Fri, 16 Feb 2018

Webinar for Invasive Mussels Program

Interesting in applying for one of our new Invasive Mussels Lake Monitoring grants? Mark your calendars for next Wednesday, February 21st from 12 – 1 pm. Martina Beck from the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy will be putting on a webinar to answer your questions about the new Invasive Mussel Lake Monitoring Field Protocol and Christina Waddle from our office will be on hand to answer questions about the new granting program. You can register for the Invasive Mussel Lake Monitoring Webinar on the ISCBC website here.

Wed, 7 Feb 2018

NEW Invasive Mussels Lake Monitoring Grants

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation has created a new granting program to fund invasive mussel monitoring in British Columbia’s lakes and rivers.

Zebra (Dreissena polymorpha) and quagga (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) mussels are two freshwater invasive species that are not currently found in BC, but pose significant environmental and economic risks if introduced. You can read more about the potential impacts of these invasive species here.

This new program will provide grants to organizations for sampling BC lakes and rivers to test for the presence of zebra and quagga mussels.

Application information is available here.

This program is made possible by a $450,000 contribution from BC’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (ENV).

Tue, 30 Jan 2018

New Conservation Grant Specialist

Last week, we welcomed Courtney Sieben to the HCTF team as our new Conservation Grant Specialist. Courtney recently moved to Victoria from Calgary, where she worked as an Environmental Analyst on oil and gas infrastructure projects. Courtney has a BSc with a biological sciences major/mathematical sciences minor from the University of Alberta and an MSc in Sustainable Energy Development (SEDV) from the University of Calgary. As Conservation Grant Specialist, Courtney will be facilitating HCTF’s application and review process. She has inherited this role from long-time HCTF staff member Jane Algard, whose involvement with the Foundation stretches back to 1983. Courtney will be working with Jane until the end of this month when she begins her well-deserved retirement. On behalf of the Board and staff at HCTF, a big welcome to Courtney, and a huge thank you to Jane for her many contributions to HCTF over the past four decades.

Mon, 29 Jan 2018

HCTF Welcomes Al Gorley and Greg Anderson to the BOD

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) would like to congratulate Al Gorley and Greg Anderson on their election to the HCTF Board of Directors. Both Greg and Al have extensive experience in the BC natural resources sector, with experience in all regions of BC.

Al Gorley is a Professional Forester and President of Triangle Resources Incorporated. Prior to becoming a consultant, Al held a number of positions with the BC Forest Service, including District Manager at Houston, Regional Manager at Prince George, and Assistant Deputy Minister. He was also the Vice President and Chief Operation Officer of Forest Renewal BC. Al served on the Association of BC Forest Professionals Council for four years, including a term as President in 1992. He is the past president of the McGregor Model Forest Association and has played an active role in both the Canadian and International Model Forest Network. Al has been a member of the province’s Environmental Appeal Board and Forest Appeals Commission since 2004. In 2016, Al authored a report commissioned by the BC government making recommendations to restore moose populations in BC.

Greg Anderson recently retired as Executive Director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC. This was Greg’s second retirement: in 2011, he retired following a lengthy career with the BC Public Service. Highlights include serving as the Province’s first Ecosystem Restoration Manager; Greg was nominated for the British Columbia Forests Excellence Award in Forest Management in both 2009 and 2010 for his leadership in this role. Greg also initiated and led BC’s first “Rocky Mountain Trench Ecosystem Restoration” program from 1996 -2006. He was a founding member and inaugural Chair of the British Columbia Prescribed Fire Council. Greg is currently Chair of the Columbia Basin Trust’s Environmental Advisory Committee and a technical advisor for their Basin Ecosystems Program Strategic Plan. He also sits on the Columbia Headwaters Community Forest’s Board of Directors and is a Scientific Advisor and project reviewer for the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund. Greg is also serving a second term as a Councillor for the District of Invermere and is a former School Board Trustee for Rocky Mountain School District #6.

Both Al and Greg’s terms on the HCTF Board will commence in April 2018.

Thu, 18 Jan 2018

Public Help Needed to Monitor Spread of Deadly Bat Disease

BC bats may be threatened by disease, and researchers are asking for the public’s help in monitoring for the disease. White Nose Syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease responsible for the death of millions of bats in eastern North America, has moved to the west coast. Confirmed in Washington State in both 2016 and 2017, the presence of the fungus is very worrisome for the health of bat populations in British Columbia, with near 100% mortality for some species of bats exposed to the fungus. Although devastating for bats, WNS does not affect humans.

The BC Community Bat Program in collaboration with the BC Government is requesting the public’s help in monitoring the spread of this disease. “We knew this deadly fungus was moving westward across North America,” says Mandy Kellner, Coordinator of the BC Community Bat Program, “but we thought we had many years to prepare.” Instead, the disease has suddenly appeared in the west, spurring BC researchers into action. Because so little is known about where BC bats hibernate, researchers want to hear from anyone who sees a bat flying during winter, which can be an early sign of the disease. Another sign of the presence of WNS is the appearance of dead bats as they succumb to the effects of WNS.

“We are encouraging the public to report dead bats or any sightings of winter bat activity to the Community Bat Program’s toll-free phone number, website, or email. Bat carcasses will be submitted for testing for White Nose Syndrome and would provide the earliest indication of the presence of the disease in BC,” says Kellner. Reports of winter bat activity will help focus research, monitoring and protection efforts.

If you find a dead bat, please report it to the Community Bat Program (1-855-922-2287 ext 24 or as soon as possible. Never touch a dead bat with your bare hands. Please note that if you or your pet has been in direct contact with the bat, you will need further information regarding the risk of rabies to you and your pet.

Currently, there are no treatments for White Nose Syndrome. However, mitigating other threats to bat populations and preserving and restoring bat habitat may provide bat populations with the resilience to rebound.

Funded by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, the Province of BC, and the Habitat Stewardship Program, the BC Community Bat Program works with the government and others on public outreach activities, public reports of roosting bats in buildings, and our citizen-science bat monitoring program.

To contact Mandy Kellner, Provincial Coordinator the BC Community Bat Program:


Call 250-837-1376 or 1-855-922-2287 ext. 24

For more information, visit

Wed, 17 Jan 2018

Expanded HCTF and FESBC Partnership


Last September, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) announced that the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) had committed up to $1 million for wildlife conservation projects using HCTF’s grant application process. Following this announcement, HCTF received a record number of wildlife funding applications, requesting double the amount that has historically been available.

We are therefore thrilled to announce that FESBC has decided to double their investment for 2018-19 and commit up to $2 million dollars to wildlife conservation projects that meet both agencies’ wildlife enhancement objectives.

Applications submitted in November 2017 are currently being reviewed by HCTF technical committees to identify those that are technically sound, address important wildlife conservation issues, and have a high likelihood of success. A list of projects meeting these criteria will be provided to FESBC, who will then identify the projects they wish to invest in. Grants will be administered by HCTF, who will notify successful applicants by March of 2018.

“FESBC has chosen to invest through HCTF because of the rigorous way in which the organization evaluates funding proposals,” said Steve Kozuki, Executive Director of FESBC. “HCTF is unrivalled in their use of science to make decisions about which projects will have the greatest conservation impact and the highest likelihood of success. FESBC is delighted to collaborate with HCTF for the benefit of wildlife and people who rely on wildlife.”

“Both HCTF and FESBC have mandates to improve wildlife habitat in the province,” said Brian Springinotic, HCTF CEO. “In a time that wildlife habitat and populations are under increasing pressures, this partnership extends the reach of both organizations and reduces the administrative burden on dozens of project proponents. We are continuously working to improve and streamline our application and reporting processes for the benefit of our grantees and partners wishing to invest in conservation in BC.”

For more information, please contact Shannon West at or call 250 940 9789.

About FESBC:
About HCTF

Projects co-funded by HCTF and FESBC are described on the 2017-18 approved project list.