2019 EKISC Agriculture Learning Symposium on Invasive Weed Management


The speakers and presenters of this symposium have been hand selected to represent both local and neighbouring experiences in invasive weed management. They represent a collection of ideas form the invasive species management community with specific relations to the agriculture community. 
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Kelly Cooley

Kelly established CoolPro Solutions Environmental Consulting in September of 2010. Previous to establishing CoolPro Solutions, Kelly served as Agricultural Fieldman for the MD of Pincher Creek from 1993 - 2010, managing their agricultural and environmental programs. These included invasive species prevention & management, conservation, technology transfer & extension, equipment rental & maintenance, agricultural & environmental policy advisement, plus safety and administration of these programs. During this time, he served as President of the Association of Alberta Agricultural Fieldmen (AAAF) and on the North American Weed Management Association (NAWMA) Board of Directors from 2004-2008. He also served with many local/regional/provincial/national/international agencies, organizations, and community based partnerships dedicated to sustainable land & water management practices. Kelly grew up on the family farm east of Pincher Creek, in southwest Alberta, Canada. Their mixed farm operation included native prairie, with a view of the Canadian Rockies Eastern Slopes. Kelly and his wife Carrie volunteer for and participate in local sports and community organizations, share a love for music, and particularly enjoy the joys and challenges of raising their four children. They maintain their ‘country roots’ living on 80 acres south of Pincher Creek, escaping to hike in their mountain back country whenever possible.


Summary of industry advisory involvement and contract clients:

North American Invasive Species Management Association - elected President (2018-19); previously
Alberta Director (2016-18) plus service on several NAISMA committees: Weed Free Forage & Gravel,
Mapping & App Standards, & Marketing & Outreach, including promotion of Play Clean Go (2011 - Present)


• Southern Alberta Weed Coordinator (South Region AAAF & ASB's May 2011 - Present); co-founder, South West Invasive Managers (SWIM); 2016 & 2018 Transboundary Water, Weeds, & Stewardship Tour Organizing Committees; Day On The Creek Organizing Committee & Presenter (2017-19)

• Co-Founder, Crown Terrestrial Invasive Plant Network (Crown Manager’s Partnership) (2005 – Present)

Canadian Council on Invasive Species Ottawa National Forum: Presentations (2019, 2017, 2012)

Waterton Lakes National Park / Parks Canada – Invited to provide input to the Post-Kenow Wildfire
Ecological Research, Monitoring, and Management Workshop (Jan. 2018)

Nature Conservancy of Canada - Alberta - Prepared Invasive Species Information Primers and Property
Integrated Invasive Species Management Plans for several Alberta NCC properties (Jan. - Mar. 2019; Nov.
2015 - Jan. 2016); Advisory Member, NCC Alberta Conservation Advisory Committee (Nov. 2017 – Present)

Alberta Farmer Pesticide Applicator Certificate Training – MD’s of Willow Creek & Foothills (2017 - present)

Alberta Invasive Species Council: Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System Alberta (2012 - Present)

Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society (Cows & Fish) - Terrestrial Invasives Management & Field
Identification - Rancher’s Range Management Workshop – Twin Butte, Alberta (June 2016)

Northern Sunrise County - Agricultural Service Board Weed Program Review (Dec. 2014 - March 2015)

United Farmers of Alberta - UFA 'Cattle Colleges' Pasture Weed Management presentations (Jan. 2015)

Alberta Environment & Parks; Alberta Agriculture & Forestry (Various projects - Hawkweed Management
Strategies for SW Alberta Forestry (2013); various technical document editing projects (2010 - 2015)

Agricultural Research & Extension Council of Alberta (ARECA) - Developed Predator Conflict Prevention &
Management Module for inclusion in the Alberta Environmental Farm Plan Process (Winter 2014)

M.D. of Pincher Creek - Native/Tame Species Reclamation Of Disturbed Area Discussion Document (2013)

• Drywood-Yarrow Conservation Partnership/Miistakis Institute For The Rockies - coordinated the
community-based 'Cowboys & Carnivores' monitoring program in southwest Alberta (2011-2012)

Alberta Authorized Assistant Pesticide Applicator Training - various government agencies (2011 - present)

Alberta Conservation Association - Integrated Weed Management Seminar (2011)

Mike Malmberg

Mike was raised on a cow/calf ranch east of Cardston Alberta, he has a lifetime of farming experience and has worked as a professional in agriculture since 1971, including 30 years for the Province of BC as a District Agriculturist and Regional Agrologist. Since 1979, Mike has co-owned and operated Fort Steele Farms near Cranbrook with his wife Sharon. His expertise includes forage crop production, beef cattle production, farm business management and economics, and rangeland management. Mike believes that farm profitability is an essential element for success in sustainable food systems. His resume includes:

  • BSc in Agriculture from University of Alberta in 1969, MSc in Animal Nutrition from U of A in 1971.

  • Worked for the Food and Agricultural Organization on large a beef cattle research project in Uganda, 1971 to 1973.

  • Worked for BC Ministry of Agriculture as Assistant District Agrologist in Kamloops from 1974 to 1975.

  • Worked for BC Ministry of Agriculturist as District Agriculturist and Regional Agrologist in East Kootenay from 1975 to 2003.

  • Consulting work on agricultural projects in East Kootenay, British Columbia and Alberta, 2003 to present.

  • Co-owner / operator of Fort Steele Farm with wife, Sharon Mielnichuk: 10,000 bird egg layer operation, farm vegetable market & farm bakery, 1979 through 2017.

  • Life Member of Kootenay Livestock Association. Involved in formation of the Association in 1975 and worked with KLA to help the organization to achieve their goals from 1975 to present.

  • Professional Agrologist, 1977 to retirement in 2005.

  • Certified Professional in Range Management 1990 to 2005.

Cailey Chase

Cailey grew up on her parent’s farm in Cluny, Alberta, attained a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications - Technical Writing at Mount Royal University and because of her love of nature, she progressed into the invasive plant control world. Her technical writing skills helped with the required map reading, record keeping and report writing. She has 9 years working in invasive plant control; 4 using chemical spraying and hand pulling, 2 years training under Canada’s oldest target grazing company and 3 years of working her own goat herd on contracts for: City of Calgary, Teck, City of Kimberley, R4 Ranch, City of Fernie, University of Saskatchewan, Natasha Wilson, Tobacco Plains Indian Band, and the aq’am Reserve. Her passion is to connect the goats with the land and the people. And to reconnect the people with the land to co-create solutions to our environmental and land management challenges.

Cailey is the owner of Vahana Nature Rehabilitation, a targeted goat grazing business for vegetation control that works in conjunction with chemical spraying, hand pulling and bio-control. Vahana works with 200 to 220 head of mainly Spanish cashmere goats. The Vahana herd and its herders have direct experience with the invasive plants Spotted Knapweed, Blueweed, Dalmatian Toadflax, Sulphur Cinquefoil, Burdock and Yellow Hawkweed. The goats will also eat brush, trees, and grass. The Vahana Goat Herd is an environmentally friendly tourist attraction, excellent for public relations and education, an effective tool for weed control, brush abatement, and fire control.

Rachael Roussin

Rachael coordinates the Kootenay and Boundary Farm Advisor Program and her technical background includes soil science, soil capability for agriculture, watershed management and climate change impacts for agriculture. Rachael is passionate about local, sustainable agriculture and is motivated to support farmers to achieve their soil health and water management goals. Rachael is an Environmental Farm Plan Advisor and holds a Masters' degree in Land and Water Systems from the Faculty of Land and Food at UBC. When Rachael isn't visiting farms or creating the next "Kootenay Farmer Newsletter", she can be found playing in her own garden, biking, hiking and powder skiing in Rossland BC, where she calls home.


Tim Ross

Tim Ross is an agrologist/singer/songwriter/guitar slinger who hails from Wycliffe, in the East Kootenays of BC. His day job as a range management consultant, which translates to “cowboy with a degree”, grants him the privilege of riding the range and making a living in the saddle. He also ranches, raising grass-finished beef.


Tim has been fortunate in being able to work on rangelands in BC, from the Cariboo-Chilcotin to the East Kootenay and everywhere in between - some of the most beautiful country in Canada.


In the East Kootenay, his work has included wildlife/livestock interaction studies on rangelands, range inventory benchmark studies, and ecosystem restoration inventory, planning and monitoring.  Specifically, he has worked on AQAM lands on several occasions conducting range inventory work, ecosystem restoration planning and monitoring, and the current project with goat grazing for noxious weed control.


Tim is deeply involved with the Society for Range Management and has served as Pacific Northwest Section (BC, Washington and Oregon) President. He is currently Vice-President of the BC Chapter. He holds earned degrees from the University of Guelph and the University of British Columbia.


His night job is playing in bands of all sorts. His songwriting influences range from rock-and-roll and blues to rockabilly and cowboy songs, but his subject matter is always the West.

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Lightning Talk Presenters

Jamie Davies

Jamie is the Recreation & Control Services Supervisor for the Regional District of the East Kootenay (RDEK) and is a member of the EKISC Board of Directors. Based in Cranbrook BC, Jamie administers the RDEK’s Neighbourhood Invasive Plant Program and provincial Weed Control Act as the RDEK Weed Control Officer. He also supervises operations and maintenance at multiple RDEK parks, trails and recreation facilities; manages the Wasa/TaTa Creek/Skookumchuck Mosquito Control Program and the Elk Valley Regional Airport. Jamie has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Geography and is a Professional Agrologist.

Jessie Paloposki

Jessie started her career as an Environmental Educator even before she knew what a career was. As a child, she spent countless hours exploring the forests surrounding her rural BC home. As she grew up, she began to see these wild places disappear. In 2008 her urge to protect wild places led her to begin her professional life as a Park Ranger. Jessie worked for BC Parks for 8 years, committing to protecting our precious natural areas and helping others discover the beauty of the natural world. In 2016, she moved away from parks and joined the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council where she now works as the Education and Communications Manager.


Jessie earned her MA in Environmental Education through Royal Roads University and a Diploma in Natural Resource Management through Vancouver Island University. In her spare time, she can usually be found kayaking a river, skiing in the mountains, or travelling the world.

Juliet Craig

Juliet Craig is the Program Manager for Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP). She works out of Nelson and has a broad range of conservation experience including invasive plant management, bat conservation, species at risk planning, and environmental education. This experience has allowed her to focus on the connections between people and the land and the important role of private landowner stewardship in conservation. Juliet has an M.Sc. in ethnobotany and is a Registered Professional Biologist and Professional Agrologist. When not working, she enjoys camping and exploring the beautiful Kootenay region with her family. 

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BC Sheep Separation Program

The BC Sheep Separation Program works to reduce the risk of respiratory disease in wild sheep, which often results when they come into contact with domestic sheep that carry pathogens that wild sheep have no immunity to. This disease issue continues to remain the largest impediment to sustaining wild sheep across western North America. The mechanism of pathogen transmission from domestic to wild sheep may be relatively simple, but creating effective separation on private land to protect a public resource is not. This wildlife health issue has been historically contentious, with passionate wild sheep conservationists pitted against land owners who are well within their right to keep sheep on their own property. Changing farm practices to reduce risk to wildlife only happens through building trust and designing on-farm stewardship options that reduce risk to wildlife without increasing costs for the farmer. Successfully changing provincial policy that limits or excludes domestic sheep on private land in areas with high risk of contact to wild sheep is achievable, but it is a long-term goal and requires consistent and methodical pressure and support. BC is unique among jurisdictions with wild sheep range in its approach to this issue. We have the only dedicated program that works with all stakeholder groups toward a common goal of risk reduction to wild sheep while supporting a viable domestic sheep industry. The program is well-known and internationally respected.

Living Lakes Canada

Living Lakes Canada has been leading a Community-Based Groundwater Monitoring Program in the Columbia Basin since 2013. Groundwater stewardship is central to community water sustainability. Groundwater helps maintain water levels in rivers and lakes, which is vital for human use and healthy ecosystems.  Careful management and allocation of groundwater is becoming increasingly important as populations continue to grow, demand increases, and pressures such as climate change intensify.

The Program works with local citizens, landowners, community groups, First Nations, and local, regional, and provincial governments to identify and monitor priority aquifers and increase awareness about groundwater stewardship in the Columbia Basin. Currently, twelve priority aquifers have been identified by the province based on vulnerability and relevance for future water management, and water level monitoring data are being collected. These data are analyzed by Living Lakes Canada’s team and partners, and shared with stakeholders to support informed decision making regarding groundwater use and stewardship in the Basin.

Tipi Mountain Native Plants

Tipi Mountain Native Plant Nursery is the premier native plant nursery in the Southern Interior/Kootenay Region of British Columbia. We are a 100% aboriginal owned business and employ several First Nation and non-First Nation staff.

In addition to native plant propagation, we also offer re-vegetation planning and implementation services, as well as custom seed harvesting, cleaning, and propagation. When we collect seed for your project, we ensure that seed was collected from the correct ecosystem to further enhance the success of your project.

Our business is focused on providing native plant material that is local to your project, and is suited for ecological restoration, reclamation, site remediation, and landscaping uses.

Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors

The Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors (KBFA) provides producers with free, technical production support and information from a network of specialized resources, including independent consultants and academics.

KBFA supports producers to improve agricultural production and efficiency by helping find solutions to farm-specific production issues, coordinating educational events and connecting producers to information.

Kootenay Conservation Program

We are a broad partnership of over 80 organizations from across the Kootenays.  We support partners in conserving landscapes that sustain naturally functioning ecosystems.  We envision vibrant communities that demonstrate the principles of environmental stewardship that can in turn support economic and social well-being.

We help our partners to coordinate and facilitate conservation efforts on private land. We increase the capacity of our partners by improving access to financial and technical resources for project implementation. We also help to raise money locally, which is then leveraged for hundreds of millions of dollars. As a result, conservation in the Kootenays is a great investment.

Our approach is strategic and focused on bringing organizations together for the greatest long-term return on investment. We seek to help our partners address threats to biological diversity and naturally functioning ecosystems by helping to increase the amount of private land securement and landowner stewardship; and improving communication, coordination and knowledge of conservation within the partnership as well as with stakeholders and the general public.

Ag Safe

AgSafe strives to create a safe and healthy work environment in BC agriculture through outreach and an active program of education, training and consultation in all regions of the province.


Leadership in health and safety to support the success and sustainability of agriculture by:

  • Demonstrating our passion for both health and safety and agriculture.

  • Fostering productive relationships and working together.

  • Providing expertise in agriculture health and safety

  • Acting with integrity in all we say and do.

  • Embracing and including the diversity of our communities.

  • Effectively delivering resources and services in innovative and creative ways.  

Interior Seed & Fertilizer