ERA is not a fun wrecker but a fish protector


June 16 2015

A fisherman came into the office and reported a weir had been built across Coal Creek.  This was blocking fish passage for spring spawning Westslope cutthroat trout up Coal Creek.  It is a Federal offence in the Fisheries Act to prohibit fish passage and the ERA supports keeping the Elk River fishable for future generations.  For fish to breed, they have to make it to their spawning grounds and larger fish need to make their way to the Elk River to live their life.  

The same day Bob Rainer, Operations Manager from Teck Highland Valley came into the office with a team of men looking to do community service with their Teck training program Leading for the Future.  "We thank Bob and his brawny team of volunteers for clearing fish passage on Coal Creek", said Lee-Anne Walker, Executive Director with ERA.


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Elk River Flood Solution Strategy

Although the Elk River Alliance (ERA) has been working on this initiative since the flood of 2013, we are excited to announce the beginning of the community outreach portion of the project.  ERA outreach educators will be in the community this summer to collect your input and answer questions.

The Elk River Flood Solutions Strategy is a coordinated approach with the following goals:

  1. Improve community understanding of the Elk River’s hydrology.
  2. Document historic response to flooding.
  3. Examine flood mitigation practices that can enhance both natural watershed function and wildlife habitat.
  4. Model flood risk zones based on changing watershed conditions. 
  5. Recommend long, medium and short-range solutions to flooding impacts in the Elk River.

More details about the project are available here. Continue to watch our website/Facebook for updates.

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Lizard Creek Bank Restoration Update

They're alive and kicking! Native plants take root on Lizard Creek

In October 2014 volunteers completed Phase I of the restoration, planting native species along the bank. During our most recent board meeting in June we added some more fescues. Thanks again to all our volunteers. We will continue to monitor their growth with excitement!

The project is aimed at reducing future erosion and decrease sedimentation by exploring the use of innovative riparian restoration techniques (such as wattle fencing, live bank protection, riparian planting of seedlings and cutting, live palisades, modified brush layers and natural erosion cloth). Work was done at two restoration sites in Lizard Creek adjacent to the adjacent Mount Fernie Provincial Park Campground. The work will provide more stable banks and in-stream shade for fish habitat, as well as increased learning opportunities for visitors to the park.

Head to our Facebook page for more images.

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Teck Coal Mountain Phase 2 Open House Information

Teck is proposing to extend the working life of Coal Mountain Operations by developing and operating the proposed Coal Mountain Phase 2 Project. Coal Mountain Phase 2 is subject to review under British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Act.  The B.C. Environmental Assessment Office invites the public to attend an Open House on Thursday, June 4 at Hosmer Community Centre from 4-8 pm.  There are 30 days for the public to submit comments in relation to Valued Components Selection for the Coal Mountain Phase 2 project. The comment period began on May 25 and will end on June 24,2015.

More information on the open house and public comment period is available at

This is the first round of consultation related to Coal Mountain Phase 2. A second public comment period and open house will take place in 2016.


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Elk Watershed Discovery Camp


The Elk River Alliance will once again be running the Elk Watershed Discovery Camp for 10-14 year olds. Camp runs July 17-21 and August 14-18 from 9am-4pm daily. Participants will learn practical, hands-on skills while exploring the Elk River Watershed by raft, canoe, bike and on foot. We will go hiking, swimming, floating, fishing, geocaching and more! Participants will also meet local professionals who work in environmental careers; learn about water safety and river rescue; learn how to navigate using a GPS; conduct water quality monitoring; participate in a wild yoga class and so much more. The cost of the camp is $325/week or $250/week if you register before June 1st. Subsidies are available. 

Click here for a short video clip on the camp! 

For more information, contact Allie Ferguson by phone (250) 423-3322 or e-mail To register, visit the College of the Rockies Fernie campus or register online.

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High Flow Monitoring



The Elk River Alliance will be conducting high flow water quality monitoring on Lizard and Alexander Creeks from May 29-31st. We will be using mostly Streamkeepers protocols. If you would like to get involved and learn more about what we monitor, please e-mail Ayla ( for more information. 

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Map our Marshes - Fernie


Join the BC Wildlife Federation Wetland Education Program course, Sunday April 26, 2015, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. for an opportunity to learn more about wetlands and map their location in the Elk Valley. Registration is FREE and is valued at $50 per person.  Meet at the College of the Rockies, Fernie Campus.  This course teaches participants about wetlands, their classification, and how to map them using GPS technology, Google Earth, and the BC Community Mapping Network. A great workshop for students, environmental/conservation groups, government and First Nations representatives, engaged community members, and keen outdoors-types. More information and sign-up can be found at the link below. It would be appreciated if you could circulate this link with any person or group in the Fernie area that you feel might be interested in a course like this. Register here.  


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ERA Executive Director speaks at World Wetland Day - February 2, 2015

Lee-Anne Walker, Executive Director of the Elk River Alliance who is also a Wetlandkeeper Instructor for the BC Wildlfe Federation spoke at "The Future of Wetlands in the Lower Mainland: a workshop to strengthen collaboration among stakeholders".  Read the report from the workshop here.  

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Elk Valley Cumulative Effects Management Framework (CEMF) Winter 2015 Newsletter

Lee-Anne Walker, ERA Executive Director, is one of the inaugural members of the CEMF Working Group since July 2012.  So much has been accomplished in these formative years.  Click here to see what Elk Valley CEMF is working on now!

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Summer Job - Elk River Watershed Outreach Educator

Job Title:  Elk River Watershed Outreach Educator

Employer:  Elk River Watershed Alliance (doing business as Elk River Alliance ERA)

Job Description:

  • Develop and deliver outreach and educational activities and events in the Elk River watershed to raise awareness of Elk River hydrology, flood history and chronology, community preparedness and response to flooding, and appropriate flood mitigation solutions in support of the Elk River Flood Solutions Strategy. 
  • Participate in the delivery of the Elk River Watershed Discovery Day camp. 
  • Other community watershed outreach and education activities.
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