Two outstanding HCTF projects were recognized on May 4th at the BC Nature AGM. YNC’s Nature Clubs Project and Bird Studies Canada’s BC Breeding Bird Atlas project were presented with HCTF Silver Awards for their contribution to conservation in BC. The Nature Club’s project connects children with the outdoors by encouraging natural discovery by providing engaging activities, events and resources, including explorer days led by local naturalists, NatureWILD Magazine, and the Action Awards program. The Silver Award was presented to the YNC as the top project in the Stewardship category, and was accepted by YNC’s Executive Director Kristine Webber. Read more about the Nature Club’s Project in our Project Profiles>> The Breeding Bird Atlas project unites the wildlife-watching community with management agencies, biologists, guide-outfitters, industry, academics and naturalist organizations to fill knowledge gaps critical to the conservation of this province’s breeding birds. This project was the Silver Award winner in the wildlife category, and was accepted by Anne Murray, the BC Nature representative on the Atlas Steering Committee and Christopher Di Corrado, BC Breeding Bird Atlas Coordinator. The Silver Awards were created back in 2006 by HCTF’s Board of Directors in celebration of the Foundation’s 25th anniversary, and in recognition of their recently retired CEO, Rod Silver. They are awarded annually to the HCTF projects considered to have made the greatest contribution to conservation and that best exemplify the objectives of the Foundation.
An HCTF Silver Award was presented to the Vancouver Island Urban Lakes Fisheries Development Program this week in recognition of its efforts to increase angler participation by improving fishing infrastructure at lakes near urban centres. Scott Silvestri of MFLRNO leads the project, which has already received over $75,000 in grants from HCTF, with another $54,000 committed for 2013-14. By bringing together local governments, granting organizations and fish & game clubs, Scott and his team have made great strides in improving access to a number of fishing locations around the island while keeping costs to a minimum. The Urban Lakes project is currently in its third and final year of funding. Infrastructure projects already complete include: • Newly-constructed fishing floats, ramps and trails at Durrance Lake , Diver Lake and Westwood Lake . • New fishing floats at Fuller Lake and Mayo Lake . • Repairs to the walkway of the fishing float at Chemainus Lake . • Development of a car-top boat launch for Quennell Lake . • Improvements to the boat launch at Spider Lake . Click here to view the locations of these projects on a map. A number of potential infrastructure projects have been identified for 2013-14 . These include: • Construction of wheelchair-accessible fishing dock at Blinkhorn Lake. • Construction of fishing floats at Colwood Lake and Thetis Lake . • Creation of boat launchs and fishing docks at Prospect Lake and Echo Lake. Observations of increased angler use at sites where infrastructure work is complete suggest that the upgrades and additions are working: by making fishing more accessible, this project not only has the potential to inspire new groups of conservationists through participation in angling, but also increase funding for fish enhancement and restoration projects through additional licence sales. In addition to this award from HCTF, the Vancouver Island Urban Lakes Fisheries Development Program has also been named a regional finalist in the BC Premier’s Innovation and Excellence Awards. The awards, which will be handed out in September, recognize exceptional work by B.C. public service employees and teams whose contributions have made a positive difference in the province. Congratulations, Scott, on your nomination: hopefully you’ll have another plaque to accompany your Silver Award in the fall.
The 2013 HCTF Stewardship Evaluation Workshop brought together an inspiring group of some of BC's leaders in stewardship and environmental engagement. Participants presented the results of their HCTF-funded projects, providing great examples of how licence surcharge money is being used to change behaviors and truly make a difference for conservation in BC. In additiona to providing an excellent forum for exchanging ideas about stewardship, the workshop was also a golden opportunity for HCTF to present a Silver Award to one of the participants. Board Chair Harvey Andrusak presented a Silver Award to Barb Beasley for her work in protecting native frog populations. Barb's project initiated the construction of a highway underpass system to prevent frogs and other animals from being crushed by vehicles while migrating across roads. The project may not have moved mountains, but it certainly moved highways and close to forty tons of concrete to create safe passage for frogs and salamanders. You can read more about the " Conserving Amphibian Populations & Connecting Habitats Across Roads " project in our project profiles section, and visit Barb's blog for a full account of tunnel installation, along with some recent project updates. HCTF Evaluation Workshops are held annually, alternating between fisheries, wildlife and stewardship projects. A full report on the 2013 workshop will be posted in our " Publications " page in the coming months, along with some highlights of project presentations. Thanks again to everyone who participated in the workshop, and congratulations to Barb on your award!
The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation was pleased to present the Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) with a Silver Award for the Good Neighbours Project at their AGM last Wednesday. HAT is a land trust operating in Greater Victoria that aims to help citizens better understand and care for habitats within the region. Their Good Neighbours program assists property owners in meeting their land use needs while simultaneously protecting some of Canada’s rarest habitats. Each year, HAT focuses its outreach services on a different region of Capital Regional District. Their engagement of neighbours and students in science-based demonstration projects benefits local ecosystems and creates lasting networks within communities. The HCTF Silver Award is just the latest accolade for Good Neighbours Program - it has also won a CRD Ecostar Award . For more information on this program and how you can become involved, visit HAT’s website
It was with great pride that HCTF presented its 2014 Silver Award to Dr. Tom Sullivan at the recent BC Trappers Association (BCTA) AGM & Convention in 100 Mile House. Dr. Sullivan received the award in recognition of the outstanding contribution made by his HCTF-funded project, Enhancing Marten and Weasel Habitat on Clearcuts. The project examined whether debris from clearcuts shaped into windrows could provide important habitat for small mammals, thereby mitigating some of the impacts of this forestry practice: you can read more about the project here . Congratulations, Tom, on this well-deserved accolade! The Silver Award was presented at the convention by HCTF Board member Don Wilkins . Don was recently appointed as the BCTA representative on the HCTF Board, replacing Mike Green, who regrettably had to resign for health reasons. Our sincere thanks to the BCTA event organizers for providing us with time on the agenda to present the award, and for allowing us to share some of the great work being funded with their members’ licence surcharges. The next HCTF Silver Award winner will be decided following this year’s Fisheries Evaluation Workshop.