HCTF project leader Rich Weir has been awarded the HCTF Silver Award for the Fisher Habitat Conservation Provincial Extension Program. This extension project has made great strides in increasing forest managers’ awareness of fishers and their habitat needs.
“Forest management has the single largest human-caused effect on the sustainability of fisher habitat in British Columbia,” says Weir, who is a carnivore conservation specialist with BC’s Ministry of Environment. “It accounts for over 120,000 ha of habitat changes within the range of fishers each year. Fortunately, opportunities exist during all phases of forest management to incorporate decisions that may positively affect the supply of habitats for fishers.”
The program organizes forest planning workshops for licensees, government regulators, and contractors working in areas where fishers live. Workshop participants learn how to identify fisher habitat and how they can help meet habitat retention targets within their operations. The program has also developed information and tools for timber cruising crews, layout personnel, operational foresters, machine operators, and others who make fine-scale forest management decisions that affect the future supply of habitat for fishers. Learning resources and tools are available on the program’s website at https://www.bcfisherhabitat.ca/
The Silver Award was created in 2006 in honour of HCTF’s 25th anniversary and in recognition of the contributions of long-time manager, Rod Silver. It is awarded to projects that have truly made a difference for conservation in BC and that best exemplify the work of the Foundation.