Who We Are

Our Story

Collectively shifting the dial on conservation.

Photo credit: Dave Hillary

Early Roots

In the early 2000s, a small group of people in the East Kootenay were concerned the place they loved was about to irreversibly change. Across the region undeveloped properties were being subdivided at an unprecedented rate, putting tracts of ecologically valuable land and the future health of wildlife populations at risk.

Some of this group were born and raised in the Columbia Valley, tending cattle on rolling fields. Some knew where badgers burrowed, when prairie crocus emerged, where long-billed curlews nested. All cared about conservation and understood how much important habitat was at stake.

Our relationship with the landscape varied, but one thing connected us: a desire to work together to conserve the land and the future of the region we cared about.

East Meets West

In 2002 we held our first workshop and officially formed the East Kootenay Conservation Program (EKCP)—a partnership of people working to conserve and steward private land. In 2012, we became Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP) formally recognizing the connection between the East and West Kootenay.

Photo credit: Pat Morrow

Our Priorities

Our priorities are situated within a ‘one river, one watershed’ approach. Using a whole landscape philosophy, we promote collaboration across our network, support partners by sharing knowledge and expertise, build financial tools, and coordinate stewardship and land conservation within our service area.

Where We Work

Situated in the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Ktunaxa, Secwépemc, Sinixt, and Syilx Okanagan peoples, the Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia is an incredible place of global ecological significance.

Our service area extends across both East and West Kootenay, and maintains connections with national and international conservation collaborations. The lands and waters of this region have been stewarded by Indigenous peoples since time immemorial, and their presence continues to inspire, inform and lead stewardship across the region.

Stylized map

Our Collaborative Impact

Land Conserved
Invested in Securement
Partner Organizations
Projects Currently Facilitated

What Guides Us

Photo credit: Marcy Mahr

Our vision

To have connected habitats and landscapes in the Kootenays that sustain biodiversity and naturally-functioning resilient ecosystems that, in turn, support community well-being.

Photo Credit: Juliet Craig

Our mandate

To coordinate and facilitate landscape-level and local conservation efforts focusing on private lands, share conservation knowledge and expertise, and build support and resources for this effort.

Photo credit: Dave Hillary

Our purpose

To cooperatively conserve biological diversity and naturally functioning ecosystems of the region through land conservation and stewardship, while sharing knowledge and expertise, building financial support, and promoting collaboration.

Why We Exist

The Kootenay region offers critical habitat for an abundance of plant, animal and fish species—many of which are currently rare or endangered or at risk of becoming so. However, ecosystems here have been widely impacted. By securing and stewarding ecologically important lands, the Kootenay region has greater potential to sustain biodiversity.

Become part of our story.

Are you an organization with an interest in land stewardship across the Kootenay region? Learn what it takes to become a partner.