PEACE REGION, B.C. – The Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program’s Peace Region board has approved over $1.4 million for 25 projects from 2022 to 2023.

FWCP says Indigenous Nations will conduct these projects with their communities and businesses, stewardship groups, academic institutions and consultants.

According to a release, the projects will conserve and enhance aquatic and terrestrial habitats, improve fish passage and fill essential data gaps about fish and wildlife populations, which the FWCP says is an important step for future conservation actions.

Some projects will reportedly result in immediate benefits to the critters involved, while others will build on work from previous years.

For example, the release states that the FWCP has been funding bird monitoring at the Mugaha Marsh Bird-Banding Station for over two decades, leading to a 20+ year data set on the birds.

Another example mentioned is the FWCP’s multi-year project to avoid the destruction of the Klinse-Za caribou herd through maternity penning. The process helped triple the herd. This result was due to a collaborative effort of the West Moberly and Salteau First Nations.

A project that will be completed in partnership with the Province of B.C. and the McLeod Lake Indian Band addresses information gaps about the Arctic grayling, a fish in the Parsnip River Watershed.

“The nine fish and 15 wildlife projects approved for funding this year reflect our forward-looking approach to addressing the impacts of BC Hydro dams,” says Jen Walker-Larsen, acting Peace Region manager.

“By responding to priorities identified in our actions plans, the projects will help contribute to resilient watersheds and ecosystems.”

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 in watersheds impacted by BC Hydro dams.”

The release from the FWCP states that BC Hydro funds the FWCP annually to fulfill its applicable water-licence obligations in the Peace Region related to construction impacts from the Peace Canyon and the WAC Bennet dams.

The FWCP has approved approximately $9.8 million for 95 projects across its Coastal, Columbia, and Peace Regions. For more information, visit the FWCP’s website and the full list of projects can be viewed here.

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Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.