A year in Review. 2021 CKISS Photo Album: A digital snapshot of our programs, projects, funders and partners.

As 2021 comes to a close we look back at what our organization accomplished this past year. Despite the challenges that came with wildfire smoke, heat dome events and a global pandemic our team  had a successful field season. CKISS’ success is made possible with the support of our many funders, partners, members and volunteers! Thank you for your contributions to various CKISS programs in 2021.Click on the dropdown menu below to see the 2021 CKISS Digital Photo Album:  A snapshot of our programs, projects, funders and partners.

Aquatics and Bullfrog Program Photos

Thanks to Columbia Power for supporting the CKISS invasive zebra & quagga mussel monitoring program in 2021. One of the top tools for managing aquatic invasive species is early detection. This is why CKISS staff and contractors are busy from June until October collecting plankton samples that get tested for the presence of invasive mussel larvae. We are happy to report all of these samples came back negative! #ProtectOurWaters #CleanDrainDry
Despite the smoky skies in 2021, we continued to monitor local lakes and rivers for invasive zebra and quagga mussels (ZQM) as part of the Province’s Invasive Mussel Lake Monitoring program. CKISS collected 267 samples from nine water bodies in our region from June to October. Early detection of ZQM is essential to protecting our water! These invasive mussels can have impacts on biodiversity, water quality, recreation, fisheries, species at risk and infrastructure such as hydropower facilities and municipal water supply. CKISS has received a Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation grant, with funding provided by the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. The Ministry has received support for invasive mussel monitoring from Fisheries and Oceans Canada through the Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk.
Thank you to the Okanagan Nation Alliance for partnering with CKISS in 2021 on youth field trips, invasive zebra mussel monitoring, American bullfrog control and invasive riparian plant removal. Your efforts have helped reduce the impacts of invasive species in the Central Kootenay region!
With support from Columbia Basin Trust American bullfrog field work continued in 2021. The team worked many long nights to survey local waterbodies for the invasive frogs that spread disease and outcompete native species for food & habitat. The good news is that the control efforts are working, bullfrog populations appear to be dwindling in the Creston area! #dontletitloose
American bullfrog control work was in full swing in 2021. The American Bullfrog Action Team conducted an immense amount of surveillance efforts during the field season. Much gratitude for their efforts and perseverance through some intense conditions: heat dome, smoke and many long nights. Their hard work has paid off, the detection and capture numbers this year suggest a reduced bullfrog population in the Creston Valley.
Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the @fishandwildlifecompprogram for its contribution to the Northern Leopard Frog Preservation American Bullfrog Control. #FWCP #dontletitloose #fishandwildlifecomprogram
Thanks to funding from the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, CKISS was able to work with Lower Kootenay Band community members to protect their lands and the Creston valley from the threat of American bullfrogs. #dontletitloose

Education & Outreach Program Photos

Thank to funding from FortisBC and Columbia Power there are 4 Clean, Drain, Dry billboards up in the Central Kootenay region. The roadside signs act as reminders to thousands of boaters each year to #CleanDrainDry their watercraft and gear to #ProtectOurWaters from aquatic invasive species.
Thank you B.C. Parks for contributing to the Beaver Creek restoration project in 2021! The goal of the project is to create a healthy native plant community that would benefit local native wildlife and pollinators. This is the fourth year in a row we have coordinated community weed pull and native planting events that engage volunteers and students in on the ground restoration activities within their community. A shout out to KinSeed Ecologies and the Kootenay Native Plant Society for assisting with this project in 2021!
In 2021 CKISS had a record number of Community Weed Pull events! During these events, a group of volunteers uses hand tools to remove an invasive plant infestation in their community. Community groups that successfully complete a weed pull event can receive a $250 honorarium. Thanks to funding from the Regional District of Central Kootenay CKISS was able to organize 6 weed pull events in 2021. The events took place in Nelson, Nakusp, New Denver, Glade, Castlegar and Robson and involved over 70 volunteers. Thanks for supporting on the ground invasive species management and education!
Thanks to the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary for supporting a Community Weed Pull Event in Rossland in 2021. Volunteers tackled invasive plants such as hoary alyssum, common tansy and knapweed at the Rossland Bike Skills Park. Additional funding from the RDKB went towards a new Play Clean Go boot/bike cleaning station at the Seven Summits trail head. The station offers education about invasive species and encourages outdoor enthusiasts to remove seeds and dirt on their shoes/bike using the attached tools BEFORE hitting the trail. This simple action can prevent the spread of invasive plants and protect native plant communities on our local trails.
Our multi year Riparian Restoration in the Kootenay Region Project wrapped up in 2021. For the past three years CKISS has conducted restoration efforts at three locations: Erie Lake in Salmo, Beaver Creek in Trail and Snk’mip Marsh Sanctuary, pictured above just north of New Denver. For the first two years (2019-2020) the project had enthusiastic participation from over 250 volunteers who helped us plant 878 native species and remove a ton of invasive plants. This year we focused on monitoring the sites for native plant survivorship and the presence of invasive plants. The ‘Riparian Restoration in the Kootenay Region’ was made possible with funding from Environment Canada’s Eco Action Community Funding Program.


Thanks to funding from the Regional District of Central Kootenay we were able to make progress on our Eco Garden Project. The goal of the project is to encourage home gardeners to choose from a curated list of plants that are suited for the Central Kootenay garden, native wildlife, and that address regional climate change, water, and fire issues.
The CKISS Education Program works to protect and preserve natural habitat by reducing the spread of invasive species through education to members of the public in our region. In 2021 the CKISS Education Program coordinated training workshops, community weed pull events, youth field trips, attended many local events with our outreach booth, updated the CKISS website/social media content and much more! These outreach activities were made possible with funding from the BC Provincial Government’s Gaming Grant.
Thanks to funding from Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) the CKISS Education Program directly reached over 2000 people in 2021! On the ground work included coordinating 14 youth trips, 9 presentations, 6 training workshops, 10 community weed pull events (a record for CKISS) and 4 native planting events. In addition we set up our outreach booth at 18 community events. We strive to have a strong online presence and our efforts appear to be working! To date we have seen an overall increase in social media followers, subscribers to our E-Newsletter and visits to our website. This important work would not be possible without CBT’s support.
Thank you to @TD Friends of the Environment Foundation for your support in 2021! You helped us deliver environmental education field trips in the #kootenays to over 200 students in our region. Thank you to the Invasive Species Council of BC for partnering with us on this project.
“The CKISS Field Trip that our school group participated in at Kokanee Creek Provincial Park was extremely well-organized and informative. Students participated in a variety of educational workshops that had a balance of fun and learning, which had the students engaged, active and curious.” Brooke Jones, Grade 6 teacher at Trafalger Elementary School in Nelson BC.
Thanks to the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, KinSeed Ecologies and the Kootenay Native Plant Society we coordinated a “Native Plants for Native Pollinators” event at the Kootenay Gallery in Castlegar. On Saturday, October 23, 2021, we joined forces with volunteers to create habitat for bees and butterflies. The volunteers planted a flowering hedgerow and border, seeded spreading dogbane on a neighbouring slope, removed invasive species, and planted over 100 native plants. Way to go team!

Field Program Photos

In 2021, CKISS worked with BC Hydro to conduct invasive plant surveys and coordinate control efforts on their properties, including management for North Africa Grass. Thank you BC Hydro for supporting invasive plant management!
This past year, CKISS worked with BC Parks to control invasive species at Kokanee, Pilot Bay, and Beaver Creek Provincial Parks. Invasive plants are a concern in protected areas such as BC Parks because they diminish both recreational activities and wildlife habitat. Thanks to support from BC Parks, we were able to visit some cool places while removing invasive plants and contributing to environmental conservation!
This past year, CKISS partnered with Columbia Power to assist with invasive plant management at various locations, including inventorying and removing invasive plants at two conservation properties. This year we were also able to assist with restoration efforts by seeding a Columbia Power facility property which will help to suppress invasive plant spread and promote establishment of native species. Thank you Columbia Power for your continued support of invasive plant management!
In 2021, CKISS pro-actively conducted invasive plant inventories, surveys, and control of invasive plants for FortisBC. One invasive plant that was controlled was Scotch broom, a troublesome species that not only threatens biodiversity, but can easily catch on fire, both of which are good reasons to manage it! FortisBC teamed up with CKISS to remove Scotch broom from one of their properties to help promote biodiversity and reduce wildfire risk! Thank you FortisBC for helping us protect the beautiful Kootenays.
Sometimes the invasive plants that we come into contact with are harmless, and other times, they may be dangerous, such as poison hemlock, all parts of the plant are DEADLY to people, livestock, and wildlife when ingested! Thanks to support from FortisBC Energy, we were able to remove poison hemlock along a gas line that was also adjacent to an elementary school near Creston. Thank you FortisBC Energy for helping us protect our communities from the harmful impacts of invasive plants!
This year CKISS was able to take on a few ambitious projects thanks to support from the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program. We helped protect local biodiversity by surveying and controlling yellow flag iris and purple loosestrife in sensitive riparian habitat along the Kootenay River! This work will help minimize invasive plant impacts and encourage a healthy native plant population. The Kootenay Riparian Invasive Plant Removal was managed and delivered with financial support from the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Your contributions went towards both our field and education programs in 2021.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Transportation. An example of the type of work that is funded by B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation is installing ‘No Mow” signs adjacent to knotweed infestations along major roadways through out the Central and West Kootenays. The bright yellow signs act as a reminder to maintenance contractors conducting mowing along roadways to lift their blades and not mow the invasive plant since it can spread through fragmentation.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada is dedicated to protecting their conservation properties from invasive species, and CKISS assisted with invasive plant control on several Central Kootenay properties in 2021.
Thank you to the Nature Trust of British Columbia for your support in 2021. This past field season we led invasive plant management efforts at the Carroll Creek Conservation Property and surveyed six additional properties. We want to extend our gratitude to Nature Trust of British Columbia who assisted us with removing invasive riparian plants in our region.
This past year, the Village of Slocan partnered with CKISS to inventory all invasive plants on Village properties and create a strategic plan for their management. Our field technicians had a ton of fun getting to explore the Village of Slocan while on the hunt for invasive plants! The crew found the following high priority invasive plants: knotweed, hoary alyssum, yellow archangel and Scotch broom.
This past year, CKISS partnered with Rec Sites and Trails BC to conduct invasive plant inventories and control along sections of the Rail Trail in the Slocan Valley. Thank you to Rec Sites and Trails BC for doing their part to protect the beautiful Kootenays from invasive species! We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia in 2021.
In 2021, CKISS coordinated invasive plant control services and education to landowners in Area “A” of the RDKB. Land owners with livestock and horses expressed concern over the presence of hoary alyssum since the plant posses a health risk to animals when ingested. Thanks to the support of the RDKB, 35 landowners were able to receive receive assistance to control invasive plants on their properties!
In 2021, CKISS completed invasive plant surveys and control work at landfill and transfer stations within the RDCK area. The highest priority species found at these sites were knotweed, blueweed and Scotch broom. These areas are frequently visited by many people which leads to an increased risk of spreading invasive species, so it is very important to control plants at these locations to limit their spread to other areas. Thank you to the RDCK for contributing to the reduction of invasive species spread throughout the region!


In 2021, CKISS worked with the City of Nelson to complete an invasive plant inventory and develop a management strategy to tackle invasive plants throughout the City. Huge thank you to The City of Nelson for partnering with CKISS to protect their beautiful community!
Big thank you to Teck Metals for supporting CKISS in our invasive plant management efforts in 2021!

Staff & More……

Thanks to a wage subsidy from the Columbia Basin Development Corporation CKISS was able to hire a seasonal Education Program Assistant in 2021. Tara helped CKISS with 35 events, distributed over 2000 resources, helped with 9 youth field trips, led 8 community weed pulls, 1 native planting event, created digital content, and answered countless questions from the public about invasive species. The extra set of hands helped raise awareness on the topic of invasive species in our region!
Thanks to the support from the Government of Canada through Canada Summer Jobs, we were able to provide valuable work experience in the environmental field for youth in 2021. Three Invasive Species Technicians worked this summer and contributed to invasive plant management, education, and habitat conservation through the Central Kootenay region. Additional funding went towards an Amphibian Conservation Technician who assisted with American bullfrog control work in the Creston area.
Thank you to Eco Canada for providing funding to support a fresh and keen environmentalists with the opportunity to gain important work experience as the CKISS Invasive Species Intern in 2021. This role directly benefits the environment and community of the Central Kootenay region. Thanks Eco Canada!
Managing invasive species is a BIG JOB, but thanks to the Invasive Species Council of BC StrongerBC program many areas of our region got a helping hand this year. The goal of the program was to train and employ people who have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The action teams were trained in all aspects of on the ground invasive species management including surveying, data collection, reporting, treatments and proper disposal. The teams removed over 4000kg of invasive plants from the CKISS region! We want to thank them for their hard work and dedication in invasive species management in our area. Photos: H.Tudor ISCBC
Thanks to the Columbia Basin Trust Tech grant CKISS was able to purchase some much needed laptops, tablets and some cool video production equipment. The new tech tools have made us more efficient and has improved our programs.