Facilitating the protection and restoration of species and ecosystems at risk on BC’s South Coast
Announcing the latest in our South Coast Wildlife Identification Series! In addition to our guides on amphibians, amphibian eggs and owls, we have just released our Common Land Snails of BC’s South Coast guide. Visit our Wildlife and Species at Risk Resources for landowners page to have a look.
Is your ENGO group involved in stewardship activities for nature and wildlife on BC’s South Coast? We are looking for feedback from you and your organization on how we can improve our support in regards to species at risk stewardship. We have a quick survey to fill out – click HERE to take the survey by March 29. We are currently doing some planning for our stewardship activities for the next few years. By taking a few minutes to fill out the survey, you will be helping us to focus on how we can best provide stewardship-based support to help individuals, communities, groups and organizations (like you) to undertake conservation actions and activities that will benefit species at risk across the South Coast.
Are you a landowner, developer or realtor dealing with private property affected by critical habitat? In conjunction with our highly recognized work with municipalities, the SCCP has continued working on a ‘made for the South Coast’ resource for protecting critical habitat on private land. Presently in draft, the critical habitat protection decision guide for landowners and developers is designed to be part of the “front counter” interface that all local governments have with landowners and developers for permitting land use activities. The guide is being revised based on input from a number of landowners and the next version will be ready in April. From there we hope to refine it through sessions with landowners, developers, municipalities and realtors to make it front counter ready via our website and municipal partners
Projects like this, and more broadly the work of the SCCP will be crucial if the Province of BC Moves forward on its mandate to protect species at risk. BC is the only place in Canada still without stand-alone protection for species at risk. The ultimate goal for the SCCP is to ensure landowners and the municipalities that oversee the approval for most land use activities on private land, have a consistent guide for understanding the steps, options and responsibilities involved when dealing with species at risk critical habitat. The decision tool will also provide example processes that can be used consistently by local governments across the South Coast and assist them in understanding the actions they need to take (and the knowledge they need to have) to ensure informed direction around effective protection for species at risk and critical habitat for their own lands.
What about some of the other established SCCP programs?
Species at Risk in the Classroom (or SARitc) curriculum is as always free for download! Check out the For Educators tab under Resources on our website to access the curriculum guides, resources for educators or learn about environmental grant opportunities for your school. Teachers, schools and youth groups interested in bringing a conservation scientist into the classroom, opportunities to enhance environmental learning in lesson plans, or planning nature-based outdoor learning events should contact the SCCP’s Special Projects Coordinator Pamela Zevit to find out about costs for in-class support.
The SCCP also continues to offer professional development workshops and guidance for local governments and First Nations seeking to integrate species at risk into policy and practice in their communities. Through a set of modules on species and ecosystems at risk (SEAR) management and best practices local government staff and politicians receive an introduction to SARA, municipal responsibilities, how to identify priority South Coast species at risk and their critical habitat attributes and approaches for protecting and recovering species at risk and their habitat. Availability for training sessions is ongoing and we are happy to customize sessions to meet your unique local needs. Check out our SCCP Support for Local Governments: Policy development and operational training services guide, or contact the SCCP’s instructor for the training sessions, Special Projects Coordinator Pamela Zevit to find out about how we can help you build expertise and capacity within your organization.