West Kootenay Watershed Collaborative

Empowering Communities in the Defense of Watersheds and Land Resilience

We are the West Kootenay Watershed Collaborative

Our collaborative network seeks to support and create a community of land and water defenders focused on consumptive watersheds and the people who rely on them.

Our Vision

Community members  act as authentic and on the ground defenders of threatened watersheds through consequential critique and sustained attention to forest and land practices.

Our Mission

Empower community members with the appropriate resources; to support, protect and restore their local watersheds through local consultation and legislative bodies.

Our Goal

Create a watershed protection and decision-making template incorporating known and anticipated climate risks.

Indigenous Acknowledgment

The West Kootenay Watershed Collaborative Board of Directors acknowledges that the watersheds and waterways we endeavour to defend are central to the Inheritance of the Regional First Nations. The Kootenay and Columbia Rivers and their watersheds nurture all of the traditional unceded and current territories of the sn̓ʕay̓ckstx (Lakes) and the Ktunaxa Yaqan Nukiy (Lower Kootenay Band) peoples.

We acknowledge interconnected systems of understanding and respect relationships that have existed here since time immemorial. We share dreams for the future. We must work together to understand and preserve relationships that make life so incredible in the Kootenays.

While protecting our shared watersheds, we also seek reconciliation based on reciprocity with regional Indigenous Nations, each other, the land, water and All Our Relations.

Join us as we actualize a commitment to continued education and empowerment. We are learning more about our shared responsibilities and possibilities regarding Truth And Reconciliation, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the B.C. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, First Nations priniciples of Ownership Control Access and Possession, and broad social justice.

Upcoming Project

The West Kootenay Watershed Collaborative advocates for protecting water at its source. We seek to create a watershed protection and decision-making template incorporating models of probability and causality in sensitive snow forests. Our project will use the most current work in forest hydrology while deepening the knowledge base within our watershed communities, while working to partner with First Nations.



We will establish a three-year pilot project with the Dr. Younes Alila’s Forest Hydrology Research Lab, UBC – Vancouver, Department of Forestry to interrogate and revitalize hydrological models. This new climate driven research; focuses on land-based operations to inform actions to mitigate the effects of flooding, sliding and forest fires projecting into the future. This work will initially focus on Laird and Redfish Creeks, tributaries of the West Arm of Kootenay Lake, with the intention of extrapolating to similar watersheds throughout the region.