The Province is providing $250,000 to the Kootenay Livestock Association over the next three years for projects administered under the Grassland and Rangeland Enhancement Program (GREP), Bill Bennett, MLA for Kootenay East, announced today on behalf of Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson.
The Grassland and Rangeland Enhancement Program provides funds to groups and individuals (ranchers, for example) to help maintain and enhance grassland resources on Crown land in the Columbia Basin.
The B.C. government and Columbia Basin Trust fund the Grassland and Rangeland Enhancement Program. Columbia Basin Trust is contributing $900,000 to the program over the next three years.
The primary goals of the program are to promote good stewardship of grasslands and rangelands within the Columbia Basin and to maintain and enhance rangeland. Eligible projects must support one or more of the following objectives:
- Promote stewardship of the grassland resource on eligible rangelands.
- Maintain and enhance biodiversity and long-term fish and wildlife productivity.
- Improve management practices that will optimize the distribution of livestock and wildlife.
- Maintain and enhance compatible uses of eligible lands for grazing by livestock and wildlife, and also facilitate access for the general public.
- Develop and promote the use of innovative strategies to achieve the program’s goals.
Applicants who receive project funding through the Grassland and Rangeland Enhancement Program are required to provide additional funding or in-kind contributions to complete their projects. Typically, a successful applicant must fund about 50% of the total cost of the project.
Ranchers, for example, can use the funding to build fences, install cattle guards and make other improvements on Crown land. These activities permit better livestock management practices and better stewardship of the province’s rangelands.
As part of Balanced Budget 2017, the B.C. government has allocated $10 million in 2017-18 to support land management initiatives throughout the province. Providing grants to help improve rangeland resources is one of the ways that the B.C. government is taking action to strengthen, grow and diversify rural communities.
This $250,000 in funding for the Kootenay Livestock Association builds on the immediate investments and long-term action plan outlined in B.C.’s Rural Economic Development Strategy, which are expected to create over 26,000 jobs and add $2.8 billion to the provincial GDP.
Bill Bennett, MLA for Kootenay East –
“Many rural communities in British Columbia rely on ranching and other rangeland activities to sustain and diversify their economies. The goals of the Grassland and Rangeland Enhancement Program and the ongoing efforts of Columbia Basin Trust are important in the East Kootenays.”
Johnny Strilaeff, president and chief executive officer of Columbia Basin Trust –
“We know that grasslands and rangelands ecosystems are diverse and important parts of the environment in the Columbia Basin, and we’re proud to be helping Basin residents take active roles in the stewardship of this resource.”
Jordy Thibault, director for the Kootenay Livestock Association –
“The Kootenay Livestock Association fully supports the Grassland and Rangeland Enhancement Program, which has been invaluable to local ranchers and has provided funds for maintaining and upgrading fences and other developments on Crown rangeland. These additional funds from the B.C. government will help fund projects to maintain rangeland and grassland values, and promote stewardship of our grassland ecosystems.”
- The B.C. government’s contribution to the Grassland and Rangeland Enhancement Program is for projects that will be completed between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2020.
- Once a project is completed, ministry staff and a Grassland and Rangeland Enhancement Program co-ordinator will review the completed project to ensure that the work meets the requirements established by the ministry and the program.
Visit the Columbia Basin Trust website at: www.ourtrust.org/grep
Contact Steve Byford, Grassland and Rangeland Enhancement Program co-ordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
See examples of projects previously funded by the Grassland and Rangeland Enhancement Program at http://ourtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2016-06_Trust_GREP_BACKGROUNDER_FINAL.pdf