HCTF in the News Kootenay group seeks help to monitor bat disease February 10, 2019 Trail Times The Kootenay Community Bat Project (KCBP) in collaboration with the BC Government are in need of your help. Bats in British Columbia are currently threatened by a fungal disease known as the White Nose Syndrome (WNS). With a near one hundred percent morality rate in some species, this disease is responsible for the death of millions of these mammals in eastern North America. “We believe that our bats hibernate in relatively small groups across the province. Detecting WNS in our province will require many eyes on the ground”, says Leigh Anne Isaac, KCBP Coordinating Biologist. If you see a deceased bat, report it to KCBP as soon as possible. See Also: KCBP urges public to report dead bats, bats flying during winter – The Nelson Daily Government seeks help to monitor for bat disease in Okanagan – Salmon Arm Observer Public help needed to monitor for bat disease – Creston Valley Advance Kootenay Community Bat Project needs your help – Kimberly Bulletin In This Nature Preserve, a Human Social Crisis Has Sprouted February 5, 2019 The Tyee Somenos Marsh is a newly designated, 155-hectare provincial wildlife management area featuring critical habitat for fish, including wild salmon, and home to endangered Garry oak ecosystems and more than 200 species of birds. Of late, the marsh is also home to people who are homeless and use drugs. That’s putting the ecosystem at risk while diverting up to $30,000 per year in conservation dollars to clean up hazardous waste and other garbage. “It’s a real challenge for us,” confirms Tom Reid, who manages the marsh on behalf of a coalition of partners — the B.C. and federal governments, the Nature Trust of B.C., Ducks Unlimited Canada and Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. Resident angered over B.C. government trapping deer for research February 1, 2019 The Abbotsford News Andrew Walker, a wildlife biologist with the ministry, said the trapping is part of an ongoing project to study mule deer populations. The Southern Interior Mule Deer Project is the largest collaborative study in mule deer in the province’s history. It was started in 2018.Members of the Okanagan Nation Alliance, B.C. Wildlife Federation members and clubs, the University of British Columbia Okanagan and the University of Idaho are among those involved in the study. He said traps are set up around the area and are checked once or more each day. Adam Ford, a faculty member at UBC Okanagan, said people who encounter the traps should leave them alone, especially if there is an animal trapped inside.“We have strict protocols to deal with how to get these animals out safely,” he said. Funding for the program was provided by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. Surrey hunter fined $10,000 after shooting a bull moose and leaving it to die January 19, 2019 Surrey Now-Leader A Surrey man has been ordered to pay a $10,000 fine after illegally shooting a bull moose. A judge ruled that $8,500 of the $10,000 fine will be directed to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. The man is also subject to a three year hunting prohibition, and forfeiture of firearms. See also: BC man who left moose to suffer before death is convicted, fined in court – Vancouver Courier BC Hunter fined $10K for shooting moose out of season – CBC BC Province’s caribou herds under threat Jan 9, 2019 Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal To better protect environmentally sensitive habitats and species at risk, the Province of British Columbia has increased fines for unlawful use of off-road vehicles and snowmobiles. The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) is also working to protect the caribou population in B.C., and has been accepting applications from the public for the Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund. This fund was created through a $2 million grant from the Province of British Columbia to the HCTF to aid in caribou habitat restoration. Critical Habitat Protected January 3, 2019 Castanet The Southern Interior Land Trust has announced it has purchased 12 acres of land along Keremeos Creek near Olalla, between Penticton and Keremeos.The seasonally-flooded property is home of one of very few remaining mature water birch forests in the Okanagan-Similkameen and provides habitat for at least five federally-listed species at risk, including the yellow-breasted chat, western screech owl and Lewis’s woodpecker. The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation — which benefits from hunter, trapper and angler fees — made a contribution to SILT for the purchase. See also: Conservation Group Acquires Property on Keremeos Creek – Kelowna Capital News, Keremeos Review Newly Acquired Wildlife Habitat Near Olalla Named After Winfield Man – The Daily Courier Invasive Mussels Being Held at Bay in the Shuswap December 21, 2018 Salmon Arm Observer The society has been completing early detection lake sampling in the Columbia Shuswap region for microscopic larvae of the invasive zebra and quagga mussels for the past four years. Throughout the 2018 season, CSISS staff collected 118 samples from 22 waterbodies in the Columbia Shuswap Region. Similar programs are taking place across the province, and as with previous years, there was no detection of zebra or quagga mussels were found in any sampled waterbodies in British Columbia. CSISS collaborated with many partners and stakeholders throughout the region to provide extended outreach and monitoring efforts in 2018. The Habitat Conservation Trust Fund funded CSISS to monitor waterbodies in the Columbia Shuswap region, and the Shuswap Watershed Council and Columbia Basin Trust funded aquatic outreach activities, along with extra monitoring. Trust Protects 80 Acres December 13, 2018 Castanet The Nature Trust of British Columbia’s land holdings in the South Okanagan have grown. The organization announced Wednesday it has completed the purchase of an 80-acre area in the White Lake Basin that’s home to several endangered species. Funding for the purchase was provided by several nonprofits, businesses and private donors, including the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, South Okanagan Conservation Fund which is overseen by the Regional District of the Okanagan-Similkameen, Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, the South Okanagan Naturalists’ Club and more. See also: Nature Trust of B.C. purchases property in South Okanagan – Keremeos Review, Similkameen Spotlight Nature Trust adds to White Lake Basin Biodiversity Complex – Osoyoos Today Applications open for Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund December 5, 2018 Penticton Western News, Keremeos Review The public is now invited to apply for the Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund, a $2 million grant from the province to the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund (HCTF) to aid in caribou habitat restoration. Partnership means important research for mule deer December 3, 2018 Penticton Western News, Summerland Review Thanks to the renewal of the partnership between HCTF and FESBC, local researchers are able to continue their work studying mule deer populations in the Okanagan. Hunters fined $14,000 for illegal harvesting November 25, 2018 Castlegar News, BC Local News Two hunters have been ordered to pay more than $14,000 in fines over the harvesting of two bighorn sheep on mining property in the Elk Valley, $13,800 of which will go to HCTF. Study aims to shed light on elusive wolverine in B.C.’s South Coast The Canadian Press November 19, 2018 As published in The Daily Courier, CBC, The Province, Topix, Prince George Citizen, and the Globe and Mail A new project aims to find out more about the life and lifestyle of the ghost of the deep forests of British Columbia, the wolverine. Sea to Sky wolverine project aims to find out more about shy creature Squamish Chief, November 17, 2018 Most Squamish residents have likely never encountered the shy wolverine, but they are at home in our higher elevations and dense forests. A new project is examining home ranges, seasonal movements, and habitat of wolverines on the south coast. HCTF & FESBC Strengthen Conservation Partnership with $3 Million Commitment Nelson Daily November 9, 2018 The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) and the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) announced the renewal of their partnership to support wildlife habitat projects in BC. One of the projects included is being conducted in the East Kootenay, the Bull River Project. Funding for wildlife habitat Castanet, November 6, 2018 The Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. has announced it is renewing its partnership with the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, funding more projects to support wildlife habitat. HCTF & FESBC Strengthen Partnership Tree Frog Creative, November 6, 2018 The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) and the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) are pleased to announce the renewal of their partnership. Cariboo lakes confirmed clear of invasive mussels after testing Williams Lake Tribune, Quesnel Cariboo Observer, November 4, 2018 The Invasive Species Council of BC completed its initial year of invasive mussel sampling in seven Cariboo Lakes. There were no detections of invasive mussels in the Cariboo; BC remains provincially mussel-free. Okanagan winery to restore wetlands October 5, 2018 Summerland Review The Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship Society (OSSS) is partnering with the Okanagan Crush Pad Winery to restore seven acres of creekside forest and floodplain habitat along Eneas creek. Sayward man guiding without a license ordered to pay $10,000 to conservation fund; $100 in fine October 3, 2018 Campbell River Mirror On Oct. 1, a Sayward man entered a guilty plea for one count of guiding for game without a licence, contrary to the BC Wildlife Act. He received a $100 fine and was also ordered to pay $10,000 to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF). See also Sayward Resident Faces Financial Penalties for Offering Illegal Hunting Guide Services – My Campbell River Now The Caribou Guardians September 13, 2018 The Narwhal In a quiet pen in B.C.’s northeast corner, pregnant caribou cows and their calves are fed hand-picked old growth lichen, provided 24-hour armed security and are the subject of one of Canada’s boldest and most experimental efforts to save a species from extinction. Radium Resort enters guilty pleas to toxic fire charges September 5, 2018 Columbia Valley Pioneer On Monday, August 13th, Radium Resort pled guilty to two charges related to a toxic fire on their property in February 2016. The fire started with permission from the BC Wildfire Service as a controlled burn of two wood piles. But when Radium Resort left the fire unattended, it spread to a contentious pile of construction waste. Resort Fined $200K for Fires August 30, 2018 Castanet A resort in Radium B.C. has pleaded guilty to environmental violations and has been fined $200,000 for the toxic burning of demolition waste. The majority of the $200,000 penalty — $190,000 — will go to the Habitat Conservation Trust Initiative. Learning about conservation in the Kootenays August 14, 2018 East Kootenay Online Weekly Throughout the summer young people are working hard to care for conservation lands as part of The Nature Trust of BC Conservation Youth Crews. Got Bats in Your Belfry? August 13, 2018 Delta Optimist Mid-summer is the time when landowners typically notice more bat activity, may have bats flying into their house, and occasionally find a bat on the ground or roosting in unusual locations. LWQS now testing Osoyoos Lake for invasive mussels August 7, 2018 Osoyoos Times The Osoyoos Lake Water Quality Society (OLWQS) has started testing the lake for the larvae of invasive zebra and quagga mussels. Partnership helps protect baby toads from being trampled near Ucluelet August 7, 2018 Tofino- Ucluelet Westerly News The Toquaht First Nation has partnered with the Wetland Stewards for Clayoquot and Barkley Sound to protect baby toads from being trampled at an abandoned mine site that’s become a popular recreation destination. Armed with funding from B.C.’s Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, the partners have installed barriers and educational signage around Cadillac Lake, where tiny western toadlets, roughly the size of a fingernail, are emerging and making their way to the forest. Learn to Fish introductions being offered in Cariboo August 2, 2018 Williams Lake Tribune The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC is inviting families to expand their outdoor adventure horizons with free family fishing activities throughout the Cariboo. See also: Bring the family to learn to fish – Times Colonist Learn to fish at Martha Creek tomorrow with the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC – Revelstoke Review Free Family fishing activities throughout Thompson Okanagan – Salmon Arm Observer Grant boosts battle to keep invasive mussels out of Okanagan lakes July 25, 2018 Kelowna Capital News, Summerland Review The battle to keep invasive mussels from getting into Okanagan lakes is getting an injection of support. The Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society received a grant from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation for $17,500 to support the monitoring of five Okanagan lakes for zebra and quagga mussels. Penticton Creek : One Section at a Time July 24, 2018 Penticton Western News Work is scheduled to resume on the restoration of Penticton Creek later this week. Work will take place during the fisheries window, starting July 28 and continuing from where work on the 2015 showcase project left off. This section of the project, covering about 80 metres, will complete the restoration between Ellis Street bridge and the Nanaimo Avenue bridge. Conservationists struggle to save western toadlets making perilous migration in Chilliwack July 11, 2018 Vancouver Sun It is one of the greatest, if tiniest, terrestrial migrations in North America, an estimated 100,000 western toadlets making their annual, overland trek from the pond of their birth in Chilliwack, across a farm pasture, and into a bordering forest. Have you Seen Barn Swallows Nesting? July 5, 2018 Coast Reporter The Sunshine Coast Wildlife Project (SCWP) is asking for the community’s help in documenting barn swallow nest sites. Specialty BC Parks licence plates have sold much faster than anticipated June 26, 2018 The Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal Drivers around the province cannot fail to have noticed many vehicles sporting the BC Parks licence plates that were introduced in January 2017, with all net profits from the sale and renewal fees ($50 and $40 respectively) reinvested in B.C.’s provincial parks through the Parks Enhancement Fund. BC Parks is also contributing $30,000 from sales of the specialty plates to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation’s (HCTF) GO Grants Program. See also BC Parks reaches milestone for specialty licence plate sales – Voice Online BC Parks Plates Net $2.3M – Castanet Carihi students given a hands-on learning opportunity at Vargas Island June 22, 2018 Campbell River Mirror Nine Grade 12 students from Carihi secondary school were recently given an experiential educational opportunity: a trip to the Cedar Coast Field Station on Vargas Island, B.C. Grants from the Pacific Salmon Foundation and Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation made this trip possible. Plan to safeguard Kitimat River trout proposed May 31, 2018 Terrace Standard Provincial fisheries officials are contemplating both fishing and bait ban extensions on the Kitimat River at certain times of the year to safeguard its coastal cutthroat population. Quesnel Lake fish study gets green light to continue critical work May 29, 2018 Williams Lake Tribune Biologists examining the effects of angling pressures on resident rainbow, bull and lake trout in Quesnel Lake have been given the green light to carry on their critical work. Lee Williston, study leader and senior fisheries biologist with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, said he is very pleased the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation has approved funding for the continuation of the Quesnel Lake tag-telemetry study. Seeking volunteers and roosts for BC Bat Counts May 22 2018 East Kootenay News Online Weekly The Kootenay Community Bat Program (KCBP) is seeking volunteers and bat colonies for the Annual Bat Count. See also: KCBP seeking volunteers and roosts for annual BC Bat Counts – Kimberley Bulletin Kootenay Community Bat Program seeks volunteers for count – The Nelson Daily Kootenay Community Bat Program seeking volunteers – Revelstoke Review Bat-count volunteers sought for White Rock area – North Delta Reporter Seeking Volunteers and Roosts for BC Bat Counts – The Interior News Citizen science project encourages kids to learn more about pollinators May 9, 2018 Richmond News NatureKids BC has launched a citizen science project encouraging schools, families and nature clubs across the province to collect data on local pollinators. Big Lake elementary goes ‘wild’ May 8, 2018 The Williams Lake Tribune The elementary school has just had their application to be a “Wild School” for the 2018-2019 school year approved by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. Premier announces purchase, dedication of Cowichan’s Eagle Heights as park May 3, 2018 Cowichan Valley Citizen Premier John Horgan, Environment Minister George Heyman, and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau shared the announcement Thursday, May 3 that 144 hectares of land called Eagle Heights near the Koksilah River will be protected. The province purchased the land for $7.15 million, supported by a $400,000 contribution from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, via the CVRD, and a $225,000 contribution from the Cowichan Community Land Trust. See also: B.C. acquires 144 hectares of protected park land near Shawnigan Lake – CTV News Vancouver Island B.C. buys ecologically sensitive plot in Cowichan Valley – Times Colonist B.C. government buys six new parks for $10 million, largest on Vancouver Island -CHEK News Province Protects 190 Hectares of Land in Six New Parks – Juice FM Province Buys 17 ha for Kikomun Creek – E-Know VIDEO: Grassland, old-growth Douglas fir forest, limestone karst features all protected at Eagle Heights – Cowichan Valley Citizen Adding to the Outdoor Inventory – The Nelson Daily Turtles are hatching April 26, 2018 Coast Reporter Residents living in Pender Harbour and visitors to the region’s many lakes are asked to keep their eyes open for one of the most wonderful signs of spring: tiny baby turtles emerging from their underground nests. Where Are The Deer Going? April 20, 2018 Castanet A new study into declining mule deer populations has had a successful start so far, collaring over 50 deer for tracking and monitoring. Friends of Churn Creek invite new members, those interested to AGM April 19, 2018 The Williams Lake Tribune After a year of disruption, the Friends of Churn Creek are preparing for a new season. The group, thanks to partnerships with B.C. Parks, the Cariboo Chilcotin Restoration Committee, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and volunteers, has been working for several years to reduce encroaching trees, trees that normally and somewhat ironically, would be cleared by wildfires to protect the grasslands. White-nose syndrome creeps closer to B.C. April 18, 2018 Bridge River Lillooet News Reporting dead bats may help save the lives of our B.C. bats. The B.C. Community Bat Program, in collaboration with the Province of B.C., is asking the public to report any dead bats in an effort to determine the distribution of White-Nose Syndrome (WNS). Province dedicates $2M to help restore caribou habitat April 13, 2018 Richmond News The province has granted $2 million to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation to create a Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund. See also: BC government provides $2 million in funding to rehabilitate province’s caribou population – Daily Hive BC pledges $2 million to create Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund – Dawson Creek Mirror Province grants $2 million to create Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund – BC Gov News Caribou Habitat Restoration Receives Shot In The Arm From Bc Government – My PG Now Caribou on the Brink: B.C. Herd Reduced to Three Females Points to Failure to Protect Endangered Species – DeSmog Canada Forests minister announces $2 million for Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund – CFJC Today Province spending $2 million to create Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund – Energetic City Aid for caribou habitats – Ashcroft Cache Creek Journal Blueberry pollinator pays $40,000 for killing bears attracted to Pitt Meadows bee hives April 13, 2018 Vancouver Sun Other enforcement actions listed in the Ministry’s latest quarterly report include Teck Coal and Maxam, an explosives company, were each found guilty of introducing business waste into the environment. Teck pays $200,000, $195,000 of that to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, while Maxam pays $150,000, with $145,000 to the foundation. In July 2014, five bighorn sheep were found dead at Teck’s Greenhills coal facility near Elkford. The sheep had ingested blasting materials. Tie Lake man fined for killing wildlife April 12, 2018 Columbia Valley Pioneer A Tie Lake man has been fined $14,000 and sentenced to hunting and firearms bans for five years after illegally shooting a deer and a black bear in his yard in separate incidents a few years ago. A percentage of Velba’s fines will be directed to the Habitat Conservation Fund. See also Tie Lake man paying for Wildlife Act offences – East Kootenay News Online Weekly White Nose Syndrome monitoring being done in the area April 12, 2018 Chemainus Valley Courier The Thetis Island Nature Conservancy is asking for the public’s help with monitoring for White Nose Syndrome in the Chemainus area, and on Thetis and Penelakut Islands. Reporting dead bats could save the species March 27, 2018 The Free Press The BC Community Bat Program, in collaboration with the Province of B.C., is asking the public to report any dead bats in an effort to save the species. Keep an ear out for rare screech owl March 22, 2018 Coast Reporter The Sunshine Coast Wildlife Project is asking for the community’s help in searching for a rare and threatened owl. The adorable coastal western screech owl stands just 7 to 10 inches tall and has yellow eyes and small ear tufts. River cleanup sets sights on Gill Road messes March 21, 2018 Chilliwack Progress It’s time to gather your friends and family, work boots and gloves, and get down to the Fraser River. B.C. man must donate $8,000 to conservation fund after killing grizzly bear March 16, 2018 Surrey Leader A B.C. man has been ordered to pay $8,001 in fines after killing a grizzly bear during a closed season near Powell River.The man was ordered to pay a $1 fine in addition to paying $8,000 to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. See also: B.C. hunter ordered to donate $8,000 to wildlife foundation for killing grizzly with bow and arrow – CBC News BC man ordered to pay $8K in penalties after killing a grizzly bear – Kelowna Now Man Ordered To Pay Over $8000 for Killing Grizzly Near Powell River – My Comox Valley Now B.C. bow hunter who mistakenly killed a grizzly ordered to pay $8K fine – Global News Mistaken identity ends grizzly’s life – Powell River Peak B.C. man must donate $8,000 to conservation fund after killing grizzly bear – Columbia Valley Pioneer Fined for killing grizzly – The Canadian Press Bow hunter ordered to pay $8001 for killing grizzly bear near Powell River – CHEK News Researchers watching for spread of white nose syndrome March 12, 2018 Salmon Arm Observer The simple act of reporting a dead bat may help save the lives of other B.C. bats. ‘This is my identity’: hunter apologizes for illegal meat sale Mar 5, 2018 Penticton Western News A prominent Upper Similkameen Indian Band member will have to pay up $2,500 for illegally selling game meat in a case he says has “made me very upset, and I am very remorseful.” In accordance with the creative sentencing principles of the Wildlife Act, $2,000 of the fine will be diverted to the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund. See also: Wildlife trafficking earns BC man minimum $2500 fine – InfoTel News Fined for Selling Game Meat – Castanet Opinion: Wetlands essential for sustainable urban future Feb 5, 2018 Vancouver Sun This past weekend marked World Wetlands Day, an opportunity to recognize one of the most under-appreciated environmental resources in our region — urban wetlands. Why hunters and anglers work to protect our natural capital Feb 4, 2018 The Province Organizations such as the Habitat Trust Conservation Foundation and the Pacific Salmon Foundation have put hundreds of millions of dollars into thousands of conservation projects across the province. 2017 in Review December 27, 2017 Salmon Arm Observer Elementary through high school students braved the inclement weather to make the Salmon Arm foreshore a healthier habitat for animals who call the place home. The Salmon Arm Bay Nature Enhancement Society (SABNES), City of Salmon Arm, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, and School District #83 staff and students were involved in a large project to increase biodiversity on the foreshore. B.C. government to make announcement about grizzly bear trophy hunts December 18, 2017 Vancouver Sun The provincial government is set to make an announcement about grizzly bears in British Columbia on Monday. Local Guides Aren’t Happy with Grizzly Ban December 13, 2017 The Interior News Of the $7 million in hunting license fees the Province collected, just over $2 million went to the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund for conservation projects. License fees also raised $230,000 a year for the Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy which was then allocated to priority grizzly bear research, inventory and monitoring projects. Van Live Year in Review: B.C.’s 30 best animals of 2017 December 13, 2017 Vancouver Sun We mostly cover human beings here at The Vancouver Sun and Province, but once in a great while, another kind of animal makes the news… Cache Creek man fined $18,000 for buying bear parts Nov 20th, 2017 Kamloops This Week A Cache Creek resident caught purchasing bear parts in a sting operation pleaded guilty on Monday and was sentenced to an $18,000 fine. Hong Hui Xie, 48, was sentenced in Kamloops provincial court on six counts of trafficking under the provincial Wildlife Act. Lawyers for the Crown and defence made a joint submission to judge Roy Dickey, asking for an $18,000 fine, $3,000 of which will go to the Habitat Conservation Fund. See also Cache Creek man fined thousands of dollars for buying bear parts InfoTel News Steelhead can now return to spawning grounds Nov 20, 2017 Hope Standard Steelhead trout have had a rough time of it in the Coquihalla River since 2014. That’s when a remnant railway bridge abutment and historic railway bed that made up the popular B.C. Parks trail located in Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park near Hope partially collapsed and slid into the Coquihalla River. Local Volunteers Get the Scoop on Bat Poop Victoria News November 18, 2017 When it comes to research on bats, the scoop is in the poop. Habitat Acquisition Trust volunteers and Bat habitat stewards are collecting bat guano, i.e. bat excrement, from beneath bat roosts for genetic analysis to determine the species of bats living at each roost. Beavers: friend or foe? November 13, 2017 East Kootenay News Online Weekly Beavers are more than Canada’s national symbol and our first national currency trading their pelts. They are also wetland engineers. Just look upstream of the north-Fernie bridge, along the Elk River and you will see an incredible dam built this summer. Although cute industrious critters, are beavers actually friend or foe to Canadians? Bats keep bug populations down during warm months Nov 1, 2017 Quesnel Cariboo Observer With the recent passing of Halloween when images of scary, blood-sucking bats become common place, it is the perfect time to join with the BC Community Bat Program to counter these bat myths and do something to help bats. “The conservation of bats in British Columbia has always been important, since over half the species in this province are considered at risk,” says Mandy Kellner, BC Community Bat Program co-ordinator. See also Halloween great time to join BC community bat program – Williams Lake Tribune Explosives clear the way for salmon at Othello Tunnels October 19, 2017 Hope Standard A group of engineers, consultants and coalition of B.C. organizations have removed the rock that has blocked summer steelhead from swimming upstream to their spawning grounds. Help bats for Hallowe’en October 19, 2017 Castlegar Source As Halloween approaches, images of scary-looking bats become commonplace. Since the goal of the Kootenay Community Bat Project is to promote bat conservation, this is the perfect time of year to counter bat myths and do something to help bats. Such as build bat houses and find good locations for them, to give bats a place to roost. Project Watershed Completes Work at Simms Park October 7, 2017 Comox Valley Record Local residents who use Simms Millennium Park will notice some significant changes since Project Watershed completed salmon habitat improvement work in the park this summer. During the month of August the Project Watershed team completed the construction phase of the project, which has been many years in the planning. The endeavour included the removal of an old culvert connecting the Courtenay River through the park into an inner pond area. This culvert was replaced with a larger fish-friendly culvert installed at a lower elevation so that fish would have more access during a variety of tide cycles. BC Mining Company Fined for Polluting Tulameen River 25 Sept 2017 CBC.ca A B.C. mining company is on the hook for thousands of dollars after discharging waste into a river in the Okanagan-Similkameen region of B.C. A B.C. Conservation Officer Service (BCCOS) investigation uncovered Coalmont Energy Corporation’s discharge of 60,000 litres of mine waste into a watercourse that runs into the Tulameen River. Managers are being fined a total of $20,000 in relation to the charges, $19,800 of which will be be issued to the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund for fish habitat restoration projects in the Okanagan region. See also BC mining company on the hook for polluting river – Insurance Business Canada $20000 in fines for Similkameen coal mine waste spill – Infotel News Fined $10K for Oil Spill – Castanet More than 1,000 fish lifted over Seymour rock slide as project caps off its third year Sep 20, 2017 CBC News More than 1,000 steelhead, coho and pink salmon have received a helping hand, over the last three years, getting over a large blockade in the Seymour River. Managers plead guilty in B.C. coal mine spill Sept 20, 2017 Agassiz Harrison Observer More than four years after the Tulameen River ran black with coal slurry, criminal charges in the spill were settled quietly last Thursday in Princeton court. Province handed out $4 million in environmental fines in 2016 September 15, 2017 Business Vancouver British Columbia handed out more than $4 million in environmental penalties and tickets in 2016. Environment ministry data released today shows officers handed out 2,201 tickets and nearly 300 administrative sanctions and penalties against industry and the public for violations last year. There were another 37 environmental orders issued and another 64 court convictions. Sentenced for possession of 26 trout Sept 12, 2017 North Thompson Star/Journal An angler who was found in possession of 26 rainbow trout last Remembrance Day was recently found guilty and sentenced to multiple Fisheries Act charges. See also Infonews.ca Salmon Arm Observer B.C. men convicted for killing off-season moose North Thompson Star/Journal August 31, 2017 Two Kelowna men were convicted and sentenced this month for the killing of a cow moose out of season. BC Conservation reports that Randy Cecil Watson and Burc Colins were charged under the Wildlife Act after killing a moose near Beaverdell in November 2015. Awesome summer conserving the Kootenays August 28, 2017 E-know.ca Throughout the summer while other young people were relaxing, The Nature Trust of BC Kootenay Conservation Youth Crew was hard at work. The Nature Trust of British Columbia hires young people each summer to tackle a wide variety of conservation activities on properties across the province and learn valuable skills for future employment. Bighorn Sheep Habitat Saved August 24,2017 Castanet The Nature Trust of B.C. has purchased a piece of land near Penticton to protect bighorn sheep. The group announced Thursday they have closed the sale of the 87.5 acre Skaha Lake Eastside property, which they call “critical habitat” for bighorn sheep. “You only have to take one look at a map to understand the risk of this property being developed and its habitat values lost forever,” said Ross Peck, chair of the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. Recently restored sections of Mission Creek damaged by spring flooding August 17, 2017 INFO News The flooding in the Central Okanagan this spring damaged several areas of Mission Creek that were part of a restoration initiative completed last year. Work on the Mission Creek Restoration Initiative began in the fall of 2015, but plans for the changes first surfaced in 2008. With funding from the City of Kelowna, the Government of B.C., the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and the Okanagan Basin Water Board, creekside dikes that contained the waterway were set back and a natural floodplain developed. NDP to enact B.C.-wide ban on grizzly trophy hunt, while allowing hunt for meat August 14, 2017 Vancouver Sun The NDP government made good on a high-profile election promise Monday by announcing a B.C.-wide ban on the trophy hunting of grizzly bears, while allowing hunting to continue for meat.The province receives about $540,000 in grizzly hunting licences and limited-entry hunt applications annually. Of that, $500,000 goes into general revenue, and $40,000 to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. Learn to Fish with the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC Aug 11, 2017 Kimberley Bulletin The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC is a private non-profit organization that works to enhance and conserve BC’s freshwater fisheries for public benefit, by working in partnership with the government, industry and anglers. The free programming is made possible through sponsors including the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Columbia Basin Trust Fund, Rapala, BC Ram Dealers, the Province of British Columbia, BC Parks and Yamaha Motor Canada. Prominent hunter fined $3,000 for illegal elk kill in Kootenays August 9, 2017 Vernon Morning Star A decision to illegally shoot a five-point elk has been a “black eye” on a formerly prominent hunter who has since fallen from grace. See also Castanet article Foundation receives millions of dollars in court fines from environmental offenders August 7 2017 Vancouver Sun A non-profit foundation established to improve fish and wildlife habitat across the province has reaped a windfall of more than $3 million from court fines levied against environmental offenders since 1993. “It’s a growing area of revenue for us,” confirms Brian Springinotic, chief executive officer of the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. “It’s because the courts like how we treat the money … and, in my view, are imposing ever greater penalties.” Going Batty with Bats August 6, 2017 E-know.ca Are you noticing more bats around your house or property? You are not alone! Mid-summer is the time when landowners typically notice more bat activity, may have bats flying into their house, and occasionally find a bat on the ground or roosting in unusual locations. Mid summer means more bats around August 6, 2017 Victoria News If you’re seeing more little winged critters around your crib lately you can relax, you’re not going batty. The middle of summer is typically the time bats are more noticeable around homes and properties, explained Mandy Kellner, a biologist and co-ordinator with the B.C. community bat project. Summer Brings out the Bats July 28, 2017 The Daily Courier In July and August, pups are learning to fly, and their early efforts may land them in locations where they are more likely to come in contact with humans,” said Paula Rodriguez de la Vega, ecologist and co-ordinator with the bat program. See Also: You can live with bats in the Okanagan without going batty – Infotel News Swallows and Bats Need the Community’s Help July 27, 2017 Coast Reporter The Sunshine Coast Wildlife Project is again asking for the community’s help in monitoring populations of two threatened wildlife groups: swallows and bats. Upcoming construction at Courtenay’s Simms Park to improve salmon habitat June 27 2017 Comox Valley Record An initiative by Project Watershed to increase salmon survival in Simms Millennium Park will result in closures to the treed area and trail on the west side of the park for several days in July, and for the entire month of August. Funding for the project has been provided by Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP), Recreational Fisheries Conservation Program (RFCPP), and Habitat Conservation Trust Fund (HCTF). Englishman River Estuary to undergo five-year restoration June 26, 2017 Parksville Qualicum Beach News Hikers accustomed to a peaceful, quite stroll on the trails of the Englishman River Estuary will be faced with some unaccustomed construction traffic in the coming weeks. But it’s all meant to enhance the estuary in the long run.Funding for the project is provided by Canada’s National Wetland Conservation Fund and the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. Learning Outdoors in 100 Mile June 21, 2017 100 Mile Free Press A unique program is bringing young children out of their classrooms at 100 Mile Elementary School and into the natural environment to learn about the birds, bugs and botany outdoors, and even to connect with their community. Upgrades made to Fairmont’s Hoodoos trail June 15, 2017 Invermere Valley Echo Hikers on the Hoodoos in Fairmont Hot Springs may notice a few changes to the popular trail. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) conducted a project in the Hoodoos to upgrade the site.Support for the project came from The Columbia Basin Trust, the Panorama Foundation and the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund. Kootenay streams open to anglers June 15 June 14, 2017 Cranbrook Daily Townsmen The many mountain lakes and rivers in the Kootenays provide excellent fishing for many different species of fish.When you purchase a freshwater angling license, a portion of the fee goes directly back to Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C., and a smaller portion goes to a conservation surcharge directed to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. Court award catalyst for new Northern Vancouver Island fish and wildlife fund June 13, 2017 Campbell River Mirror Fish and wildlife will receive an extra boost next year from a new fund explicitly for conservation projects on the northern half of Vancouver Island. The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) announced it will begin accepting applications for the $350,000 North Island Conservation Fund starting this fall. Volunteers needed for annual bat count; Kootenay Community Bat Program June 6, 2017 Kimberley Bulletin Summerland Review With the devastating White Nose Syndrome looming, the Kootenay Community Bat Program (KCBP) is seeking volunteers and bat colonies for the annual bat count. The citizen-science initiative encourages residents to count bats at local roost sites. Volunteers Sought for BC Bat Counts May 29, 2017 Kamloops this Week The B.C. Community Bat Program is seeking volunteers and bat colonies for the annual bat count. The citizen-science initiative encourages residents to count bats at local roost sites. 2014 Sheep Mortality Incident Update May 24, 2017 Crowsnest Pass Herald Teck will pay $195,000 to the non-profit Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and pay a $5,000 fine and Maxam Explosives Inc (Maxam) will pay $145,000 to Habit Conservation Trust Foundation and pay a $5,000 fine due to one Environmental Management Act charge each related to a 2014 sheep mortality incident at Greenhills Operations (GHO). B.C. Wildlife Federation wants citizens to speak out on behalf of wildlife The Free Press May 3, 2017 The province’s stocks of fish and wildlife are being slowly depleted by decades of underfunding and mismanagement, says Jesse Zeman, spokesman for the B.C. Wildlife Federation. Next phase of Penticton Creek restoration set to begin this summer May 3, 2017 Infonews.ca Plans are moving forward to restore another section of the Penticton Creek riverbed this summer. The ambitious multi-phase project will cost a total estimated $30 million to restore 4.4 kilometres of riverbed. Update on the 2012 sediment occurrence at Elkview April 8, 2017 The Free Press Teck will be paying forward $300,000, following a sediment-laden discharge spill at Elkview Operations (EVO) in September of 2012. Of this, $285,000 will be given to the non-profit Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, as well as a $15,000 penalty as a result of three Environmental Management Act charges related to the incident. Help pollinators this spring Apr 7th, 2017 Kelowna News The Public Art Pollinator Pasture Meadow Building and Stewardship Event on April 8, from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. dozens of volunteers are helping to plant hundreds of native plants on the pollinator pasture. These plants also came from a significant donation from the Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program, EcoAction, Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Seeds Co Community Conservation and Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship Society with funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada. Oil Spills: Preventing Future Spills by Learning from Past Incidents April 2, 2017 Hazmat Magazine Last November saw the Canadian federal government approve the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Plan and the Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Plan. Both projects have been met with fierce opposition from First Nations communities, local governments and environmentalists. Chief among their concerns is the risk of crude oil spilling into the environment. So it would be prudent to look at past spills involving each line and reflect on the possible dangers they pose. NCC land purchase will lead to wetland restoration north of Road 22 April 2, 2017 Osoyoos Times A newly acquired 90-acre property north of Road 22 will help the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) restore and protect a vital area of wetlands in the South Okanagan. $3 million added to war on mussels (covered by multiple media outlets – see links below) March 30, 2017 The Daily Courier InfoTel News Castanet Salmon Arm Observer Kelowna Capital News The Nelson Daily Kelowna Now The campaign to keep invasive mussels out of B.C. lakes is getting a $3-million boost. Premier Christy Clark announced Thursday in West Kelowna that the money will help pay for two new inspection stations, longer inspection hours, more inspectors and a mussel-sniffing dog. Osoyoos Oxbows Added to Habitat Preserve March 28, 2017 Penticton Western News Thanks to the efforts of the Nature Conservancy, in partnership with Ducks Unlimited Canada, another piece of wetlands is being preserved. A 90-acre (36.4-hectare) wetland property in the heart of one of British Columbia’s best birding areas. Located along the Okanagan River in an expanse of wetland known as the Osoyoos Oxbows, the new conservation area is the latest addition to a complex of conservation lands that parallel Highway 97 between Osoyoos and Oliver. Efforts underway to assist elk and deer until springtime March 26, 2017 The Free Press On March 11, Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett announced the province was investing $40,000 to mitigate the drastic impacts of one of the region’s harshest winters in decades but a conservationist is calling the move a short-sighted drop in the bucket. Hunting Fees will now go to Wildlife Management (covered by multiple media outlets – see links below) March 23, 2017 Vernon Morning Star Salmon Arm Observer My PG Now Kelowna Capital News Fighting Invasive Mussels receives $3M Influx of Funds Kelowna Now The province is following its fisheries lead and plowing all revenue raised from hunting licences in B.C. back into wildlife management. On Wednesday, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson announced the move, saying a new agency will be created to administer the money. The move will be modelled on what was done with fishing licences a few years ago. He said based on input from stakeholders over the last few years, the government will form a new agency in fall 2017 with startup funds of $5 million. The agency subsequently would be supported by hunting licence revenues of $9 million to $10 million each year. Currently, hunting licence revenues support a number of government activities. Hunting licence surcharges totalling more than $2.6 million annually would still be dedicated to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation for its conservation projects. FJM and Wild School Winter March 13, 2017 The Free Press Three hundred and fifty students at Frank J. Mitchell Elementary School (FJMES) participated in several Wild School Winter stations experiencing ways to love being outside in winter. The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) Wild School program is a three-year program providing teachers and students of K-8 schools with free resources, training and support for environmental learning, outdoor field experiences and connections to conservation work in their communities. BC farmer fined over 4 grizzly bear deaths March 6, 2017 CBC News A B.C.court has fined a farmer over the 2014 shooting deaths of a grizzly bear sow and its three cubs in a mountain valley between Prince George and Jasper, AB. Arlan Harry Baer must pay a $500 fine and a $1,500 payment to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. Moose Riders Fines for Harassing Wildlife (covered by multiple media outlets – see links below) March 3, 2017 CBC News Alaska Highway News News Talk 770 Calgary The Province CTV News CKNW News Talk 980 Kelowna Now Energeticcity.ca Castanet.net 604 Now Bradley Dale Crook and Jaysun Allan Pinkerton of Fort St. John were convicted for harassing wildlife with a boat. Judge B. A. Daley imposed a $4,000 fine on each man, including a $2,000 payment each to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation to be used in the B.C. Peace region. The investigation stemmed from a YouTube video of one of the convicted jumping off a boat onto a swimming moose’s back. Be on the lookout for White Nose Syndrome Feb 23, 2017 Kitimat Northern Sentinel The Skeena Community Bat Project is asking for the public to keep an eye out for White Nose Syndrome in the regions bat population. The group, overseen by the BC Community Bat Program and in collaboration with the BC government, is asking for northwestern BC residents to keep an eye out for dead bats, as well as bats flying in the wintertime. Growing Bigger Island Trout Feb 16, 2017 Campbell River Mirror After four years, the proof is in the pulling. Pulling, that is, on a hook by big trout in some Vancouver Island lakes. The trout are getting bigger thanks to a small lake fertilization program started four years ago. It’s a cooperative effort between the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF), the BC Conservation Foundation (BCCF) and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO). Public asked to help in reporting bat activity Feb 16, 2017 Williams Lake Tribune 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 and was confirmed in Washington State in 2016. This is very worrisome for the health of bat populations in British Columbia, with nearly 100 per cent mortality for some species of bats exposed to the fungus. You can help monitor deadly White Nose Syndrome in bats Feb 15, 2017 Kootenay News Advertiser Funded by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, the Province of BC, the Habitat Stewardship Program, Columbia Basin Trust, Kootenay Conservation Program in partnership with the Regional District of East Kootenay, and the Public Conservation Assistance Fund, 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. Port to plant eelgrass gardens off Tsawwassen ferry terminal to benefit marine life Feb 13, 2017 Vancouver Sun The Port of Vancouver is proposing to plant vast gardens of eelgrass on the ocean floor this year to benefit marine life ranging from fish to crabs near the Tsawwassen ferry terminal. The project would create a total of four hectares of eelgrass habitat on the southeast side of the terminal at two ocean-bottom sites that were formerly dredged. Foreshore rehab work continues February 8, 2017 Salmon Arm Observer The trail may be closed to the public until the end of March, but there’s plenty of action on the foreshore. On Tuesday, a Spidex, a large all-terrain, mobile excavator from Vernon, was on site, depositing torso-size riprap and sandaround some of the “toes” of the three hummocks that were created in November to increase bio-diversity along theforeshore Nature Trust land and trails. Bats flying in the winter? Or, find a dead bat? Please report. Here’s why. February 8, 2017 Nelson Dailey Bats are an essential part of the global ecosystem. They save agriculture a great deal of money by eating vast numbers of crop-destroying insects such as Colorado Potato Beetles, and they save humans a lot of itching by eating vast numbers of flying, biting insects such as mosquitoes. For years, bats had an undeserved bad reputation, but gradually we are learning to understand their huge value. Woman fined $2,000 for poaching California bighorn January 11, 2017 KW This Week A First Nations woman has pleaded guilty to shooting a California bighorn sheep — one of three she hunted — and leaving most of its meat behind. Marlene Kato was sentenced yesterday in provincial court under the Wildlife Act for failing to remove edible portions of a carcass. The law is in place to ensure hunters kill for more than a trophy rack or horns. Judge Chris Cleaveley sentenced Kato to a $2,000 fine. All but $100 of that amount will go to the B.C. Habitat Conservation Trust Fund. Seymour salmon project gets funding boost January 3, 2017 North Shore News The year 2017 could be good for the salmon and steelhead that spawn in the Seymour River. The project to revive the Seymour as a fish-bearing habitat after it was blocked by a rock slide in 2014, is being fast-tracked, thanks in part to a boost in funding. North Vancouver MP Jonathan Wilkinson recently announced that the Seymour Salmonid Society, which is leading the project, would receive a $235,950 grant from the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program. For links to older HCTF news items, click here.