Category Archives: meetings

Presentation: Natural Processes for the Restoration of Drastically Disturbed Sites

Natural processes have been “restoring” natural disturbances (landslides, volcanic eruptions, glaciation, etc.) forever. Mr. Polster will talk about how we can use these same processes to help the land heal and restore sites such as mines and industrial developments that we disturb. Join us for an informative presentation and informal social gathering 7:00-8:30, Wednesday Sept. 16, Upstairs @ Station Pub (7654 Donaldson Dr, Grand Forks) – RSVP to / 250-442-4111.


Kettle River Round Table Inaugural Meeting

All interested stakeholders are invited to attend! The Round Table is the forum for reviewing progress on the Kettle River Watershed Management Plan, providing stakeholder feedback on priorities and actions, and sharing information about ongoing watershed issues. The Round Table meets as a special meeting of the Implementation Advisory Group, which will also be launched on June 3.

This meeting is also open to the public; please forward the invitation to key contacts.

The meeting will be held on June 3 from 12:30-4:30 in Grand Forks at the Senior’s Centre in City Park. Please respond by June 1 if you or a representative are able to attend.

Revised Agenda:

  • 12:30-1:00 – Light lunch (please RSVP)
  • 1:00-1:15 – Welcome and introductions (Roly Russell, Implementation Advisory Group Chair & Grace McGregor, Steering Committee Chair)
  • 1:15-1:45 – Overview of Advisory Group & Round Table Roles and Process (Roly Russell)
  • 1:45-2:45 – Overview of Phase 3 Implementation – priority strategies, actions, and progress on key initiatives. Phase 3 Work Plan (Graham Watt).
  • 2:45-3:00 – Break
  • 3:00-3:35 – Bringing Pacific Salmon back to the Upper Columbia (and the lower Kettle) – Michael Zimmer, Biologist – Okanagan Nation Alliance
  • 3:35-3:45 – Update on Kettle River Fishing Regulations
  • 3:45-4:30 – Round Table Questions & Feedback
  • 4:30 – Adjourn

We request that interested members of the former Stakeholder Advisory Group or others put their name forward for consideration for the Implementation Advisory Group to me or to Roly Russell ( by the end of day on Monday, May 25. A Terms of Reference has been developed by the Steering Committee for the Advisory Group that identifies its structure and composition; a small number of positions on the committee are available, and the Steering Committee will finalize composition and selection and will contact invited members in advance of the June 3 meeting.

Public Meeting on Speckled Dace Recovery, February 16 in Westbridge

Public Meeting: Monday, February 16, 3:30-5:30 pm, at the Westbridge Community Hall, HWY 33.

The Speckled Dace is a small, endangered minnow with an important role in the Kettle River. As part of the Kettle River Watershed Management Plan, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) has received funding from Environment Canada and the Okanagan Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada to help restore Speckled Dace habitat near Beaverdell, the Christian Valley, and the upper Granby River.

Please join the RDKB and project partners to learn about the importance of Speckled Dace and their habitat. See options for habitat restoration, learn how to get involved, and share your ideas on stream stewardship in the Kettle River Watershed.

Contact Graham Watt (250.442.4111 /


Open house on the draft Kettle River Watershed Management Plan

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary is looking for your ideas to help complete the Kettle River Watershed Management Plan, on June 24 in Greenwood.

For the last two years the Stakeholder Advisory Group has been studying watershed issues, having conversations with the public and other stakeholders, and developing ideas to take care of the Kettle River.

The Advisory Group is now working towards the completion of a draft watershed plan and would like your feedback on ideas about protecting fish and aquatic ecosystems, improving the quality and reliability of water supplies, and increasing our communities’ capacity as water stewards.

On the afternoon or evening of June 24 in Greenwood, please join the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) and the Kettle River Watershed Management Plan Stakeholder Advisory Group in an open house to learn about and share ideas on the draft plan and next steps towards the plan completion.

Graham Watt, coordinator of the plan for the RDKB, will give an overview presentation at 3:30 and again at 7:00, and members of the Stakeholder Advisory Group and their organizations will be on hand to hear your thoughts and share their perspectives.

“The ideas in these discussion papers and draft plan have been developed based on community input and in-depth discussions by our Stakeholder Advisory Group,” said Watt. “We are sharing the draft with the public now to get some feedback before we finalize the draft plan and circulate it to stakeholders for review this summer. After hearing the feedback, we aim to finalize and launch the plan in September.”

“It is more important than ever that you as residents of the Boundary provide input into the final stages of this plan,” said Grace McGregor, Chair of the RDKB Board of Directors. “This is what will truly make it a plan that all residents will respect – make sure your voice and opinion is heard.”

Everyone with an interest in the Kettle River is invited to attend the open house, which will take place in the Greenwood MacArthur Centre (346 S. Copper / behind the Public Library). Doors open at 3:00 p.m. with presentations at 3:30 and 7:00.

“Spring Run-Off, Mt. Cochrane” – Courtesy Stacy Metcalf
“Spring Run-Off, Mt. Cochrane” – Courtesy Stacy Metcalf


Graham Watt
Coordinator, Kettle River Watershed Management Plan
250.444.0550 (cell)
Bill Baird
Kettle River Steering Committee Chair; RDKB Area ‘E’ Director
Grace McGregor
RDKB Board Chair; Director for Christina Lake
Mark Andison
RDKB Manager Operations

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Kettle River Q&A – Big ideas on the table for the future of our water supply

On March 11, community members from across the Boundary gathered to learn more about water supply issues in the Kettle River watershed and share ideas about how to ‘sustain the flow’ in the Kettle River. We want to express a big ‘Thank You’ to all of the members of the Boundary communities and the Stakeholder Advisory Group who attended the Special Meeting.

After a welcome from Area ‘E’ Director Bill Baird, we discussed the big picture on water supply, in terms of storage, the natural patterns of flow, and effect of water use on the aquifers and river.

We have no glaciers or major reservoirs. Our water storage consists of the forests, the lakes and wetlands, the aquifers, and the soils. So the melting snow and the spring rains bring a flush of water down the river until the middle of summer, replenishing the aquifers and carrying on to the Columbia River.

Then, very quickly, the flow declines. What was ample water in early August for fish, floaters, and water intakes can decline to a shallow trickle in a matter of weeks.

So what’s going on? As participants discussed, reduced forest cover and more roads over much of the watershed has reduced the natural storage in soils and wetlands, leaving a smaller ‘sponge’ that melts and dries up much more quickly. This is being made worse by warmer winters with more rain and earlier snow melt.

Then as the flow declines, our communities and farms draw increasing amounts of water to grow food, keep lawns green or wash their cars and driveways. That water mostly comes from aquifers, which is water buried in sand and gravel below our communities. But it is all in some way connected to the Kettle River, and a lower water table means less water returning to the river when it is needed most for fish, wildlife, and downstream water users.

So what can we do about it? Participants gathered into groups to discuss four water supply challenges:

1) What are the priority water uses and how do we balance the needs? The biggest priorities were identified as ecosystem health, agriculture & food production, and household/domestic use. The group felt it was especially important to give priority to ‘wise management’ and efficient uses of water, ensure that using water doesn’t compromise its quality, and that a regional watershed authority should have the most say over priority water uses.

2) How do we greatly increase water conservation through innovation, incentives, education, or pricing? This group emphasized education, incentives, and targeting behaviour change through innovative awareness programs, together with the need to measure and meter water use to motivate conservation.

3) How do we store more water in ways that are cost-effective, minimize risks to people and the environment, and provide water to aquifers, ecosystems and people when it is needed most? This group emphasized a mix of strategies including improving natural storage on the landscape (wetlands, forests) and building a network of storage structures to recharge groundwater and store some spring floods for later in the season, and reducing water use.

4) How do we prepare for and respond to low river flows and severe droughts? This group placed a great emphasis on planning and preparedness, including education, pricing/metering water, water conservation, groundwater regulation and water use innovations.

The full results of these discussions are being incorporated into our report on ‘Sustaining the Flow in the Kettle River Watershed,’ available later this month, and addressed in the draft Watershed Management Plan in June.

Next up will be the Special Meeting on Floodplain, Riparian and Wetland Issues on April 15 in Grand Forks, 12:00-4:00 – stay tuned on the website for details.

Neil Fletcher (BC Wildlife Federation) explains the importance of wetlands in watersheds at Boothman's Oxbow - Spring 2013
Neil Fletcher (BC Wildlife Federation) explains the importance of wetlands in watersheds at Boothman’s Oxbow – Spring 2013

– Graham Watt is the coordinator of the Kettle River Watershed Management Plan for the RDKB, and is working with a Stakeholder Advisory Group from across the region to develop the plan. Email