State your fish and wildlife priorities for the Campbell River Watershed

You’re Invited: Campbell River, Thurs. Jan. 12, from 1 – 4:30 p.m. at the MHC

What would you do to support species and conserve their habitats? What priorities and projects would you focus on? The Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP) wants to hear your ideas.

Help define FWCP priorities for fish and wildlife impacted by BC Hydro dams. Please join the discussion in Campbell River on Thursday, January 12, at the Maritime Heritage Centre, 621 Island Highway. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. Discussion starts at 1 p.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided. More details are at fwcp.ca.

“We’re starting a discussion today that will help guide the conservation and enhancement projects we fund and deliver in the Campbell River watershed for the next five years,” says FWCP’s Program Manager, Trevor Oussoren. “Our updated Action Plans will help determine the types of projects we fund and the species we focus on.”

The Campbell River workshop is a chance to review and discuss potential conservation priorities, research and hands-on projects for the Campbell River watershed. Draft priorities and projects will be online for review at fwcp.ca one week prior to the discussion.

The process to renew and update the FWCP’s Watershed Action Plans started on Vancouver Island in November 2016. By summer 2017, renewed Action Plans will be developed for each of the 14 watersheds impacted by BC Hydro dams that make up the FWCP’s Coastal Region.

“Our Action Plans need to reflect the unique fish and wildlife needs in each watershed. That’s why we’re talking with government, First Nations, stakeholders and the public. And we hope interested groups and individuals will join us in Campbell River,” says Oussoren, pointing to the FWCP’s ongoing work in the watershed.

Between 2010 and 2016, we funded 32 projects in the Campbell River watershed: 16 addressed our priorities for conserving and enhancing rivers, lakes and reservoirs, six addressed our conservation priorities for riparian areas and wetlands, and 10 addressed uplands and drylands.

With our support, successful grant applicants worked on improving passage for Coho Salmon and Steelhead, and improving chinook spawning habitat at Elk Canyon where a new skyline pulley system is now dropping spawning gravel into the canyon, replacing more expensive helicopters. Our local Board also approved funding for purchasing high-value salmon habitat in the Salmon River estuary for conservation purposes, supporting at-risk Western Screech-Owls, Northern Red-Legged Frogs, Roosevelt Elk, Marbled Murrelets. And we continue to support recovery efforts for the endangered Vancouver Island Marmot, which includes captive rearing and release of pups.

In total, we invested approximately $1.3 million in the Campbell River watershed, which was awarded to stewardship groups, First Nations, agencies and consultants who developed proposals to deliver these important projects. Read final project reports at fwcp.ca. The FWCP is a partnership between BC Hydro, the Province of B.C., Fisheries and Oceans Canada, First Nations and Public Stakeholders to conserve and enhance fish and wildlife impacted by BC Hydro dams.