Start Planning for PCAF
PCAF 978 Cassin's Vireo by Jannaca Chick
This Cassin's Vireo was banded by volunteers as part of PCAF project 978, Bird Migration and Community Education Project. Thanks to Jannaca Chick for the photo.
It’s time to start planning your PCAF application! HCTF’s Public Conservation Assistance Fund provides small grants to individuals and organizations for conservation projects helping BC’s fish and wildlife. Projects can include activities such as wetland restoration, invasive species removal, reptile monitoring, bird banding, and bat box construction – there are all sorts of possibilities, so long as the project provides clear conservation benefits for BC fish and wildlife and has a strong volunteer component. Application instructions and forms are available here.
Applications must be submitted to HCTF by 4:30PM on May 16, 2018.
Questions? Contact Courtney Sieben by emailing email@example.com or by calling 250 940 9781
Reminder: Grant Reports Due April 15th
The HCTF reporting deadline is fast approaching! For information about reporting on your HCTF grant, as well as reporting templates, visit our Enhancement Project Management & Reporting page. Questions? Please contact Katelynn Schriner at Katelynn.Schriner@hctf.ca or by calling 250.940.9784.
2018-19 Preliminary List of Approved Projects
A preliminary list of approved 2018-19 Enhancement & Restoration projects is now available. This list includes projects funded by HCTF’s North Island Conservation Fund and co-funded by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC.
Download the 2018-19 Preliminary Approved Projects List
Projects included on this preliminary list have been approved in principle but may have reduced budgets or funding conditions. Over the next few weeks, all applicants will receive official notification emails including HCTF Board and technical committee comments. For approved projects, these emails will include the grant amount and funding conditions (if applicable).
Proponents of approved projects will receive a Conditional Grant Agreement by mail. Please be aware that until both you and HCTF have reviewed, accepted and signed the Conditional Grant Agreement, there is no confirmation of funding and no legal commitment in place.
Congratulations to all successful proponents! To those applicants who were not funded this time, thank you for your interest. The next opportunity to apply for an HCTF Enhancement and Restoration grant will be fall of 2018.
Update: the 2018-19 Approved Project List is now available here.
Whirling Disease Update
Whirling disease sampling
Last April, HCTF, FFSBC and the Province of British Columbia provided funding to hire a coordinator to lead the province’s efforts in preventing Whirling Disease from entering BC. Stephanie Whyte and her team sampled over 880 fish in the Columbia Basin for the presence of Myxobolus cerebralis, the parasite that causes whirling disease. The fish were sampled at six different sites:
- Elk River
- Premier Lake
- Lower St Mary River
- Koocanusa tributaries
- Kootenay River (near Creston)
- Columbia River (near Castlegar and Trail)
The team used sampling methods similar to those used in Alberta and by Parks Canada to create continuity in methodology in Western Canada. Because whirling disease is a reportable disease in Canada, Canada Food Inspection Agency collaborated with the Province of BC on a sampling methodology and to identifying priority sample sites in the Columbia Basin. The samples were sent to a FFSBC or a CFIA lab to test for the presence of Myxobolus cerebralis using PCR. All results came back negative for the presence of Myxobolus cerebralis.
In addition to testing for whirling disease, the team has developed effective decontamination procedures to help prevent the spread of the disease by human activity. They also created an Early Detection Rapid Response Plan (EDRR) to provide detailed direction on the decisions and actions required if whirling disease is detected in BC. This document is based on similar plans created for invasives such as Zebra and Quagga Mussels.
For 2018, the team have put together a plan that will continue to focus on areas of high human activity in and around the Columbia Basin.
Report Suspected Cases of Whirling Disease
While there are still no documented cases of Whirling disease in British Columbia, it has been confirmed in several locations in Alberta near the BC border. Fish infected with whirling disease may exhibit a “whirling” swimming behavior as the parasite attacks cartilage and impairs the nervous system. Fish may also show signs of physical malformations including head and tail deformities and darkened coloration near the tail area. If you see fish seeing any of these symptoms, please contact Front Counter BC Toll free: 1-877-855-3222; email: FrontCounterBC@gov.bc.ca
New Guidelines for Habitat Acquisition Grants
Lot 48, Columbia Lake. Photo by Steve Short, supplied courtesy of NCC.
For over 30 years, HCTF has invested funds into acquiring valuable habitat in BC. To date, we’ve contributed over $20 million dollars towards the purchase of almost 140 conservation properties, helping to secure and manage approximately 23,000 hectares of valuable habitat. This year, we have developed new proposal guidelines and proponents can now request funding for land management costs with their application. For full details, visit our Habitat Acquisition Grants webpage. Please note this year’s application deadline is March 29th, 2018.
Job Opening – Finance Officer
We are looking for a Finance Officer to join our team. For details, visit our Careers webpage.