North Island Conservation Fund


What is the North Island Conservation Fund?

The North Island Conservation Fund (NICF) is a $350,000 fund specifically for fish and wildlife projects on Northern Vancouver Island. 


Where did this funding come from? 

HCTF created NICF using both surcharge revenue and court-awarded funds.

In 2011, Neucel Specialty Cellulose Ltd was found to have exceeded authorized levels of discharge into Neroutsos Inlet on three separate occasions. B.C.’s Conservation Officer Service, supported by Environment Canada, conducted a joint investigation and forwarded recommended charges to B.C.’s Crown counsel. In 2014, Neucel was convicted in provincial court and ordered to pay $1,000 in fines to the province and $174,000 to HCTF. The judge specified that this $174,000 court award is to be used in support of fish and wildlife conservation projects on Northern Vancouver Island. The North Island Conservation Fund was created when the HCTF Board of Directors decided to match the court award funding with surcharge revenue to create a $350,000 fund specifically for fish and wildlife conservation projects in this region.



HCTF Elk release Vancouver Island


What kind of projects are eligible to apply for grants from North Island Conservation Fund?

As specified by the court, this money is for fish and wildlife conservation projects on Northern Vancouver Island. For this fund, Northern Vancouver Island is defined as the area north of (and including) Campbell River. The eligible project area is highlighted in green on the map below (click to open larger image): 


Map NICF eligible area web


To be considered for funding, projects must also:

  • benefit native species
  • be scientifically rigorous
  • have clear and measurable outcomes

Priority consideration will be given to projects taking place on public lands or publicly accessible lands.


Are salmon projects eligible?

HCTF does not typically fund projects focussed on salmon, as the revenue used to fund fisheries projects primarily comes from freshwater angling licences. For this fund, we will consider projects restoring estuaries or riparian habitats that provide benefits to salmon and other species. These benefits must be clearly articulated in the proposal.


How much funding can we apply for?

While there’s no upper limit for funding requests, HCTF hopes to support multiple projects with the $350,000 available in this Fund.


What are the expectations around fund leveraging?

HCTF strongly encourages proponents to secure additional funding or in-kind contributions for their projects. Priority will be given to projects that can demonstrate a 1:1 funding match.


How do we apply?

We will be accepting applications beginning in the fall of 2017. Applications for grants from the North Island Conservation Fund will follow the same application and review process as other applications for HCTF’s Enhancement and Restoration grants. You will need to complete HCTF’s online application form during the fall intake period. The online application portal typically opens in late September and will close November 2nd, 2017.


Questions? Please contact Kathryn Martell, Manager of HCTF's Evaluation Program, by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 250 940 9785.


PDF icon Download the NICF Information Sheet