Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund 

What is the Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund (CHRF)?

The purpose of the Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund (CHRF) is to restore high-use caribou habitat in British Columbia using functional and ecological restoration methods. The CHRF is made possible by a $2 million grant from the Province of British Columbia to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.

Who can apply for funding from the CHRF?

Any individual or organization capable of restoring habitat for caribou in British Columbia. In order to maximize the benefits for caribou using the funds available, the Province has identified priority herds and developed guidelines for selecting restoration areas and activities that will benefit these herds.

Which herd ranges will be prioritized for restoration funding?

The Province of BC requires a coordinated and strategic approach to restoring caribou habitat. The Province has identified high and medium priority herd ranges for caribou habitat restoration proposals submitted for the 2019-20 funding cycle. In determining high and medium priorities for restoration, the province considered the following factors: herd status, current population and trend, level of industrial exploration and development (i.e., need to restore), existing government direction (e.g., existing strategic or tactical plan that identifies restoration as a priority).  Applicants are encouraged to focus proposals in high priority herds to maximize benefits to caribou and caribou habitat.

High-Priority Caribou Ranges

For this application cycle, the high-priority ranges for restoration work are:
  • Barkerville
  • Calendar
  • Central Selkirks (Nakusp and Duncan)
  • Chase
  • Chinchaga
  • Columbia North
  • Hart Ranges
  • Itcha-Ilgachuz
  • Maxhamish
  • Moberly (Klinse-Za) and Scott
  • North Cariboo
  • Quintette
  • Snake-Sahtahneh
  • Tweedsmuir – Entiako
  • Wells Gray North
  • Wells Gray South
  • Wolverine

Medium-Priority Caribou Ranges

For this application cycle, the medium-priority ranges for restoration work are:
  • Columbia South
  • Frisby-Boulder
  • Graham
  • Groundhog
  • Kennedy Siding
  • Narraway
  • Narrow Lake
  • Pink Mountain
  • Takla
Restoration work in any other herd ranges is considered to be a lower priority for this funding cycle. The following map provides the approximate location of the high- and medium-priority caribou herd ranges for this cycle. 19-20_CHRF_priority_map For a more detailed map of all caribou herd ranges in BC, please visit iMapBC (note: this map is not colour-coded to show priorities for this cycle).

Which areas within these high and medium priority herd ranges should be prioritized for restoration?

High-use[1] and high-value caribou areas: areas used by caribou where development has resulted in increased use of the area by primary prey and their predators (overlap with telemetry/observed caribou locations, including knowledge of habitat use patterns based on TEK or telemetry data).
  • Focus on areas that will improve core habitat, are adjacent to intact habitat or where another caribou habitat restoration project is planned. This will help create large contiguous areas of caribou habitat with minimal disturbance.
  • Focus on areas of high predation risk: movement corridors or known overlaps with predators in historical caribou refuge areas (e.g. peatlands or areas adjacent to peatlands).
  • Focus on areas with low potential future industrial and recreational disturbance (areas with low tenure activity and low potential for future disturbance). It is the applicant’s responsibility to determine land status and constraints (e.g. overlapping tenures) and engage with affected stakeholders and First Nations.
  • Focus on areas accessible for restoration.
  • Focus on areas where a coordinated access management plan has been developed or is underway.
  • Focus on sites that are available for treatment (i.e. not under active disposition or provincial designation, such as a designated recreational trail) and that are not permanent disturbance features.
  • Focus on sites that are unlikely to regenerate naturally without intervention.
[1] Telemetry, census, observational data, Traditional Knowledge

What type of restoration projects within these areas will be prioritized for funding?

For this funding cycle, priority will be given to functional restoration projects that will reduce the use of linear features by predators and people so as to reduce caribou mortality in the short term. Ecological restoration is important to meet the long-term goals at many sites and can be done in conjunction with functional restoration.
  • Focus on the functional restoration of roads or other linear features adjacent or leading to areas of intact, high-value caribou habitat.
  • Focus on treating disturbance features where natural vegetation recovery is not occurring, or is limited, with the treatment focused on the site-specific limiting factor.
  • Focus on reducing the suitability of matrix habitat for primary prey such as planting or treating areas with high shrub production.

Additional Considerations

  • Proposed activities must not be part of an existing statutory/legal obligation.
  • Implementation of proposed treatments should not result in additional habitat disturbance.
  • Mitigation should be undertaken to minimize the environmental impact of treatments, such as archeological resources, watercourse crossings, minimizing impacts on other Species at Risk, etc.
Please ensure you have reviewed the Eligible Activities List and understand the activities that are eligible for funding under this program.

How much money can an application request?

Currently, HCTF has approximately $1.5 million in the CHRF for caribou habitat restoration projects. There is no upper limit to the amount of money an application can request, however, keep in mind that HCTF’s goal is to allocate this money to habitat restoration projects that, in aggregate, will provide the maximum benefit to caribou. Priority may be given to projects that secure significant partner contributions (cash and in-kind).

If you think you have a project that fits with the priorities for this funding cycle:

Step 1 is to email Shannon West at to request the application forms and instructions. Why not just post the application forms here? As this is the first public call for applications for this program, we would like to have an idea of how many applications to expect so that we can be as prepared as possible for the review of these proposals. Contacting us to request an application form also gives us the ability to contact you in the unlikely event there is an issue with the forms that we can help to resolve. Once you have requested an application package, you should receive the forms within one business day. If you have not received a reply, please call 250-940-9789 for assistance. Once you have received the application forms… Step 2 is to contact the government caribou biologist for your region (see below) in order to (1) confirm whether caribou restoration plans are available within the region to further inform proposals, and (2) to confirm the caribou, predator and other region-specific information.
Region Government Biologist Name Email Phone
North East Scott Schilds 250 261-2054
Skeena Anne Marie Roberts 250 847-7328
Omineca Duncan McColl 250 614-7484
Kootenays Aaron Reid 250 354-6288
Thompson-Okanagan Bevan Ernst 250 371 6273
Cariboo-Chilcotin Carolyn Shores 250-398-4394

Application Deadline

Once you have completed all three parts of your application (Word document, Excel spreadsheet and map), please email them to Shannon West at . We will confirm receipt of your application by reply email. If you do not receive an email confirming receipt, please contact the HCTF office on 250 940 9789.  The deadline for submitting your completed application forms to HCTF is Friday, January 11th at 4:30 pm PST.

How will proposals be evaluated?

Applications received by the January 11th deadline will be evaluated by a technical review committee composed of caribou habitat restoration experts and the HCTF Board of Directors. Evaluation criteria considered in the review of CHRF applications include:
  • Do the activities address impacts to caribou habitat from anthropogenic causes?
  • Do the proposed activities support caribou habitat restoration only?
  • Are the proposed activities eligible for funding as specified in the Eligible Activities list for this program?
  • Will the restoration activities benefit high- or medium-priority caribou herds as identified by the Province for this cycle?
  • Will the activities contribute to areas of intact habitat or recent/planned restoration?
  • Is the scope of restoration activities sufficient to result in significant habitat gains for caribou?
  • Are the proposed restoration sites accessible and available for restoration?
  • Are the works sufficiently described to ascertain whether they will specifically address impacts to caribou habitat from anthropogenic causes?
  • Are the appropriate methods being recommended to achieve the desired results?
  • Is the site unlikely to regenerate naturally within a timeframe adequate for caribou conservation?
  • What is the risk that the resulting habitat benefits of this work will be negated by future disturbance?
  • Does the proposal describe implications for or effects on other species?
  • Are the project’s objectives reasonable within the given timeframe?
  • Are the costs for activities reasonable?
  • What permits/authorizations are required for this work? Are plans in place to obtain these permits and authorizations?
  • Are the proposed activities part of a multi-year project that is already underway? If yes, have the results of that work been positive thus far?
  • Is the organization submitting the proposal capable of delivering the project?
  • Does the proposal have First Nations involvement?
  • Does the project have partner or co-funding support?
  • Does the proposal describe probable public support or opposition to the activities?
  • Does the proposal identify practical, specific, measurable indicators of success and a plan for monitoring results?
  • Does the proposal include baseline data (or a plan to collect baseline data) that will allow for measurement of results?
The HCTF Board of Directors will review the recommendations of the technical review committee and make final funding decisions in March. Proponents will be notified about the status of their proposals shortly thereafter.

What happens next?

Approved proposals will be mailed a Conditional Grant Agreement. This will need to be signed and returned to HCTF prior to the first payment installment cheque being issued. Proposed project activities can begin on April 1st of the year in which they are approved. If a proposal is approved subject to funding condition, that funding condition must be met prior to commencing any work. Note that HCTF funds multi-year projects one year at a time – if you would like funding for future years of a project, you must submit a continuing application each year. Each fiscal year’s project activities must be complete by March 31st. Grant Reports are due annually on April 15th.