Rossland Streamkeepers to provide stewardship for watershed

Rossland Streamkeepers will hold two info sessions on Thursday, Feb. 25 and Thursday, March 3, from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Rossland Library.

A new eco-friendly group is starting up in Rossland to take stewardship of our watershed.

Rossland Streamkeepers will hold two info sessions one on Thursday, Feb. 25, the other on Thursday, March 3, both from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Rossland Public Library so that Rosslanders can learn more about the group, and share what they know about Rossland’s creeks and streams.

The sessions are being organized by Bill Coedy, who moved to Rossland in fall of 2014. Coedy has over 30 years of experience and training in the area of aquatic science ranging from laboratory management to regulatory monitoring programs. He holds a MSC in Chemistry, a Diploma in Environmental Toxicology, a Certificate in Project Management and recently received a Field Certificate in Environment Canada’s Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN).

Coedy decided to start Streamkeepers after he got involved with similar organizations in the area.

“I got involved in a group, the Columbia Basin Watershed Network (CBWN), attended a few seminars, met some people who have started up little organizations like the Streamkeepers and found out that they’re good stewards of their water, creeks and lakes. So I didn’t find anybody who had done that in Rossland; it seemed to be kind of missing the area,” he explains.

Coedy is hoping to find volunteers who know about not only issues and concerns with creeks in the area, but who also know a little of the history surrounding them.

“I’m just hoping I can learn more about the creeks and streams flowing the area, and I’m really interested in the history as well,” he says.

The info sessions will also be an opportunity for volunteers to learn about two initiatives already in the works.

Coedy helped Selkirk College and the CBWN develop an online ArcGIS interactive map of the watersheds in the Rossland area in 2015.

“I wrote a proposal to the Columbia Basin Watershed Network and they funded 70 hours of a GIS technician’s time, from Selkirk College, and that person produced a map, sort of under my guidance,” he explains.

The map has several layers, which represent BioEcological Climate (BEC) Zones, wetlands, CABIN stations, FORR recreational huts, hiking and biking trails. Other layers planned for 2016 will contain information on Sensitive Habitat Information Management (SHIM) sites and attributes, groundwater seepage locations and water quality monitoring data.

A Selkirk College student named Tanya Tran is also working on a separate project for 2016 that will identify management strategies of Trail Creek through her proposed investigations of land use inputs and ecological conditions of the riparian (area of interface between land and a river or stream) habitat. The results of Tran’s assignment will provide ecosystem data, identify stakeholders between Rossland and Trail, and provide future tasks for Rossland Streamkeepers volunteers.

Coedy would also eventually like to see the group do some monitoring of the creeks and streams.

“It’d be great to have an inventory of monitoring equipment, which you know we don’t have anything like that right now, but if we could get some funding to support the purchase of some monitoring equipment, that would be a worthwhile goal,” he says.

Those who cannot make it to either of the information sessions, but would like to complete the volunteer recruitment survey, can contact Bill Coedy at rosslandstreamkeepers@gmail.com.