Since 1981, HCTF has helped secure valuable habitat in BC.

British Columbia has remarkable biological diversity. It is home to more vertebrates than any other province in Canada, and a greater number of large mammal species than any other North American state or province. This abundance of species is reflective of the vast number of habitats and ecosystems that make up BC. From the temperate rainforests of the West Coast to the dry grasslands of the Southern Okanagan, the province contains over 600 ecosystem types, each with their own distinct set of flora and fauna.

Unfortunately, many of the province’s richest habitats are now at risk. The majority of endangered species and ecosystems are found in the Southern Interior and South West Coast, where fertile valleys and temperate climates are as attractive to humans as they are to wildlife. Though only 6% of land in BC is privately owned, these properties tend to contain a high proportion of unique and species-rich ecosystems that are increasingly at risk. Fortunately, there is a strong land trust movement in BC, with a number of organizations working together to secure lands with high habitat values to protect them in perpetuum. The hunters, anglers, trappers and guide outfitters of this province have contributed to the securement of many such properties through investments made by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF).

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HCTF Habitat Acquisition Grants

HCTF has been investing in the acquisition of key conservation lands since 1981. To date, the Foundation has contributed over $26 million dollars towards the purchase of over 150 conservation properties, helping to secure and manage approximately 24,000 hectares of valuable habitat.

Each spring, HCTF accepts grant applications from land trust organizations looking to purchase properties to protect important habitat for BC’s fish and wildlife. Proposed acquisitions are evaluated on criteria such as species richness, connectivity, conservation planning priority, habitats, and impending threats to these values. Financial factors such as partnership funding, stability of the proponent organization, cost per hectare and level of community support are also carefully considered. Because Habitat Acquisition grants are funded with licence surcharge money, properties that also include public fishing and hunting opportunities are generally given priority consideration.

Find out how to apply


Partnerships are Key

Given the steep purchase price of at-risk habitats near urban centres, acquisitions made now (and for the foreseeable future) require collaboration between multiple partners: no single land trust in BC has the resources to purchase these properties on their own. The number of premium conservation lands acquired through the combined efforts of trusts, governments, corporations and individual donors are testament to the power of partnerships in achieving critical conservation goals.

You can read about some of the habitat acquisitions we’ve partnered on below.

Habitat Acquisition Project Profiles