The Zehnder Ranch is located just outside of Invermere, British Columbia in the East Kootenays. They run a cow-calf operation and have farmed the land for over 40 years. Bunyan Lake is in the community water shed and was previously accessible by the cattle. Through the EFP program it was fenced off to help preserve the riparian area and improve water quality. This site served as the first ESI research pilot site to demonstrate the concept payment for ecosystem services and has been the most studied to date.
This project has been in place for three years and has proven successful in terms of:
- Improved water quality
- Improved animal health
- Restored riparian habitat
- Preserved habitat for species at risk
This is a prime example of how one small change can have a positive effect on a much larger scale.