The Trust Focuses on a Healthy, Resilient Future

(Columbia Basin) – In its aim to support people and communities in the Columbia Basin, Columbia Basin Trust is celebrating the release of its new Columbia Basin Management Plan 2024–2034. The overall focus is on health and resilience, with the intention for the plan to guide the Trust’s activities over the coming decade.

"It has been inspiring to hear from so many Basin residents over the past year as we traveled the region to talk about what’s most important in communities today, and how that may change in the future,” said Johnny Strilaeff, President and Chief Executive Officer. “This long-term plan reflects a common theme of those conversations—the enduring desire of residents to remain connected to each other, to their communities, and to the incredible natural environment of the region.”

The overarching theme of the new plan is health and resilience, with a focus on four areas: the Trust as an organization, relationships, Basin communities and the natural environment. Specific goals within each of these focus areas are included in the plan, and the Trust is excited to begin developing action plans, programs and initiatives in alignment with this strategic direction. The Trust will be further engaging residents in this next step by way of task forces, advisory committees and other forms of outreach. 

"This region is fortunate to have so many thoughtful and passionate residents,” said Strilaeff. “In the early 1990s, residents came together with a common purpose and vision, overcoming many obstacles to create Columbia Basin Trust. That same sense of unity exists today, and I’m excited to see what we can accomplish together in the coming 5, 10, and 25 years.”

As the new plan is implemented over the next decade, residents can expect that supports from the Trust will evolve. Over time, new forms of support will be developed, and some initiatives will conclude. The Trust is sensitive to these potential changes and will work openly with those who may be impacted by this transition.

We are also celebrating the many accomplishments of residents and communities over the period of the 2020–2023 Columbia Basin Management Plan

“Reflecting on the past three plus years, we are proud to be a part of so many incredible partnerships and community-led achievements,” said Strilaeff. “It’s remarkable to see over 10,000 projects supported in this timeframe, led by non-profits, local governments, First Nations, businesses and others—congratulations are in order. We can confidently say that Basin residents are taking action to make this region a better place to live, now and into the future.”

Highlights of achievements include:

  • 320 affordable housing units created—including in First Nations communities—and 783 affordable rental housing units retained, improved or made more energy efficient.
  • 3,442,066 kilowatt hours of power saved through retrofits and energy-efficient units.
  • 893 child care spaces created, 3,334 child care spaces improved and 785 qualified staff recruited and/or retained.
  • 245 new kilometres of regional fibre optic network constructed, and 6,400 rural Basin households have improved access to high-speed internet.
  • 119,740 metric tonnes CO2 equivalent reduced, and 32,205 individuals supported in addressing climate resilience through 752 projects.
  • 608 organizations supported for projects related to community well-being, including 182 community sponsored events and 183 community assets enhanced or created.
  • 191 projects supported ecosystem enhancement, including 218,221 hectares treated for wildfire risk, and 118,429 terrestrial hectares and 3.7 million aquatic square metres restored, conserved or enhanced.
  • 191 projects supported and 41 projects developed in partnership with Indigenous Peoples such as affordable housing, energy retrofits, ecosystem enhancement and cultural supports.
  • 1,284 jobs created through support for business renewal, an additional 1,353 individuals received training for in-demand positions, and 32 recent graduates were supported with internships leading to full-time, career-related positions.
  • 879,165 kilograms of food waste diverted or recovered, and 64 community food production or processing spaces created or improved through our support of local food production and access.
  • 5,005 businesses highlighted through buy local campaigns.
  • 64 electric vehicles purchased for non-profit organizations, and 29 electric vehicle charging stations installed.
  • 453 kilometres of trails developed, enhanced or maintained.
  • 48 small and rural communities supported with wildfire suppression equipment.
  • 364 students, with demonstrated need, supported to attend Basin colleges.
  • 21,219 people benefited from literacy programs.
  • 270 non-profits acquired new technology.

See more examples of impact in the attached infographic

To read the new Columbia Basin Management Plan 2024–2034, visit. ourtrust.org/ourfocus.

Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin. To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, and how it helps deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the Basin, visit ourtrust.org.