Thank you for your interest in Capacity Grants. Intake for applications is now closed.
The next opportunity to apply will be late winter 2025.

Capacity Grants provide funding to build and strengthen the capability and capacity of organizations to successfully design and deliver conservation or restoration projects. The grant provides funds to support and develop strategies and abilities to initiate actions that benefit fish, wildlife and habitat conservation aligned with objectives of the HCTF. Capacity grants assist with the first steps in planning, designing, engaging, or implementing a project.

Goals of the Grant:

  • Support preliminary planning to address a conservation issue or challenge in the community.
  • Increase capacity to enhance the ability to implement a project.
  • Develop skills and abilities of communities to undertake conservation projects.

In support of our strategic plan, our grant will emphasize the following:

  • Indigenous community-led fish, wildlife, and habitats conservation
  • Climate change adaptation, mitigation, and cumulative effects on fish, wildlife, and their habitats
  • Caribou habitat restoration or conservation projects taking place in current caribou herd ranges
  • Broad and diverse participation in HCTF programs and projects

  • How much funding can we apply for?

    Eligible expenses up to $25,000. Grant completion must be within 2 years of approval. 80% of grant will be issued up front and 20% once completed and final summary of work is submitted.

  • Eligibility

    Applications must be made by an individual with the lead organization. The Project Lead is the individual with the authority and ability to administer the grant and fulfill the obligations to conduct the grant activities, deliver value for money, manage risk and financial controls while fulfilling other the terms and conditions of the grant.

    Eligible Activities & Items

    • Pilot projects, surveys, test field methods, scoping or feasibility studies
      including desk-top research, mapping, literature review, discussions with regional
      and or biology experts, Indigenous knowledge systems and methodologies,
      and best practices review.
    • Partnerships or networking meetings, planning workshops; focus groups;
      sharing knowledge, collecting community input.
    • Field equipment needed to undertake planning or preliminary
      field-work, with a maximum request of up to $10K.
    • Hiring a consultant, short-term salary or facilitation fees to lead or do planning, training and advising including honoraria or salary for field-based mentors, trainers, advisors.
    • Specialized training courses such as guardians or keepers training
      (e.g., Streamkeepers, Wetlandkeepers etc.); technical and scientific application training (e.g., GPS, mapping, data, testing equipment); sampling and surveying techniques, monitoring and cameras, remote sensing or vegetation monitoring, or for development of a conservation leader(s) in Indigenous communities by supporting post-secondary training (1 or 2 year certificate/diploma).

    Sample Projects

    • Feasibility study to pilot stream mapping on a small scale to determine if it can be expanded to the entire watershed.
    • Consulting with local community and landowners to create an action plan for restoration of the wetland.
    • Conducting a desktop mapping exercise to identify sites for potential road restoration and ground truthing.
    • Developing the goals and approach for a new Guardian program.
    • Holding meetings with potential partners to identify the expertise and sampling design needed to assess local Mule deer numbers.
    • Hiring a consultant biologist or regional expert to help map out key restoration objectives for caribou habitat enhancement and engage with community members on overall goals and objectives.

    Ineligible Activities & Items

    • Administration costs such as office space, admin fees, furniture and office equipment and supplies.
    • Standard Safety and survival training, smalloperator training or certifications
      e.g., boat, atv, firearms, chainsaw, etc.
    • Purchase of vehicles, boats, atv’s, quads, trailers, skidoos, building infrastructure, computers, phones, or cameras.
    • Marine or salmon-only projects that do not also benefit provincially managed fish species or their habitats.
    • Salaries for employees including government.
    • Costs for legal fees or lobbying activities.
    • Media production and communications.
    • Purchase of land, tenure, lease, or licenses.

  • Capacity Grant Application Cycle

    Intake Opens (February)

    Submission of Capacity Grant Applications is through the HCTF Online application portal. The system opens mid-February.

    Online Application Submission (March)

    The application submission deadline is March 31st.

    Proposal Review & Funding Decisions (May/June)

    Submitted Capacity Grant applications are reviewed in May and final decisions made at the HCTF Board of Directors meeting in June.

    Grant Award Notifications (July)

    Notification emails will be sent in July to inform applicants about whether or not their Capacity Grant application was approved for funding. An applicant may be funded for less than the amount requested, or there may be additional conditions to satisfy before the funds are released.

    Contract Grant Agreement

    After any potential funding conditions have been approved by HCTF, login to the online portal to review, sign, and submit the Contract Grant Agreement. Please confirm payment information has been completed.

    Grant Approval Letter & Payment

    Successful applicants will be sent a cheque (or Electronic Fund Transfer) and a letter of approval to the address listed on the Capacity Grant application. It is suggested that the cheque be deposited in a separate bank account under the name of your Club or Organization (if applicable) in order to facilitate accurate and uncomplicated bookkeeping. Note that an independent audit may be undertaken at the discretion of the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.

    *Please make sure you add and to your safe senders list.

  • 2023-25 Capacity Grant Recipients

    Lake Trout Recovery Strategy Plan

    Proponent: Project led by Saulteau First Nations
    Description: Lake trout in Moberly Lake have faced multiple threats and cumulative impacts since the 1970s. A partnership between the Province of British Columbia (BC) and Saulteau First Nations (SFN) aims to publish a Moberly Lake Trout Recovery Strategy to gain a better understanding of the total abundance and what methods can be deployed to recover the population. It is important to approach recovery with an informed process to understand the limiting factors facing population recovery prior to taking direct action.
    Amount: $22,000

    Cherryville Community Forest Habitat Enhancement Prescription

    Proponent: Project led by Deering Timber Ltd.
    Description: The Cherryville Community Forest Habitat Enhancement Prescription project will complete a feasibility study and project plan to identify and prescribe treatments to enhance mule deer winter range habitat within the Cherry Ridge Community Forest Block. This project will be completed by a consultant on behalf of the Cherry Ridge Management Committee (CRMC), a non-profit that holds and manages the Cherryville Community Forest Agreement with the Provincial Government of BC. The project will include meeting with the CRMC Board of Directors to identify treatment goals and objectives, completing preliminary field surveys, contacting First Nations for consultation and feedback, and creating a detailed prescription that will enable the committee to develop the skills to deliver the project.
    Amount: $4,927

    Hwial’asmut tu tumuhw (Taking Care of the Earth)

    Proponent: Project led by Stqeeye’ Learning Society
    Description: Stqeeye’ Learning Society is an Indigenous-led non-profit committed to supporting the transmission of Quw’utsun traditional knowledge from our Elders and Knowledge Keepers to our youth. This is accomplished through our land-based education programs and ongoing monitoring and restoration projects at Xwaaqw’um. This project, Hwial’asmut tu tumuhw (Taking Care of the Earth), will support technical training of our staff and engagement activities that further our cultural, conservation and restoration goals.
    Amount: $16,875

    Water and Fish: Cumulative Impact Assessment and Development of a Strategy

    Proponent: Project led by Nazko First Nation
    Description: With large-scale logging, mining, and unprecedented wildfires, our territory has undergone multiple levels of disturbance. Our Community would like to better understand the cumulative impacts of all these activities and events, especially when it comes to one of the most precious values we have: water and fish. Our First Nation Band has very limited capacity to engage with Industry and stakeholders and provide meaningful input on activities and management practices that affect the water and fish resources in our traditional territory. This grant will enable us to hire professionals to help us develop a territory-wide strategy for the management of the water and fish resource to inform how industrial activities should be conducted in the future. Our rivers once boasted millions of salmon and healthy populations of sturgeon, but both species are now listed as endangered or threatened. This, in turn, jeopardizes the ability of our community to access food security and practice our traditions.
    Amount: $22,000

    Community Road Mortality Monitoring Project

    Proponent: Project led by Okanagan Nation Alliance
    Description: The ultimate goal of this project is to build capacity within organizations and volunteers to collect data that can be applied to conservation and road mitigation strategies near their hometowns. Local organizations and citizen scientists will be engaged and trained in:

    • Data collection on wildlife road mortalities to ensure accurate documentation so that this information can be used to support highway mitigation strategies that will minimize highway impacts.
    • Identification of local species of reptiles, amphibians, and other wildlife groups vulnerable to road mortality.
    • Appropriate data management and transfer to relevant organizations that will apply the information to road ecology studies and wildlife conservation.

    Amount: $7,900

    Capacity Building for Cultural and Prescribed Fire in the Dry Interior

    Proponent: Project led by B.C. Wildlife Federation
    Description: The B.C. Wildlife Federation, in partnership with the Government of Canada, Okanagan Nation Alliance, Penticton Indian Band, Tk’emlups te Sewempemc, Skeetchestn Band and Esk’etemc First Nation, will undertake three large-scale ecological restoration projects, using cultural and prescribed fire treatments, along with other restoration techniques, to restore wildlife habitat in areas where habitat degradation and fire suppression have damaged habitat for species at risk, including American badger and Lewis’s woodpecker, and species of interest, such as mule deer and bighorn sheep. The prescribed burn sites will be monitored for vegetation and wildlife for at least six years after the burn to generate research that will add to Western scientific literature on the benefits of culturally prescribed burns on wildlife and vegetation habitat. This project will engage academics at the University of British Columbia and require trained field technicians and research assistants who will perform the monitoring.
    Amount: $10,000

    Stswecem’c Xget’tem First Nation Guardian Program

    Proponent: Project led by Stswecem’c Xget’tem First Nation
    Description: The SXFN Guardians are proposing a project designed to complete an inventory of habitat concerns within SXFN Territory. With the launch of the SXFN Guardians Program, this project has been proposed to develop a database of baseline information that will help guide the program, inform the crews workplan, and create a list of priorities for the future.
    Amount: $21,250

    CHRF-Funded Capacity Projects

    Restorative Planning for the Chundoo Nu Wildfire

    Proponent: Project led by Takla First Nation
    Region: Omineca-Peace
    Description: In 2021, a wildfire burned approximately 13,700 ha on the western slope of the Wolverine mountain range. These mountains are important winter range for the wolverine caribou herd. The Noostel Keyoh – Takla Nation is looking to assess the influence of this fire on caribou use and use alternative stocking standards to compare to natural regeneration to determine appropriate silviculture approach to maximize biodiversity and caribou recovery. The fire was intense and provides a unique study design of natural forest, unburned cutblocks (replanted), burned forest, cutblocks that were planted and burned. The Noostel-keyoh is looking to examine a more holistic approach to replanting that include different species and alternative stocking standards and lichen reestablishment. To do this there is a substantial amount of pre-work needed to foster partnerships with Government, Researchers, Stakeholders and licensees to develop prescriptions that will enhance biodiversity.
    Amount: $25,000

    Simpcw Caribou Supplemental Feeding Capacity Support

    Proponent: Project led by Simpcw First Nation
    Region: Thompson Nicola
    Description: Simpcw is undertaking a supplemental feeding program for the Wells Gray South caribou herd in order to evaluate whether supplemental feeding of caribou contributes to improved body condition, survival and/or population growth. The Project will help to identify whether supplemental feeding is a measure that could be implemented by provinces and jurisdictions as part of their species at risk recovery planning. The program will be completed collaboratively between Simpcw, Simpcw Resources Group, Biodiversity Pathways, Tithonus Wildlife Research with support from the BC Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resource Stewardship (WLRS) branch and Environment Climate Change Canada (ECCC), in the winter of 2023/2024. Following a successful pilot project in the winter of 2022/2023, within the Groundhog herd distribution range, the Project is pursuing funding to support the development of a strategic plan and protocol document to be implemented and followed for the Project; partial funding has already been provided by ECCC for the implementation of field work.
    Amount: $23,632

    Habitat Restoration Implementation Plan – Central Selkirks Herd

    Proponent: Project led by Shuswap Band
    Region: Kootenay
    Description: This project will build on work previously completed in the SMC tactical plan and desktop road prioritization exercise of the Revelstoke Complex and Central Selkirk Technical Working Group subgroup to support First Nations led planning and strategy development for restoration of habitat, through the removal of linear features, in the Central Selkirks caribou herd area. It will increase the capacity of the Shuswap Band to assess feasibility through field reconnaissance and develop a process for both functional and ecological restoration and timeline for implementation in this area. In turn this habitat restoration will lead to reduced predator access to caribou habitat and increased habitat quality and quantity over the longer term.
    Amount: $23,977

    Caribou Habitat Restoration within the Kitselas Traditional Territory

    Proponent: Project led by Wai Wah Environmental on behalf of the Kitselas First Nation
    Region: Skeena
    Description: A substantial amount of linear features covers the landscape of the western portion of the Telkwa herd range extent. Desktop research has already been conducted to determine priority features for restoration (Cichowski et al., 2021. See attached Caribou Habitat Restoration Within the Kitselas Traditional Territory; Phase I ) and the proposed project is to field verify restoration validity and develop the associated prescriptions. This is to be Phase I of the Caribou Habitat Restoration within the Kitselas Territory project with the end goal of fully restoring viable habitats.
    Amount: $23,731

    Eureka Peak Wildlife Camera Trapping

    Proponent: Project led by Williams Lake First Nation
    Region: Cariboo
    Description: This project aims to train and allow Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN) to partake in wildlife camera survey methods to better understand the wildlife presence and abundance around linear habitat rehabilitation projects in the Eureka Peak and Horsefly Watershed areas, focusing primarily on southern mountain caribou, other ungulates, and predators present within the survey area. Moving forward, this will promote indigenous stewardship opportunities for Williams Lake First Nation.
    Amount: $10,000

    Revelstoke Complex and Central Selkirk Technical Working Group Indigenous Capacity in Road Rehabilitation

    Proponent: Project led by Okanagan Nation Alliance
    Region: Okanagan
    Description: To enable involvement of staff with Okanagan Nation Alliance and Okanagan Indian Band in ecosystem restoration and road rehabilitation, workshop, planning, and implementation activities as part of the Revelstoke Complex and Central Selkirk Technical Working Group.
    Amount: $10,000


Thank you for your interest in Capacity Grants. Intake for applications is now closed.
The next opportunity to apply will be late winter 2025.

How to Apply

Complete and submit your application using the Survey Apply system once intake opens.

Apply Online


Any questions about the application process can be directed to

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