The project was to increase riparian ecosystem health while obtaining a commitment from landowners and recreationalists to care about the riparian habitat. As such, the objectives of the program were to increase appreciate and knowledge of the local environment, change attitudes and behaviours, and promote commitment and action for protection of biodiversity.
In achieving these objectives the following results were obtained: we attempted to contact over 300 landowners / residences, of which, 92 landowners were given an information package containing, Caring for Cultus booklet, Species at Risk information specific to the area, and other local brochures. The Caring for Cultus booklet is modeled after the Living by Water program by tailored to Cultus Lake. When appropriate for the size of the property, landowners were given site visits, property reports and opportunities to sign a stewardship agreement. We completed four surveys, and 5 landowners signed agreements. We entered all the landowners in a landowner contact database that registers and tracks landowners attitudes and behaviours at the beginning of our program and over time. As part of the ongoing commitment to this area, the 92 landowners involved in the program will be included in a future survey to determine the effects of our program and to help refine our program. A select few landowners agreed to engage in habitat enhancement projects on their property led by FVC’s environmental stewardship coordinator in an effort to deepen their concern for the local environment and promote further action by the landowner in the future as is demonstrated in environmental education theory. All of these landowners have signed agreements.
The environmental stewardship coordinator has committed to staying involved with the CLASS group for Cultus Lake.