Wrapping Up a Wild Season: CKISS Field Crew Reflects on a Field Season of Conservation Adventures and Collaborations!

The field season is officially over – and our field crew has either moved into the office, back to school, or on to their winter activities. While we welcome a change of pace, it’s hard not to think back to all the cool work we did this summer! Whether it was cruising the Kootenay River looking for yellow flag iris, hiking under transmission lines doing inventories, or looking for biocontrol agents, there was always something new.

Unveiling Nature’s Warriors: CKISS field crew discovers biocontrol agents feasting on invasive purple loosestrife.

The CKISS field crew wears many hats, but for the most part, they’re responsible for surveying invasive plants, mechanically treating and disposing of invasive plants, verifying public sightings, conducting landowner outreach, restoring sites, and generally having a good time.

Battling Broom: CKISS field crew strikes back against invasive scotch broom, armed with determination and clippers!

We carried out these responsibilities for a huge swath of funders and partners this year too. One project we spent a lot of our time on this summer was the Kootenay River Riparian Project, which meant patrolling the shores of the Kootenay River by boat. This was CKISS’ third year running the riparian project, which aims to protect and revitalize our local riparian areas. For our field crew, this project was a nice mix of grueling labor removing yellow flag iris, surveying for purple loosestrife biocontrol agents (Galerucella calamarensis), and relaxing on the boat in the sun.

Sailing through Success: CKISS Field Crew takes a breather on the boat amidst boots on the ground tasks for the Kootenay Riparian Project.

Aside from all of our projects, one of the most rewarding aspects of being on the field crew was being able to collaborate with all of the other amazing organizations working in the Kootenays. There are so many passionate people striving to protect and restore our natural areas, and being able to participate in that was an awesome opportunity. Some highlights include: hunting bullfrogs in Duck Lake with the Ministry of Forests, removing yellow flag iris with the Nature Trust of BC, pulling cutleaf blackberry with BC Parks, restoring riparian sites with the Okanagan Nation Alliance, and releasing spotted knapweed biocontrol agents with the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Leap into Action: CKISS Field Crew Joins forces with the Ministry of Forests, as bullfrog hunters at dusk on Duck Lake!

A big thanks to everyone on the 2023 field crew!

  • Kalenna Olynyk
  • Nerissa Abbott
  • Molly Tilden
  • Eric Waldie
  • Ellen Carpenter
  • Sam Boucher
  • James Schafer
Cheers to a Season Well Spent! The 2024 CKISS Field Crew and team gather for an end-of-season picnic at Lakeside Park in Nelson. Celebrating success, challenges, friendship, and conservation wins!

Thank you to our funders!

A heartfelt thank you goes out to our dedicated partners and generous funders. Your unwavering support has been instrumental in the continuous success of the CKISS Field Program. Together, we make a lasting impact on conservation efforts. Thank you for being the backbone of our achievements.

  • BC Hydro
  • BC Parks
  • Columbia Power
  • Fortis BC Inc.
  • Fortis BC Energy
  • Province of BC
  • Nature Conservancy of Canada
  • The Nature Trust of BC
  • Regional District of the Central Kootenays
  • Columbia Basin Trust
  • Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program
  • Teck
  • Eco Canada
  • Canada Summer Jobs Program