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B.C. government provides $6.5 million to protect caribou habitat

Caribou in the Klinse-za maternal pen near Chetwynd, B.C., in June 2015. Tristan Brand photo.
Caribou in the Klinse-za maternal pen near Chetwynd, B.C., in June 2015. Tristan Brand photo.

The province is providing $6.5 million over three years for caribou habitat restoration in British Columbia.

The funding will be administered to qualifying organizations through the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation’s (HCTF) Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund.

Human influence on the landscape – including forestry, mining and roadbuilding – has altered caribou habitat. Projects pursued under the fund will focus on restoring habitat through both functional and ecological approaches. Examples of functional restoration activities include planting trees, spreading coarse woody debris and installing fences to disrupt linear thoroughfares that advantage predators. Ecological restoration activities include encouraging native plants and trees that support the return of caribou habitat to its undisturbed state.

The province granted an initial $2 million to HCTF in April 2018 to implement a caribou habitat restoration program, which aims to rehabilitate habitat in areas prioritized for recovery efforts. During its first intake, HCTF provided funding to 11 projects led by First Nations, government, industry and not-for-profit societies. See attached backgrounder for more details.

Applications are being accepted by HCTF to fund the second round of habitat restoration projects. This intake closes Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, at 4:30 p.m. (Pacific time).

The province has already committed $47 million over three years to build a comprehensive, science-based approach to protect and preserve B.C.’s 54 caribou herds. This recovery program aims to restore this iconic Canadian species to a sustainable population.

Since its inception in 1981, the HCTF has invested over $180 million in grant money to more than 2,800 conservation projects in B.C., with the goal to restore, maintain or enhance native fish and wildlife populations and habitats.

To apply for funds through the HCTF, or for more information, visit: https://hctf.ca/

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