Fri, 13 Oct 2017

Help Bats for Halloween

As Halloween approaches, images of scary, blood-sucking bats become common place. This is the perfect time of year to join with the BC Community Bat Program to counter these bat myths and do something to help bats.

“The conservation of bats in BC has always been important, since over half the species in this province are considered at risk” says Mandy Kellner, Coordinator for the BC Community Bat Program. “However, with the discovery of White-nose Syndrome in Washington State, bat conservation is more important than ever.”

White-nose Syndrome (WNS) is a disease caused by an introduced fungus, first detected in North America in a cave in New York in 2006. Since it was discovered, it has spread to 31 states and 5 provinces in North America, decimating bat populations along the way. “Luckily, WNS is not yet in BC” continues Kellner, “But we are preparing for its arrival by raising awareness about bats, working with landowners who have bats in buildings, enhancing bat habitat, and monitoring populations.”

Community Bat projects across the province are hosting talks and events in association with Bat Week (October 24 – 31) to provide information and guidance on ways to help bats. Monitoring for WNS will continue this winter, with the Community Bat Program requesting reports of dead bats or sightings of winter bat activity. You can report sightings at or call 1-855-922-2287.

Options for encouraging healthy bat populations include preserving wildlife trees and wetlands, reducing pesticide use, or building and installing a bat house. With the decline of natural roost sites, some bat species have adapted to using human-made structures, such as bat-houses. These small boxes have several crevices inside that provide a safe, dry habitat where bats can roost during summer months. “Bat-houses are particularly important for maternity colonies where groups of female bats roost together to have their pup during the summer” states Kellner. “A well-designed bat-house installed in a good location can provide a home for hundreds of bats.”

In partnership with the BC Ministry of Environment, and funded by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and Habitat Stewardship Program, the BC Community Bat Program provides information about bats in buildings, conducts site visits to advise landowners on managing bats in buildings, coordinates the Annual Bat Count, and offers educational programs on bats. To find out more about the BC Community Bat Program, or download bat-house plans, visit or call or 1-855-922-2287.

Sat, 30 Sep 2017

HCTF Board Member Receives Aldo Leopold Memorial Award

We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Winifred Kessler was named the recipient of the prestigious Aldo Leopold Memorial Award at The Willdife Society’s Annual Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The award is the Society’s highest honour, and Wini is the second woman to receive it in its 67 year history. The award recognizes Wini’s tremendous contribution to conservation, including more than 15 years of service on HCTF’s Board of Directors. Congratulations Wini on this well-deserved award!

Fri, 29 Sep 2017

HCTF Photo Contest Ends Tomorrow

HCTF’s photo contest ends September 30th, 2017 at 4:30pm PST, meaning you only have one more day to enter your photos of BC wildlife, freshwater fish, natural landscapes, and people engaged in activities that connect them to nature. First prize is a $500 VISA gift card and two runner-up prizes of a $250 VISA gift card. For full contest details and official contest rules, click here.

Tue, 19 Sep 2017

HCTF Online Application Portal Now Open

HCTF is now accepting applications for 2018-19 Enhancement & Restoration grants. Applications must be submitted through HCTF Online by 4:30pm on November 2nd, 2017. Before beginning your application, please review the information on the Enhancement and Restoration Grant Overview webpage, as some of it is new for this cycle. When you’re ready to begin your application, go to our HCTF Online webpage for additional information on using the online system, including instructions for requesting a User ID.

Fri, 15 Sep 2017

Increased Funding Available Through Renewed Partnership with FESBC


The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation is pleased to announce that we have renewed and expanded our agreement with the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia (FESBC). In 2018, FESBC will be contributing up to one million dollars in funding for projects that meet both HCTF and FESBC wildlife habitat enhancement goals and forest stewardship objectives. This will be in addition to the two to three million dollars that HCTF grants to wildlife projects annually.


FESBC is a Crown Agency originally established as a Society in February 2016. Currently the Society has received $235 million in funding from the Provincial Government to deliver the purposes identified in its Constitution as follows:

  • To advance environmental and resource stewardship in B.C.’s forests by:

i) preventing and mitigating the impact of wildfires

ii) improving damaged or low value forest

iii) improving habitat for wildlife

iv) supporting the use of fiber from damaged and low value forests

v) treating forests to improve the management of greenhouse gases

  • To advocate for the environmental and resource stewardship of B.C.’s forests; and
  • To do all such other things as are incidental and ancillary to the attainment of the foregoing purposes and the exercise of the powers of the Society

You can find out more about FESBC by visiting their website at

HCTF and FESBC: Natural Partners

Both HCTF and FESBC have a mandate to improve habitat for wildlife. HCTF has over 35 years of experience in administering grants for projects that enhance wildlife habitat in BC. By partnering with HCTF, FESBC is able to efficiently invest in high-quality projects that fulfill their mandate and make a meaningful contribution to conservation in BC. The partnership between HCTF and FESBC also has the benefit of reducing the administrative burden on project proponents by consolidating grant application and reporting processes.

Investment of FESBC Funds

FESBC will continue to use the HCTF application and technical review process to help select the wildlife habitat projects they wish to fund. To apply for FESBC funding, you will need to complete an HCTF Enhancement & Restoration Grant application using HCTF’s online application system. You do not need to specify that you wish to be considered for FESBC funding in your proposal. All proposed projects must meet HCTF’s criteria and priorities. Applications received by HCTF during the fall intake will be reviewed by committees of scientific experts 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 jointly fund with HCTF. Grants for jointly-funded projects will be administered by HCTF, with recipients notified by March 2018.

You can read descriptions of the projects that were selected for co-funding this spring by downloading our 2017-18 approved project list. If you have any questions about HCTF grant intake process, please contact Kathryn Martell at or call 250-940-9785. If you have questions about applying for FESBC funding for a project that is not primarily focussed on improving habitat for wildlife, please contact the FESBC office at or 1-877-225-2010.

Fri, 1 Sep 2017

Teachers – Apply for Funding to Take Your Students Outdoors

Teachers: start off the school year on a green note by applying for an HCTF GO Grant. GO Grants provide BC schools and classrooms with up to $600/class or $3500/school to pay for bus transportation, project materials, and leader/program fees for outdoor environmental learning experiences. Since 2012, GO Grants have helped over 35,000 BC students get outdoors to learn about their local environment. Full grant criteria and links to application forms are available here. The application deadline for the fall intake is September 15, 2017. For more information, contact HCTF Education at 250-940-9786 or email