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Prioritizing Threat Management

Strategies for Species and Ecological
Communities at Risk: A Pilot Study in
the Kootenay Boundary Region

June 2017

BC Ministry of Environment

BC Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
This report would not have been possible without the invaluable input of many experts in
ecology, conservation and management of the Kootenay Boundary Region. The following
individuals provided expert advice and assistance through workshops, follow-up discussions to
identify threats to species and ecological communities (referred to as assets), management
strategies and provide input on the costs, feasibility and benefits of implementing management

Project Sponsors

Alec Dale, Executive Director, Ecosystems Branch, Ministry of Environment (ENV); John Krebs,
Director of Resource Management, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
(FLNRO) and Allan Lidstone Director of Resource Management Objectives, FLNRO.

Project Champions

Kari Nelson Victoria, ENV
Chris Ritchie Victoria, FLNRO
James Quayle Victoria, ENV
Mike Knapik Kootenay Boundary Region, FLNRO

Project Team

Tara Martin University of British Columbia and University of Queensland
Lindsay Anderson Kootenay Boundary Region, FLNRO
Kathy Paige Victoria, ENV
Dominique Sigg Victoria, ENV
Diana Demarchi Victoria, ENV

Project Support

Tim Davis and Donna Thornton (Kootenay Boundary Region, FLNRO), and Naomi Nichol
(Victoria ENV) provided much assistance in identifying and costing management actions;
Marlene Machmer (Pandion Ecological Research Ltd.) assisted in many capacities including
writing the introduction to this report; Chris Steeger (Consultant) and Heather Pritchard
(Consultant) prepared a database of all the species in the region; Andy Cagle (FLNRO), Byron
Woods (ENV), Rhian Davies (FLNRO) and Albert Chirico (ENV) provided GIS support;. Leah
Westereng (ENV) provided workshop support; Carmen Cadrin (ENV) and Naomi deVille (ENV)
completed ecological community threats assessments; Iadine Chades (CSIRO) provided code
and assisted with the complementarity analysis; Josie Carwardine (CSIRO) provided expert

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advice; Rob Dorling and Michele MacIntyre (ENV) provided advice and assistance with
calculating opportunity costs.

Workshop Participants

*provided benefit estimates
Ian Adams* (Consultant); Ted Antifeau* (FLNRO-retired); John Bergenske (Wildsight); Jon
Bisset (Canadian Columbia River Inter-tribal Fisheries Commission); Jakob Dulisse*
(Consultant); Orville Dyer* (FLNRO); JoAnne Fisher (Ktunaxa First Nation); Dave Fraser* (ENV);
Mike Gall (BC Parks); Purnima Govindarajulu (ENV); Jennifer Heron* (ENV); Mike Knapik*
(FLNRO); John Krebs* (FLNRO); Marlene Machmer* (Consultant); Deb Mackillop* (FLNRO);
Michael Miller* (Consultant); Scott Mitchell (BC Timber Sales); Kristen Murphy* (FLNRO);
Michael Murray* (FLNRO); Penny Ohanjanian* (Consultant); Hillary Page* (Nature Conservancy
of Canada); Kathy Paige* (ENV); Alan Peatt* (Okanagan Nation Alliance); Jenifer Penny* (ENV);
Louise Porto* (Consultant); Chris Ritchie* (FLNRO); Dominique Sigg (ENV); Lisa Tedesco*
(FLNRO); Donna Thornton* (FLNRO); Kenric Walburger* (FLNRO); Randy Waterous* (Interfor);
Shelagh Wrazej (Parks Canada); Leah Westereng (ENV); and Steve Wilson* (Canadian
Association of Petroleum Producers).

Post-workshop experts (emphasis on costing)

Kristina Anderson (FLNRO); Terry Anderson (FLNRO); Steve Arndt* (FLNRO); Rajeeta Bains
(TRAN); James Baxter (BC Hydro); Tom Biebighauser (Consultant); Jeff Burrows* (FLNRO);
Tony Button (ENV); Joe Caravetta (ENV); Crystal Chadburn (MOTI); Anthony Clevenger (Y2Y
Conservation Initiative); Sarah Crookshanks (FLNRO); Ben Cross (FLNRO); Tom Cummings
(ENV); Leo DeGroot (FLNRO); Ted Down (ENV); Kate Forbes (FLNRO); Ken Haynes (FLNRO);
Kevin Heidt* (FLNRO); Duane Hendricks (FLNRO); Matthias Herborg (FLNRO); Peter Holmes
(FLNRO); Mike Keefer (Consultant); Heather Lamson* (FLNRO); Cori Lausen* (Consultant);
Marlene Machmer* (Consultant); Irene Manley (FLNRO); Todd Manning (Consultant); Catherine
MacRae (FLNR); Brad McCandlish (ENV); Michael Miller (Consultant); Val Miller (FLNRO); Craig
Mount (ENV); Garth Mowat (FLNRO); Jasbir Naul (FLNRO); Matt Neufeld* (FLNRO); Simon
Norris (Consultant); Allana Oestreich (FLNRO); Becky Phillips (FLNRO); Chris Price (ENV);
Michael Proctor* (Consultant); Leonard Seilecki (MOTI); Tobe Sprado (ENV); Arthur Stock
(FLNRO); Christian St. Pierre (FLNRO); Tara Szkorupa (FLNRO); Irene Teske (FLNRO); Richard
Thompson (ENV); Jen Vogel (Invasive Plant Council of BC); Ryan Whitehouse (FLNRO); Rich
Weir (ENV); Paul van Westendorp (AGRI); Dave Wilford (FLNRO); and Sean Wong (MOTI).

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In 2010, the Species at Risk Task Force was established to provide practical and fiscally
responsible advice on how to improve the management of species and ecosystems at risk in
British Columbia. In response to their recommendations, government released A Five-Year Plan
for Species at Risk in British Columbia which has stimulated a renewed focus on species at risk
recovery in the province.

The Species at Risk Task Force emphasized that British Columbia is faced with growing
numbers of species at risk and limited resources to invest in conservation. The BC Conservation
Framework was intended to address some of these issues, by determining priority species and
ecosystems requiring conservation actions. While it has been successful in some respects, the
tools that were developed still resulted in long lists of priority species with no assessment of the
costs of implementing recommended actions or their likelihood of success. With insufficient
resources to manage all species and ecosystems at risk requiring attention, prioritizing where to
invest is essential.

The Ministries of Environment and Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations initiated a
pilot study in 2014 to test an approach developed in Australia, referred to as Priority Threat
Management (PTM), which assesses the most cost-effective management strategies that will
address the threats to species and ecosystems in a region. This approach represents a shift from
single-species conservation management to one that prioritizes management strategies for
multiple species and/or ecosystems. By undertaking this pilot project, we aimed to explore how
government and its partners can most effectively invest in species and ecosystems conservation
within a given budget.

This report describes the Priority Threat Management approach and results from a pilot
application in the Kootenay Boundary Region. The results and lessons learned from this pilot,
along with information on other approaches, will be used to evaluate how best to incorporate
cost-effectiveness analysis into conservation decisions in BC.

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The government of British Columbia is committed to improving approaches to conserve, protect
and restore the diversity of BC’s species and ecosystems. With limited resources and capacity to
manage all species and ecosystems requiring attention, prioritizing where to invest is essential,
as is finding efficient approaches that maximize conservation benefits. The Priority Threat
Management (PTM) approach developed in Australia aims to determine the most cost-effective
management strategies that can mitigate threats to multiple species or ecosystems at a
landscape scale. Management strategies are prioritized by conducting a cost-effectiveness
analysis that considers the relative benefit, feasibility, and cost of implementing each strategy.
This approach can inform how budgets could be applied to maximize conservation benefits in
the most cost-efficient manner. It can also promote additional investment in conservation
action, by clearly articulating the cost and expected benefits of that investment.

The province initiated a pilot to test the PTM approach to prioritize management strategies
based on their cost-effectiveness in BC. The intent of the pilot was to test the method, but also to
consider how cost-effectiveness may be used to inform conservation decisions, and how broad-
scale (multi-species) management strategies might be implemented to address conservation
priorities. The Kootenay Boundary Region was selected for the pilot because of its rich diversity
of species and ecosystems, variety of development and natural pressures (threats), and
opportunities for partnerships with stakeholders. Sixty assets (species and ecological
communities at risk) in the Kootenay Boundary Region were selected based on their status and
availability of information on threats and management requirements.

In November 2014, a two-day workshop with provincial and local species experts, land
managers, First Nations and industry representatives was held in Cranbrook, BC to identify
management strategies that would address threats and improve persistence of the 60 selected
assets over a 20-year timeframe. This involved gathering information from experts using an
expert elicitation approach. Twelve management strategies were identified. To calculate the
cost-effectiveness of these strategies, the cost and feasibility of implementing each management
strategy, and the estimated benefit to the selected assets were estimated by experts during the
workshop and through subsequent communications. Benefit was defined as the improvement in
the probability of an asset’s persistence over a 20-year timeframe under a given management
strategy compared to the probability of persistence without implementing the strategy
(referred to as the baseline of current management). The baseline included actions that
represent the minimum duty of care or that were underway or sufficiently resourced. Cost-
effectiveness is the total benefit (to the persistence of species and ecological communities) upon
implementing each management strategy multiplied by the feasibility of implementing the

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strategy and divided by the total estimated cost of that strategy. The most cost-effective
combinations of management strategies were also calculated using a multi-objective
optimization approach.

The top three most cost-effective management strategies in the Kootenay Boundary Region
were disease management, pollution and pesticide management and habitat protection.
Together, implementation of these three strategies was estimated to cost $20.8M over 20 years,
or $1.6M per annum. Implementing all strategies had the greatest expected benefit, decreasing
the number of species with a probability of persistence less than 50% from 22 to 5, and costing
an estimated $382M over 20 years, or $28M per annum. We found that the results of the cost-
effectiveness analysis were robust under uncertainty; the management strategy ranks did not
differ markedly when a range of estimates of cost, benefit and feasibility was assessed in a
sensitivity analysis.

Among the strategies, three (disease management, harvest management, and population
augmentation and translocation) contained species-specific actions that only benefited a small
number of species. The remaining strategies were focused on actions which would benefit many
of the assets at a broader scale. By excluding the three species-specific management strategies
we found that pollution and pesticide management, habitat protection, and hydrological
management were the three most cost-effective strategies. Single species conservation actions
may be better considered in addition to rather than compared with strategies that address
common threats to multiple species and ecosystems.

Habitat restoration was the least cost-effective management strategy overall, ranking lower
than doing all other management strategies combined. A broad range of costly actions were
included within this strategy, including fire management, fish passage restoration, and invasive
plant management, which may have masked the cost-effectiveness of individual actions. It may
have been more beneficial to divide this strategy into several discrete strategies in order to
assess their relative cost-effectiveness.

Habitat protection was the third most cost-effective management strategy, and the second most
cost-effective when species-specific strategies were excluded. The recommended first action of
this strategy was to conduct a spatial analysis to determine parcels of land to protect that would
achieve biodiversity conservation targets while minimising impacts to other values such as
forestry, agriculture and recreation. Without this analysis, it was difficult to accurately
determine the cost of implementing additional habitat protection, in particular potential
opportunity costs to industry. It is recommended that this spatial analysis be conducted prior to
re-evaluating this strategy based on a more refined and accurate assessment of costs.

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To determine the set of management strategies that would benefit the most assets under a
range of budgets, we applied a multi-objective optimization approach alongside the cost-
effectiveness analysis. Based on experts’ assessment of the probability of persistence without
any additional investment in conservation in the Kootenay Boundary Region, 22 of the 60
species and ecological communities examined may be unlikely to persist at levels sufficient to
maintain viable, self-sustaining populations or ecosystems (persistence probability <50%) over
the next 20 years. Implementation of the top three most cost-effective management strategies
(disease management, pollution and pesticide management and habitat protection) alone could
avert the loss of 13 species and ecological communities at an average annual cost of $1.6M. The
implementation of four strategies (habitat protection and restoration combined, animal
predator and competitor control, disease management, and pollution and pesticide
management), could avert the loss of 18 assets at an average annual cost of $22M.

The outlook for five species (Sharp-tailed Grouse, Yellow-breasted Chat, Northern Leopard Frog,
Caribou, and southern maiden-hair) is poor, with expected probabilities of persistence of <50%
even if all proposed management strategies were implemented. For some species this may be a
function of their current limited range in the region (e.g. Yellow-breasted Chat, Northern
Leopard Frog, southern maiden-hair). To secure the persistence of Caribou, Northern Leopard
Frog and the re-establishment of Sharp-tailed Grouse in the Kootenay Boundary Region,
additional species-specific management strategies may need to be considered.

In addition to the results of this analysis, the intent of conducting this pilot was to explore how
the PTM approach could be used to inform conservation decision-making, including the
allocation of resources, within a BC context. In order to advance this discussion, we make
several observations on the methods and results of the PTM approach:

• PTM is a cost-effectiveness analysis that can be applied to a variety of conservation
decisions. In each case, it is important to first determine the decision-making context
and define the desired objectives to be met.
• The selection of assets should be determined based on the objectives of the project. For
this pilot project, we selected a subset of 60 species and ecosystems that were at highest
risk in the region, resulting in persistence estimates that were low compared to similar
studies. When assessing the relative cost-effectiveness of strategies to address
landscape-level threats, it may be more appropriate to estimate benefits to biodiversity
on a broad scale using species grouping such as guilds or species-habitat associations
and in this way incorporating far more species into the consideration of benefits.

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• Cost-effectiveness of management strategies can be masked if many costly actions are
grouped into a single strategy (for example habitat restoration, as noted above);
strategies should be carefully developed to include a discrete set of related actions.
Management strategies can subsequently be combined to assess the relative benefit of
implementing a single vs combined strategies, as has been done in previous studies.
• The relative benefits of management strategies are measured against a “baseline”
management scenario. It is important to define the baseline (e.g. a detailed description
of all current conservation activities that are included) before asking experts to estimate
the benefits of additional management strategies.
• Conducting spatial analysis may be necessary for some management strategies in order
to fully determine the costs and benefits of implementing those strategies. In particular,
some opportunity costs and benefits may need to be calculated within a spatial context.
• Using a complementarity approach, the results of this analysis can inform which
management strategies can benefit the most species under different budget scenarios.
This information is useful when operating within limited budgets and can also allow
decision-makers to evaluate what can be further achieved with additional resources.
• A large amount of expert information has been compiled and generated through this
pilot, including specific conservation actions and their estimated costs. Not only is this
information useful for informing conservation decisions, it also illustrates the costs of
conservation management which could be used to guide future investments.
• The results of the PTM approach are not prescriptive but rather provide information to
inform decisions. Other factors such as social, economic and legal considerations will
likely require consideration in decision-making processes.
• PTM is a useful management tool at very broad scales where many assets are
considered; however, it would not replace localized or species specific management for
some species. Thus to achieve an optimal balance for the diversity of assets that require
management at different spatial scales and for a range of attributes both coarse and fine
filter management strategies are needed.

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Acknowledgements 1
Executive Summary 4
Contents 8
1. Project Background and Purpose 9
2. The Kootenay Boundary Region: Values, Threats and Current Conservation 10
2.1 Ecological Values 12
2.2 Threats 15
2.3 Current Conservation Management 23
3. Methods 30
3.1 Define Project Objective and Scope 31
3.2 Compile Existing Information 32
3.3 Develop Management Strategies 33
3.4 Estimate Benefits 33
3.5 Estimate Cost and Feasibility of Implementing ManAgement Strategies 35
3.6 Analysis 37
4. Results 39
4.1 Ranked Management Strategies 39
4.2 Optimal Sets of Management Strategies under Limited Budgets 44
4.3 Sensitivity of Ranked Management Strategies 48
4.4 Maximizing Benefits 50
5. Discussion 52
5.1 Using PTM Results to Guide Investment in Biodiversity Conservation 52
5.2 Limitations and Assumptions 53
6. Key Observations 55
7. Conclusion 59
References 60
Appendices 72
Appendix 1. Kootenay Boundary Asset list 72
Appendix 2. Detailed Description and Costs of Each Management Strategy 74
Appendix 3. Potential Benefits 84
Appendix 4. Opportunity Costs for Habitat Protection 86
Appendix 5. Complementarity Analysis 89
Appendix 6. Pareto Optimal Solutions (Complementarity Analysis) 90

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British Columbia is rich in species and ecosystem diversity yet many are at risk of disappearing
from BC. Over 1,600 species are considered at risk 1 in the province (BC Species and Ecosystems
Explorer, October 2016) indicating the need for greater and more efficient investment in
conservation actions. In 2010, the British Columbia Task Force on Species at Risk was
established to provide practical and fiscally responsible recommendations for improving
management of species and ecosystems at risk in the province. This task force recognized that
British Columbia is faced with growing numbers of species at risk and limited resources to
invest in conservation. The task force suggested that a ‘strategic shift’ was needed in how
species at risk are managed, and in response, the BC government developed the Five-Year Plan
for Species at Risk in British Columbia 2 (2014), which recognized the need to take action to:

- Improve species conservation through management at the ecosystem and landscape
- Provide the best available information to support identification, management and
recovery of species at risk;
- Encourage British Columbians to embrace stewardship of species at risk across all lands;
- Apply protection for species at risk consistently across all sectors; and
- Measure and report on government’s investments in species at risk.

British Columbia and other jurisdictions share many of the same conservation challenges. In
response, Australia developed an approach which prioritizes threat management for
biodiversity conservation using a cost-effectiveness analysis. This approach shifts from
addressing species on an individual basis to one that assesses threats (pressures) and
prioritizes conservation investment efforts into multi-species management strategies that are
the most cost-effective – by assessing the relative cost, benefit and feasibility of management
strategies. The approach referred to as Priority Threat Management (PTM) (Carwardine et al.
2012) is explicit, systematic, and knowledge-based. Ituses both available data as well as the
knowledge of experts, and it encourages collaboration and input from stakeholders leading to
more transparent and supported decisions. The PTM approach also provides a critical baseline
to update information and measure success of actions in the future (i.e., relative change in
estimated persistence probabilities over time, after implementation of a strategy). The PTM

1 Provincially red or blue-listed

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approach therefore has the potential to address several actions recommended in the Five Year

The Ministries of Environment and Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations were
interested in testing the PTM approach in British Columbia. The Kootenay Boundary Region was
selected as the pilot study area because it has a rich diversity of species and ecosystems at risk
from a variety of threats, and because there are many conservation opportunities involving
partnerships with stakeholders. The intent of the pilot exercise was to gain experience and
insight into using cost-effectiveness analysis to support and advance conservation decisions in


The study area of the pilot project is the Kootenay Boundary Region (Figure 1), a vast area
covering an estimated 8 million hectares in south-eastern British Columbia, which supports a
population of just over 150,000 people. It is known for its impressive ecosystem, habitat and
species diversity, particularly its significant populations of large ungulates and wide-ranging
carnivores. The Kootenay Boundary Region represents the northernmost portion of the trans-
boundary Columbia River drainage basin. It comprises several mountain ranges (the Monashee,
Columbia, Selkirk, Purcell and Rocky Mountains), valleys, trenches, and highlands, characterised
by varied climate and topography. The geological history of this region is complex (with
bedrock of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic origin), but repeated glaciation and its after
effects have had a profound influence, by steepening valley sides, widening valley bottoms, and
sharpening the profiles of higher peaks. Glacial retreat has left behind extensive moraines,
debris and silt-gravel terraces, whereas cold mountain streams originating from remnant snow
fields and glaciers form countless tributaries that sustain the region’s diverse landscapes and
biota. Waterbodies eventually drain into the Kettle, Kootenay and Columbia rivers that meander
along the region’s valley floors. The Columbia and Kootenay drainage basins are associated with
extensive floodplains, wetlands and riparian forests that provide vital habitat and migratory
corridors for significant populations of large ungulates, wide-ranging carnivores, freshwater
fish and avifauna.

The Okanagan and Ktunaxa (Kootenay) Nations have their Traditional Territories in this region.
Ktunaxa First Nation flint-arrowhead quarries and pictographs are widespread and date back as
far as 12,000 BC. European settlement was motivated by the fur trade, and then expanded via

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the railway and the Kootenay gold rush, beginning in 1864. Mining, smelting, logging,
hydroelectric power generation, agriculture, ranching and tourism were important drivers of
the developing economy, and continue to be dominant economic sectors to this day.

Figure 1: Distribution of land tenures in the Kootenay Boundary Region study area
(Province of British Columbia 2016). Managed areas include approved Ungulate Winter Range and
Wildlife Habitat Areas. Protected Areas include all provincial, federal parks, conservancies and reserves.
Crown other is all other Crown land, including possible unidentified forested area.

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The Kootenay Boundary Region is best known for its large ungulate and wide-ranging carnivore
populations, many of which are declining or have been extirpated from other parts of their
North American ranges (Driscoll et al. 2015). They include many iconic species such as
Mountain Caribou (Rangifer tarandus), Mountain Goat (Oreamnos americanus), Rocky Mountain
Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis), Rocky Mountain Elk (Cervus elaphus), Moose (Alces
americanus), Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos), Wolverine (Gulo gulo), Fisher (Pekania pennanti),
Canada Lynx (Lynx canadensis), Grey Wolf (Canis lupus) and Cougar (Puma concolor). The region
is also well known for its freshwater fish resources, including some of the last remaining
strongholds for Westslope Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi), Bull Trout (Salvelinus
confluentus), Kootenay and Columbia River populations of White Sturgeon (Acipenser
transmontanus), Gerrard Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), as well as other endemic
Sculpin (Cottus spp.) and Dace (Rhinichthys spp.).

During the last half a century, dam construction and widespread flooding of reservoir
impoundments on the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers coupled with industrial and recreational
activities, linear corridor developments, and fire management practices have significantly
altered the natural systems of the Kootenay Boundary Region resulting in in widespread
impacts to native plant communities and dependent species (Nature Conservancy 2004; Utzig
and Schmidt 2011; Shaw et al. 2012).

The accelerating effects of climate change are expected to act synergistically with these
developments and other threats to biodiversity, resulting in incremental and sometimes
difficult to predict cumulative effects (Utzig and Holt 2012). There is an urgency to act pro-
actively and strategically to increase the resilience of the Kootenay Boundary Region in order to
protect and restore the biodiversity of the area in response to existing and future threats. In the
following sections, we highlight the ecological values and biodiversity of the region, identify
threats to habitats, and summarize conservation and restoration actions undertaken to date.

The Kootenay Boundary Region is known for its rugged mountainous landscapes which contain
diverse habitats and species, including some associated with relatively low levels of human
development and a high degree of functional landscape connectivity (Nature Conservancy of
Canada 2004; Machmer and Steeger 2008; MacKillop and Ehman 2016). Populations of many
iconic wide-ranging species, are still found here, and numerous “linkage zones” have been
identified as critical to maintain their seasonal movements, gene flow, and long term viability
(Nature Conservancy of Canada 2004; Proctor et al. 2015; Utzig and Holt 2015a, b and c).

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The Kootenay Boundary Region comprises several mountain ranges, valleys, trenches, and
highlands within four major physiographic units: (1) the western highlands (eastern portions of
the Okanagan and Shuswap highlands including the Monashee Range), (2) the Columbia
Mountains (a series of mountain ranges and valleys comprising the southern, central and
northern Columbia Mountains, including the Selkirk and Purcell Ranges), (3) the southern
Rocky Mountain Trench (a long, wide, faulted valley that bisects the Columbia and Rocky
Mountains), and (4) the Continental Ranges of the Rocky Mountains (a series of rugged,
longitudinal ridges and valleys to the west of the Continental Divide). The topography of this
region is diverse, with mountain ranges becoming progressively higher and more rugged from
south to north.

Owing to this complex topography, the region’s climate varies considerably over relatively short
distances, as evidenced by strong temperature and precipitation gradients (MacKillop and
Ehman 2016). Air masses typically approach from the west and lose moisture as they pass over
the Monashee, Columbia, and Rocky Mountain ranges. A strong rain shadow effect occurs on the
leeward side of these ranges, promoting sunny, warm and dry conditions in the valley bottoms,
especially during the summer months. Precipitation is highest during the winter, fall, and
spring, and varies annually from <100 mm in valley bottoms to almost 1,000 mm on the higher
peaks (MacKillop and Ehman 2016). Fire, insect and disease outbreaks, periodic flooding, wind,
snow and drought are the predominant natural disturbance agents (MacKillop and Ehman

Valleys are bisected by large rivers, reservoirs, lakes, and occasional wetlands, often bordered
by stands of flood-tolerant black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) and willow (Salix spp.).
Ecosystems of the region are predominately forested, but productive grasslands dominated by
bunchgrasses and shrubs occur most frequently in the open understories of Ponderosa Pine
(PP) and Interior Douglas-fir (IDF) parkland forests. These grasslands, as well as the climax
shrublands that occur in the driest variants of the Interior Cedar Hemlock (ICH) zone, are found
at lower elevations and on leeward slopes (MacKillop and Ehman 2016). Frequent low intensity
fires coupled with burning by Indigenous peoples maintained these dry grasslands, shrublands
and open montane forests prior to fire suppression. Western larch (Larix occidentalis) is a
dominant seral species on wetter, cooler aspects in the IDF, ICH, and montane spruce (MS)
zones, and in middle elevation transition zones, where mixed fire severity regimes are more
prevalent. Colder, higher elevation Engelmann-spruce Subalpine-fir (ESSF) forests are subject to
a range of natural disturbances (fire, insects, diseases, wind, snow, drought, and avalanches) of
variable frequency and size. Fire-adapted seral species such as lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta

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var. latifolia) and trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) are common here, but are eventually
replaced by climax forests of Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) and subalpine fir (Abies
lasiocarpa var. lasiocarpa). The wettest and most diverse forests of the region occur within the
Interior wet belt (ICH zone), centered on the windward slopes of the Monashee, Columbia and
Rocky Mountains. Relatively infrequent disturbances in wetter variants of this zone have
promoted the development of extensive mature and old forests, with western red cedar (Thuja
plicata) and western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) as dominant climax species. These wetter
forests are commonly referred to as part of the Inland Temperate Rainforest and are
characterized by high tree species and stand structural diversity (e.g., multi-layered canopies,
abundant large veteran trees, snags and logs, heavy lichen loads, lush moss carpets, and diverse
fungi and microbes) coupled with significant precipitation that maintains year-round moisture
(Stevenson et al. 2011).

At higher elevations, closed forests give way to more open subalpine parkland forests. Fire
(typically caused by lightning), wind and snow play vital roles in these stands (MacKillop and
Ehman 2016). Windswept, high elevation grasslands characterized by high plant diversity
provide high-value habitat to ungulates and are relatively unique to the East Kootenay (EBA
Engineering Consultants Ltd. 2005; Machmer and Goldamez 2015). Near the tree line, abundant
stressors (high winds, heavy snow accumulations, late snowmelts, cold temperatures, frequent
freeze-thaw cycles, shallow soils, lightning, fire, insects and diseases) interact to limit tree
germination and growth, resulting in patches of krummholz, where whitebark pine (Pinus
albicaulis), limber pine (Pinus flexilis), and alpine larch (Larix lyallii) are interspersed with more
open habitats. In the Interior Mountain-Heather Alpine (IMA) zone, stands of trees are replaced
by a rich mosaic of forb and heath-dominated meadows, grasslands, brushlands, wetlands,
avalanche paths, nivation and fellfield sites, all flanked by spectacular peaks (MacKenzie 2012).

The Pacific flyway, an important route for migratory birds, traverses through the Kootenay
Boundary Region and extensive wetlands in both the Creston and Columbia Valleys have been
designated of international significance (RAMSAR Convention 2015). The latter areas support
particularly high densities of waterfowl, shorebirds, other water birds, raptors, owls,
amphibians, reptiles, small mammals and bats, many of which are of conservation concern.

The Kootenay Boundary Region is home to 77 vertebrate species currently listed 3 as of
conservation concern by federal and/or provincial jurisdictions including 12

3 On the provincial Red or Blue List, or listed as a species at risk under BC’s Forest and Range Practices Act or federally
listed as at risk under Canadian Species at Risk Act or Canadian Migratory Birds Convention Act.

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species/subspecies of freshwater fish, 6 amphibian species, 36 bird species, and 17 mammal
species (Steeger and Pritchard 2014), many of which require specialized habitats. Amphibian
species such as the Northern leopard frog need riparian and/or wetland habitat for breeding
and have suffered significant local population declines in recent years (Johnson et al. 2011).
Reptiles at risk like the North American Racer (Coluber constrictor) and the Western Skink
(Plestiodon skiltonianus) are confined to dry, open habitats within southern portions of the
region. Diverse grassland and shrubland habitats of the region are critical for a variety of listed
mammals (e.g., American Badger [Taxidea taxus]) and birds (e.g., Columbia Sharp-tailed Grouse
[Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus] and Common Nighthawk [Chordeiles minor]). Open
montane forests provide vital nesting substrate for several breeding cavity-nesters of
conservation concern, including Williamson’s Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus thyroideus) and Lewis’s
Woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis). Cliffs, caves and other rock-dominated sites are used by
nesting Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus anatum). Older forests comprised of large, lichen-
loaded trees are critical elements for mountain caribou, and represent important roosting
substrate for forest-dependent bats, such as Northern Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis).

The Kootenay Boundary Region supports 57 invertebrates at risk 4 comprising various butterfly,
dragonfly, moth, beetle, and gastropod species, which occupy a range of habitats (Steeger and
Pritchard 2014). Plants at risk include 213 vascular (dicots, monocots, ferns and quillworts) and
53 non-vascular (mosses and lichens) species, as well as 53 ecological communities associated
with wetland, riparian, grassland, forest and/or alpine ecosystems (Steeger and Pritchard

For the purpose of this pilot study, we focused on human-caused threats for which traditional
management strategies can be developed. Although not incorporated into the current pilot,
natural and global threats (such as climate change), and stochastic events (such as catastrophic
fire), are also relevant, and often inter-connected threats to species and ecological communities
at risk in the Kootenay Boundary Region.

Habitat loss, degradation, and overexploitation pose the greatest threats to native species and
ecosystem persistence within the Kootenay Boundary Region (Nature Conservancy of Canada
2004; Steeger and Pritchard 2014). The drivers of these changes are broad and include altered
hydrology, forestry, mining, recreation, various forms of development, agriculture/ranching,

4 Species and ecological communities that are on provincial Red or Blue lists and legally-listed species including those
that are listed under the BC Wildlife Act, BC Forest and Range Practices Act, Canadian Migratory Birds Convention Act
or Canadian Species at Risk Act .

June 2017 15
fire and fire suppression, and pollution (Shaw et al. 2012). In addition, introduced disease has
caused losses of formerly widespread and abundant species (Northern Leopard Frog, limber
and white pine). These threats have led to cascading impacts on a wide range of biodiversity
components (Nature Conservancy of Canada 2004; Utzig and Schmidt 2011; Shaw et al. 2012),
and have the potential to interact synergistically with the growing effects of climate change,
leading to cumulative impacts that are potentially difficult to predict (Utzig and Holt 2012).

Altered hydrology
There are more than a dozen significant dams 5 in the Kootenay Boundary region that supply
hydroelectric power to the region, other parts of BC, and the United States. Water management
in the form of reservoir flooding and operation, as well as ditching, diking, diversions,
channelization, and smaller scale micro-hydro projects have dramatically altered natural
hydrologic regimes and processes. An estimated 125,000 ha of natural wetland, riparian and
wet forest habitat has been permanently lost as a result of reservoir flooding (MacKillop et al.
2008; Utzig and Schmidt 2011), while significant areas have become dewatered or isolated, and
water flows and quality have been reduced. These human modifications have permanently
altered the structure, composition, functions and ecological processes occurring in aquatic,
riparian and terrestrial ecosystems (Utzig and Schmidt 2011; Shaw et al. 2012). Impacts of
hydroelectric dams on ecosystem productivity, habitats, fish and wildlife species, as well as
ecological functions and processes are comprehensively reviewed by Utzig and Schmidt (2011).
Impacts to gross primary productivity 6 amount to a net loss of ≅840,000 7 tons of carbon
annually, and nutrient cycling and trophic relationships have been impacted accordingly
(MacKillop and Utzig 2005; Moody et al. 2007; Utzig and Holt 2008; Utzig and Schmidt 2011).
Cascading effects have been identified for at least 24 fish species, including listed white
sturgeon (Porto 2008), bull trout (Hagan 2008), and sculpin species (Ladell et al. 2009). Effects
on 110 wildlife species were confirmed (Manley and Krebs 2009), with most notable impacts to
wetland and riparian specialists, such as amphibians (e.g., Northern Leopard Frog, Western
Toad), waterbirds and waders (e.g., Great Blue Heron [Ardea herodias], Western Grebe
[Aechmophorus occidentalis]), songbirds (e.g., Yellow-breasted Chat [Icteria virens]), bats, and
aerial insectivores (e.g., Common Nighthawk, Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia), and Barn Swallow
(Hirundo rustica), and riparian habitats for wintering upland gamebirds (Columbia Sharp-tailed
Grouse) many of which are now considered of conservation concern.

5 Significant dams include Arrow, Kinbasket, Revelstoke, Duncan, Koocanusa, Whatshan, Pend d’Oreille, Waneta,
Brilliant, Kootenay Canal, Cora Linn, Upper and Lower Bonnington, Alberfeldie, Elko, Cranberry and Spillimacheen.
6 The loss in gross primary productivity was calculated for aquatic, wetland, floodplain and upland ecosystems within

dam footprints; forested ecosystems accounted for approximately 95% of the total estimated losses (Utzig and
Schmidt 2011).
7 This estimated loss is for BC Hydro-owned dams only, as provided in Utzig and Schmidt (2011).

June 2017 16
Historic and current forestry practices (including overharvesting, high-grading, intensive road-
building and silviculture, even-aged stand management, short rotations, single species
plantings, large-scale salvage) have altered spatial and temporal patterns and tree species
composition, as compared with landscapes subject to natural disturbance regimes dominated
by fire and wind (Baker 1994; Wimberly et al. 2001). This has influenced forest health and
productivity and lowered resilience to the impacts of climate change (Shaw et al. 2012). The
overall result has been a loss of the most productive and ecologically valuable old-growth
forests, and the creation of vast regenerating and mid-seral forests with reduced stand
structural diversity and lower species richness (Shaw et al. 2012). Drier forests subject to
prolonged fire suppression are frequently characterized by dense, overstocked stands suffering
from increased moisture stress and high incidences of damaging insects and diseases (Rocky
Mountain Trench Ecosystem Restoration Program 2013). A general loss and degradation of
critical habitat and legacy structures (e.g., large old trees, snags, and hollow logs, ) is evident for
grassland, shrubland, and open forest-dependent species, with a concomitant reduction in
forage quantity and quality, and a greater incidence of invasive species (Rocky Mountain Trench
Ecosystem Restoration Program 2013). Wetter forests show significant reductions in mature
and old stands, high levels of fragmentation and loss of connectivity, greater edge effects,
increased parasitism and predation, constraints on animal movement and gene flow, and
reductions in reproduction and survivorship (Shaw et al. 2012). Where harvesting has been
extensive or very rapid within a watershed, hydrological changes (i.e., higher peak flows, altered
timing of flows, and increased erosion and sedimentation) have resulted, with cascading
impacts on both aquatic and riparian species (Shaw et al. 2012).

Mining is BC’s third largest industry and the source of more than half of Canada’s coal
production, along with a growing range of metals (copper, zinc, silver, lead, gold), industrial
minerals, and structural materials that are used domestically and exported worldwide
(PricewaterhouseCoopers 2015). Much of the coal and metals are extracted and/or processed in
the Kootenay Boundary Region and leaching of toxic chemicals and/or heavy metals can
degrade aquatic and riparian habitat downstream of mining facilities (Price and Errington
1998). In the Elk Valley, large quantities of waste rock are exposed to precipitation and run-off
can carry selenium, cadmium, sulphate, and nitrate (from blasting residues), leading to elevated
concentrations in receiving waters and accumulation in local fish and wildlife populations (Teck
2014). Large-scale clearing, road construction, fragmentation and invasive plant invasions all
contribute to land modification, and have lasting impacts (i.e., habitat loss, decreased suitability

June 2017 17
and connectivity, increased disturbance and increased toxicological risk) on local plant
communities and animal populations (Shaw et al. 2012). Mine reclamation efforts are ongoing,
however several new coal mines have recently been approved, and some impacts cannot be
remediated and will require offsetting (Teck 2014). Operation of a lead zinc smelter in Trail, BC
for over 100 years is associated with releases of inorganic chemicals into receiving waters and
emissions of sulfur dioxide into the local airshed (Swanson 2010, Intrinsic Environmental
Services Inc. et al. 2011). Remediation efforts are ongoing in both aquatic and terrestrial
ecosystems (Golder Associates Ltd. 2012 and Trail Area Health and Environment Program 2015,

The Kootenay Boundary Region is renowned for its outstanding and varied recreational
opportunities, and recreational tenures have increased markedly in the last two decades.
Longstanding activities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, horseback riding, skiing,
biking, canoeing, and other water sports continue to be widespread. However off-road vehicle
use (e.g., ATVs, dirt bikes, 4 x 4’s, snow machines) and other motor-assisted recreation (e.g.,
heli-ski, cat-ski, heli-hike, motorboating) have experienced a large increase in use, replacing
some of the more conventional methods to access the backcountry. Greater human
encroachment into wilderness areas results in disturbance, displacement, and potential for
mortality of vulnerable wildlife populations, as well as degradation of their sensitive habitats
(Leung and Marion 2000). Motorized recreation can disrupt seasonal activities (e.g., calving,
mating, denning, lekking) and/or cause undue stress to vulnerable species like mountain
caribou, mountain goat, grizzly bear, wolverine, and sharp-tailed grouse (Wiedmann and Bleich
2014; St.Louis et al. 2012). Motorized off-road vehicle use is linked to greater degradation (e.g.,
rutting, compaction, erosion, and sedimentation) of sensitive habitats (such as wetlands,
riparian areas, silt banks and grasslands), disturbance and mortality of animals and plants
(including rare plant communities), and is linked to invasive plant proliferation.

Linear corridors
An estimated 800,000 km of roads occur in BC, and the extensive network of roads (highways,
secondary roads, resource roads, trails, private roads and/or deactivated roads) in the
Kootenay Boundary Region is largely a consequence of other resource use activities, including
forestry, mining and recreation. Road-building and use damages intact regional landscapes and
impacts hydrological functions, habitat availability and connectivity for fish and wildlife
populations (Fahrig and Rytwinski 2009; Robinson et al. 2010; Forest Practice Board 2015;
Columbia Mountains Institute 2012 and 2014). Roads facilitate encroachment into pristine
wilderness areas, impair wildlife movement and gene flow, increase the potential for human-

June 2017 18
wildlife encounters, and result in elevated wildlife mortality and displacement (Clevenger et al.
2010; Montgomery et al. 2012; Coe et al. 2015). Roads also act as key vectors for the dispersal of
invasive species, and represent potential locations for toxic spills or animal attractants. New
roads and expansions add to this threat, for species that cross roads as part of their seasonal
movement or daily dispersal patterns (Machmer 2012; Proctor et al. 2015). Several rail lines
also bisect the region, with effects somewhat comparable to those of roads. An extensive
network of power lines and several pipelines developed within the region can also cause habitat
loss, erosion, fragmentation and degradation, impaired fish and wildlife movement, and
displacement.Ongoing maintenance of these corridors in an early seral condition affects forest-
dependent species disproportionately, similar to impacts described under forestry.

Residential and commercial developments
Various industrial, agricultural, urban and residential developments in the Kootenay Boundary
Region are fragmenting habitats and eroding ecological integrity, especially at lower elevations
(Shaw et al. 2012). Some areas have experienced significant population growth in recent years
(e.g., Columbia Valley, Revelstoke, Elk Valley), and increasing urbanization and expansion of low
density residential housing into natural areas are associated with habitat loss, conversion,
fragmentation, and degradation, more roads and recreational use, increased invasive species,
and altered fire regimes, with cascading effects on other biodiversity components (Webb et al.

Fire suppression
Fire is a dominant natural disturbance in this region, normally caused by lightning, and
supplemented by burning by Indigenous Peoples (MacKillop and Ehman 2016). Many dry and
moist ecosystems in the region are “fire-adapted” (i.e., they possess a structure, composition
and function resilient to the impacts of repeated fire, and support mainly fire-adapted species).
Fire management practices over the last 100 years have significantly altered natural
disturbance regimes and created landscapes outside their natural range of variability (Backer et
al. 2004; Parker et al. 2006). Impacts of fire suppression include increased tree encroachment
into grasslands and shrublands, overstocked stands of moisture-stressed trees and high fuel
accumulations, loss of seral and fire-adapted species, increased densities of invasive species,
damaging insects and diseases, reduced stand diversity and resilience, and greater susceptibility
to catastrophic fire. The resulting “fire-sensitive ecosystems” are more vulnerable to large and
destructive wildfires with high mortality and long term impacts to biodiversity.

Many private and Crown lands “set aside” for conservation in the region have been subject to
prolonged fire suppression. There is increasing acknowledgement of the need to re-introduce

June 2017 19
fire and other natural disturbances in these landscapes, both to improve their current habitat
suitability for dependent species, and to increase their future resilience to the unavoidable
consequences of predicted climate change (i.e., catastrophic fire, insects, diseases, invasive
species outbreaks).

Range use
In many parts of the Kootenay Boundary Region, there has been a progressive decline in the
condition of grasslands, open forests and nearby riparian areas where animals congregate,
leading to increased competition between wild ungulates and livestock (mainly cattle and
sheep) for a diminishing supply of forage (Rocky Mountain Trench Ecosystem Restoration
Program 2013). Conflicts between ranchers and wildlife advocates have intensified since the
1970’s, and declining rangeland condition has a much broader underlying context, closely
linked to a century of fire suppression and accelerating effects of climate change. Outcomes are
far-reaching, and include habitat loss and degradation for dependent plant and animal species
(including many listed representatives), higher incidences of invasive species, damaging insects
and diseases, and an overall decrease in ecosystem function (Rocky Mountain Trench
Ecosystem Restoration Program 2013).

Invasive species
A number of aquatic and terrestrial invasive plant and animal species are well-established in the
region, and new invasive, non-native species threats are imminent (East Kootenay Invasive
Plant Council 2013; Central Kootenay Invasive Plant Committee 2014; Craig 2015). Introduced
invasive species can out-compete native species and/or disrupt natural processes required for
their survival, often as an outcome of human interference or disturbance (i.e. roads, linear
corridors, developments, overgrazing) or are important pathogens (pine blister rust, whirling
disease and chytrid fungus). Invasive species cause significant shifts in overall ecosystem
structure, composition and function, resulting in lowered habitat suitability and productivity,
with cascading impacts to most biodiversity components. In 1995, 42 confirmed invasive plant
species were estimated to affect more than 35,000 ha and threaten up to 2.5 million hectares in
the Kootenay Boundary Region, and this problem continues to expand rapidly, in terms of
invasive species number and distribution (Wikeem 2007). All vegetation communities are
susceptible to invasive plants; however drier grassland and open forest communities are
especially vulnerable to a variety of noxious species (e.g., blueweed, Echium vulgare; leafy
spurge, Euphorbia esula; common tansy, Tanacetum vulgare; knapweeds, Centaurea spp.;
toadflaxes, Linaria spp.; and hawkweeds, Hieracium spp.). Aquatic, riparian and wetland
habitats are being degraded by a range of invasive species (e.g., knotweeds, Polygonum spp.;
giant hogweed, Heracleum mantegazzianum; purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria; yellow flag-

June 2017 20
iris, Iris pseudacorus; Eurasian water-milfoil, Myriophyllum spicatum; rock snot, Didymosphenia
geminate; Craig 2015). Attention has recently shifted to the damaging effects of aquatic
vertebrates, such as non-native Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) and Brown
Trout (Salmo trutta) introduced into local water bodies for sport-fishing, which are now
hybridizing and/or competing with native Cutthroat trout. Invasive fish species such as
Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) and Walleye (Sander
vitreus) have become direct predators on native fish stocks. The American Bullfrog (Lithobates
catesbeianus) is now confirmed in the region, which could displace native amphibians (such as
the endangered Northern Leopard Frog), and contribute to direct mortality of numerous other
species because of their immense size and voracious appetites. In addition, bullfrogs can act as
disease vectors of the amphibian skin pathogen chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium
dendrobatidis), although they demonstrate immunity (Greenspan et al. 2012). Zebra (Dreissena
polymorpha) and Quagga Mussels (Dreissena bugensis) are not present in B.C., but if they were
introduced they have the potential to decimate aquatic habitats and fish populations of the
Kootenay Boundary Region, while doing tremendous damage to regional infrastructure, such as
hydroelectric power dams, water treatment plants, and bridges. Aggressive action is needed to
prevent new invasive species introductions, and to reduce the impacts of established

Insects and disease
Insects and disease agents are both natural and introduced components of regional ecosystems
and at endemic levels they maintain variability within stands and create habitat attributes vital
for biodiversity (Machmer and Steeger 1995). The cumulative effects of timber management
practices, fire suppression, and climate change are associated with changing incidences of some
forest insects and diseases in the region (Buxton and Maclauchlan 2014). For example, the
native Mountain Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) continues to impact both mature
lodgepole, ponderosa, limber and whitebark pine stands, whereas the introduced white pine
blister rust (Cronartium ribicola) continues to cause widespread damage and high mortality to
regenerating western white pine (Pinus monitcola) and endangered whitebark pine. There is
growing concern that the combined effects of mountain pine beetle, blister rust, fire
suppression and climate change will devastate remnant populations of whitebark pine, where
they still occur. Pathogenic fungi can have devastating impacts on biodiversity and two specific
fungi species are associated with widespread declines in their vertebrate hosts.
Chytridiomycosis (a disease caused by the amphibian skin pathogen Batrachochytrium
dendrobatidis) was first identified in 1998 and has been implicated in the extinction of more
than 100 amphibian species worldwide and the severe decline of another 100 species (Skerratt

June 2017 21
et al. 2007), including species occurring in BC. Researchers have yet to devise effective large-
scale management responses to this disease, other than biosecurity measures to mitigate spread
and establishment of disease-free captive assurance colonies (Scheele et al. 2014). White-nose
syndrome has caused mass mortality among hibernating bats and precipitous declines in North
American bat populations. Since first discovered in the US in 2006 and Canada in 2010, the
disease has spread rapidly across eastern North America (affecting at least seven bat species),
and it is predicted to lead to the regional extinction of the Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus)
(Frick et al. 2010). The syndrome is caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans, which
is capable of growth and persistence in infected hibernacula for decades, greatly compromising
the success of bat re-introduction efforts (Reynolds et al. 2015). A common bacterium
(Rhodococcus rhodocrous) found in soils has been shown to inhibit growth of this fungus and
help infected bats recover; research is currently underway to explore its utility in disease
treatment (Lee 2015). This fungus has not yet become established in British Columbia and
efforts are underway to prevent its spread and mitigate its impact. However it has been recently
confirmed (March 2016) in a Little Brown Myotis east of Seattle and is the first recorded
occurrence of this devastating bat disease in western North America. This occurrence is 5-10
years before expected. Efforts to closely monitor spread, find hibernacula, and model potential
for certain species to withstand infection are underway, and are really the only course of action
(P. Govindarajulu, pers. comm. 2016).

Pollution and pesticides
Many pesticides have direct or indirect impacts on insects. Pesticide misuse and drift from
aerial spraying represent a potential threat to insect pollinators, especially when using
persistent chemicals that remain in the environment for a long time before degrading (review in
Blacquiere et al. 2012; Whitehorn et al, 2012). In addition, pesticides can have a negative impact
on other wildlife species (review in Köhler and Triebskorn 2013), and are associated with risks
to human health (review in Alavanja et al. 2004). Runoff can carry pesticides into surface water,
groundwater, precipitation, air and sediment, potentially affecting other species as well as
persisting in the soil (Boxall et al. 2004). More recent mosquito control involving the expanding
use of the selective microbial insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI) may be having
food chain-mediated impacts on listed birds and other insect-feeding guilds (Poulin et al. 2010).

Some sources of water and air pollution were identified in the previous mining section, but it is
clear that discharges of various types of industrial wastes from mines, saw mills, pulp mills,
smelters, and other processing facilities, coupled with agricultural (i.e., fertilizers, herbicides,
pesticides, and animal wastes) and residential wastes (i.e., sewage, refuse and non-recyclables)
and other byproducts all contribute to the pollution. In some specific cases, where discharges

June 2017 22
have been historical and/or ongoing in nature, monitoring has not been sufficient to clearly
identify and/or quantify impacts to biodiversity in retrospect, underscoring the need for more
comprehensive inventory and monitoring (Swanson 2010; Intrinsic Environmental Services Inc.
et al. 2011; Teck 2014).

Cumulative impacts
The threats described above do not operate in isolation but rather likely interact with each
other, and with the growing effects of climate change and other natural and/or stochastic events
(such as catastrophic fire, insect or disease epidemics, floods), potentially leading to
unpredictable cumulative effects. There is a need to evaluate the relative vulnerability of
different ecosystem types and the flora and fauna they support to climate change, in order to (a)
identify those habitats and species at risk most likely to experience catastrophic population
declines, and (b) develop climate change adaptation strategies and implement measures to
mitigate the degree of future impacts, to the extent possible. Such evaluations are underway in
the Kootenay Boundary Region and other parts of BC (Utzig and Holt 2012; Daust et al. 2014).

Many of the management efforts mentioned below focus on provincial and federal government
programs. However, there is a wide variety of important conservation work ongoing in the
Kootenay Boundary Region that is managed by First Nations and non-profit organizations.
These groups contribute large amounts of time and money to further benefit species and
ecological communities at risk, and bring a high level of expertise that is invaluable. The results
of such programs have a significant benefit to regional conservation and natural resource

Habitat protection
The majority of land (~94 %) in the Kootenay Boundary Region is publicly owned and managed
for various purposes (e.g., timber supply areas, mineral tenures, linear and transportation
corridors) (Figure 1). Private land represents only 6 % of the land base yet often occurs at lower
elevations and with a disproportionally high number of species and ecosystems at risk (BC
Ministry of Environment, unpublished data). The region supports an expansive network of
federal and provincial parks and protected areas (≈1,127,230 ha) as well as other privately
owned conservation lands (≈316,770 ha) (Figure 2). The level of protection (i.e., restrictions on
use) varies and only a few designations such as Ecological Reserves completely restrict public
use; rather some use is permitted in the majority of areas. For example, hunting, trapping and
guide-outfitter tenures are permitted in many provincial parks. Collectively, these areas

June 2017 23
comprise ~20% of the regional land base and provide a rich legacy that contributes to the
maintenance of the region’s biological diversity.

Four federal parks in the region (≈732,800 ha) include Mount Revelstoke National Park in the
North Selkirk Range, Glacier National Park in the North Columbia Range, and Yoho and
Kootenay National Parks (which constitute two of four contiguous mountain parks along the
Continental Divide) in the Rocky Mountain Range. These federal parks are complemented by at
least 69 provincial parks covering an estimated 711,443 ha in the region. The latter range in size
from the 200,105 ha Purcell Wilderness Conservancy to smaller parks measuring just a few
hectares, and at least nine parks exceeding 25,000 ha in size (i.e., Goat Range, Height of the
Rockies, Valhalla, Granby, Gladstone, Mount Assiniboine, Kokanee Glacier, West Arm and
Hamber). Larger federal and provincial parks in the region are dominated by mountainous
landscapes found at high elevations, whereas smaller provincial parks tend to be more
equitably distributed and representative of the full range of locally-occurring ecosystem and
habitat diversity. All provincial parks have a dual mandate focused on both conservation and
recreation goals, which under some circumstances can be mutually incompatible, particularly in
those parks located close to populated areas that receive intensive use by the public. Other
conservation lands include five provincial Wildlife Management Areas (≈69,198 ha), seven
Ecological Reserves (≈3,404 ha), and 19 other Crown land parcels (managed explicitly for
conservation). These reserves supplement existing parks and provide added habitat
connectivity in key areas.

Various other conservation tools (including fee simple acquisitions, land conservation
covenants, and landowner stewardship agreements between parties) have been utilized to
protect an additional 85,378 and 93,827 ha of high value private land in the West and East
Kootenay, respectively. The ≈55,000 ha Darkwoods property (located in the Selkirk Range
adjacent to the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area, the Midge Creek Wildlife Management
Area, and West Arm Provincial Park) represents the single largest private land acquisition in
Canadian history, purchased by the Nature Conservancy of Canada in 2010 (Nature
Conservancy of Canada 2011). This property protects critical high elevation old-growth forest
habitat for the federally endangered South Selkirk mountain caribou herd, as well as valuable
interior cedar hemlock forest, and key hydro-riparian habitats important for grizzly bear and
bull trout, respectively. The Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Nature Trust, and the Land
Conservancy of BC have been active land trusts operating in the Kootenay Boundary Region, in
collaboration with funding organizations such as the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program
and the Columbia Basin Trust. Individually and collectively (through their work under the
Kootenay Conservation Program umbrella), these organizations have contributed to the

June 2017 24
securement of an estimated ≈316,770 ha of conservation lands in the region (outside of existing
parks and protected areas). Additional private land conservation acquisitions may be secured to
offset other industrial impacts in the region (e.g., mine expansion approvals and smelter
operations) in the near term as the Province’s new Environmental Mitigation Policy (Province of
BC 2014 a and b) is implemented.

Figure 2. Kootenay Boundary Region Conservation lands (Province of British Columbia
2016). Private conservation lands are not included in this figure.

June 2017 25
Habitat conservation
In addition to parks and protected areas, other areas of Crown land are also managed for
conservation (≈1,559,030 ha) where one or more activities may be excluded or restricted. For
instance, the 2004 Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) and associated regulations provide
specific tools to manage and conserve important habitats and habitat attributes such as those
required by ungulates and designated species at risk. Under FRPA’s Government Actions
Regulation, ungulate winter ranges (UWRs) totalling over 1,400,000 ha have been designated
for ungulates, some of which are at risk (e.g., Mountain Caribou, Rocky Mountain Bighorn
Sheep). These UWRs prescribe minimum forest retention (by age and cover class) required
within mapped habitat units, as well as restrictions on activities. Wildlife Habitat Areas (WHAs)
approved under the FRPA and the Oil and Gas Activities Act and their regulations are mapped
areas targeted for conservation within which only prescribed wildlife measures and restricted
management activities are permitted. An estimated 276 WHAs comprising ≈14,447 ha have
been established for ≥13 target listed species in the region since 1999. All of the above tools are
proposed to address the needs of specific species and ecological communities at risk, however
once approved and implemented, they have potential to conserve habitat for multiple plant and
animal species with overlapping requirements. Old growth management areas (OGMAs) and
wildlife tree retention requirements (prescribed by landscape unit and biogeoclimatic subzone)
also provide habitat at the stand and landscape scale. However, OGMAs in the region are not
spatialized and may be shifted in response to forest and other types of development yet there is
currently no mechanism in place to compare value of replacement areas.

In 2011, the BC government passed the Flathead Watershed Area Conservation Act (2011), which
enhances conservation on Crown land in the Flathead Valley of south-eastern BC. The Act
prohibits coal mining as well as exploration and development of oil, gas and mineral resources,
but forestry and hunting continue to be permitted. The Flathead watershed is acknowledged as
a key refuge and vital corridor for a variety of wide-ranging carnivore species, including listed
Grizzly Bear, Wolverine, Fisher, American Badger, and Canada Lynx.

The federal Species at Risk Act (2002) enables the identification of ‘critical habitat’ on all lands
for listed species. Critical habitat is the habitat necessary for survival or recovery of a listed
species that is identified in a recovery strategy or action plan for a species. Once identified
critical habitat must be legally protected for all aquatic species; nests of migratory birds; and,
terrestrial species on federal lands, or, effectively protected for other terrestrial species on non-
federal lands (e.g., provincial Crown land). Identification of critical habitat does not
automatically lead to protection on provincial Crown land. The provinces and territories are
first given the opportunity to protect critical habitat on non-federal land through their laws. If,

June 2017 26
after consultation with the provincial or territorial minister, the federal Minister is of the
opinion that critical habitat on provincial lands is not effectively protected, s/he must
recommend to Governor in Council that an order be made applying the SARA prohibitions
against destruction of critical habitat to provincial lands.

There have been notable efforts to identify and map key landscape-level connectivity corridors
required for seasonal wildlife movements, continued gene flow and long term viability in the
face of cumulative disturbance and/or predicted climate change (Proctor et al. 2015; Utzig and
Holt 2015a, b and c; Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative 2014). These efforts have
relied both on the identification of relatively intact landscapes and on documented movements
of key wide-ranging species such as grizzly bears. The Elk Valley Cumulative Effects
Management Framework (CEMF) initiative 8 is also underway to consider the current condition
and cumulative impacts on selected values including grizzly bears. Both of these initiatives will
contribute to an understanding of cumulative development impacts on selected habitats and
species at risk and provide useful information for making conservation decisions at the
landscape scale.

Habitat management and restoration
In addition to conserving and managing habitats through specific designations, there is also a
need to maintain or even restore these lands and the ecosystems in the region. Various
initiatives are planned or underway to address this need, at various spatial scales, using an
adaptive management approach (Shaw et al. 2012; Rocky Mountain Trench Ecosystem
Restoration Program 2013; Trail Health and Environment Program 2015; Utzig et al. 2016).

The Rocky Mountain Trench Ecosystem Restoration Program (2013) has been active in the
region since 1997. The program and its partners have attempted to re-establish more
appropriate stand structure and composition in the East Kootenay Trench by systematically
treating 109,000 ha of overstocked stands of open forest and open range using combinations of
prescribed burning, understory thinning and commercial harvesting. The program provides a
conceptual approach and operational pathway for restoring landscapes that have strayed
outside of their natural range of variability, and results have been mixed, but encouraging
(Rocky Mountain Trench Ecosystem Restoration Program 2013). Furthermore both wildlife and
range sectors have been directed to manage ungulate and livestock to reduce forage pressure in
the East Kootenay. To date results have been mixed, suggesting a need for greater coordination,


June 2017 27
accelerated treatment implementation, more comprehensive monitoring and adaptive
management (Wikeem et al. 2012; Forest Practices Board 2015).

Restoration efforts have targeted the critical habitat of listed species, such as Western Painted
Turtle (Clarke and Gruenig 2003) and Yellow-breasted Chat (Machmer 2014), but such
initiatives require stable, multi-year funding to promote the level consistency required for
successful outcomes. To improve habitat suitability for species at risk, other initiatives have
focused on enhancement of high priority habitats or elements, including degraded wetlands (De
La Salle 2015) and wildlife trees (Manning and Manley 2014). The Fish and Wildlife
Compensation Program has funded a range of wildlife and habitat enhancement projects in the
region for close to 20 years.

Likewise the province is working to restore fish habitat by identifying and remediating stream
crossings that impede freshwater fish migration. In 2017 alone more than 7500m of fish habitat
(Rainbow Trout and Bull Trout) was gained in the Kootenay Region through remediation efforts
(Inter-Agency Fish Passage Technical Working Group 2017).

Access management
Efforts to address access and recreational impacts in the region include the planning and
implementation of access management areas (AMAs) and motor vehicle hunting closed areas
(MVHCAs) in selected drainages of the East Kootenay, and to a lesser extent in the West
Kootenay (BC Ministry of Environment 2016a). These areas may require additional monitoring
to determine the degree of compliance and overall effectiveness of these measures. New
amendments to the Off-Road Vehicle Regulation came into effect in late 2015, and these included
mandatory licensing and safety regulations. In addition, general guidelines have been developed
to minimize disturbance to wildlife and some species at risk in association with back-country
tourism and recreation activities (BC Ministry of Environment 2006). These require further
evaluation for both compliance and effectiveness.

Efforts are ongoing to identify linkage zones and develop mitigation prescriptions that reduce
vehicle collisions and roadkill mortality along Highway 3 (Clevenger et al. 2010), and along
other high value corridors (Preston et al. 2006; L. Sielecki, pers. comm.). Recommended
measures are varied (e.g., wildlife fences, underpasses, overpasses, bridge reconstruction,
animal detection systems, signage, reflectors, de-icing alternatives), and target primarily
ungulate and wide-ranging carnivore species (e.g., Mountain Caribou, American Badger, Grizzly
Bear, Wolverine, and Bighorn Sheep). It is increasingly acknowledged that roadkill is a
significant source of mortality for many listed guilds (Machmer 2015) throughout the region
and costs are a significant barrier to implementation of promising measures.

June 2017 28
Current water management policies within the region focus on the operation of hydroelectric
dams by BC Hydro, in conjunction with the international Columbia River Treaty, and the
regulation and enforcement of water diversion and licenses under the provincial Water
Sustainability Act.

In 1995, BC Hydro committed to fund in perpetuity the Fish and Wildlife Compensation
Program (jointly managed by the BC Ministry of Environment) to investigate and mitigate the
footprint impacts of the company’s hydroelectric operations within the Columbia Basin. To
complement this process, BC Hydro created water use plans (8 in total since 2000) for each
hydroelectric facility that details the company’s obligations to protect and enhance
environmental, economic and cultural values impacted from operations of each hydroelectric
dam. For example, the Columbia River Water Use Plan encompasses the operation of BC Hydro’s
Mica, Revelstoke, Hugh Keenleyside and Arrow lakes dams and contains recommendations for a
variety of physical works, monitoring and follow-up studies to be implemented over a 12-year
period, at a cost of $115 million (Stonestreet 2013). Studies implemented under this plan
address a wide range of issues including white sturgeon management and recovery, bull trout
fish passage, fish stranding and de-watering of spawning sites, erosion and cultural value
protection, re-vegetation in reservoir drawdown zones, nesting and migratory bird habitat
impacts, wildlife enhancement projects). The water use planning process acknowledges that
there is limited flexibility to make operational changes that will benefit all interests, hence there
is a need to fully understand implicit trade-offs in order to optimize operational decision-
making. It should be noted that water use plans are not utilized by other hydroelectric
operators or independent power projects within the region. Future decisions associated with
the Columbia River Treaty between Canada and the USA will clearly influence how BC operates
local dams and reservoirs for power, flood control and other values.

The Water Sustainability Act (WSA) was introduced in 2016 to replace the provincial Water Act
and contains new provisions to manage for water diversion by residential and commercial
proponents. The new Act provides stronger legislative protection of aquatic resources, with an
emphasis to maintain a minimum level of flow in streams and rivers (Environmental Flow
Needs or EFNs), to protect aquatic species and ecosystems against excessive water withdrawal.
The WSA also introduced licence requirements for groundwater sources (springs, aquifers),
which allows for a holistic approach to the management of water diversion.

June 2017 29
Species management
Many conservation actions are also directed towards managing or restoring species populations
(i.e., harvest management, population recovery and reintroduction). Regional recovery efforts
include (a) augmenting populations of species at risk, such as the White Sturgeon and Mountain
Caribou; (b) captive rearing and reintroducing species populations, as has been done with
Northern Leopard Frog; and (c) assist populations to improve their survivorship (e.g., penning
to reduce predation of Mountain Caribou through the ‘Revelstoke Caribou Rearing in the Wild’
program; construction of the Western Toad migration tunnels and assisted transport to reduce

In addition, efforts to monitor and manage populations of non-native invasive animal and plant
species (such as the American Bullfrog, Lithobates catesbeianus; Zebra and Quagga mussels,
Dreissena polymorpha and D. bugensis, respectively; giant hogweed, Heracleum
mantegazzianum; knotweed spp.; and Polygonum spp.), that compete with native species have
been increasing. When working with amphibian populations, screening for diseases such as
chytrid fungus, and implementation of sanitization measures to reduce transmission have
become standard procedures. Assessments of resistant whitebark pine free of pathogens and
insect infestations are underway, as are seed collections and restoration planting trials using
resistant stock.

Despite all these efforts and investments in conservation, many species and ecological
communities in the region are still at risk or becoming at risk, suggesting the need to explore
alternative approaches.

The PTM approach develops and prioritizes conservation management strategies that help
enable the persistence of species and ecosystems based on their cost-effectiveness. Cost-
effectiveness analysis within the PTM method requires information on three key parameters:
cost, feasibility and benefit. Expert knowledge acquired through a structured elicitation
approach was primarily used in this analysis (Carwardine et al. 2012), but empirical data is also
used to support the process (e.g., in the identification of threats).

For the Kootenay Boundary pilot, a two-day workshop was held in Cranbrook, BC on November
5 and 6th, 2014 to elicit information from experts selected for their expertise in the biology of,
and threats to, species or ecological communities at risk, or for their role as managers and
custodians of the land base and assets included in this project. Approximately 33 experts
participated from a variety of government and non-government agencies, industry, and First

June 2017 30
Nations. Following the workshop, information on the costs of management actions and
feasibility were gathered in consultation with additional experts.

This PTM method involves several steps including (modified from Carwadine et al. 2012):

1. Define project objective and scope (study area, number of assets, timeframe)
2. Compile asset information (status, threats, distribution)
3. Develop management strategies to address threats for selected assets
4. Estimate the benefit of implementing management strategies
5. Estimate the cost and feasibility of implementing management strategies
6. Analyse data (cost effectiveness, complementarity, and sensitivity)
7. Report results and provide guidance on using results to inform conservation decisions.

These steps are described below.

For the pilot, the project objective was to determine the most cost-effective management
strategies that would secure the persistence of 60 selected species and ecological communities
at risk (collectively called “assets” in this study) in the Kootenay Boundary Region. The
Kootenay Boundary Region was chosen to conduct this pilot project as it had a range of species
and ecosystems at risk due to a variety of threatening processes, good opportunities for
partnerships with stakeholders, and government staff capacity to deliver on the project. A 20-
year timeframe was selected as a reasonable time in which to estimate costs but also sufficiently
long enough to estimate the benefit of management strategies to asset persistence. For this
study, persistence was defined as the probability that the asset would exist over the 20-year
timeframe at levels sufficient to maintain a viable, self-sustaining population or ecosystem.
Experts agreed that this could include halting and/or reversing the current declining trends of
the asset being considered.

For the pilot, 56 species and 4 ecological communities at risk and that regularly occur in the
Kootenay Boundary Region were selected (Appendix 1). Assets included were either listed
under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) or Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) (Table 1) or had
been assessed as endangered, threatened or special concern by COSEWIC and there was
sufficient and available knowledge regarding threats. Sufficiency of threat data was based on
information in Steeger and Pritchard (2014) or from standard threat assessments used in
provincial and federal status assessments.

June 2017 31
Table 1. Summary of asset list by taxonomic group and listing under SARA and FRPA

Asset Group Total # SARA listed FRPA listed
Vertebrates – fish 8 7 2
Vertebrates – amphibians 6 6 5
Vertebrates – reptiles and turtles 6 6 3
Vertebrates – birds 18 11 10
Vertebrates – mammals 7 4 5
Invertebrates 4 1 1
Vascular Plants 5 5 0
Non-vascular Plants (incl. lichens) 2 2 0
Ecological Communities 4 NA 4
Total: 60 42 30

A comprehensive database of species and ecological communities at risk in the Kootenay
Boundary Region, including 77 vertebrates, 57 invertebrates, 213 vascular plants, 53 non-
vascular plants and 53 ecological communities, was assembled (Steeger and Pritchard 2014).
For each asset, available information on conservation status, federal and provincial legal
designations, distribution (administrative and ecological), habitat associations, and threats to
viability were compiled. Threats were categorized according to the IUCN–CMP (International
Union for the Conservation of Nature – Conservation Measures Partnership) unified threats
classification system (Salafsky et al. 2008). This system is used by both the provincial and
federal governments and internationally in species status assessment and recovery planning
processes (BC Ministry of Environment 2016b; Dave Fraser, pers. comm.). The IUCN threat
classification scheme identifies 11 broad (first-level) categories of threats which are the
proximate human activities or processes that have impacted, are impacting, or may impact the
status of the taxon being assessed (Salafsky et al. 2008). The 11 broad threats include:

• residential and commercial development,
• agriculture and aquaculture,
• energy production and mining, transportation and service corridors,
• biological resource use (including hunting, gathering, logging, and fishing),
• human intrusions and disturbance (including recreation),
• natural system modifications (fire suppression, dams and water management),
• invasive and other problematic species and genes (including disease and introduced
genetic material),
• pollution,
• geological events, and
• climate change and severe weather.

Each threat category is further broken down into a number of more detailed second-level

June 2017 32
A preliminary set of management strategies was developed for consideration by experts using
categories of management actions defined in BC’s Conservation Framework 9 as well as
information on threats and existing species management recommendations found within
COSEWIC 10 Status Reports, Recovery or Management Plans, or written accounts of
recommended management actions (e.g., IWMS 11 accounts). During the workshop, experts
reviewed and refined threat information and revised the proposed management strategies.
Working in groups, experts began identifying the actions that would be involved to deliver a
particular management strategy; however additional work was required following the
workshop to further develop and refine the actions and tasks that comprise each management
strategy (see Appendix 2). An additional strategy, the combination of habitat protection and
habitat restoration, was added after the workshop based on comments from many of the
experts suggesting that these should be combined into one strategy.

Within the PTM approach some actions are not included as part of management strategies,
either because it is difficult to assess their benefit in terms of a species persistence or because
they are more provincial in scope and therefore beyond the scale of this pilot project. These are
often referred to as enabling actions and they can be important for the successful delivery of
management strategies. Examples include research to address general knowledge gaps, general
education or engagement, or changing provincial legislation.

For this project, benefit was defined as the improvement in the probability of an asset’s
persistence, estimated between 0 and 100%, over a 20-year timeframe under a given
management strategy compared to the probability of persistence without implementing the
strategy (Figure 3). When estimating the probability of persistence under current management
(referred to as the baseline estimate), experts were asked to consider actions that represent the
minimum duty of care 12 or that were underway or sufficiently resourced. A summary of current
management for each asset was not provided to experts; rather it was assumed experts had
equal knowledge of current management.

Experts were provided initial descriptions of management strategies to estimate the benefit of
implementing a management strategy (referred to as the benefit estimate). For benefits


10 Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada
11 Identified Wildlife Management Strategy
12 Minimum required management to meet legal obligations.

June 2017 33
estimates, it was assumed that the management strategy would be successfully implemented
without delay and that it would achieve the stated goals. In addition, all other threats (existing
or currently unrealized) were assumed to be held constant and would continue to impact asset
persistence unless they were altered/abated by the management strategy. If a management
strategy was not applicable to an asset, or there was no improvement in species persistence by
implementing a management strategy, then there would be no difference between the baseline
estimate and benefit estimate.

Experts provided benefit estimates for the assets and management strategies they were
confident in assessing. Estimates were completed by experts independently and anonymously.
As a quality control measure, a four- point approach (Speirs-Bridge et al. 2010) was used. This
approach involves estimating a best guess, as well as upper (best-case scenario) and lower
(worst-case scenario) bounds around the best guess, and a confidence estimate that the real
outcome would be between the lower and upper bounds (Figure 4). These estimates serve as
anchoring points to help experts make more informed choices.

Following the initial elicitation, data was compiled and results for each asset were plotted using
bar graphs and these were circulated back to experts for review (Figure 4). This permitted
experts to compare their estimates to those of other anonymous experts and make revisions if
desired. This process of independent elicitation, feedback and revision has been found to be a
good way of maintaining expert independence while also benefiting from the advantages of
group judgement (Martin et al. 2012).

100 Current Situation

With Implementation of
% Probability of Persistence

Conservation Actions


0 Time (years) 20

Figure 3. Example of the probability of persistence of a species across time, with and without
implementation of a given management action.

June 2017 34
Figure 4. Example of baseline estimates (indicated by white bars) and benefit estimates (indicated
by grey bars) for one asset under the ‘Habitat Protection’ management strategy from three
individual experts. Bar columns indicate the ‘best-guess’ scenario and error bars indicate best-
case and worst-case scenarios.


Costs of implementing a management strategy were estimated as the total cost to implement all
the actions and tasks comprising the management strategy over a 20-year period (Appendix 2).
Costs were estimated per year and could include fixed annual costs, one-off establishment costs,
or costs over a period of time (e.g., occurring in the first 5 years). Only those costs that are above
and beyond the existing cost of current (baseline) conservation effort were included. Total costs
to implement management strategies included salaries (internal to government and external)
and operational costs (e.g., materials, equipment rental) and in some cases the cost associated
with removing an activity from the landscape (i.e., opportunity costs). Calculating the
opportunity costs associated with reclassifying land into protected areas involved a more
detailed assessment than some of the other actions and strategies due to the direct impacts to
industries (Appendix 4).

June 2017 35
Preliminary costing was completed during the 2-day expert workshop, however, the majority
was subsequently collected through post workshop discussions with individuals or meetings
over several months following the estimation of benefits. Wherever possible, costs were
estimated based on past experiences of undertaking similar actions.

Costs were based on present day annual costs and the total cost of implementing a management
strategy over the 20-year timeframe was converted to net present day values and annual
equivalent values (average expected cost per year in present day values) using the following net
present value equation:

(1 + 𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟)𝑖𝑖

Discussions with economists from the Ministry of Environment, along with a sensitivity
analysis, were undertaken to determine an appropriate discount rate. Discount rates are used to
determine the present value of future dollars. Three rates (0, 4% and 7%) were assessed and
the sensitivity analysis revealed that the priority rank order of the management strategies was
not sensitive to the choice of discount rate. A discount rate of 4% was deemed an appropriate
rate for use in a Canadian context (discount rates used in PTM projects in Australia have varied
between 3% and 7%).

Feasibility is a product of the likelihood of uptake and the likelihood of success of a management
strategy. Likelihood of uptake is an estimate of the percentage of situations a management
strategy would be accepted and therefore implemented (e.g., perhaps 50% of forestry
companies would be amenable to fire management for biodiversity) whereas likelihood of
success is an estimate of the percentage of times that the strategy would achieve its stated goals
(e.g., although a fire mosaic may be implemented, perhaps 20% of the time it would not achieve
the goal of benefitting biodiversity). Both estimates were collected while estimating costs, which
was largely completed after the expert workshop with smaller groups of experts. Experts were
provided the following scale to guide estimates of feasibility (Figure 5).

June 2017 36
Certain 100%
Probable 85

Likely 75

Fifty-fifty 50

Unlikely 25

Improbable 15
Impossible 0

Figure 5. Likelihood scale used as a guide for making prediction on the likelihoods that a
management strategy would be adopted and would be successful if adopted.


Cost-effectiveness analysis
The first step in the cost-effectiveness analysis is to determine the potential benefit of
implementing a management strategy. Potential benefit (B i ) is defined as the cumulative
difference in persistence probability of all assets in the region with and without implementation
of a particular strategy, averaged over the number of experts who made the prediction for the
species (Levin and McEwan 2001):

𝑃𝑃𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖 is the probability of persistence of species j if strategy i is implemented (as estimated by
expert 𝑘𝑘);
𝑃𝑃0𝑗𝑗𝑗𝑗 is the probability of persistence of species𝑗𝑗 if no strategy is implemented (as estimated by
expert 𝑘𝑘);
𝑁𝑁 is the number of assets; and
𝑀𝑀𝑗𝑗 is the number of experts who made predictions for asset j.

June 2017 37
The total benefit of a management strategy is the summed improvement in persistence across
all assets. Expected benefit is calculated as the product of the potential benefit multiplied by
the feasibility of implementing a management strategy. Expected benefit is also used in the
complementarity analysis (below) to determine the best sets of strategies to perform
simultaneously under various budgets.

The cost-effectiveness of each management strategy (CE i ) was then calculated as the potential
benefit of implementing a management strategy (𝐵𝐵𝑖𝑖 ) multiplied by the feasibility(𝐹𝐹𝑖𝑖 ) of
implementing the strategy divided by the expected cost of implementing the strategy(𝐶𝐶𝑖𝑖 ):

𝐵𝐵𝑖𝑖 𝐹𝐹𝑖𝑖
𝐶𝐶𝐶𝐶𝑖𝑖 =

Management strategies were then ranked according to cost-effectiveness scores.

Complementarity analysis
Cost-effectiveness analysis identifies the individual management strategies that provide the
greatest overall improvements in species persistence per unit cost. On its own, cost-
effectiveness analysis does not consider the effects of implementing combinations of strategies
simultaneously. If more than one strategy is implemented, there are likely to be
complementarities between strategies. In other words, high ranked strategies may benefit
similar species, and therefore may be less desirable than a combination of strategies that target
different species (Chadés et al. 2015). To determine the set of management strategies which
were the most complimentary under a range of budgets, we applied a multi-objective
optimisation approach alongside the cost-effectiveness analysis. In the complementarity
analysis, we defined a ‘secure’ asset as one that was estimated to persist with a probability that
exceeded a fixed persistence threshold over 20 years. We investigated three persistence
thresholds (50%, 70% and 80%) over a range of budget levels (Nemhauser and Ullmann 1996).
Further information on the calculation of the optimal solutions is included in Appendix 5.

Sensitivity analysis
To test the sensitivity of the cost-effectiveness rankings to errors in estimates of asset
probability of persistence, costs, or feasibility, we altered the benefits of each of the five highest
and lowest-ranked strategies by 20% and 30%. New rankings were calculated by altering the
benefits of strategies one at a time. We also tested the sensitivity of the feasibility estimates by
altering the range by 10% and 20%.

June 2017 38

Twelve management strategies were identified by workshop participants. These strategies
varied in terms of their expected benefit as well as their cost-effectiveness (see Table 2; see also
Appendix 2 for details on management actions contained within each strategy and Appendix 3
for a summary of potential benefits for each asset and strategy). Those management strategies
with the highest estimated benefit were: all strategies combined, habitat protection and
restoration combined, habitat protection, and habitat restoration. Feasibility of the management
strategies did not differ markedly, with disease management having the highest feasibility at
0.71 and mitigating human-induced mortality the lowest at 0.53. On the other hand,
management strategy costs varied widely from the lowest annual cost of $168,000 annually
(disease management) to upwards of $19M annually for habitat restoration. All strategies
combined ($28M annually), and habitat protection and restoration combined ($20M) were the
most costly strategies.

The three most cost-effective management strategies for the Kootenay Boundary Region were
disease management, pollution and pesticide management and habitat protection (Table 2).
Together, implementation of these three strategies is estimated to cost a total of $20.8M over 20
years, or $1.6M per annum. Habitat protection also had the 4th highest expected benefit with
increases in persistence predicted for all species considered in this analysis with the
implementation of this strategy, whereas the expected benefit of disease management and
pollution and pesticide management were ranked 6th and 10th respectively. Implementing all
strategies had the greatest expected benefit and would cost an estimated $382M over 20 years
or $28M per annum.

Harvest management, hydrological management and access management were respectively
ranked the 4th, 5th, and 6th most cost-effective strategies. Notably, harvest management had the
lowest expected benefit of all strategies, however as a result of its low cost, it ranked 4th in
overall cost-effectiveness. The low expected benefit of harvest management is a result of the
strategy improving the persistence of only a handful of harvested species including the Grizzly
Bear, Wolverine and Westslope Cutthroat Trout. Access management ranked 6th most cost-
effective and had the 5th highest expected benefit. Access management is particularly beneficial
for endangered plants such as Lemmon’s holly fern and plant communities such as alkali
saltgrass herbaceous vegetation. In addition, a range of animal species including Caribou,
Wolverine, Western Toad, Western Screech-owl, Western Rattlesnake and Grizzly Bear are
expected to benefit from restricting access to their habitats.

June 2017 39
The strategies of animal predator and competitor control, mitigating human-induced mortality,
and population augmentation and translocation ranked 7th, 8th and 9th in terms of cost-
effectiveness respectively. None of these strategies were ranked amongst the top 6 in terms of
expected benefit. All strategies combined, along with the combined strategy of habitat
protection and restoration, and habitat restoration on its own, ranked 1st, 2nd and 3rd in terms of
expected benefit, however they were the least cost-effective strategies as a result of their high
implementation costs.

Three strategies (disease management, harvest management, population augmentation and
translocation) contained actions that were very species-specific in nature and only benefited a
small number (11 – 18) of species (See Appendix 2 for details on actions contained within these
strategies). The remaining strategies address more biodiversity-level threats, with expected
benefits for the majority of assets assessed, and may also be beneficial to many of the other
species and ecosystems at risk in the region that weren’t considered in this study. If we remove
these species-specific strategies then the three most cost-effective strategies were pollution and
pesticide management, habitat protection, and hydrological management (Table 3).
Implementation of these three management strategies would cost a combined $27.8M over 20
years, or $2.1M annually. The intent of the PTM approach is to determine the most cost-effective
management strategies that will address threats to multiple assets at a regional scale
(Carwardine et al. 2012); in hindsight these three strategies don’t necessarily meet that intent.
Single species conservation strategies have merit and may be necessary to recover populations
of species at risk (e.g., captive breeding programs, managing Wolverine harvest), but they may
be better considered in addition to rather than compared with landscape-level strategies that
benefit multiple species.

Habitat restoration was the least cost-effective management strategy, ranking lower even than
doing all strategies combined. This strategy had a high potential benefit and feasibility but was
also one of the most expensive strategies to implement, costing almost $269M over the 20-year
period. A number of very different actions were combined under the restoration strategy
(Appendix 2). As a result this strategy included a broad range of costly actions (e.g., fire and
silviculture management, fish passage restoration, invasive plant management) which may have
masked the cost-effectiveness of individual actions, in particular other, cheaper actions
identified in this strategy (e.g., managing overabundant native ungulates). Invasive species are
the second biggest threat to species and ecosystems at risk (Figure. 7); together with fire
suppression these have been identified as significant threats to the Kootenay Boundary region
(Section 2.2). In future it may be worth assessing the cost-effectiveness of these actions

June 2017 40
individually, and subsequently comparing those results to a combined strategy of doing all
habitat restoration activities.

Habitat protection was the third most cost-effective management strategy overall (Table 2), and
ranked second when considering biodiversity-level strategies alone (Table 3). This strategy
included a diverse range of actions, including conducting a spatial analysis to identify parcels of
land to protect that would achieve habitat representation and connectivity, improving and
expediting implementation of land designation measures on Crown land (e.g., old-growth
management areas, wildlife habitat areas), and seasonal management of industrial activities to
minimise impacts to biodiversity at important life-history stages (Appendix 2). One identified
action was to protect additional habitat in the Kootenay Boundary Region, however this action
was dependent on the outcome of the first action to identify the most-cost effective parcels to
protect. Without this spatial information, a conservative approach for estimating the cost of
additional protection was chosen whereby we assumed that an additional 3% of protection
would be achieved through parks and protected areas in addition to the existing 14% already
protected. This 3% target was selected as it met the internationally recognised Aichi target of
17% protection by 2020, set by the Convention on Biological Diversity which has been ratified
by Canada (Convention on Biological Diversity 2010).

Opportunity costs to the forest and range industries were calculated based on removing this
area from the harvestable land-base (Appendix 4). When included, the cost-effectiveness of this
strategy drops markedly from 3rd to 10th (out of 12 strategies). The cost of habitat protection
was $16.8M over 20 years; when the opportunity cost of lost production was included, it
increased the total opportunity cost to $291M over 20 years assuming a 4% discount rate. The
impact of including lost opportunity costs for this one action also masks the cost-effectiveness
of other actions in this strategy that may not incur opportunity costs (e.g., seasonal management
of resource use in important wildlife areas).

When conservation actions are taken, opportunity to use resources for other purposes is
assumed to be lost (see Appendix 4), as is the potential economic return in doing so (Kaphengst
et al. 2011). It is therefore important to consider the opportunity costs of conservation actions
in the context of a cost-effectiveness analysis. In this project it was difficult to accurately identify
opportunity costs without first knowing which parcels of land would be protected and without
considering how habitat protection would be achieved through the variety of hard and soft-
protection measures that are currently used in the province (e.g., Provincial parks, wildlife
habitat areas, old-growth management areas, and private land covenants and stewardship
agreements). As a result, the most conservative, and costly target of protecting habitat through

June 2017 41
parks and protected areas was chosen, however, this is unlikely to be a realistic implementation
option. Previous studies that have used the PTM approach did not include opportunity costs
when estimating costs of habitat protection, for similar reasons (e.g. Carwardine et al. 2014,
Ponce Reyes et al. 2016). It is recommended that the first action under the habitat protection
management strategy (i.e., to conduct a spatial analysis of habitat protection) be completed
before reassessing the cost of implementing this strategy. This analysis, using a tool like
MARXAN (Watts et al. 2009), would identify the most cost-effective parcels of land to protect
that would achieve conservation targets such as protecting species’ habitat and maintaining
connectivity while minimising impacts to other values such as forestry, agriculture and
recreation. The cost of implementing the recommendations would then more accurately reflect
true costs, including opportunity costs, and the cost-effectiveness of this management strategy
could be revisited.

In addition to opportunity costs, biodiversity conservation may give rise to “opportunity
benefits” by reducing the extent to which damage or over-exploitation of natural resources
would result in reduced biodiversity. Examples include long-term effects of fisheries
conservation and control of invasive alien species. These benefits may exceed the opportunity
costs of the policy (Kaphengst et al. 2011). In other regions, the economic co-benefits of
conservation have been shown to be substantial and often more than from resource extraction
(for example: eco-tourism in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia; Deloitte Access Economics 2013).
These benefits are often difficult to quantify but are also important to consider when assessing
the cost-effectiveness of conservation actions. Opportunity benefits may include carbon
sequestration, employment opportunities for local communities, eco-tourism and recreational
opportunities, ecosystem services and preventing currently healthy species and ecosystems
from becoming at risk in the future.

June 2017 42
Table 2. Appraisal of management strategies across the Kootenay Boundary Region – estimated benefits, feasibility, costs and cost-
effectiveness (CE) using 4% discount rate.

No Management Strategy Potential Uptake Success Feasibility Expected Rank 20 year Annual Rank Cost- CE
Benefit (F) Benefit Expected Expected Cost equivalent costs effectiveness (CE) Rank
(B) (BxF) Benefit value score

1 Habitat protection 696 0.75 0.76 0.57 397 4 $16,760,601 $1,233,274 6 2.37 3
2 Habitat 639 0.84 0.79 0.66 423 3 $259,112,810 $19,065,974 10 0.16 12
3 Habitat protection 1042 - - 0.62 646 2 $275,873,411 $20,299,248 11 0.23 10
and restoration
4 Hydrological 269 0.95 0.70 0.67 179 8 $9,251,419 $680,736 4 1.94 5
5 Animal predator 267 0.92 0.73 0.67 179 7 $15,729,056 $1,157,371 5 1.14 7
and competitor
6 Disease 270 0.85 0.83 0.71 190 6 $2,286,318 $168,231 1 8.33 1
7 Pollution and 244 0.75 0.75 0.56 137 10 $1,765,790 $214,930 3 7.78 2
8 Harvest 93 0.73 0.83 0.61 56 12 $2,418,346 $177,946 2 2.32 4
9 Population 124 0.82 0.72 0.59 73 11 $24,405,145 $1,678,297 8 0.30 9
augmentation and

10 Access 399 0.71 0.84 0.60 238 5 $17,612,604 $1,295,966 7 1.35 6
11 Mitigate human- 274 0.70 0.76 0.53 146 9 $33,638,994 $2,475,216 9 0.43 8
induced mortality

12 All strategies 1373 - - 0.62 851 1 $382,981,084 $28,147,943 12 0.22 11

June 2017 43
Table 3. Biodiversity-scale management strategies ranked by cost-effectiveness (CE). Three species-
specific management strategies were removed prior to re-running the analysis (disease management,
harvest management, population augmentation and translocation).

Management Strategy CE Rank
Benefit Rank

Pollution and pesticide management 9 1
Habitat protection 4 2
Hydrological management 7 3
Access management 5 4
Animal predator and competitor 6 5
Mitigate human-induced mortality 8 6
Habitat protection and restoration 2 7
Habitat restoration 3 8
All Strategies 1 9

Cost effectiveness analysis on its own identifies which individual strategies are most cost-effective
to implement. It is possible that the highest ranked strategies will benefit the same assets. To
identify the optimal sets of strategies that will deliver benefits to a diverse set of assets per dollar
spent, a complementarity analysis was completed.

Based on the estimates provided by experts, 22 of the 60 species and ecological communities
examined (37%) may be unable to persist at levels sufficient to maintain viable, self-sustaining
populations or ecosystems over the next 20 years (assuming that a probability of persistence of
<50% indicates an ongoing decline) under current conservation investment within the Kootenay
Boundary region (Table 4). The total number of species that are likely to be secured at different
persistence thresholds with no strategies and with all strategies implemented is also outlined in
Table 4.

Figure 6 demonstrates the number of species and ecological communities (out of 60) that would be
secured by optimal combinations of management strategies at three levels of persistence (50%,
70%, and 80%) under a range of annual budget scenarios. Implementation of the top three most
cost-effective management strategies (disease management, pollution and pesticide management,
and habitat protection) could secure the persistence of 51 assets at a probability of 50% for an

June 2017 44
annual cost of $1.6M over 20 years (Figure 6; 38 assets secured by baseline conservation and an
additional 13 secured by these three strategies). Implementing animal predator and competitor
management, and population translocation and augmentation in addition to the three most cost-
effective strategies could secure an additional two species (Prairie Falcon and Kootenay River
White Sturgeon, 53 assets total) for an annual cost of $4.5M (Figure 6, Appendix 6). With the
implementation of four strategies (habitat protection and restoration combined, animal predator
and competitor management, disease management, and pollution and pesticide management), the
persistence of 56 of the 60 assets could be secured at a probability of 50% for an average annual
cost of $22M per year over 20 years (Figure 6; 18 assets secured in addition to the 38 secured by
baseline conservation). Among these species and ecological communities are alkali saltgrass
herbaceous vegetation, Short-eared Owl, Western Bumblebee, Western Rattlesnake, and Blotched
Tiger Salamander (Appendix 6). Similarly, by undertaking all management strategies (at a cost of
$28.25M per annum over 20 years) it is possible to achieve higher probabilities of persistence
>70% for 29 of the 60 assets and >80% persistence for 10 assets (Figure 6).

The outlook for five species (Sharp-tailed Grouse, Yellow-breasted Chat, Northern Leopard Frog,
Caribou, and southern maiden-hair) was assessed as poor, with expected probabilities of
persistence <50% even under proposed management. Three of these species, Yellow-breasted Chat,
Northern Leopard Frog, and southern maiden-hair, are at the periphery of their range in the
Kootenay-Boundary Region or only occur in a small number of isolated locations. The expected low
probability of persistence for these species may be a function of their limited range, . Sharp-tailed
Grouse are extirpated from the region, and some Caribou populations have continued to decline
despite extensive investment into conservation efforts. To secure the persistence of these two
species in the Kootenay Boundary region, additional species-specific management strategies may
need to be examined. In cases where no amount of investment in conservation management is
likely to secure a species, then reallocating resources to species and ecosystems that will benefit
from investment may need to be considered (Bottrelli et al. 2008).

Conversely, there were several species that had relatively good baseline persistence estimates (at
70% or greater) under current conservation management (Appendix 6). These were Westslope
Cutthroat Trout, giant helleborine, Columbia Sculpin, Speckled Dace, Magnum Mantleslug,
Shorthead Sculpin, Bighorn Sheep, White Sturgeon (Columbia River population), and Coeur d'Alene
Salamander. It is valuable to know which species were considered to have relatively high levels of

June 2017 45
persistence under current management, as this informs us that current management is meeting
conservation needs for these species.

Table 4. Number of species and ecological communities that are likely to be lost (<50% persistence)
or secured at different persistence thresholds (50%, 70%, 80%) with no strategies and with all
strategies implemented.

Number of No strategies All strategies
species in
<50% <70% <80% ≥80% <50% <70% <80% ≥80%
Invertebrates 4 1 2 1 0 0 1 2 1
Fish 8 1 2 4 1 0 1 2 5
Amphibians 6 3 2 0 1 1 2 2 1
Reptiles 6 2 4 0 0 0 5 1 0
Birds 18 7 11 0 0 2 11 5 0
Mammals 7 3 3 1 0 1 3 1 2
2 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 0

5 2 2 1 0 1 1 2 1

4 3 1 0 0 0 2 2 0

Total 60 22 29 7 2 5 26 19 10

June 2017 46
Figure 6. The number of species and ecosystems that are likely to be secured at three levels of persistence (50%, 70%, and 80%) for different
budgets spent optimally on threat management.

June 2017 47
We assessed whether the cost effectiveness rankings were sensitive to the estimated benefit,
feasibility or costs parameters by running several sensitivity analyses. For the benefit estimates, we
examined whether a change by as much as 30% of the best guess estimate would result in a shift in
the priority rankings and found that priority rankings were robust (did not change). Next we
examined whether the priority rankings changed if we used the worst-case benefit estimate (lower
bound) versus the best-case benefit estimate (upper bound) compared with the best guess. We find
that the priority ranks under the best guess and worst-case (lower benefit estimate) are the same
with the exception of habitat protection and harvest management which switch between the 3rd and
4th ranks. However, under the best-case (upper benefit estimate) habitat protection drops from 3rd
to 5th, and access management, animal predator and competitor control, road mortality, population
management, harvest management, hydrological management, all strategies combined and habitat
restoration all change by 1 rank (Table 5).

The feasibility of the management strategies did not differ markedly; disease management was the
highest at 0.71 and mitigating human-induced mortality (i.e., road mortality and persecution) the
lowest at 0.53. Feasibility of actions may change over time. For instance, feasibility of an action may
increase with technical advancements, or through education resulting in an increase in the
likelihood of social and political palatability of a management strategy. To examine whether a
change in feasibility of a particular action would lead to a change in priority ranking of the
management strategy overall, we assessed whether a 10 or 20% increase in the feasibility of a
single action relative to all others would result in a change of rank. We find that only 4 of the 12
strategies increase in a single rank with a 10 or 20% increase in feasibility (Table 6).

June 2017 48
Table 5. Sensitivity of cost-effectiveness rankings to changes in benefit estimates based on best guess,
lower (worse-case) and upper (best-case) estimates.

Management Strategy Best Guess Upper Lower
Disease management 1 1 1
Pollution and pesticide management 2 2 2
Habitat protection 3 5 4
Harvest management 4 3 3
Hydrological management 5 4 5
Access management 6 7 6
Animal predator and competitor management 7 6 7
Mitigate human-induced mortality 8 9 8
Population augmentation and translocation 9 8 9
Habitat protection and restoration 10 10 10
ALL strategies 11 12 11
Habitat restoration 12 11 12

Table 6. Sensitivity to +10 and 20% increase in feasibility.

CE Rank CE Rank CE Rank
Management Strategy Feasibility (100%xF) (110%xF) (120%xF)
Disease management 0.71 1 1 1
Pollution and pesticide management 0.56 2 1 1
Habitat protection 0.57 3 3 3
Harvest management 0.61 4 4 4
Hydrological management 0.67 5 5 4
Access management 0.60 6 6 6
Animal predator and competitor
0.67 7 7 6
Mitigate human-induced mortality 0.54 8 8 8
Population augmentation and translocation 0.59 9 9 9
Habitat protection and restoration 0.62 10 10 10
ALL strategies 0.62 11 10 10
Habitat restoration 0.66 12 12 12

June 2017 49
One of the aims of the PTM approach is to maximise biodiversity benefits by addressing common
threats to multiple species or ecosystems. In this pilot, 60 assets (species and ecosystems at risk)
were selected which represents only a portion of the biodiversity in the region. The assets selected
in this project appear to reasonably represent the threats and taxonomic groups of the 453 species
and ecosystems at risk in the region (Figure 7). However, priority management strategies for the
region may vary depending on the assets selected for the study, and may not necessarily reflect the
conservation needs of biodiversity at a broad scale in the region. Other approaches that represent
functional guilds, species-habitat associations or indicator species may further maximize benefits to
biodiversity as they would consider the full suite of species and ecosystems in the region.

June 2017 50
Figure 7. Number of assets affected by each threat category in the Kootenay Boundary Region, British Columbia. Blue bars indicate all at-risk
species and ecological communities in the region1 (n=453) and red bars indicate those selected for pilot project2 (n=60).

1 vertebrate animals (79), invertebrate animals (58), vascular plants (213), non-vascular plants and lichens (53), ecological communities 53)
2 vertebrate animals (45), invertebrate animals (4), vascular plants (5), non-vascular plants and lichens (2), ecological communities (4)

June 2017 51

The results of this scientific analysis are intended to inform decision makers as they plan and invest
in conservation, rather than providing a prescriptive implementation plan. Depending on the
decision context, the cost-effectiveness of management strategies may only be one factor to
consider. Other important considerations may include social or economic factors, legal obligations,
and sometimes practical or logistical considerations. This analysis is intended to illustrate the
relative cost-effectiveness of implementing different management strategies (compared to not
implementing them), as well as how they might be combined under different budget scenarios to
maximize conservation benefits across the suite of species in the most cost-effective manner.

The results of this study suggest that further investment is necessary to secure the persistence of
species and ecosystems at risk in the region. Under current management, 22 of the 60 assets
selected for this study may be unable to persist at levels sufficient to maintain viable, self-sustaining
populations or ecosystems over the next 20 years (See section 4.2). The recommended strategies
and actions in this report are intended to build upon current investments into species and
ecosystem conservation in the region and may suggest where conservation efforts should be
expanded or redirected into new conservation actions. The complementarity analysis indicates
which combination of management strategies will benefit the greatest number of assets under
different budget scenarios, and this can be revised if additional funding is secured (Ponce Reyes et
al. 2016).

The PTM approach identifies cost-effective management strategies that address threats to multiple
species and ecosystems at a landscape scale (Carwardine et al. 2012). Implementing this approach
may require a shift in allocation of some resources currently focused on single-species management
to actions that benefit multiple species and result in the ‘best bang for your buck’. This biodiversity-
level approach to mitigating threats could be implemented in concert with single-species
approaches, recognising that some species will require more intensive species-specific
management in order to secure their persistence (for example Sharp-tailed Grouse or Caribou).

June 2017 52
During the workshop and subsequent follow-up discussions with experts, areas requiring further
research were identified under many of the management strategies (See Appendix 2 for details).
Further research in these areas could help inform and further refine management actions
presented and their expected costs, feasibility, and benefits. Governments, industry, academia, and
other stakeholders can use the recommendations in this study to support funding applications and
potentially gain investment in research needs in the region.

The relationship to cumulative effects assessments (CEA) which use spatial analysis of threats to
identify site-specific risks to specific values should be explored. A spatial assessment of threats and
risks to values (i.e., assets) could improve the estimate of benefit to asset persistence and aid in the
costing of management strategies, as spatial location(s), tenure type(s) and licensee or proponent
information would be identified. Where PTM and CEA values align, PTM can complement CEA
through the development of management strategies that evaluate the benefits of implementation
(i.e., increased persistence in species). Theoretically, these two approaches could be combined to
provide a comprehensive approach to conservation, and may work efficiently together.

When conducting this analysis, it was necessary to make a number of assumptions and
generalisations, as outlined here:

• The methods used to prioritize threat management strategies rely on expert knowledge.
When estimating probability of persistence for assets, it was assumed that expert
knowledge and understanding of the current management and operational framework for
the ‘baseline’ scenario was ubiquitous. The goal of this analysis is to estimate the potential
cost-effectiveness of implementing a management strategy compared to not implementing
it, and to determine the relative value of different management strategies.

• It was assumed that experts had common understanding of the actions nested within
management strategies, from which to base benefit estimates. However, management
strategies were further refined after experts provided estimates.

• For many of the management strategies, costs were based on estimates provided by
workshop participants and in follow up conversations. Actual costs may prove to be higher
or lower, will likely change over time, and can be refined with detailed spatial analyses.

June 2017 53
• It was assumed that management strategies would be funded or not funded, but in reality a
strategy may be partially funded or there may be a scale-effect of increasing funding over
time. As more funds are invested the probability of success and likely benefits of a strategy
will increase and the relative cost-effectiveness of management strategies may change. The
results of this analysis can be revised over time using an adaptive management approach to
incorporate new information such as the availability of funds.

• Interactions between threats could not be comprehensively addressed apart from the final
management strategy where the benefits of all strategies combined was assessed. For the
complementarity analysis it was assumed that strategies act independently on assets, when
in reality a combination of strategies may have a combined benefit that is more or less than
the benefits of each strategy estimated in isolation.

• Data for this project was compiled between the fall of 2014 through the spring of 2016. It is
recognized that new threats may and have emerged (e.g., whirling disease) and existing
threats may subside, and the importance of management strategies may change, as may the
benefits, feasibility and costs of management strategies.

June 2017 54
The intent of this pilot project was to trial the PTM method for setting conservation priorities in
B.C., to explore and advance our knowledge of the use of cost-effectiveness analysis to inform
conservation decisions, and to assess how broad scale strategies might be implemented to address
conservation priorities. In order to advance this discussion, we make the following initial
observations on the methods utilised in this pilot, and the results that were produced from the


Objective: The first step in the Priority Threat Management approach is to determine the project
objective and scope. This may vary depending on the decision-making context the analysis is
intended to inform, and it is therefore important to establish the objectives within that context.
Cost-effectiveness analysis can be applied to many scenarios, from landscape-level analysis of
threat abatement to decisions on priority recovery actions for single species or sites.

Geographical Scale: The area chosen for the pilot was too large for the resources available for
the pilot and the desired objectives of more operational direction. A smaller area would have
enabled more refined estimates of costs and benefits and the scope of management strategies.

Assets: The selection of assets is an important step and relates to the decision context. If there is
an interest in addressing threats at a landscape level to achieve maximum benefits to
biodiversity, then assets should be selected accordingly (i.e., broader suite of biodiversity
assets, using groupings such as functional guilds, which has been used in previous projects, or
species-habitat associations). We selected 60 at-risk species and ecological communities for this
study. While there were advantages in selecting a small number of assets for a pilot project, it
resulted in a focus on species and ecosystems that were already at high risk of extinction. It
however, is not the full range of species facing extinction. This in turn resulted in persistence
estimates that were fairly low compared to previous studies that considered a larger suite of
biodiversity values and is considered a worst case scenario. When assessing the relative cost-
effectiveness of strategies to address landscape-level threats, it may be more appropriate to
estimate benefits to biodiversity on a broad scale and focus on actions and strategies that are
beneficial to a group of species (e.g., functional guilds), rather than individual species so the
expected benefits would accrue to a much broader range of species that are not currently
reflected in the asset list.

June 2017 55
Expert elicitation workshop: For this pilot only one 2-day workshop was held to collect
information from experts. This was not sufficient time to finalize management strategies,
estimate costs, feasibility and benefits. At least two workshops are recommended as has been
done in previous PTM projects. If information is not collected as part of the workshop, greater
effort is required in following up and consulting with additional experts.

Developing management strategies: Cost-effectiveness of management strategies can be masked
by grouping many, costly actions into a single (and likely expensive) strategy. For example, in
this pilot, habitat restoration was comprised of many complex and expensive actions (e.g., fire
and silviculture management, fish passage restoration, invasive plant management) which
reduced the overall cost-effectiveness and may have masked more cost-effective actions.
Instead, management strategies should be limited to a more discrete set of actions to improve
the consistency and make them more comparable. Combinations of management strategies can
subsequently be assessed, as has been done in previous PTM studies.

Enabling actions: Some actions such as outreach and changes to provincial legislation that
would support the proposed management strategies were considered out of scope for this
analysis. Implementing these actions still requires consideration but this would have to be
through another process.

Estimating probability of persistence (benefit estimates): Experts estimated both the probability
of persistence under current management (the baseline) as well as under a given management
strategy. In order to increase the confidence and consistency in benefits estimates, it is
important to ensure that a common understanding and description of current conservation
efforts (i.e., the conservation baseline) is achieved among experts/data contributors prior to
estimating benefits. The process was new and some experts were cautious and uncertain
making estimates, thus it may be useful to include information on their confidence in the

Benefits are estimated for the list of assets included in the pilot; however, many other listed and unlisted
species would benefit from many of the proposed strategies; thus true conservation benefits are
underrepresented. As mentioned previously by considering a broader range of assets such guilds or even
habitat types (e.g., grassland, wetland, old forest) more benefits would have been able to be considered in
the equation and a more realistic picture of benefits per unit cost would be achieved.

June 2017 56
Estimating feasibility: Estimating feasibility of uptake is difficult and often based on factors that
species subject experts or even natural resources managers cannot easily predict, such as
market demand for products, influence of social license, changes in the economy or political
that influence land or timber or water values, demand, management policy. Thus there are
many underlying assumptions that were not addressed.

Costing management actions: For this project, we considered the costs of management
strategies above and beyond current investments. In some cases, there may be a desire to
determine how current investments could be reallocated to align with ranked cost-effective
management strategies. As noted above, setting the decision context will inform the objective of
the project.

The estimates of the cost of implementing many of the actions are rough and do not reflect actual costs of
implementation. True costs would require consideration of additional factors and a better understanding
of where actions would be applied.

Assessing opportunity costs: Opportunity costs are best assessed within a real decision context;
otherwise they may be highly uncertain. A priori spatial analyses would help estimate/refine
opportunity costs. In order for the analysis to be complete, it would be helpful to consider not
just the opportunity costs , but also the potential economic benefits that may occur(e.g.,
employment opportunities, increase in carbon sequestration, increase in recreational
opportunities, incremental ecological services achieved as well as reductions in costs associated
with management of additional species).


Conservation prospectus: A key interest in the PTM approach in other countries where it has
been applied is the opportunity it presents to build partnerships and leverage additional
investment in conservation, both from traditional and new sources. In Australia, the product of
the cost-effectiveness analysis has been used as a conservation prospectus to secure additional
investments for implementing priority management actions. This information may be used to
encourage partners to invest in strategies and actions especially when costs and benefits are
provided. Although this is recognized as a valuable output, the means in which it could be
achieved in the Kootenay Boundary needs further consideration.

June 2017 57
Species persistence estimates: Benefits of implementing management strategies are assessed in
terms of the number of assets that benefit as well as the degree to which they benefit. Results
indicate which species have relatively low probability of persistence even with conservation
action (Appendix 6). In the Kootenay Boundary, persistence estimates for five species were
poor even under a scenario where all management strategies were implemented (Sharp-tailed
Grouse, Yellow-breasted Chat, Northern Leopard Frog, Caribou, and southern maiden-hair). For
some species with low levels of persistence, single-species management may need to be applied
in conjunction with approaches designed to benefit multiple species. Similar approaches that
balance biodiversity-level conservation actions with single species or site-based priorities have
been applied in other jurisdictions (e.g., New South Wales, Australia).

Cost-effectiveness of management strategies: Information on the cost-effectiveness of
management strategies can help to improve conservation decisions by informing decision-
makers on what may be gained by implementing a strategy, but also what might be lost by not
investing in further conservation action. This analysis can help increase transparency and
awareness of the consequences of decisions. For example, if a decision is made to fund a few
species-specific strategies over actions designed to benefit multiple species, the difference in
conservation benefit will be better informed. However, we recognize that cost-effectiveness is
only one factor to consider when making conservation decisions. Conservation decisions are
complex and other factors such as socio-economic factors, social licence, or legal requirements
may also require consideration in the decision-making process.

Relative cost-effectiveness rankings: The relative cost-effectiveness rankings represent the most
cost-effective strategies irrespective of the assets they benefit. At lower budgets the results of
the complementarity analysis were similar to the relative order of cost-effectiveness rankings.
Since the rankings were at the management strategy level (rather than actions) the utility of
this information is at a strategic or general level. It cannot inform which action within a strategy
is the most cost-effective to conduct. Further cost-effectiveness analysis of particular actions
within a strategy could help inform the relative priority of those actions such as , determining
which of a suite of actions directed at managing invasive species is the most cost-effective (Firn
et al. 2015).

Complementarity analysis: Decisions to protect biodiversity values are frequently made under
the constraints of limited resources and time. The complementarity analysis identifies the

June 2017 58
combination of threat management strategies that will benefit the greatest number of assets for
a range of budgets. This information can be a useful tool when operating with limited or
unknown budgets. Assets captured under specific combinations are revealed in the analysis, as
well as the magnitude of benefit gained (and associated increments of budget) under each
combination of management strategies. This information can be used to focus conservation
management efforts (see Appendix 6).

Spatial analysis: More detailed spatial analysis may be needed for some strategies to determine
where and how to implement the strategy or specific actions within a strategy. For example, the
habitat protection strategy recommends completing a spatial analysis to identify optimal
locations to implement certain actions nested within that strategy (such as creation of parks
and protected areas, establishment of Wildlife Habitat Areas and Management Areas). The value
and utility of results for some actions could be improved with spatial outputs that identify
where on the landscape management actions (and complementary management actions under
a given budget) should occur.

Updating results: Updating information would be required to remain current but such is the
case with many of these types of processes. Management strategies, costs and feasibility would
require updating and may be readily updated however acquiring benefits estimates from
multiple experts would require more effort as would the analysis. For the most part, experts
provided information for very low cost (expenses paid) but it is not guaranteed that this would
continue. Updating on a 5 –10 year cycle is recommended; otherwise the effort is too great.

This pilot project in the Kootenay Boundary is the first time in Canada that the PTM approach has
been applied. The intent of the pilot was to (a) advance our knowledge on the use of cost-
effectiveness analysis to inform conservation decisions, and (b) explore how broad scale strategies
to address threats might be implemented to address conservation priorities.

The results of the approach include twelve broad management strategies and their associated
actions to abate identified threats, an estimate of their cost-effectiveness and options for
implementing the management strategies to maximize benefit to the greatest number of the 60 at
risk assets under different budget scenarios. The results provide information on the level of
investment that may be necessary to secure the persistence of species and ecosystems at risk in the

June 2017 59
region; this study provides a strategic perspective on how that could be achieved. How the results
of this approach can be used to support operational decisions will require further exploration and

The pilot provided insights at many levels and we have made some observations on the PTM
approach and how application could be refined to improve consistency and confidence in results as
well as utility of results. The experience gained from the pilot and insights it provided will be
incorporated into a broader review of tools and approaches for informing implementation of
conservation actions for species and ecosystems at risk (including the Conservation Framework
and approaches used by other jurisdictions such as New South Wales), with the ultimate aim of
improving decision-making for conservation of species and ecosystems at risk in B.C.

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Taxonomy Name Listing*
Group Common Scientific BCa COSEWICb SARA FRPA
1 Vertebrate Fish Bull Trout Salvelinus confluentus B SC 
2 Vertebrate Fish Columbia Sculpin Cottus hubbsi B SC 
3 Vertebrate Fish Cutthroat Trout, lewisi ssp. Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi B SC  
4 Vertebrate Fish Shorthead Sculpin Cottus confusus B SC 
5 Vertebrate Fish Speckled Dace Rhinichthys osculus R E 
6 Vertebrate Fish Umatilla Dace Rhinichthys umatilla R T
White Sturgeon (Columbia Acipenser transmontanus
7 Vertebrate Fish R E 
River population) pop. 2
White Sturgeon (Kootenay Acipenser transmontanus
8 Vertebrate Fish R E 
River population) pop. 1
9 Vertebrate Amphibian Blotched Tiger Salamander Ambystoma mavortium R E  

10 Vertebrate Amphibian Coeur d'Alene Salamander Plethodon idahoensis Y SC  

11 Vertebrate Amphibian Great Basin Spadefoot Spea intermontana B T  

12 Vertebrate Amphibian Northern Leopard Frog Lithobates pipiens R E  
13 Vertebrate Amphibian Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog Ascaphus montanus R T  

14 Vertebrate Amphibian Western Toad Anaxyrus boreas B SC 
Gopher Snake, deserticola Pituophis catenifer
15 Vertebrate Reptile B T  
ssp. deserticola
16 Vertebrate Reptile North American Racer Coluber constrictor B T  
17 Vertebrate Reptile Northern Rubber Boa Charina bottae Y SC 
18 Vertebrate Reptile Western Rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus B T  
19 Vertebrate Reptile Western Skink Plestiodon skiltonianus B SC 
Painted Turtle -
20 Vertebrate Turtle Intermountain - Rocky Chrysemys picta pop. 2 B SC 
Mountain Population
21 Vertebrate Bird Bank Swallow Riparia riparia Y T
22 Vertebrate Bird Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica B T
23 Vertebrate Bird Bobolink Dolichonyx oryzivorus B T
24 Vertebrate Bird Common Nighthawk Chordeiles minor Y T 
25 Vertebrate Bird Flammulated Owl Otus flammeolus B SC  
Great Blue Heron, herodias
26 Vertebrate Bird Ardea herodias herodias B 
27 Vertebrate Bird Lewis's Woodpecker Melanerpes lewis B T  
28 Vertebrate Bird Long-billed Curlew Numenius americanus B SC  
29 Vertebrate Bird Olive-sided Flycatcher Contopus cooperi B T 

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Peregrine Falcon, anatum
30 Vertebrate Bird Falco peregrinus anatum R SC 
31 Vertebrate Bird Prairie Falcon Falco mexicanus R 
32 Vertebrate Bird Rusty Blackbird Euphagus carolinus B SC 
Sharp-tailed Grouse, Tympanuchus phasianellus
33 Vertebrate Bird B 
columbianus ssp. columbianus
34 Vertebrate Bird Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus B SC  
35 Vertebrate Bird Western Grebe Aechmophorus occidentalis R SC
Western Screech-Owl, Megascops kennicottii
36 Vertebrate Bird R T  
macfarlanei ssp. macfarlanei
37 Vertebrate Bird Williamson's Sapsucker Sphyrapicus thyroideus B E  
38 Vertebrate Bird Yellow-breasted Chat Icteria virens R E  
39 Vertebrate Mammal American Badger Taxidea taxus R E  
40 Vertebrate Mammal Bighorn Sheep Ovis canadensis B 
Caribou (southern
41 Vertebrate Mammal Rangifer tarandus pop. 1 R E  
mountain population)
42 Vertebrate Mammal Grizzly Bear Ursus arctos B SC 
43 Vertebrate Mammal Little Brown Myotis Myotis lucifugus Y E 
44 Vertebrate Mammal Northern Myotis Myotis septentrionalis B E 
45 Vertebrate Mammal Wolverine, luscus ssp. Gulo gulo luscus B SC 
46 Invertebrate Gillette's Checkerspot Euphydryas gillettii R 
47 Invertebrate Magnum Mantleslug Magnipelta mycophaga B SC
48 Invertebrate Monarch Danaus plexippus B SC 
Western Bumblebee, Bombus occidentalis
49 Invertebrate TBD T
occidentalis ssp. occidentalis
50 Vascular Plant giant helleborine Epipactis gigantea B NARc
51 Vascular Plant Lemmon's holly fern Polystichum lemmonii R T 
52 Vascular Plant southern maiden-hair Adiantum capillus-veneris R E 
53 Vascular Plant Spalding's campion Silene spaldingii R E 
54 Vascular Plant whitebark pine Pinus albicaulis B E 
55 Non-Vascular Plant alkaline wing-nerved moss Pterygoneurum kozlovii B T 
56 Non-Vascular Plant cryptic paw Nephroma occultum B SC 
alkali saltgrass herbaceous Distichlis spicata var. stricta
57 Ecological Community R 
vegetation Herbaceous Vegetation
antelope-brush / bluebunch Purshia tridentata /
58 Ecological Community R 
wheatgrass Pseudoroegneria spicata
Douglas-fir / common Pseudotsuga menziesii /
59 Ecological Community snowberry / arrowleaf Symphoricarpos albus / R 
balsamroot Balsamorhiza sagittata
ponderosa pine / Pinus ponderosa /
60 Ecological Community bluebunch wheatgrass - Pseudoroegneria spicata - R 
silky lupine Lupinus sericeus
a R = red; B = blue; Y = yellow; bE = Endangered; SC = Special Concern; T = Threatened; c Was SC but re-assessed in Nov. 2015
*As of April 19, 2016

June 2017 73

Habitat Protection
Goals: 1. Protect and manage representative habitats of biodiversity assets.
2. Protect key habitat attributes for biodiversity assets (e.g., roost sites/hibernacula, breeding sites, wallows, licks).
3. Maintain habitat connectivity for dispersal, seasonal movements and gene flow, and a natural mosaic of habitat (forest seral
stages, grasslands and riparian habitats)

Year(s) of
Action Task Total Cost 13 Uptake Success Feasibility
1. Identify the most cost- 1.1 Complete Marxan
efficient parcels of land to analysis
protect to achieve habitat 1-3 $213,000 0.95 0.80 0.76
representation and
2. Protect representative 2.1 Protect additional areas
habitat and ecosystems by establishing parks to
identified from Action #1. meet 17% conservation
4 - 20 $229,500
target (i.e. additional 3% or
247,068 ha of landbase will
be protected parks)
2.2 Increase management
and maintenance of 1 - 20 $6,650,000
currently protected areas 0.58 0.69 0.40
2.3 Ongoing management
and maintenance of newly 4 - 20 $13,383,114
established protected areas
2.4 Co-ordinate proponent-
driven offsets identified
under the new BC 4 - 10 $297,500
Environmental Mitigation
and Offsetting Policy
3.Protect important 3.1 Project to ground truth,
habitats and habitat spatialize OGMAs; priortize
1-3 $474,500
features (e.g., old growth, sites in GIS; field work and
wildlife trees, mineral licks, reporting
riparian areas) 3.2 Review implementation
and effectiveness of Wildlife 1-3 $120,000
Tree Management Policy
3.3 Expedite establishment
of WHAs for currently 0.57 0.83 0.47
1-5 $462,500
designated species (up to
1% THLB)
3.4 Expedite
implementation of WHF 1-3 $126,500
legislation and policy
3.5 Compliance,
enforcement and 1 - 20 $2,300,000
effectiveness monitoring
4. Seasonal management 4.1 Analysis to determine
and protection of natural habitats, species/activities
resource use and requiring guidance (e.g., 1-3 $45,000 0.75 0.70 0.53
extraction (e.g., forestry, BMP or timing windows).
aggregate pits, mining Includes implementation

13 Total cost is the total annual cost multiplied by the number of years of implementation or the average number of years
of implementation when a range is given.

June 2017 74
exploration, independent and monitoring
hydro projects).

4.2 Identify regional
opportunities and
procedures for habitat
1-2 $100,000
renting (e.g., renting
farmers’ fields to hold water
longer for migratory birds)
5.1 Regional species-habitat
5. Research to support
implementation of habitat 1-2 $400,000 0.90 0.80 0.72
mapping/critical habitat
protection measures

Total $24,801,614 0.75 0.76 0.57

Total Cost (NPV 14) $20,792,018

Habitat Restoration
Goals: 1. Restore and enhance key ecosystems, including ecosystem function, structure and connectivity.
2. Manage fire regimes, forest encroachment, grazing and invasive plants to maintain habitat types and function.

Task Year(s) of Total Cost Upta Success Feasibilit
Action Implementation ke y
1. Restore and create 1.1 Riparian restoration - gap
important or under- analysis to identify and prioritize
1 $42,500
represented habitats areas based on value or
restoration need
1.2 Establish and operate
Riparian Restoration Fund
1 - 20 $2,425,000
(distributed by FLNRO) for
species at risk 0.88 0.90 0.79
1.3 Establish and operate
Grassland Restoration Fund
1 - 20 $2,580,000
(distributed by FLNRO) for
species at risk
1.4 Wetland restoration
1 - 20 $2,425,000
2. Maintain or restore 2.1 NDT3: Planning the
natural disturbance restoration project: prescriptions,
types through fire identify key habitat values and 1 - 20 $8,700,000
management implementation co-ordination
strategies and
silviculture 2.2 NDT3: Implementing
silviculture management 1 - 20 $60,000,000
techniques (NDT3 and
NDT4) 2.3 NDT3: Implementing fire 0.83 0.65 0.54
management plan 1 - 20 $6,000,000

2.4 NDT3 Invasive plant pre and
post-treatment management 1 - 20 $200,000

2.5 NDT3: Program monitoring
1 - 20 $300,000

14 Net present value (NPV) uses a 4% discount rate. See methods for discussion of how NPV is calculated.

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2.6 NDT4: Planning the
restoration project: prescriptions,
identify key habitat values and 1 - 20 $14,400,000
implementation co-ordination

2.7 NDT4: Implementing
silviculture management 1 - 20 $180,000,000

2.8 NDT4: Implementing fire
management plan 1 - 20 $16,000,000

2.9 NDT4 Invasive plant pre and
post-treatment management 1 - 20 $700,000

2.10 NDT4: Program monitoring
1 - 20 $400,000
3. Manage impacts of 3.1 Manage overabundant native
grazing by domestic ungulates through hunting 1 - 20 $700,000
and overabundant allocations
native ungulates
3.2 Manage overabundant native
ungulates: stakeholder meetings 1-3 $3,750
and consultation

3.3 Develop strategy for grazing
impacts 1 $3,000

3.4 Fencing sensitive habitats to
exclude domestic ungulates 1 - 10 $560,000
(range fencing)
3.5 Seasonal closure of sensitive
0.90 0.83 0.75
habitats (seasonal fencing, can be 1, 10 $5,500
reused from project to project)
3.6 Maintenance costs: fencing
1 - 20 $4,000
3.7 Effectiveness monitoring:
fencing sensitive habitats 1 - 20 $100,000

3.8 Provide offsite
watering/monitor effectiveness 1 - 20 $1,450,000

3.9 Stakeholder engagement and
capacity building: fencing
1 - 20 $595,000
sensitive habitats and offsite
4. Eradicate, control, 4.1 Amend the Weed Control Act
and contain priority regulation to prohibit invasive 1 $17,000
invasive plant species plant species
(terrestrial and 4.2 Outreach programs e.g., plant
1 - 20 $550,000
aquatic) wise
4.3 Pathway analysis for invasive
plants entering the province 1 $47,000

4.4 Develop and implement 0.85 0.75 0.64
survey program for early
detection of invasive plants 1 - 20 $1,800,000
(terrestrial and aquatic) - building
on provincial EDRR plan
4.5 Rapid response to new
invasive species upon detection 1 - 20 $510,000

June 2017 76
4.6 Expand treatment of high
priority invasive species (based 1 - 20 $6,000,000
on invasive plant committee lists)
4.7 Identify priority sites with
high SAR values that are currently
impacted by “medium” and “low” 1–3 $195,000
priority invasive plants that
require more effective treatment
4.8 Research potential impacts of
new invasive species currently in 1-3 $246,000
low or isolated populations
5. Restore or enhance 5.1 Restore fish passage on fish-
key habitat structures bearing streams - culvert
1 - 20 $72,840,000
replacement with clear-span
bridge (resource roads only) 0.73 0.83 0.60
5.2 Wildlife tree inoculation 1 - 20 $1,275,000
5.3 Nest/Roost box installation
1 - 20 $170,000

Total $381,293,250 0.84 0.79 0.66

Total Cost (NPV) $259,340,367

Hydrological Management
Goal: Maintain or restore, to the extent possible, natural flow regimes and sediment transport.

Year(s) of
Action Task Total Cost Uptake Success Feasibility
1. Manage dam flow 1.1 Expand research to
operations to levels that determine effects of current
1-6 $747,000
maintain natural flow dam water management
regimes or minimise regimes on priority fish species
impacts 1.2 Feasibility study into
developing Water Use Plans or
Water Licence Requirements 1-2 $270,000
0.95 0.60 0.57
for dam operators without a
current agreement.
1.3 Ensure species at risk
concerns are included in
renewal (or renegotiation) of 1-8 $420,000
current BC Hydro WUPs and
new Columbia River Treaty
2. Manage water 2.1 Research to investigate
allocation and diversion water use and priority species
1-5 $675,000
to levels that maintain water needs to incorporate into
natural flow regimes or the new provincial Water Tool.
0.95 0.80 0.76
minimise impacts. 2.2 Install hydrometric stations
for Water Tool
1 - 20 $10,325,000
validation/calibration and EFN
Total $12,437,000 0.95 0.70 0.67

Total Cost (NPV) $9,251,419

June 2017 77
Animal Predator and Competitor Control
Goals: 1. Manage native animal predators and competitors to restore natural interactions/dynamics.
2. Minimize negative impacts of invasive animals on native populations.
3. Prevent invasive animal introductions (new introductions and re-introductions).

Year(s) of
Action Task Implement- Total Cost Uptake Success Feasibility
1. Control key native 1.1 Control bighorn sheep
predator predators (primarily via 1 $47,500
populations that regulation change)
negatively impact 1.2 Control wolves predating on 0.96 0.82 0.80
ungulates species at 3-5 $411,000
risk 1.3 Post-treatment monitoring of
3 - 20 $900,000
caribou populations
2. Reduce native 2.1 Liberalise hunting season for
ungulate moose to decrease numbers
populations to (Columbia North pilot project is
1-2 $110,000 1.00 0.85 0.85
restore natural underway)
3. Eradicate, control 3.1 Containment and suppression
and contain priority of pike populations, downstream
1 - 20 $500,000 0.75 0.50 0.37
invasive animals reach of the Pend Oreille river,
tributaries to the Columbia River
4. Prevention, early 4.1 Clean, Drain and Dry: Boat
detection and rapid inspection stations and
1 - 20 $16,775,000
response to new enforcement (mussels and other
0.95 0.58 0.55
invasive species invasive aquatics)
4.2 Bullfrog
1 - 20 $955,250
5. 5.1 Education, outreach:
Education/Outreach preventing introductions and
1 - 20 $2,000,000 0.90 0.80 0.72
containing or controlling the
spread of invasive species
6. Research 6.1 Pike gillnetting feasibility
1-2 $248,000
6.2 eDNA for early detection of
invasive species - bullfrogs, pike, 1-2 $108,000
6.3 Screening-level risk
assessment for pet and aquarium 1-2 $108,000
trade species
6.4 Climate change impacts on
1-2 $108,000 0.95 0.85 0.81
habitat suitability
6.5 How to stop spread of rainbow
trout from a large reservoir (i.e.
Koocanusa). Includes risk
1-3 $183,000
assessment of current and past
stocking program of rainbow trout
on westslope cutthroat trout
6.6 Continue genetic analysis
program for a minimum 5 years 1-2 $100,000

Total $22,553,750 0.92 0.73 0.68

Total Cost (NPV) $15,729,056

June 2017 78
Disease Management
Goal: Minimize the introduction and spread of disease (e.g., white-nose, chytrid fungus, blister rust)

Year(s) of
Action Task Implement- Total Cost Uptake Success Feasibility
1. Separation of bighorn 1.1 Fencing as a physical
sheep from domestic species barrier between bighorn 1 $440,000
via fencing and incentives to sheep and domestic sheep
landholders for lost 1.2 Annual maintenance 0.80 0.90 0.72
production 2 - 20 $9,500
of fence
1.3 Compensation for
1 $180,000
2. Restrict access to sensitive 2.1 Restrict human access
sites to prevent disease to caves with bat
1 - 20 $600,000 0.75 0.75 0.56
spread (e.g., white-nose) populations by installing
bat-accessible gates
3. Promote disease 3.1 Parent tree screening
6 - 20 $450,000
resistance in whitebark pine and monitoring
0.80 0.80 0.64
3.2 Management Plan
1 $25,000
4. Develop and implement 4.1 Develop protocols and
protocols and outreach outreach materials for a
programs to minimise range of issues and target
1 $92,500
disease spread via key audiences (e.g.,
vectors aquaculture and
horticulture practices)
4.2 Capacity building, 0.75 0.75 0.56
training, extension and
engagement: cross- 1 - 20 $850,000
disciplinary training and
target audiences
4.3 Re-evaluate and
5, 10, 15, 20 $20,000
update materials
5. Legislation review 5.1 Review existing
legislation and identify
1 $15,000 1.00 0.90 0.90
gaps for disease
6. Research 6.1 Research on disease
impacts and methods for 1-3 $307,500 1.00 0.90 0.90
mitigating impacts
Total $2,989,500 0.85 0.83 0.71

Total Cost (NPV) $2,286,318

June 2017 79
Pollution and Pesticide Management
Goal: Minimize industrial and agricultural pollution and pesticide impacts.

Year(s) of
Action Task Total Cost Uptake Success Feasibility
1. Education and Outreach 1.1 Outreach for a
activities/campaigns for chemical-free campaign 1-5 $156,250
business and private use of
pesticides (rodenticides, 0.90 0.65 0.59
1.2 Outreach for a 'clean
herbicides, and insecticides) and green' corporate 1-5 $156,250
and industrial pollution campaign
2. Minimise impacts of 2.1 Increase penalties for
pollution from industry excess discharge so that
(discharge into receiving the penalty is above profit 1-2 $170,000
waters, tailings dams, to industry. This would be 0.40 0.65 0.26
blasting and processing bi- a change in legislation.
products, etc) 2.2 Increase monitoring
capacity to conduct audits 1 - 20 $3,400,000

3. Research to understand 3.1 Research (PhD.) on
1-3 $93,000
impacts of pesticides and impacts to pollinators
herbicides on pollinators 0.95 0.95 0.90
3.2 Research (PhD.) on
and species at risk effects on species at risk 1-3 $93,000

Total $4,068,500 0.75 0.75 0.56

Total Cost (NPV) $2,920,968

Harvest Management
Goal: Ensure sustainable resource use of species that are harvested (e.g., bighorn sheep, Grizzly Bear, whitebark pine).

Year(s) of
Action Task Implement- Total Cost Uptake Success Feasibility
1. Develop and 1.1 Develop and implement
implement management management plan for 1-2 $295,000
strategies to ensure wolverine
0.60 0.90 0.54
sustainable use of 1.2 Extension to raise
harvested species. awareness about wolverine 3 $5,000
management plan
2. Enforce regulations to 2.1 Enforce regulations and
maintain sustainable management plan for 3 - 20 $199,800
populations of game and wolverine
other harvested species. 2.2 Enforce existing 0.68 0.85 0.57
management plans for other
1 - 20 $950,000
species (trout, grizzly bear,
3. Adaptive management 3.1 Conduct DNA based
to monitor populations inventory for wolverine 1, 10, 20 $1,263,750
and adjust harvest 0.93 0.75 0.69
quotas to maintain 3.2 Conduct DNA based
inventory for Grizzly Bears 1, 10, 20 $685,500

Total $3,399,050 0.73 0.83 0.61

Total Cost (NPV) $2,418,346

June 2017 80
Population Augmentation and Translocation
Goal: Maintain and restore viable populations of species at risk.

Year(s) of
Action Task Implement- Total Cost Uptake Success Feasibility
1. Population 1.1 Sturgeon: includes facility,
enhancement through planning, development,
1 - 20 $12,420,000
hatcheries, captive monitoring and
breeding and training/outreach
propagation 1.2 Leopard frog - facility
collaborations (Vancouver 1 - 20 $2,000,000
Aquarium and Calgary Zoo)
0.90 0.65 0.59
1.3 Leopard frog - includes
planning, development,
1 - 20 $850,000
monitoring and
1.4 Whitebark Pine - Planting
disease resistant seedlings 1 - 20 $1,058,000
and monitoring
2. Translocation and 2.1 Sharptail grouse - includes
population augmentation re-introduction, planning,
1 - 20 $4,365,000
0.73 0.64 0.47
2.2 Caribou maternal pen
1 - 20 $10,053,500
2.3 Bighorn sheep
1 - 20 $2,255,000
3. Plant population 3.1 Spaldings campion: seed
management establishment and/or 1-3 $90,000
translocation trials
3.2 Spaldings campion: Flight 0.83 0.88 0.73
plus model development 1 $20,000

3.3 Southern maiden-hair 1-4 $340,000
Total $33,451,500 0.82 0.72 0.59

Total Cost (NPV) $22,808,610

Access Management
Goal: Minimize motorised and recreational vehicle disturbance of sensitive wildlife and habitats.

Year(s) of
Action Task Implement Total Cost Uptake Success Feasibility
1. Establish and 1.1 Fill gaps in access
implement legal access management planning (e.g., 1-5 $425,000
management provisions Invermere and W. Kootenays)
under existing legislation 1.2 Develop / revised road
appraisal system to include 0.65 0.83 0.54
6 -20 $637,500
1.3 Revise legislation to
increase penalties and
encourage compliance.

June 2017 81
1.4 Revise legislation to
require new roads in
sensitive habitats to restrict
access after harvest (e.g.,
gates, deactivate).
1.5 Increase existing
implementation tools - e.g.,
wildlife act closures; KBLUP
2. Avoid and reduce 2.1 Identify sensitive habitats
access in sensitive and high road density areas
habitats and in areas with through existing inventory, 1 $20,000
significant road densities. sensitive ecosystem mapping
and workshops
2.2 Implementation plan for
access management in Incorporated into Action 1
identified high priority areas
2.3 Outreach, education and
engagement with ranchers
and rec users (flyers, signage
1 $10,000
etc) and prevention in
grassland, shrubland and
wetland habitats
2.4 Mandate placement of
barriers or deactivation of
roads immediately after the
Cost covered by appraisal
completion of forestry
activities (incorporate into
road appraisal)
0.68 0.85 0.58
2.5 Create alternate ORV (off-
road vehicle) use areas within
50 - 100km of communities 1 - 20 $20,000
(costs 10 - 50K per site) and
maintain ORV use areas
2.6 Coordination,
implementation and
1 - 20 $3,400,000
management of tasks 2.1 to
2.7 Rehabilitate 75% of
existing resource roads in
areas of sensitive habitats or 1 - 20 $11,750,000
within areas of existing high
road densities
2.8 Establish seasonal
restrictions on motorized
boat access and implement
1-5 $212,500
maximum horse power
restrictions on selected small
and large lakes
3. Enforce compliance 3.1 Enforce maximum horse
with regulations that power, engine type and speed 1 - 20 $2,100,000
pertain to recreation limit restrictions
activities on Crown Land. 3.2 Increase enforcement of 0.80 0.85 0.68
vehicles at sensitive sites
1 - 20 $7,200,000
protected under FRPA,
Wildlife Act or Land Act
Total $25,775,000 0.71 0.84 0.60

Total Cost (NPV) $17,612,604

June 2017 82
Mitigating human-induced mortality
Goals: 1. Reduce and prevent road mortality
2. Minimize direct persecution and poaching
Year(s) of
Action Task Total Cost Uptake Success Feasibility
1. Determine 1.1 Analyze existing information on
highway mortality mortality hotspots (data mostly 1 $8,500
"hotspots" and exists for mammals)
optimal locations for 1.2 Research to determine hotspot
mitigation measures locations for species lacking
1 -3 $123,000
current information (i.e., 0.90 0.70 0.63
herpetofauna and birds)
1.3 Contract (WTI) to produce
transportation mitigation solution
1 $65,000
report (similar to Hwy 3) for
remainder of region
2. Install structures 2.1 Install mitigation
to divert animal structures/divert animal
2-5 $16,000,000
movement, movement at known hotspots on
underpasses, major highways (n =16 for region)
overpasses, fencing 2.2 Mitigation reserve fund for
(at currently-known identified recommendations/ 1 $8,000,000
"hotspots") prescriptions from Action 1
0.60 0.80 0.48
2.3 Restore existing badger
1-2 $40,000
crossings in East Kootenay
2.4 Install new badger fencing 1 $20,000
2.5 Maintenance of mitigation
3 - 20 $7,200,000
2.6 Research monitoring to confirm
10 - 13 $340,000
structures are effective
3. Managing for salt- 3.1 Research (PhD) into use of de-
wildlife interactions icing salt alternatives at critical 1-3 $363,000 0.90 0.70 0.63
on highways regional hotspots
4. Reduce speed 4. 1 Develop and deliver outreach
1, 5, 10, 15, 20 $50,000
limits within materials
hotspots (or 4.2 Temporary road closures for
0.30 0.50 0.15
seasonal limits) short periods at key times of year
1 - 20 $2,000,000
for human-assisted transport of
amphibians and reptiles
5. Limit grain 5.1 Quantify extent of rail mortality
spillage from and co-ordinate with CP on 1-2 $100,000 0.70 0.70 0.49
railway mitigations
6. Project co- 6.1 Road mortality implementation
ordination (Tasks 1 coordinator for all road/rail
1 - 20 $1,700,000 0.95 0.95 0.90
- 5) mortality-related actions (includes
7. Targeted 7.1 Develop and deliver outreach
awareness (to materials (e.g., badgers and
reduce illegal ranchers, illegal poaching; pet 1, 5, 10, 15, 20 $54,000 0.50 0.90 0.45
persecution and collection; bats and attics)
8. Enforcement of 8.1 Conservation officer placement
illegal poaching in areas/districts currently without 1 -20 $5,475,000 0.90 0.90 0.81
regulations representation (i.e., Revelstoke)
Total $41,538,500 0.72 0.77 0.55
Total Cost (NPV) $33,638,994

June 2017 83
Average estimated potential benefit by asset for each of the management strategies (%). Values represent an increase in probability of persistence above current management.

Management Strategy

Without Animal Mitigate
Strategies Habitat Hydro- Predator & Pollution & Population Human-
Taxonomic (Current Habitat Habitat Protection + logical Competitor Disease Pesticide Harvest Augmentation Access induced All
Group Common Name Mgmt) Protection Restoration Restoration Mgmt Control Mgmt Mgmt Mgmt & Translocation Mgmt Mortality Strategies
Bull Trout 68 9 9 14 5 7 0 0 6 0 0 5 21
Columbia Sculpin 73 0 8 0 13 3 0 3 0 0 0 0 13
Shorthead Sculpin 75 0 5 0 10 3 0 3 0 0 0 0 13
Speckled Dace 73 5 5 0 5 3 0 8 0 0 3 0 10
Vertebrate - Umatilla Dace 63 8 18 0 25 13 0 10 0 0 8 0 30
Fish Westslope Cutthroat Trout, lewisi
subspecies 70 4 3 5 6 6 0 4 11 0 1 8 12
White Sturgeon (Columbia River
population) 80 1 1 3 1 3 0 1 0 3 0 0 6
White Sturgeon (Kootenay River
population) 43 0 13 23 10 0 0 2 0 15 0 0 23
Blotched Tiger Salamander 37 18 15 30 18 8 38 13 0 0 13 15 32
Coeur d'Alene Salamander 82 7 0 13 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 13
Vertebrate - Great Basin Spadefoot 38 13 20 20 10 3 35 20 0 0 20 15 40
Amphibian Northern Leopard Frog 30 18 15 30 7 8 19 8 0 23 19 13 30
Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog 60 13 8 13 12 2 7 7 0 0 5 0 17
Western Toad 69 7 5 10 3 0 10 3 0 0 5 8 8
Gopher Snake, deserticola ssp. 53 10 7 10 0 0 0 2 0 0 12 17 17
North American Racer 52 15 2 23 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 10 22
Vertebrate -
Northern Rubber Boa 63 5 0 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 7 10
Reptile &
Turtle Western Rattlesnake 43 20 15 28 5 0 0 0 0 0 17 20 23
Western Skink 48 18 7 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 8 22
Painted Turtle 66 8 9 18 3 4 0 3 0 0 7 13 15
Bank Swallow 43 3 3 5 5 2 0 15 0 0 2 2 20
Barn Swallow 43 3 5 5 5 2 0 15 0 0 2 3 20
Bobolink 60 15 8 16 0 5 0 7 0 0 3 3 20
Common Nighthawk 63 10 13 13 3 8 0 10 0 0 10 5 23
Vertebrate - Flammulated Owl 56 11 11 23 0 2 0 1 1 0 4 3 19
Bird Great Blue Heron, herodias ssp. 57 15 10 22 8 13 0 5 2 0 8 7 22
Lewis's Woodpecker 49 14 14 23 5 4 0 3 0 0 4 4 25
Long-billed Curlew 60 10 15 18 7 5 0 10 0 0 7 2 23
Olive-sided Flycatcher 58 8 8 10 0 0 0 13 1 0 3 0 18
Peregrine Falcon, anatum ssp. 67 7 2 7 2 0 0 2 0 0 5 5 10
June 2017 84
Management Strategy

Without Animal Mitigate
Strategies Habitat Hydro- Predator & Pollution & Population Human-
Taxonomic (Current Habitat Habitat Protection + logical Competitor Disease Pesticide Harvest Augmentation Access induced All
Group Common Name Mgmt) Protection Restoration Restoration Mgmt Control Mgmt Mgmt Mgmt & Translocation Mgmt Mortality Strategies
Prairie Falcon 38 8 8 12 0 20 0 3 0 0 3 2 23
Rusty Blackbird 55 5 3 6 3 1 0 3 0 0 3 3 6
Sharp-tailed Grouse, columbianus
ssp. 6 22 33 35 0 19 0 3 0 22 14 1 40
Short-eared Owl 45 18 13 19 8 3 0 5 0 0 3 0 23
Western Grebe 57 5 2 7 7 2 0 2 0 0 5 3 12
Western Screech-Owl, macfarlanei
ssp. 59 11 9 18 3 4 0 2 0 0 5 0 16
Williamson's Sapsucker 53 16 13 28 0 1 0 2 7 0 3 1 22
Yellow-breasted Chat 28 13 25 38 2 3 0 3 3 0 3 2 33
American Badger 66 18 10 20 1 1 1 0 6 0 7 18 24
Bighorn Sheep 78 10 9 11 0 9 10 2 6 8 3 4 14
Caribou (southern mountain
Vertebrate - population) 26 13 8 16 0 35 15 6 11 29 16 11 36
Mammal Grizzly Bear 64 11 7 16 0 2 1 0 9 3 13 10 21
Little Brown Myotis 32 14 6 18 2 0 44 2 0 0 11 5 46
Northern Myotis 33 11 9 18 0 0 41 3 0 0 4 0 46
Wolverine, luscus ssp. 53 11 4 16 0 4 4 1 16 11 10 9 24
Gillette's Checkerspot 60 15 15 23 2 8 5 7 0 0 10 7 18
Magnum Mantleslug 73 12 7 13 0 7 5 5 0 0 7 5 12
Invertebrate Monarch 65 10 10 18 0 10 8 8 0 0 8 10 18
Western Bumblebee, occidentalis
ssp. 45 10 8 8 0 10 13 13 0 0 8 8 18
giant helleborine 72 8 8 8 7 2 0 5 0 0 5 2 14
Lemmon's holly fern 68 10 0 10 0 0 0 3 0 0 7 0 15
Vascular Plant southern maiden-hair 23 21 15 33 39 0 0 0 0 3 7 6 43
Spalding's campion 55 13 21 23 0 3 0 3 3 1 9 0 26
whitebark pine 34 9 27 38 0 0 15 1 5 8 2 0 33
Nonvascular alkaline wing-nerved moss 63 20 20 20 10 0 0 0 0 0 15 0 20
Plant cryptic paw 60 20 0 10 0 0 0 0 7 0 0 0 23
alkali saltgrass Herbaceous
Vegetation 25 30 42 60 20 8 0 0 0 0 25 0 57
antelope-brush / bluebunch
Ecological wheatgrass 50 17 17 28 0 8 0 0 0 0 7 0 35
Community Douglas-fir / common snowberry /
arrowleaf balsamroot 42 27 25 43 0 5 0 0 0 0 8 0 45
ponderosa pine / bluebunch
wheatgrass - silky lupine 48 18 18 30 0 5 0 0 0 0 8 0 38
Summed Potential Benefit 696 639 1042 269 267 270 244 93 124 399 274 1373
No. of species that benefit 57 56 56 35 43 18 45 15 11 53 39 60

June 2017 85
This appendix summarizes the analysis of opportunity costs associated with one of the proposed
actions under the habitat protection management strategy to increase protected areas in the region
from 14% to 17%, an increase of 3% or 247,098 ha. The analysis assesses potential opportunity
costs from reclassifying land into protected areas and limiting resource activities. Assessments of
opportunity costs are highly uncertain at this stage of the analysis because:

• The choice of specific lands to be reclassified into protected areas has not yet been specified,
so it is impossible to know for certain the extent to which any given activity will be
impacted by the change in land types. For example, areas selected for protection may or
may not be used for the proposed economic activity.
• Some activities might be able to relocate with minimal costs and with little effect on other
users in the new location, meaning that the actual cost imposed by the network will be
lower than that estimated by the overlap approach. However, it will be difficult to estimate
these costs and relative mobility of economic sectors in such a large-scale analysis, let alone
the impacts on users of the areas to which the displaced sectors move. It will be more
feasible to address these dynamic issues when selecting specific areas to be reclassified to
protected areas.

Recognizing these uncertainties the approach implemented was to assess the relative importance of
each area in the region to each economic use whose activities are expected to be affected by the
change in land type. Relative importance was used as a proxy for the opportunity costs that may be
imposed on each economic use should a particular parcel of land be reclassified to a protected area.

Opportunity cost is defined for purposes of this analysis as the value of goods and services forgone
due to the reclassification of different land types into protected areas. These goods and services are
based on the types of economic activity which presently occur on the land being reclassified. For
the purposes of this analysis forestry, mining, extractive recreation and ranching were included in
the opportunity cost analysis. For each of these economic uses of land, details on how the
opportunity costs are calculated are as follows:

• In the forestry sector, the value of timber on land that can no longer be harvested is an
opportunity cost. The average value of timber production per year per hectare is used as an
estimate. Two estimates for timber production value are used to calculate the opportunity
costs to the forestry sector, which provides a further range of sensitivities to the analysis.

June 2017 86
These estimates differ in their assumptions of the average volume of timber per hectare,
and the value of the timber.
• In the mining sector, the value of minerals, coal, and other precious metals that can no
longer be extracted is an opportunity cost. The reduction in gross mining revenues is
estimated to be proportional to the number of hectares reclassified to protected areas.
• In the extractive recreation sector, the loss of land base that was previously used by
hunters, anglers and guide outfitters represents an opportunity cost in the form of lost
expenditures per year for hunters and anglers and lost revenues per year for guide
outfitters. The reduction in expenditures and revenues of anglers, hunters and guide
outfitters is estimated to be proportional to the reduction of Crown land.
• In the ranching sector, the potential reduction in cattle herds can be an opportunity cost.
The reclassification of Crown land to protected areas could lead to a proportional reduction
in the cattle herds in the region, thus leading to a reduction in gross revenues to the sector
using gross revenue per cow as an estimate. In addition, the forage value on land that can no
longer be harvested is an opportunity cost of reclassifying land into protected areas. The
average value of forage production per hectare is used as an estimate.

The analysis shows the opportunity costs for 3 selected land types: Crown Forest, Crown Range,
Crown Other. It was estimated that the land reclassified into parks and protected areas would all
come from Crown forest, Crown range, and Crown other land types, and the number of hectares
reclassified from each land type would be proportional to the total Crown lands (e.g., 33.6% of the
region’s Crown land is Crown forest, thus 33.6% of the 247,098 ha designated for reclassification
would come from Crown forest, approximately 83,090 ha). All opportunity costs are presented in
2015 dollars.

The following assumptions formed the basis of the analysis.

1. Timber harvesting, mining operation, fishing, hunting, cattle grazing, and ranching activities
are no longer permitted on lands that are reclassified into protected areas.
2. The values associated with these economic activities are split evenly across the region, and
a reduced land base would lead to a proportional reduction in economic activity. This
means that a one percent reduction in land base would lead to one percent reduction in
economic activity for each identified sector
3. In the forestry sector, timber production is highest on Crown forest land, with timber
production being less on Crown range land, and no timber production on Crown other land.

June 2017 87
4. In the mining sector, lands where mining operations occur will not be selected for
protection and therefore opportunity costs for mining are assumed to be zero.
5. In the extractive recreation sector, hunters, guide outfitters and anglers who participated in
these activities on lands reclassified to protected areas will simply relocate to areas where
they can participate in these activities, and therefore the opportunity costs for extractive
recreation are assumed to be zero.
6. In the ranching sector, lands where ranching occurs currently will not be selected for
protection and therefore opportunity costs for cattle reduction are assumed to be zero. The
value of forage on ranch lands reclassified to protected areas is considered an opportunity

Table 1 presents the parameters used in the analysis and results. Parameters were selected from a
range of options.

Table 1: Opportunity cost results summary. Values rounded to nearest whole number.
Calculation Crown Forest Crown Range Crown Other Total Crown
Hectares reclassified to protected areas 83,090 42,840 121,135 247,065
Opportunity cost per hectare $239 $127 $0 N/A
Opportunity Cost per year $19,858,510 $5,440,680 $0 $25,299,190

Table 1 shows that if all 247,098 hectares of land reclassified into protected areas were to come
from Crown land, the estimated minimum opportunity cost per year would be approximately $25
million dollars. The greatest opportunity cost from reclassifying land into protected areas is to the
Crown Forest land type (forestry).

June 2017 88
We solve a multi-objective optimization problem to identify the optimal combinations of strategies
that maximise the number of species and ecological communities above a fixed persistence
threshold (50%, 70% and 80%) at a minimum cost. Our solutions are Pareto optimal (Nemhauser
and Ullmann 1969), which is a state of allocation of resources in which it is impossible to make any
one solution better off without making at least one solution worse off. The set of optimal strategies
that maximizes the number of species and ecological communities above a given persistence
threshold (τ) and minimizes the cost of implementing these strategies was found:

max � � 𝑝𝑝𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖 𝑥𝑥𝑖𝑖 𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎 min � 𝐶𝐶𝑖𝑖 𝑥𝑥𝑖𝑖
𝑖𝑖∈𝑆𝑆 𝑗𝑗∈𝑁𝑁 𝑖𝑖


x i is a binary decision variable that denotes whether or not each strategy is included in the optimal
set of strategies. x i has value 1 if the strategy is selected and has value 0 otherwise. A vector 𝒙𝒙 ∈
{𝑥𝑥1 , 𝑥𝑥2 , … , 𝑥𝑥𝑁𝑁 } represents a combination of selected strategies.

p ij identifies whether species j is expected to reach a given persistence threshold if strategy i is
implemented. p ij has value 1 if the expected benefit of applying strategy i for species j is above the
∑𝑘𝑘=1(𝑃𝑃𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖 − 𝑃𝑃0𝑗𝑗𝑗𝑗 )
persistence threshold (i.e., 𝐵𝐵𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖 𝐹𝐹𝑖𝑖 + 𝐵𝐵0𝑗𝑗 > 𝜏𝜏 with 𝐵𝐵𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖 = 𝑀𝑀𝑗𝑗
). p ij has value 0 if this

threshold is not exceeded.

S is the total number of strategies being considered (S=11).

We solve this multi-objective combinatorial optimization problem by iteratively removing the
dominated decisions identifying suboptimal groups of strategies. A decision 𝒙𝒙′ is dominated by a
decision 𝒙𝒙 if it secures fewer species and is more expensive to implement.

June 2017 89
Table A6.1. Details of the Pareto optimal solutions for a persistence threshold of 50%. Blue shading indicates assets that meet 50% persistence threshold under current
management. Green shading indicates assets that meet 50% persistence threshold for a given management combination and budget.

Animal Predator/Competitor

Animal Predator/Competitor

Animal Predator/Competitor
Population Augmentation

Protection + Restoration

Protection + Restoration
Pollution & Pesticides

Pollution & Pesticides

Pollution & Pesticides

Pollution & Pesticides

Pollution & Pesticides

Pollution & Pesticides
Pollution & Pesticide

Habitat Restoration
Without Strategies

Habitat Protection

Habitat Protection

Habitat Protection

Habitat Protection
(Under Current










Budget ($Million/Year) 0.17 0.38 1.40 1.62 2.77 4.45 19.45 20.68 21.84
Vertebrate - Fish
Bull Trout          
Columbia Sculpin          
Shorthead Sculpin          
Speckled Dace          
Umatilla Dace          
Westslope Cutthroat Trout, lewisi subspecies          
White Sturgeon (Columbia River population)          
White Sturgeon (Kootenay River population)    
Vertebrate - Amphibian
Blotched Tiger Salamander         
Coeur d'Alene Salamander          
Great Basin Spadefoot         
Northern Leopard Frog
Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog          
Western Toad          
Vertebrate - Reptile and Turtle
Gopher Snake, deserticola subspecies          
North American Racer          
Northern Rubber Boa          
Painted Turtle          
Western Rattlesnake       
Western Skink       
Vertebrate - Bird
Bank Swallow       
Barn Swallow       

June 2017 90
Animal Predator/Competitor

Animal Predator/Competitor

Animal Predator/Competitor
Population Augmentation

Protection + Restoration

Protection + Restoration
Pollution & Pesticides

Pollution & Pesticides

Pollution & Pesticides

Pollution & Pesticides

Pollution & Pesticides

Pollution & Pesticides
Pollution & Pesticide

Habitat Restoration
Without Strategies

Habitat Protection

Habitat Protection

Habitat Protection

Habitat Protection
(Under Current










Bobolink          
Common Nighthawk          
Flammulated Owl          
Great Blue Heron, herodias subspecies          
Lewis's Woodpecker        
Long-billed Curlew          
Olive-sided Flycatcher          
Peregrine Falcon, anatum subspecies          
Prairie Falcon   
Rusty Blackbird          
Sharp-tailed Grouse, columbianus subspecies
Short-eared Owl       
Western Grebe          
Western Screech-Owl, macfarlanei subspecies          
Williamson's Sapsucker          
Yellow-breasted Chat  
Vertabrate - Mammal
American Badger          
Bighorn Sheep          
Caribou (southern mountain population)
Grizzly Bear          
Little Brown Myotis         
Northern Myotis         
Wolverine, luscus subspecies          
Gillette's Checkerspot          
Magnum Mantleslug          
Monarch          
Western Bumblebee, occidentalis subspecies         
Non-Vascular Plant
alkaline wing-nerved moss          

June 2017 91
cryptic paw

June 2017
Vascular Plant

whitebark pine
giant helleborine

Spalding's campion
Lemmon's holly fern
southern maiden-hair

Ecological Community

# Assets ≥ 50% Threshold
alkali saltgrass Herbaceous Vegetation
antelope-brush / bluebunch wheatgrass

ponderosa pine / bluebunch wheatgrass - silky lupine
Douglas-fir / common snowberry / arrowleaf balsamroot
Without Strategies

(Under Current

43 Disease


Pollution & Pesticides


Habitat Protection

Habitat Protection


Pollution & Pesticides

Habitat Protection



Animal Predator/Competitor
Pollution & Pesticides

Habitat Protection
Animal Predator/Competitor


Pollution & Pesticide
Population Augmentation

Habitat Restoration


Pollution & Pesticides



Protection + Restoration
Pollution & Pesticides

Protection + Restoration


Animal Predator/Competitor
Pollution & Pesticides
Table A6.2. Details of the Pareto optimal solutions for a persistence threshold of 70%.
Without Strategies Habitat protection
(Under Current Disease Habitat Habitat protection Hydrology Habitat Protection All
Management) Disease Harvest protection Hydrology Access + Restoration Strategies
Budget ($Million/Year) 0.17 0.35 1.23 1.91 3.21 20.30 28.15
Vertebrate - Fish
Bull Trout      
Columbia Sculpin        
Shorthead Sculpin        
Speckled Dace        
Umatilla Dace    
Westslope Cutthroat Trout,lewisi subspecies        
White Sturgeon (Columbia River population)        
White Sturgeon (Kootenay River population)
Vertebrate - Amphibian
Blotched Tiger Salamander
Coeur d'Alene Salamander        
Great Basin Spadefoot
Northern Leopard Frog
Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog 
Western Toad       
Vertebrate - Reptile & Turtle
Gopher Snake, deserticola subspecies
North American Racer
Northern Rubber Boa
Painted Turtle     
Western Rattlesnake
Western Skink
Vertebrate - Bird
Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
Bobolink 
Common Nighthawk  
Flammulated Owl 
Great Blue Heron, herodias subspecies 
Lewis's Woodpecker
Long-billed Curlew  
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Peregrine Falcon, anatum subspecies     
Prairie Falcon
June 2017 93
Without Strategies Habitat protection
(Under Current Disease Habitat Habitat protection Hydrology Habitat Protection All
Management) Disease Harvest protection Hydrology Access + Restoration Strategies
Rusty Blackbird
Sharp-tailed Grouse, columbianus subspecies
Short-eared Owl
Western Grebe
Western Screech-Owl, macfarlanei subspecies
Williamson's Sapsucker  
Yellow-breasted Chat
Vertebrate - Mammal
American Badger      
Bighorn Sheep        
Caribou (southern mountain population)
Grizzly Bear     
Little Brown Myotis
Northern Myotis
Wolverine, luscus subspecies
Gillette's Checkerspot  
Magnum Mantleslug        
Monarch       
Western Bumblebee, occidentalis subspecies
Vascular Plant
giant helleborine        
Lemmon's holly fern     
southern maiden-hair
Spalding's campion 
whitebark pine
Non-Vascular Plant
alkaline wing-nerved moss     
cryptic paw     
Ecological Community
alkali saltgrass Herbaceous Vegetation
antelope-brush / bluebunch wheatgrass 
Douglas-fir / common snowberry / arrowleaf balsamroot
ponderosa pine / bluebunch wheatgrass - silky lupine 
# Assets ≥ 70% Threshold 9 11 13 19 20 21 25 29

June 2017 94
Table A6.3. Details of the Pareto optimal solutions for a persistence threshold of 80%.

Without Strategies Habitat
(Under Current Disease Hydrological Protection + Restoration All strategies
Management) Hydrological
Budget ($Million/Year) 0.17 0.68 0.85 20.98 28.15
Vertebrate - Fish
Bull Trout 
Columbia Sculpin    
Shorthead Sculpin    
Speckled Dace
Umatilla Dace 
Westslope Cutthroat Trout,lewisi subspecies
White Sturgeon (Columbia River population)      
White Sturgeon (Kootenay River population)
Vertebrate - Amphibian
Blotched Tiger Salamander
Coeur d'Alene Salamander      
Great Basin Spadefoot
Northern Leopard Frog
Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog
Western Toad
Vertebrate - Reptile & Turtle
Gopher Snake, deserticola subspecies
North American Racer
Northern Rubber Boa
Painted Turtle
Western Rattlesnake
Western Skink
Vertebrate - Bird
Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
Common Nighthawk
Flammulated Owl
Great Blue Heron, herodias subspecies
Lewis's Woodpecker
Long-billed Curlew
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Peregrine Falcon, anatum subspecies

June 2017 95
Without Strategies Habitat
(Under Current Disease Hydrological Protection + Restoration All strategies
Management) Hydrological
Prairie Falcon
Rusty Blackbird
Sharp-tailed Grouse, columbianus subspecies
Short-eared Owl
Western Grebe
Western Screech-Owl, macfarlanei subspecies
Williamson's Sapsucker
Yellow-breasted Chat
Vertebrate - Mammal
American Badger 
Bighorn Sheep    
Caribou (southern mountain population)
Grizzly Bear
Little Brown Myotis
Northern Myotis
Wolverine, luscus subspecies
Gillette's Checkerspot
Magnum Mantleslug  
Western Bumblebee, occidentalis subspecies
Vascular Plant
giant helleborine 
Lemmon's holly fern
southern maiden-hair
Spalding's campion
whitebark pine
Non-Vascular Plant
alkaline wing-nerved moss
cryptic paw
Ecological Community
alkali saltgrass Herbaceous Vegetation
antelope-brush / bluebunch wheatgrass
Douglas-fir / common snowberry / arrowleaf balsamroot
ponderosa pine / bluebunch wheatgrass - silky lupine
# Assets ≥ 80% Threshold 2 3 4 5 6 10

June 2017 96