In late June, the HCTF Board of Directors travelled north to Toad River for their spring board meeting, and to get a first-hand look at one of HCTF’s longest-running projects, the Peace-Liard Burn Program. HCTF has funded this project for over 20 years, investing close to $100K in it annually and adding to other contributions made by organizations including the Northern BC Guides Association and the Northeast BC Wildlife Fund. This ongoing habitat enhancement program uses prescribed fire to enhance grazing habitat for the area’s huge diversity of ungulates. Burning select tracts of land regenerates the grasses and small plants previously shaded out by dense forest, providing valuable foraging habitat for these animals. The opened-up areas add to a mosaic of different successional stages across the landscape that can support the huge diversity of wildlife that the Peace is famous for. This was evident from the air, as Board members spotted elk, mountain goats, and Stone’s sheep on previously burned sites.
It has been well over a decade since the Board last met in this specific area of BC, and their visit also coincided with the meeting for the Northern Guides Association, enabling a joint get-together over a barbecue dinner hosted by Leif and Kellie Olson. Our sincere thanks to the Olsons, to Chris Addison (MFLNRO), Jim Fulton (Northeast BC Wildlife Fund) and Brent Munro (BCTA) for joining us for dinner, to project leader Alicia Woods for guiding the tour, and to Cam Allan from Qwest Helicopters for safely piloting the Board and staff on the tour, and for also donating some helicopter time in support of the Foundation.
The following wildlife photos were taken during the Board’s visit to Toad River.