2017 Photo Contest Now Open

  The HCTF photo contest is back! If you've captured a spectacular image of BC’s wildlife, freshwater fish, natural landscapes, or a photo of people participating in activities that connect them to nature, you could enter to win this year's grand prize of a $500 VISA gift card. For full contest information, official rules and digital entry form, click  here .     
Featured

The Secret Life of Wolverines

When you read the word “wolverine”, what comes to mind? A snarling, snapping North-American version of the Tasmanian devil? A fearsome furball taking down prey ten times its size?  Hugh Jackman? For a creature whose reputation has reached mythical proportions, it might surprise you to learn that there’s still a lot we don’t know about wolverines. Naturally rare, wolverines are found in remote wilderness areas, making them challenging study subjects. But with increasing pressure on the landscapes that wolverines and other wildlife call home, it’s more important than ever for land managers to have accurate information on wolverine populations in BC. Advances in research techniques and technology are not only providing the data necessary to protect wolverines, they’re actually changing the way we view this elusive species. Cliff Nietvelt is a BC government wildlife biologist who has been studying wolverines since 2009.  It was that year, working on a collaring project in the North Cascades, that he had his first up-close encounter with a wolverine. “We had set up a box trap and caught other carnivores but had no luck getting any wolverines,” recalls Cliff.  “I’d actually gone out to close the trap for a few days when I noticed...
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Featured

Restoration Work Begins on the Englishman River Estuary

If you are walking the trails and beaches at the Englishman River estuary this summer, you may notice some new activity and heavy equipment working. It’s all part of a five-year plan to improve the habitat for fish and wildlife.   The Englishman River estuary and adjacent habitats support over 250 bird species, 23 mammals, plus several amphibians, reptiles, all species of Pacific salmon, and forage fish such as herring and Pacific sand lance. For over 25 years, The Nature Trust of British Columbia and partners have worked to secure land along the Englishman River. Today, over 100 hectares (247 acres) of the Englishman estuary and adjacent forest are protected and form part of the Parksville-Qualicum Beach Wildlife Management Area.    Since the 1930s, the Englishman estuary has been impacted by dikes, roads, residential development, industrial uses, and ditching. Today portions of the estuary are almost completely cut off from natural tidal and river processes. Consequently, the estuary has become less accessible for fish and wildlife that would normally use these habitats for shelter, feeding, and rearing.   “The Nature Trust of BC has been working with partners for decades to acquire and manage ecologically important lands along the Englishman River....
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News Release - HCTF Announces North Island Conservation Fund

Fish and wildlife will receive an extra boost next year from a new fund explicitly for conservation projects on the northern half of Vancouver Island. The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has announced it will begin accepting applications for the $350,000 North Island Conservation Fund starting this fall. HCTF CEO Brian Springinotic said the Foundation decided to create the Fund following receipt of a $174,000 creative sentencing award from Neucel Specialty Cellulose Ltd after it was convicted for polluting Port Alice waters in 2011.  “In a perfect world we’d never receive these types of payments, because environmental damage wouldn’t take place,” said Springinotic. “Unfortunately, these types of infractions are still occurring, and our job is to ensure that money payable by the offender goes back into the habitats and species impacted, above and beyond any remediation required. Creative sentencing allows that to happen.” The judge in the Neucel case specified that the creative sentencing award be used to “support of fish and wildlife conservation projects on Northern Vancouver Island”.  HCTF’s Board of Directors decided to match the court award funding with revenue from surcharges on hunting and fishing licences to create the new $350,000 fund. HCTF is hopeful other local organizations...
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BC Fisher Habitat Website

The BC Fisher Habitat Working Group has just launched a new website to assist BC forest licensees and their contractors to identify and retain important fisher habitat.  The site allows forest practitioners to download information and tools specific to their location and operational focus. The site includes: - spatial data that lets planning foresters identify habitats and retention targets for harvested areas - pictorial guides to help on-the-ground field crews identify trees and other habitats important to fishers, and - field guides to help operational staff retain fisher habitat in their day-to-day activities. The web site is also designed for use by trappers, First Nations, and other people who are interested in learning more about fisher conservation. Visit the BC Fisher Habitat Website The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation is proud to be a major funder of this extension project.