The Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program wants to hear the public’s ideas to define priorities for fish and wildlife impacted by BC Hydro dams. A workshop is set for Mission on May 29. / Submitted Photo

What are your project priorities?

Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program hosts ideas meeting in Mission

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 by attending a workshop in Mission.

“We’re starting a discussion today that will help guide the conservation and enhancement projects we fund and deliver in the Alouette and Stave River watersheds for the next five years,” said FWCP’s Coastal Region manager, Julie Fournier.

“Our updated Action Plans will help determine the types of projects we fund and the species we focus on.”

The discussion takes place in Mission on Monday, May 29, at the Best Western Plus Mission City Lodge, 32281 Lougheed Highway. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. Discussion starts at 1 p.m. and ends at 5 p.m.

The Mission workshop is a chance to review and discuss potential conservation priorities, research and hands-on projects for the Alouette and Stave River watersheds. Draft priorities and projects are online for review at fwcp.ca.

“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 Mission,” said Fournier, pointing to the FWCP’s ongoing work in the watersheds.

Between 2010 and 2017, the FWCP funded 19 projects in the Alouette River Watershed, and 13 and in the Stave River Watershed, with a combined value of $1.5 million.

With FWCP funding, successful grant applicants worked in the Alouette River Watershed to restore and maintain spawning and rearing habitat for Chinook and Coho Salmon. A habitat mapping and species inventory project on at-risk species including herons, owls, turtles and frogs, as well as goshawks and deer was also completed.

In the Stave River Watershed, FWCP projects helped create, improve or restore spawning and rearing habitat for salmon including Chum and Coho. At-risk species including the Western Screech-Owl, and the Western Painted Turtle were the focus of a project to inventory riparian and wetland species as a first step toward future restoration and habitat protection in this watershed.

In 2017-18, the FWCP’s Coastal Region Board approved an additional $312,000 for four fish and wildlife projects in the Alouette and Stave River Watersheds. Part of this funding will be used by the Alouette River Management Society to explore fish passage for anadromous salmon in the Alouette River watershed.

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.

If you plan to attend the May 29 event in Mission, please RSVP at fwcp@bchydro.com. If you can’t attend, you can share your ideas by Monday, June 19, 2017, at fwcp@bchydro.com.