This past Monday, Norm Allard, Community Planner for Yaqan Nukiy (Lower Kootenay Band) took us on a tour of restoration projects on the Kootenay and Goat Rivers. The floodplain and wetland restoration work holds multiple benefits for wildlife, water and community.
Many people are surprised to know how much the rivers in the Creston Valley have been changed by settlers. Before 1929, the Goat River flowed parallel with the Kootenay River and drained into Duck Lake. In the 1930s a canal was cut so that the Goat River would join the Kootenay River, where it does today. The presence of upstream dams on the Kootenay River have also altered the hydrology of the Creston Valley. The reduction of seasonally flooded habitat means less rearing channels for fish and reduced habitat for amphibians, birds and other wildlife. It also means less natural nutrients entering the stream to enrich fish habitat.
Today, Yaqan Nukiy is restoring the hydrology and the ecology of several areas on Lower Kootenay Band lands, while building capacity for the Yaqan Nukiy community. Watch the video to learn more about the blending of historical knowledge, technology and effort to restore ecological function to this area.
Thank you to Norm Allard and Lower Kootenay Band for taking the time to share this incredible project with us!
This project was possible thanks to the funding from Columbia Basin Trust, the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk, the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, Wildlife Habitat Canada, the CBT’s Ecosystem Enhancement Grant, the Province of B.C., the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. , British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, the British Columbia Wildlife Federation
And last but not least Lower Kootenay Band for their dedication and commitment to these wetlands.