Shuswap Watershed Conference to Explore Solutions

April 23 conference details and agenda…

Shuswap Watershed Project
Press Release
April 2, 2010

Shuswap Watershed Conference to Explore Solutions

The Shuswap Watershed Project has lined up an impressive list of speakers for its upcoming Watershed Conference to be held on April 23rd from 1 to 11 pm. at the Sullivan Campus of Salmon Arm Secondary School. Conference participants will have an opportunity to listen to and question speakers representing conservation organizations and all levels of government. The objective for this event will be to examine how best to conserve, protect and restore the Shuswap watershed.

The conference begins with a poster session, where participants have an opportunity to view the posters and displays set up by government agencies, conservation groups, and students, as well as meet with representatives from these groups. After the opening welcoming addresses by a local First Nation leader and Salmon Arm Mayor Marty Bootsma, students will read their winning essays about what they can do to help protect the watershed. Mayor Bootsma will also be speaking about the work of the Fraser Basin Council, which works to promote environmental and economic sustainability throughout the region.

The conference keynote speaker is Watershed Watch Salmon Society executive director, Dr. Craig Orr, who will speak about water, salmon and resilience: maintaining healthy watersheds in the face of climate change. ‘Interior watersheds like the Shuswap are the bedrooms for wild salmon,’ explained Craig Orr, ‘and at the conference I will be explaining the need for maintaining watershed resilience to better prepare for the impacts of climate change.’ Joining him will be Michelle Walsh, with the Secwepemc Fisheries Commission, who will talk about their work regarding the connections between groundwater and salmon.

Shuswap Trail Alliance Executive Director Phil McIntyre-Paul will also be speaking on the importance of experiencing the watershed first hand, either by hiking, biking, canoeing or kayaking.

Conference participants will then have an opportunity to pose questions to a panel comprised of staff from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Ministries of Environment and Forests, the CSRD and King Campbell with Ducks Unlimited Canada, who will provide their perspectives on what actions are needed to protect the watershed. The conference will end with a summary talk by Dr. Warren Bell about what was learned from the presentations and what needs to be done in the future.

A low cost dinner comprised mostly of food sourced locally from Shuswap farmers and prepared by Cookshack Creations will be served to conference participants after the talks. The event will finish with a concert that begins with the Song for the Shuswap songwriting contest winners followed by an all-ages dance to Old Man’s Beard sponsored by Askews.

The conference will be free thanks to the sponsorship of the Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union, but early pre-registration is recommended as seating will be limited. Registration forms are available at Wickett Business Services and Bookingham Palace and participants can also register online

For more information, contact:
Jim Cooperman, Project Leader, 679-3693
Kim Fulton, Project Educational Coordinator, 546-3644
Monica Gail Kriese, ‘Celebrate the Shuswap’ Event Coordinator, 833-6100

Shuswap Watershed Conference
April 23, 2010, 1pm to 11pm
Salmon Arm Secondary ‘ Sullivan Campus

This conference is free thanks to the sponsorship of the Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union and Shuswap-North Okanagan School District #83


1:00-2:30 pm – Poster Session

2:30 pm – Welcoming address by a Chief Judy Wilson, followed by a welcome from Salmon Arm Mayor Marty Bootsma

2:40 – 2:45 – Brief talk by Jim Cooperman about the Shuswap Watershed Project

2:45 – 3:15 – Essay contest winners read their essays, hosted by Kim Fulton, Shuswap Watershed Project Education Coordinator

3:15 – 3:20 – Mayor Marty Bootsma will talk about the work of the Fraser Basin Council

3:20 – 3:50 – Keynote speech by Craig Orr, Exec Director of the Watershed Watch Salmon Society, titled ‘Water, salmon and resilience: maintaining healthy watersheds in the face of climate change’ followed by Michelle Walsh, with the Secwepemc Fisheries Commission, who will talk about their work on the connection between groundwater and salmon.

3:50 – 4:00 – A song by Old Man’s Beard guitarist Jesse Cooke and short break

4:00 – 4:05 – Hiking, biking, canoeing and kayaking the Shuswap to experience the watershed first hand by Shuswap Trail Alliance Executive Director Phil McIntyre-Paul

4:05 – 5:30 – Panel discussion “What needs to be done to best protect, preserve and restore the watershed?” Five minute talk by each panelist, followed by a question period (using written questions submitted by conference participants and allowing for discussion between panelists)


Carol Danyluk, Environmental Protection Officer, Ministry of Environment
Bruce Runciman, Habitat Management Biologist, Department of Fisheries and Oceans
Jan Thingsted, Planner, Columbia-Shuswap Regional District
Kimm Magill-Hofmann, Tenures Forester, Ministry of Forests and Range
King Campbell, Agricultural Program Head, Ducks Unlimited Canada

5:30 – 5:40 Warren Bell, Conference summary by Dr. Warren Bell and “Where do we go from here?”

5:40 – 6:15 Networking time (tables set up for dinner)

6:15 – 7:15 Shuswap Foods dinner by Cookshack Creations

7:15 – 7:30 Networking time (tables down and chairs set up)

7:30 – 8:30 Concert beginning with ‘A Song for the Shuswap’ winners

8:30 – 8:45 Break (chairs moved to make room for dancing)

9 – 11 Dance to Old Man’s Beard