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Habitat Conservation Trust approves $9.2 million in projects across B.C.

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has announced $9.2 million in funding for more than 180 individual wildlife, freshwater fish, and habitat conservation projects across British Columbia this year.

“This is no small feat,” said Dan Buffett, CEO of HCTF, in a news release. “It reflects a diversity of funding from our core contributors [hunters, anglers, trappers and guides], court awards, provincial government contributions and endowments, and our partners such as the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC).”

Through cooperation with conservation organizations like the FESBC, HCTF is able to support projects such as the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy’s initiative to increase fisher habitat stewardship in the forestry sector. This project, occurring throughout the Thompson-Nicola, Cariboo, Skeena and Omineca-Peace regions, is working to provide forestry professionals with the tools they need to identify, manage and improve fisher habitat during key stages of the forest management process.

Fishers are members of the weasel family and while their habitat range includes much of BC’s central interior, research shows that their populations have been significantly impacted by human alteration to their mature forest habitats.

The project’s lead biologist Scott Yaegar said: “It is true that timber harvest can dramatically impact the ability of the forest landscape to support fishers. But it doesn’t have to.”
The BC Fisher Habitat Working Group, with funding from HCTF and FESBC, is working closely with forest industry partners to develop GIS planning and on-the-ground identification tools that will allow forestry professionals to identify and manage their impact to fisher habitat. This combined approach to fisher conservation is an excellent example of how conservation organizations, government, forestry industry, and scientific communities are working together to improve wildlife and habitat outcomes throughout BC.

Other HCTF funded projects in the Thompson-Nicola and Cariboo regions include:


  • $70,000 for continued research into moose population trends, calving rates, and calf/cow survival rates throughout central interior BC.
  • $79,000 for continued monitoring of the abundance, productivity, and conservation status of wild Interior Fraser steelhead, providing data to inform provincial, federal, and First Nations fisheries management in the Thompson-Nicola region.
  • $28,000 for research into the use of high-elevation forestry blocks by large mammal species, including moose, caribou, wolves and bears in the Cariboo region.
FESBC’s Executive Director Steve Kozuki is “thrilled to partner with the trusted and respected Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation to improve wildlife habitat. With their first-in-class management of funds and projects by talented and professional staff, we know that we are maximizing benefits for wildlife in British Columbia.”

Each project funded through HCTF is reviewed by a multi-level, objective technical review process prior to final Board review and decision. HCTF’s Board of Directors ensures that species important to BC anglers and hunters are supported but also place a great deal of importance on conserving whole ecosystems, species-at-risk and investing in environmental education across the province.

To see the complete list of HCTF funded projects or explore the conservation work being done near you view the 2020-21 Approved Project List or the 2020-21 Project Map.

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