Mon, 18 Nov 2019
Tags: Staff

Meet Our New Communications Officer

Craig Doucette joins the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation team in the role of communications officer and will be keeping you up to date on current events at HCTF and within the wider BC fish, wildlife and habitat conservation community.

Craig has a background in science communication, project engagement and ecosystem conservation. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Guelph with a major in Wildlife Biology and Conservation before moving to study ecosystem management for his graduate diploma. Craig has a wealth of experience working with not-for-profit conservation organizations across Canada and brings to HCTF keen research skills and a passion for wildlife science. Welcome Craig!

Fri, 15 Nov 2019

Announcing the 2019 HCTF Photo Contest Winners!

The results are in for the winners of the 2019 HCTF Photo Contest!

This year’s HCTF photo contest was split into 3 separate photography categories; BC Wildlife or Freshwater Fish, BC Landscape, and People in Nature. We received hundreds of entries showcasing the province’s most spectacular fish and wildlife species, picturesque locations and British Columbians themselves connecting with nature right here at home. We would like to thank everyone who submitted a photo to this year’s contest and congratulate our 2019 HCTF photo contest winners!

Category: BC Wildlife and Freshwater Fish

Category: BC Landscapes

Category: People in Nature


Thu, 22 Aug 2019

Land Stewardship Grant Helps Protect Habitat on Denman Island

Denman Conservancy Association volunteer removing English Holly

BC Land Trusts own and protect 103,000[1] hectares of conservation lands in BC. Although securement of conservation lands is a critical first step, the work doesn’t end there because it is equally important to maintain and enhance the ecological values for which the property was protected. For many land trusts, finding funding to cover management costs can be difficult, particularly following fundraising campaigns to purchase the property. HCTF’s Land Stewardship Grant is one option for non-government organizations to access funding to cover management expenses on conservation lands.

For instance, the Denman Conservancy Association (DCA) received a Land Stewardship Grant from HCTF for $19,500 over three years to help with management costs on their Settlement Lands property. Located at the northern extent of the Coastal Douglas Fir (CDF) ecosystem, the Settlement Lands contain diverse habitats including wetlands, rocky outcrops, and mature second growth forest, which support a wide range of wildlife and habitats, including 14 wildlife species at risk.

Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly – courtesy of Erika Bland

Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly – courtesy of Erika Bland

One of these species at risk is the Taylor’s Checkerspot butterfly which is red-listed in BC, and listed as Endangered under the federal Species at Risk Act. Denman Island is the only known breeding location in Canada. Some of the funds were used for habitat enhancement, including planting larval host plants and pollinator nectar plants, as well as butterfly monitoring and planning to improve habitat in the future. Other activities HCTF funded at the property include invasive species removal, fencing, wetland monitoring, trail decommissioning and maintenance, and information signage.

Beaver dam area at Homestead Marsh – courtesy of John Millen

Beaver dam area at Homestead Marsh – courtesy of John Millen

“This funding was very important to ensure ecological values will be maintained and enhanced,” says Erika Bland, DCA Land Manger. “The fencing project in particular, which was carried out in collaboration with a neighbouring farmer, was critical to protecting the wetland on the property from cattle trespass.”

New fence to prevent cattle access

New fence to prevent cattle access.

The next funding intake for Land Stewardship Grants is now open, with an application deadline of October 16th. Visit our Land Stewardship Grant webpage for more information, including how to apply. This program was made possible through an endowment provided by the Province of British Columbia. This funding opportunity only comes once every three years, so don’t miss out!




[1] British Columbia NGO Conservation Areas Technical Working Group. 2017. BC NGO Conservation Areas Database – Fee Simple, Registerable Interests, and Unregisterable Interests (secured as of December 31, 2016). Digital data files. Last updated June 27, 2017.


Wed, 31 Jul 2019

HCTF 2019 Photo Contest

Update: The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation photo contest is now closed! Thank you to everyone that submitted photos. The winners will be announced by November 1st.

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation photo contest is back! If you’ve captured a fantastic image of British Columbia’s wildlife, fish, landscapes or people participating in activities that connect them to nature, you could enter to win a VISA gift card.

Categories and Prizes:

  • BC Wildlife or Freshwater Fish (excluding marine animals and those in captivity) Prize: $400.00 CAD VISA gift card
  • BC Landscape (lakes, rivers, wetlands, mountains, forests, etc.) Prize: $300.00 CAD Visa gift card
  • People in Nature (people engaging in activities that connect them with BC’s fish, wildlife and habitats) Prize: $300.00 CAD Visa gift card

The winning entries will be selected by a panel established by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF). Each photo shall be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact and artistic merit. The top entries in each category will be featured on our website and social media platforms. Please note that entries may be used by HCTF to communicate about the contest, the Foundation and conservation in BC, both during and after the contest period.

An individual may enter up to five photos in each category. Photos must have been taken in the province of British Columbia to be eligible.


Entries must be received by 4:30pm PST on September 30th, 2019.

Official Contest Rules and Regulations:

Official contest rules and regulations


Photo Credit: Linnea Halverson

Mon, 10 Jun 2019
Tags: Education

New Interactive Trail in Tsútswecw Park Tells Story of Landscape & Local Plants through the Voices of Secwépemctsin Language Students

BC Story Trail launch
HCTF Board member Ian McGregor is among the first visitors to the Story Trail in Tsútswecw Provincial Park

Today marks the opening of an interactive and interpretive trail in Tsútswecw Provincial Park built on the traditional territory of the Secwépemc people. The trail uses technology to tell the story of native plants and landscape features through the voices of local youth.

Members of the public are invited to celebrate the power of story, nature and culture, and discover the rich history of the land. Visitors will scan signage along the trail to hear students from Chase Secondary School’s Secwépemctsin language class share what they learned from their elders. You can listen to the Story Trail stations by clicking on the image below to visit the interactive map on the BC Parks Foundation website.

Visit the BC Parks Foundation’s website to listen to the story trail stations on their interactive map.

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) Education program helped support the Story Trails project by covering the class’s transportation costs to and from the park, providing honorariums for elders and having WildBC facilitators work with the students and teachers. The Story Trails project is one of multiple HCTF Education-supported initiatives at Chase Secondary. The school was chosen as a pilot for HCTF’s new high school LEAP (Leadership Environmental Action Projects) granting program. As part of the pilot, Chase’s Biology 11 class brought their stream and watershed studies to life through hands-on field experiences at nearby Chase Creek. Chase students also helped younger students at Haldane Elementary with garden box plantings and Earth Day events. A dozen Chase students were even trained as Park Ambassadors for the Adam’s River Salute to Sockeye event.

Chase Secondary Student Ambassadors

Chase Secondary School Salmon Ambassadors worked with younger students and HCTF Education WildBC Facilitator Brenda Melnychuk to educate Salute to Sockeye participants about composting and recycling.

BC high schools interested in provided similar learning opportunities for their students are encouraged to check out the new LEAP grant program. Grants of up to $5000 are available for science, environmental or career courses focused on opportunities for students in environmental and conservation sciences. This year’s application deadline is June 15th. For more information, visit

Fri, 10 May 2019

HCTF 2019-20 Approved Project List announced at BCWF AGM

Fort St. John, BC – The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has announced over $9 million to fund more than 170 fish and wildlife projects in BC.

The announcement was made Friday at the BC Wildlife Federation’s annual convention in Fort St. John.

HCTF CEO Brian Springinotic said the $9 million represents a record annual investment in conservation projects by the Foundation, made possible in part by a contribution from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC. However, Springinotic says the majority of project funding comes from conservation surcharges on freshwater angling, hunting, guide outfitting and trapping licenses sold in BC.

“HCTF’s funding model is unique in channeling the users’ investment back to benefit the resource,” said Springinotic. “Anglers, hunters, guide outfitters and trappers fund much of the critical conservation work taking place in BC.”

Highlights of this year’s funded projects include:

  • $250,000 to Ducks Unlimited Canada for its province-wide wetland conservation program.
  • Over $600,000 for projects to conserve white sturgeon.
  • Over $75,000 to the BC Conservation Foundation’s “Got Bats?” community outreach program delivered by local stewardship groups together with landowners to carry out a bat-count, detect and preserve bat habitat and install bat-houses.
  • $80,000 to the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC for its province-wide “Learn to Fish” program which introduces over 25,000 youth and adults to the sport.
  • Over $95,000 to UBC Okanagan’s Department of Biology to identify the effects of wildfire on mule deer habitat selection and population growth in the Boundary Region, West Okanagan, and Bonaparte Plateau areas, and to provide management tools and recommendations to increase mule deer abundance.
  • $128,000 for fishery development and planning on the Bulkley, Kispiox and Morice Rivers, including reviews of angler effort targets and the feasibility of a lottery booking system for effective management, by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources and Rural Development.
  • $22,000 to the “Bring Back the Bluebirds” project of the Cowichan Valley Naturalists’ Society.


“These projects have been selected through a competitive technical evaluation process to ensure the best benefit for each conservation dollar,” said Springinotic. “Projects support important species for anglers and hunters as well as benefiting whole ecosystems, species-at-risk and environmental education programs across the province.”

Approved projects are led by provincial government biologists, municipalities, universities, local land trusts, and First Nations.

You can view a complete list of 2019/20 grant recipients and projects below, as well as download region-specific lists.

HCTF 2019-20 Approved Project List — All Regions

HCTF Approved Projects Vancouver Island 2019-20

HCTF Approved Projects Lower Mainland 2019-20

HCTF Approved Projects Thompson Nicola 2019-20

HCTF Approved Projects Kootenay Region 2019-20

HCTF Approved Projects Cariboo Region 2019-20

HCTF Approved Projects Skeena Region 2019-20

HCTF Approved Projects Omineca Peace Region 2019-20

HCTF Approved Projects Okanagan Region 2019-20


You can also view the approximate locations of projects on our approved project map.

For more information, contact:

Shannon West, Manager, Program Development, HCTF



Quick Facts:

  • The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) began as an initiative of BC anglers, hunters, trappers and guide outfitters.
  • Since 1981, HCTF has provided over $180 million in grants for more than 2600 conservation projects across BC.

Click on any of the photos below to open a larger version.

0-476 Got Bats? B.C. Community Outreach, Conservation and Citizen Science Project, setting up bat box

0-476 Got Bats? B.C. Community Outreach, Conservation and Citizen Science Project, Townsend’s bat

1-538 Bring Back the Bluebirds: Georgia Depression Western Bluebird Reintroduction Project

1-538 Bring Back the Bluebirds: Georgia Depression Western Bluebird Reintroduction Project

0-406 White Sturgeon Questionnaire/Recreational Fishery Monitoring

7-436 Enhancing caribou survival within the Klinse-Za/Scott herds, Caribou in the maternal pen

7-473 Wolf predation risk to moose in north-central BC , Collared cow moose and calf

7-473 Wolf predation risk to moose in north-central BC, Hat lake wolves