Kootenay Conservation Projects receive Million Dollar boost
At the BC Wildlife Federation Convention held this weekend in Fernie, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) announced it will provide over a million dollars to Kootenay fish & wildlife projects.
The East Kootenay Grassland Ecosystem Restoration program was awarded the largest single grant in the region, receiving $189,000 to improve wildlife habitat through prescribed burns.
In total, 16 Kootenay conservation projects were approved for funding, including:
- $38,000 to assess the impacts of invasive Northern Pike in the Columbia and Pend d’Oreille Rivers
- More than $90,000 for mule deer habitat restoration and survival monitoring
- Almost $100,000 for inventories of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and mountain goats
HCTF Chair Harvey Andrusak says the grant selection process is competitive and ensures that the maximum conservation benefit is achieved for the money available.
“Each year, we receive hundreds of applications requesting funding for BC conservation projects,” said Andrusak.
“These proposals are carefully reviewed and evaluated on their technical merit, and also their potential to make a positive difference for fish & wildlife: only the best of the best are selected for funding.”
For 2015-16, HCTF has approved 118 projects: a total of $6.5 million in grants. Most of the funding awarded comes from surcharges on fishing and hunting licences, and many of the approved projects are focused on species important to anglers and hunters.
However, a significant number of grants also go to projects benefitting whole ecosystems, species-at-risk, and environmental education programs.
A complete list of this year’s approved projects can be viewed at hctf.ca
- The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) began as an initiative of BC anglers, hunters, trappers and guide outfitters.
- Since 1981, HCTF has provided over $155 million in grants for more than 2000 conservation projects across BC.
- HCTF is currently accepting applications for grants to fund volunteer-based conservation projects under its Public Conservation Assistance Fund program. Deadline is May 15th, and application information is available at hctf.ca