B.C. Fight Against Invasive Mussels

VICTORIA  – Columbia Basin Trust is helping the province to double the number of mobile decontamination units aimed at stopping invasive mussels from entering British Columbia waterways, thanks to $360,000 in new funding.

The new resources mean an additional three mobile inspection and decontamination crews will be dedicated to stopping and ensuring boats are free of mussels. The teams will be based in Cranbrook, Valemount and Nelson, to target major entry points from Alberta and the U.S. The new teams join three other crews that are already operational, doubling the number of mobile units dedicated to protecting BC’s lakes and rivers against the threat of quagga and zebra mussels.

Read the complete announcement by downloading this ‘pdf’ file.

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CBT to Pilot Innovative Funding Approach

The Columbia Valley, from Spillimacheen to Canal Flats, will receive $200,000 a year for three years from Columbia Basin Trust (CBT), which it will use to fund valley-wide priorities. The funds will be administered through the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK).

This is a new way for CBT to deliver funds within the Basin. The goal is to put decision making into the hands of sub-regions, or groupings of communities, where they can be more strategic and think longer-term, allocating funds where they will be most effective.

“We’re pleased the residents of the Columbia Valley are ready to work in this way,” said Garry Merkel, CBT Board Chair. “We’ve been talking to communities over the years about ways to support communities to make their own decisions about their priorities. This is not new funding; it is another way to access existing funds that will support people across community boundaries to work together to shape their futures.”

“We now have a committee consisting of elected RDEK directors and community members from the Columbia Valley, coordinating the planning for the use of these funds,” said Wendy Booth, Chair of the Columbia Valley Community Directed Funds Committee and RDEK Electoral Area F Director. “After comprehensive consultation to set valley-wide priorities, we will be allocating funds to appropriate projects. It’s a great opportunity to work collaboratively toward common goals for the valley.”

Anyone interested in this new approach can find out more by contacting the local CBT community liaison (www.cbt.org/contact or 1.800.505.8998).

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Three New Members Join CBT’s Board of Directors

Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) welcomes three new members to its Board of Directors and would like to recognize the reappointment of five current directors.

The new directors are:
* Wendy Booth from Fairmont Hot Springs (two-year term);
* Am Naqvi from Nelson (one-year term); and
* Laurie Page from Nakusp (one-year term).

“We’re pleased to have a Board of this calibre at CBT, ensuring effective and responsible governance,” said Garry Merkel, CBT Board Chair. “Wendy, Am and Laurie each bring complementary strengths to the table, and we’re fortunate to have them with us.”

Wendy Booth has lived in the Columbia Valley for nearly 20 years, is a business owner and is currently the Director of Area F of the Regional District of East Kootenay. “I’m honoured to be part of the CBT team,” said Booth. “I look forward to working with my fellow Board members, CBT staff and communities for the benefit of the entire Basin.”

Am Naqvi is a chartered accountant, in public practice for over 35 years, and is currently a partner in the firm of Berg Naqvi Lehmann, Chartered Accountants, in Nelson. “What’s impressed me most about CBT is that it’s been so well governed and managed that it’s been able to use the resources available in the Basin to deliver benefits to Basin residents,” said Naqvi. “I’m honoured to serve as a director, and look forward to contributing to the goals of this organization.”

Laurie Page has been a veterinarian in Nakusp since 1990, and has dedicated her time to community projects ranging from affordable housing, to youth empowerment, to enhancing the area’s economic self-sufficiency. “As a community volunteer, I am always looking for ways to make myself useful and do my part,” said Page. “It is a privilege to serve on the Board of CBT, and I am delighted to have this opportunity.”

The five directors reappointed to the Board are:
* Garry Merkel (Board Chair) from Kimberley (one-year term);
* Greg Deck (Board Vice-Chair) from Radium Hot Springs (one-year term);
* Kim Deane from Rossland (two-year term);
* Cindy Gal linger from Elkford (three-year term); and
* Paul Peterson from Burton (two-year term).

Existing directors include Denise Birdstone from Ktunaxa Nation Council, Ron Oszust from Golden, Bob Smith from Valemount and Bill Trewhella from Warfield.

CBT’s 12-member Board consists of an appointee from each regional government in the Basin (five regional districts and Ktunaxa Nation Council) and six recommended by the Province. All directors must be residents of the Basin. The Board meets six times a year in communities around the Basin.

The public is invited to attend in order to meet CBT’s Board and ask questions about CBT’s work in the Basin.

For more information about the Board, and to read highlights and minutes from Board meetings, visit www.cbt.org/board. CBT delivers economic, social and environmental benefits to the residents of the Columbia Basin . To learn more about CBT programs and initiatives, visit www.cbt.org or call 1.800.505.8998.

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