understand what the results of such an assessment mean and what they do not mean
  • incorporate ecosystem services analyses and considerations in a wide range of policy, decision, and management processes

The lead co-authors of the Ecosystem Services Toolkit were Susan Preston, PhD, of Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Ciara Raudsepp-Hearne, PhD, of McGill University on behalf of Canada’s Federal-Provincial-Territorial governments’ Value of Nature to Canadians Study Taskforce. The project benefited greatly from contributions from taskforce members and many other colleagues in governments across Canada, the advice of an international interdisciplinary expert review panel, and discussions at international conferences. Developed to satisfy a need identified by FPT government officials, this resource is of interest to governments and their agencies at all levels, to academics, NGOs, and private practitioners in Canada and internationally. We are treating the Toolkit as a living document, and encourage all who use it to share their insights to inform future editions. Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Also available on the biodivcanada.ca website are a list of other helpful resources (look on the left hand column).

Okanagan Species At Risk Documents Open for Comment

Environment and Climate Change Canada

The following documents are open for a 60-day comment period. The Department will then have 30 days to consider the comments received, after which the final version of the recovery planning documents will be posted on the Public Registry.

Management Plan for the Western Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta bellii) Intermountain – Rocky Mountain population in Canada [Proposed]

Order Amending Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act: This Order follows previous consultations regarding the potential addition of several birds to the “legal list” of wildlife species at risk in Canada. The birds include Barn Swallow (found broadly across BC), Bank Swallow (found in areas of the interior and northern BC), Bobolink (found in parts of BC’s interior), and Western Grebe (found mainly in the southern interior of BC).

Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species – January 2017: This consultation is on the Federal Government’s initial response to assessments of species made by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Comments received will help inform the Minister’s recommendation regarding an Order to amend Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act. The species in this consultation include Nine-spotted Lady Beetle (a beetle found on Vancouver Island and the southern portion of mainland BC), Nuttall’s Sheep Moth (a moth found in BC’s Okanagan Valley), the Western Yellow-bellied Racer (a snake found in the southern and central interior of BC), Bear’s-foot Sanicle (a plant found on southern Vancouver Island), and others.

Proposed Recovery Strategy for the Pallid Bat (Antrozous pallidus) in Canada: The Pallid Bat is listed as Threatened under the Species at Risk Act. The proposed recovery strategy includes the identification of critical habitat in areas of BC’s Okanagan Valley.

Proposed Recovery Strategy for the Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) Southern Mountain population in Canada: The Tiger Salamander, Southern Mountain population is listed as Endangered under the Species at Risk Act. The proposed recovery strategy includes the identification of critical habitat in areas of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen and the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary in BC.

Proposed Recovery Strategy for the Showy Phlox (Phlox speciosa ssp. occidentalis) in Canada: The Showy Phlox is a plant listed as Threatened under the Species at Risk Act. The proposed recovery strategy includes the identification of critical habitat in areas of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen in BC.

Mountain Caribou Engagement Summary Released

Although the species and the location is not directly relevant to the OCCP membership, you may be interested to know that Canada and BC recently released a jointly prepared protection study for the Central Group of southern mountain caribou. This is the first such document that has been made publicly available that includes a discussion of some of BC’s laws with respect to habitat protection. Here’s the news release, which includes links to the study itself.

Review of Environmental Assessment Processes

Expert Panel for Environment and Climate Change Canada

We have been honoured to serve on the Expert Panel mandated by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to review federal environmental assessment processes. From the start we have each believed that this is an important undertaking without which Canada would be stalled on its journey toward sustainable development.

We are pleased to have tabled our Report, Building Common Ground: A New Vision for Impact Assessment in Canada, which outlines our recommendations to restore the public’s trust and confidence in federal assessment processes.

Today, the Minister has made the Report available to the public on the Government of Canada’s website for the review of environmental and regulatory processes. We invite you to take the time to read it, and we trust that it will be accepted as a satisfactory reflection of our work. Our work is now complete and no other emails will be sent through this distribution list.

The Minister is seeking your feedback on our Report. Please provide your views by visiting LetsTalkEA.ca. The deadline for providing input is May 5, 2017.

To all who participated in our review, we offer our heartfelt thanks and deep appreciation. Without your selfless effort, we would not have been able to undertake this work. Your enthusiasm and commitment fuelled our own passion and gave us the energy we needed day after day to complete our task.

Conferences & Workshops

Wetland Workshops

BC Wildlife Federation

Map our Marshes Workshop
Oliver | July 28 | Click here for more information

Wetlands Institute
East Kootenays | September 23-29| Click here for more information

Wetland Restoration & Invasive Species Workshop
Revelstoke | July 27 | Click here for more information

Wild Kidz Camps
Winfield | July 17-21| Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information
Rock Creek | July 24-28| Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information

Invasive Species Boating Industry Workshop

April 20, Salmon Arm
The Ministry of Environment (MOE), in partnership with ISCBC, will be hosting free workshops for members of the boating industry this April. Anyone involved with the boating industry is welcome, including marina owners and staff, commercial boat haulers, marine operators and boat dealers. The purpose of the 90 minute workshop is to collaborate with boating industry professionals and raise awareness about aquatic invasive species (AIS). Click here for more information.

Invasive Plant ID and Management Training Workshop

May 10, Revelstoke
This course covers everything from identification of key invasive plants in your area, to implementing best management practices in the field to prevent the spread of invasive species.
Click here for more information.

Field Soil Description & Classification Course

June 7 - 9, Revelstoke
Participants can expect to be able to describe and classify forest soils by the end of the course. They will have a couple of new field techniques to improve the quality of their soils data. They will be able to determine the % sand in the field to aid in soil texture determination, using the "spoon" method invented by the instructor. They will have applied soil properties to assess soil salvage, soil remediation, restoration and reclamation activities. Click here for more information.

Introduction to the Wetland Plants of British Columbia

July 25 - 26, Revelstoke
This course will introduce students to the freshwater vascular plants of British Columbia, providing them with an overview of prominent and ecologically important groups as well as giving them the skills to identify many species in the field. The course will prioritize the identification of families and easily-identifiable species, but will also cover species-level identification within more challenging genera so as to introduce students to the process of species-level identification using dichotomous keys. Click here for more information.

Events

Celebrate Biodiversity on Earth Day

Okanagan Heritage Museum

Apr. 22 | 11am-3pm | Suggested $5 donation
Celebrate Earth Day and join the party! Enjoy family friendly activities and refreshments at the grand opening of the new Biodiversity exhibit. Better yet, ride to the museum and make the day even greener! The Queensway Transit Exchange and cycling paths may offer a good connection between the museum and your home.

Earth Day Opening at the Osoyoos Desert Centre

Paper bees imbedded with seeds; part of another Border Free Bees collaboration.

Saturday, April 22, 9:30 am - 3:30 pm at the Osoyoos Desert Centre
Stop by the Desert Centre for a special day of activities and tours:

Naturalist Club Walk at 9:30 am
Plant Sale & Gardening Information Booths from
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Guided Tours at 10 am, 11 am, Noon and 1 pm
Native Plant Talk at 2:00 pm
Living on the edge: gardening for butterflies and bees in the South Okanagan

Join Tanis Gieselman, MSc. (SeedsCo. Community Conservation) to explore native Okanagan grassland wildflowers and how to plant them in your garden to help local pollinators. Discover how this simple action is key to the conservation of Okanagan grasslands. Learn about native seed saving initiatives and make some conservation "seed bombs" to create an explosion of Okanagan wildflowers around the Osoyoos area. Advance registration required (contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 250-495-2470 to register). Free admission on Opening Day

Kelowna Nectar Trail Sessions Continue

Border Free Bees

Growing Without Pesticides: A Biodynamic Approach
Gabe Cipes (Summerhill Winery)
EarthDay - Saturday April 22nd, 1-4pm
Summerhill Winery Biodynamic Gardens, 4870 Chute Lake Road

Bee ID Workshop & Introduction to Pollinator Citizen Science App
Erin Udal & Geoff Campbell (Border Free Bees)
Saturday, May 13 from1 to4pm
Okanagan Regional Library Mission Branch, 4105 Gordon Drive, Kelowna BC

Watch for The Pollinator Picnic in June 2017! To find out more information or register for the Nectar Trail, visit the BorderFree Bees website. This project is funded by Telus’s Go Wild Community Grant program as well as the Public Art Pollinator Pasture Research project at UBC. The Kelowna Nectar Trail Sessions are supported by the Okanagan Regional Library and Summerhill Winery.

Don’t Move a Mussel

Hilo, one of Alberta's famous mussel-sniffing dogs, and his handler Cindy Sawchuk

Okangan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society
Tuesday April 25
Doors open at 6:45 PM. Presentations from 7:15 – 9:00 PM
Okanagan College, Penticton

Invasive mussels are moving closer to BC every year.
Stephanie Hester, Coordinator with the Montana Invasive Species Council, will talk about the steps Montana is taking to prevent an economic and ecological disaster, after the discovery of mussels in 2016. Meet Hilo, one of Alberta's famous mussel-sniffing dogs, and his handler Cindy Sawchuk with the Government of Alberta. Cindy will talk about the Conservation K-9 program in Alberta and what they are doing to prevent invasive mussels from invading their province.

To REGISTER for this event, go to www.oasiss.ca
Limited seats available.

Journey To The Future

April 27, 7 pm, Schubert Centre.
Guy Dauncey, author with a positive vision of a sustainable future, discusses his latest book and provides numerous ideas of how we can act on his visions to make life much happier and healthier for everyone - grandchildren too! Discussion welcome. Bring a carload! Sponsor is Sustainable Environment Network Society.

Electric Car Show

May 25, 7 pm, Schubert Centre, Vernon.
A variety of electric cars will be on display outside in the east parking lot until about 8 pm. There may even be the latest electric bicycles to try! Join owners inside after the showcase as they speak to the benefits of their own mode of transport. Reading material and vehicle specs will be available inside. Everyone is welcome!

More Great Opportunities to Get your Garden Goodies

Okanagan Xeriscape Association Plant Sale
April 29th 9 am - 12 pm

Summerland Ornamental Gardens Plant Sale
May 6 & 7 from 8 am - 4 pm

Repair Cafés for your spring cleaning

Need something repaired? We have a room full of talented volunteer fixers that will try to give your item new life and keep it from the landfill. Our volunteers can fix computers, bikes, clocks, ceramics, small appliances, clothes, small upholstery items and more!

April 29th,
Okanagan College Trades Buildling, 1000 KLO Road, Kelowna.
10 am - 2 pm
More info can be found here.

May 28, Okanagan Science Centre parking lot, Vernon.
11am – 3 pm
Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS) is again supporting Vernon in Transition for this valuable and FREE community event (but donations welcomed)!

Skilled volunteer repairers will be there, happy to help you learn how to repair your stuff… just bring it along, and take it away – fixed! We can repair: Bikes and skateboards, Computers, iPhones & small electronic items, Guitars, other string instruments (we’ll help you string them, too), furniture, woodwork, small appliances, 
clothes/knitwear that need sewing, darning or patching, leather/canvas and other heavy-duty sewing repairs, tools that need sharpening, knick-knacks, things that need gluing, and more! Challenge us! - bring anything that you would rather fix than throw away! Coffee/Tea and Food Vendor on site! Live music, too! Sponsors: Vernon in Transition, Okanagan Science Centre, Regional District of the North Okanagan.

Great Canadian Birdathon

North Okanagan Naturalists Club (NONC)

Once again this May several NONC members will be participating in this event. You can expect to see future messages from us, but for now there is also this from the Allan Brooks Nature Centre:

"We are planning to have an Allan Brooks Nature Centre team for the Great Canadian Birdathon this year. We will be doing our “big day” as a team on the morning of May 1st. If anyone is interested in participating in the fundraising aspect, but isn't able to make it on May 1st, they can still register online with our team and go birding on any other day in May.

Seventy-five percent of funds raised will go to Bird Studies Canada for bird conservation and research. Twenty-five percent will go towards establishing a raptor education program at Allan Brooks Nature Centre. Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to provide."
Laurel McDonald
Find the team page here.

NONC Annual Field Day

Saturday, May 13th at 9:30 am everyone is invited to meet at the east end of the Kal Beach parking lot, off of Husband Road. From there we will car pool to your choice of one of three outings: a Botany walk, a Birding walk and a Hike. The walks will end in time for us to return to Kal Beach, from where we will go to lunch. At 12:30 pm, and until 2:00 pm, we will gather at Coldstream Park for a picnic lunch, sharing observations and socializing. Bring your own lunch, lawn chair, binoculars, bottle of water, sturdy footwear, and dress for the weather.

Keeping Connectivity

The Downtown Kelowna Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library has re-opened its doors after a long winter renovation, and in their new atrium space they are hosting OCCP's travelling gallery exhibit "How Do We Get From Here To There". This exhibit tells a tale of habitat connectivity in the Okanagan, highlighting the difficulties that animals face as they migrate, and try to find water and shelter. This outreach exhibit is supported by the Environment Canada’s EcoAction Community Funding Program, The Real Estate Foundation of BC, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, TELUS, and the Vancouver Foundation.

Since February, the highly visible location at the Kelowna Library has helped this exhibit reach a wide variety of people. The Roads and Trails board game that the Regional District of Central Okanagan Parks staff developed and donated to the exhibit has been so popular with families visiting the library, that it was included into the kids play area so the kids could spend more time with the game.

What does water mean to you?

Life sustaining, thirst quenching, essential; water is precious for all living beings. The Social Life of Water is a collaborative community exhibit at the Kelowna Heritage Museum that explores fundamental relationships with water throughout the Okanagan Valley. The exhibition will use art, audio and visual media, and storytelling to explore the diverse meanings that water holds and has held for the many communities, cultures and interest groups in the valley over time. Drench yourself in this ongoing collaboration and become inspired to share your water knowledge via the online contribution form, which will inform the development of a virtual exhibition website. This fascinating, immersive exhibit will be on display until the spring of 2017 and will host a series of public events throughout this time.

The Social Life of Water has been made possible through the dedicated collaboration of a variety of partners, including: the Kelowna Museums Society, the Okanagan Nation Alliance, the UBCO Centre for Culture and Technology, the Sncewips Heritage Museum, the Okanagan Basin Water Board and WaterCycles Consulting. For more information, visit the website.

Funding Opportunities

Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation Public Conservation Assistance Fund

Application Deadline: May 16
HCTF provides small grants to organizations and individuals who have a conservation project in mind but need financial help to make it happen. Projects must be of a conservation nature, with priority given to projects that focus on activities that maintain, conserve or restore native (indigenous) fish and wildlife species and their habitats. Read more here.

Telus Community Board Grants

Application Deadline: May 5
Thompson - Okanagan Community Board members choose programs that focus on youth, demonstrate social or technological innovation in program delivery, and involve arts & culture, education & sport, or health & well-being in our environment. Details here.

Nature Conservancy of Canada Round 3 of Other Qualified Organizations (OQO) Program

Application Deadline: Ongoing until November 1
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is pleased to announce Round 3 of the Other Qualified Organizations (OQO) Program. Funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada and administered by NCC, the program will provide up to $5 million in support of conservation in communities across Canada. Land acquisitions closing between April 1, 2017 and January 31, 2018 will be considered under Round 3 of the OQO Program, and applications will be accepted until 5:00pm EST on November 1. Read more here.

Employment Opportunities

Summer Student Job Opportunities

Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society (OASISS)

The Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society (OASISS) is a non-profit organization comprised of a Program Manager and a Field Operations Manager, a board of Directors and a diverse membership that represents different agencies, ministries, conservation organizations and natural resource companies within the Okanagan-Similkameen. The society and its members are dedicated to working together to prevent, monitor and control the spread of invasive species in our region. OASISS is currently seeking five enthusiastic, self-motivated, articulate and organized individuals to join our team!

Invasive Plant Program Assistant (up to 2 positions)
Base location: Penticton
Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Program Assistant (up to 3 positions)
Base locations: Penticton, Kelowna and Vernon

ALL POSITIONS
Term: Full time, May 23 - August 27, 2017 (14 weeks)
Wage: $15 per hour
Applications will be accepted until 5:00 PM Friday, April 28, 2017

Applicants MUST meet Canada Summer Jobs criteria, which means they are aged 15 to 30 years and full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year. A reliable vehicle is also a MUST. For job descriptions, other requirements and preferences, refer to the attached posting, or visit the website.

Submit Applications to:
Lisa Scott, OASISS Program Manager
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject line should state: “Application for Summer Student Position”

Thanks to Canada Summer Jobs program and the Okanagan Basin Water Board, as well as other partners for helping to fund these positions.

Biologists wanted

Okanagan Nation Alliance

Click the links below for more information:
On-Call Wildlife Technician
Major Projects Biologist 3 Upper Columbia

Volunteer Opportunities

Great Shoreline Cleanup

Vancouver Aquarium and WWF

The Vancouver Aquarium and WWF are officially opening registration for local community groups to host their own Great SHoreline Cleanup with the launch of a brand new website. To be the first to know when registration opens, sign-up for our Shoreline Cleanup newsletter by clicking the “E-Newsletter” link on the right side of the website. You can easily search our interactive map for cleanup sites near you to register your own team cleanup event, or join a cleanup event. Once you are registered to lead a cleanup, you will have access to cleanup event forms, a checklist of supplies, poster templates, information on how to contact your municipality for waste removal, and more. We are here to support you to help make your cleanup a success, so feel free to reach out at any time!

BC Community Bat Program

Since the winter of 2006, WNS has killed huge numbers of bats in eastern North America but had not been detected in western North America. However, in March 2016 a single bat carrying the disease was found in Washington State; this is the first case west of the continental divide. It has not yet been detected in B.C. For more information please visit the website here.

Members of the public are being asked to be on lookout for White Nose Syndrome in bats
The Province, in partnership with the BC Community Bat Program and other concerned groups, are asking the public to be on the lookout for dead or sick bats that may have contracted an invasive fungal disease called White Nose Syndrome. White Nose Syndrome has not been detected in British Columbia; however it was detected in Washington State in 2016 and the risk of its arrival is very high. The disease, which refers to a white fungus that grows on the muzzles or bodies of bats, has killed over 6 million bats since arriving in the eastern United States in 2006 and reaching Canada in 2010. White Nose Syndrome does not infect humans. Click here to read more.

Resources

Webinars for Conservation with Private Landowners

The Kootenay Conservation Program

In case you missed the previous webinars, you can view them on the website:
Wetland Restoration and Construction on Private Land
Presenter: Neil Fletcher, Wetlands Education Program Coordinator, BC Wildlife Federation

Securement 101: The Basics of Protecting Private Land Through Covenants and Acquisitions
Presenter: Nancy Newhouse, Senior Director of Conservation, Nature Conservancy of Canada

Tools you Can Use for Reaching Landowners (Without Breaking the Bank)
Presenter: Angela Wells, Stewardship Program Manager, Montana DNRC

Understanding Basin Water Resources Webinars

Columbia Basin Trust
Click here for more information, and to view the webinars.

Species at Risk - Critical Habitat Tools

South Coast Conservation Program
We will be posting a recording of this webinar on our YouTube page.