By C. Van Rensen, N.N. Neumann and V. Young (BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development).
Introduction: The Government of British Columbia (the Province) is committed to sustainable resource management. As resource demands grow, we must be able to measure the combined effects of all resource development activities and natural disturbances, large and small, on the values important to the people of B.C. To meet this need, the Province established a Cumulative Effects Framework (CEF) in 2014 to guide the assessment of cumulative effects1 across natural resource sectors and support the integration of assessment results in natural resource decision-making. Application of the CEF is underway in the Kootenay Boundary Region, led by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Through this initiative, the Elk Valley Cumulative Effects Assessment and Management Report was completed which included an assessment of Aquatic Ecosystems as a valued component, and led to identification of priority management and mitigation actions (Elk Valley Cumulative Effects Management Framework Working Group 2018). Since completion of the Elk Valley project, the Kootenay Boundary Cumulative Effects (CE) team has expanded their CE initiatives to other areas in the region. For the new initiatives a watershed assessment procedure first designated by Thompson Okanagan Region was adopted (Lewis et al. 2016). Regional modifications were made to the assessment methods and are presented in Van Rensen et al. (2020). These new assessment methods were first applied to the Kettle River drainage basin and results are presented in this report.