Wed, 21 Sep 2022

Now Accepting Conservation Grant Proposals for 2023-2024

Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation is now accepting applications for Enhancement/Restoration & Stewardship (ERS) grants, and Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund (CHRF) grants. Applications must be submitted through HCTF’s online application system by 4:30pm on November 4th, 2022 (PST).

HCTF is not accepting New Stewardship proposals in Fall 2022 (Continuing and New Phase proposals will still be accepted). Our Stewardship grant is undergoing an update to better integrate with other HCTF grant programs. This will improve clarity and criteria for proponents as well as streamline the application process.

Please visit our FAQ page to find useful tips for the online Survey Apply system. Our updated 2023-24 ERS and CHRF Guidance documents are also available on the website.

Before beginning your application on the Survey Apply system, we strongly recommend that you complete your application on the Word worksheets posted on our website. Once completed you can copy-and-paste your answers into the online form. The worksheets also provide a useful overview of the questions and information requirements. Please note that HCTF cannot accept applications submitted by email.

Each year, Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation provides approximately $6 million dollars in Enhancement and Restoration grants to help fund projects that support the conservation of British Columbia’s native freshwater fish, wildlife, and their habitats. Since the inception of our work in 1981, the Foundation and its predecessors have invested over $189 million in more than 2980 projects across BC.

HCTF continues to partner with the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to meet shared conservation objectives through co-investments in conservation projects administered through HCTF. The CHRF program is made possible by contributions from both the BC Ministry of Land Water and Resource Stewardship and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

For questions related to Enhancement/Restoration and Stewardship grants, please contact Lisa Wielinga at Lisa.Wielinga@hctf.ca or 250-940-9781.

For questions related to CHRF, please contact Sophia Cuthbert at Sophia.Cuthbert@hctf.ca or 250-940-9789.

Mon, 6 Jun 2022
Tags: Caribou / chrf

World Caribou Day

June 6th is World Caribou Day! (photo by Jean-Simon Begin)

Today marks the first annual World Caribou Day! Alongside the Caribou Conservation Breeding Foundation, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) is celebrating this iconic Canadian species, take the opportunity to learn about the threats caribou today, as well as the conservation works going on in British Columbia and across the world to protect the species for generations to come.

A few facts about Caribou! Caribou and Reindeer are two names for the same species and occupy arctic, sub-arctic, boreal, and sub-boral ecosystems across North America and Eurasia respectively. These groups are further separated into subspecies, with woodland caribou, Peary caribou, Porcupine caribou, and barren-ground caribou comprising the species spread across northern Canada. Caribou are the only species of deer in which both the male and female have antlers and they use these antlers to brush away snow as they search for food and to defend themselves. The species is supremely well adapted to cold climates, with double-layered coat of fur, a hairy nose to minimize heat loss, large hooves that let them walk softly atop snow (like snowshoes), and which make clicking noises with each step which helps the herd stick together even when visibility is poor due to blizzards or thick fog. Caribou are herbivores and rely on grasses, leaves, mushrooms, and flowering plants in the summer, while during the winter their diet consists of lichen, small shrubs, and sedges. Caribou eat 9 to 18 lbs. of vegetation a day and herds may migrate over 1,000 kilometres in search of food and habitat. Barren-ground caribou have the longest migration of any land mammal on earth!

Caribou Info (by Caribou Conservation Breeding Program)

Caribou populations are declining globally and have sustained a 40% overall decline over the last 10-30 years. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUNC) lists the species as vulnerable on its Red List of Threatened Species. Within Canada, the conservation status is assessed for each caribou population, with many listed as threatened or endangered. Although caribou abundance naturally fluctuates, those natural cycles are being impacted by human-induced factors. Resource development, hydroelectric development, fire suppression, urban sprawl, and agriculture have fragmented and altered much of caribou habitat. While Highways, roads, and cut lines further disrupt migration routes and create corridors that allow predators to infiltrate caribou habitats more easily, increasing their vulnerability to predation. Climate change resulting in rising temperatures, shifting precipitation patterns and changes in wildfire ecology impact both caribou habitat quality and availability. Climate impacts also shift the distribution and viability of infectious pathogens and place caribou populations at risk of contracting novel diseases.

Project #5-346 – North Thompson Caribou Recovery Access Management Project

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) is supporting the restoration and conservation of British Columbia’s caribou populations through the Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund (CHRF). The CHRF grant was set up for the purpose of restoring high-value habitat for caribou in BC using functional and ecological restoration methods. To address factors such as urbanization, forestry, mining, oil and gas, and roadbuilding work, which altered caribou habitat, the CHRF funds projects that plant trees to restore areas to a pre-disturbed state, block former roads and other linear features such as seismic lines (such as corridors cleared of vegetation to assist oil and gas exploration) to reduce predator access and restore food sources such as lichen within protected caribou habitats.

Project #7-530 – Discussing road rehabilitation plans (photo by Kari Stuart-Smith)

Funding for the CHRF is provided by the B.C. and federal governments with $8.5 million committed by the province in 2018 and an additional $5 million from the federal government, pledged in 2021. Through the CHRF, HCTF is currently supporting 14 caribou habitat restoration projects across the province including the Mount Rochfort project, led by the Nîkanêse Wah tzee Stewardship Society in co-operation with Wildlife Infometrics and Canadian Forest Products Ltd. With the support of a $192,617 grant, habitat is being restored along a 156 km stretch of road in the Klinse-za caribou-herd area, adding about 7,865 hectares of habitat and contributing to a total of 26,322 hectares of connected caribou range. For a full list of current CHRF-funded projects occurring across BC click here.

Another project funded through the Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund and led by Tsay Keh Dene Nation-owned Chu Cho Environmental. See the following videos detailing the habitat restoration project benefiting the Chase Caribou Range.

Wed, 12 Jan 2022
Tags: Caribou

Grants Approved for 14 Caribou Habitat Restoration Projects

Supported by funding from the B.C. government and the federal government, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation approved 14 grants for new and ongoing projects to help restore caribou habitat in British Columbia.

The 2021 grants were allocated through the foundation’s Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund and total more than $1.65 million (see details in attached backgrounder).

In 2018, the B.C. government committed $8.5 million to support the foundation’s work. In 2021, the Government of Canada contributed a total of $5 million over five years for projects that will benefit the Central Group of Southern Mountain Caribou. Five of the approved projects from 2021 will be co-funded by the B.C. government and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Activities, such as urbanization, forestry, mining, oil and gas, and roadbuilding work, have altered caribou habitat. Activities that help restore caribou habitat include:

  • planting trees to restore areas to a pre-disturbed state; and
  • blocking former roads and other linear features such as seismic lines (such as corridors cleared of vegetation to assist oil and gas exploration) to reduce predator access.

One of the 14 funded projects is being conducted within a newly protected area under the Intergovernmental Partnership Agreement for the Conservation of the Central Group of Southern Mountain Caribou. The Mount Rochfort project is led by the Nîkanêse Wah tzee Stewardship Society in co-operation with Wildlife Infometrics and Canadian Forest Products Ltd.

With the support of a $192,617 grant provided by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, habitat is being restored along a 156-kilometre stretch of road in the Klinse-za caribou-herd area, adding about 7,865 hectares of habitat and contributing to a total of 26,322 hectares of connected caribou range.

Since 2018, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation has provided 32 grants worth approximately $3.9 million for 23 projects led by First Nations, government, industry and not-for-profit societies.

The Province’s support of this grant program is part of an ongoing and multi-faceted approach to caribou recovery in British Columbia. Its recovery program aims to restore this iconic Canadian species to a sustainable population.

 

Boreal Caribou from the air

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation provided the following 14 grants worth $1,655,124 through the Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund:

Adams Groundhog Road Rehabilitation and Reforestation Project (Project 3-422)

  • grant of $199,500 approved for 2021-22 (continuing project)
  • led by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
  • Thompson-Okanagan region (about 100 kilometres northeast of Kamloops)
  • This project is designed to benefit the Groundhog caribou herd by restoring habitat on an estimated 50-100 kilometres of road over multiple years to reduce predator movement and access to caribou habitat.

Upper Bigmouth Creek (Project 4-621)

  • grant of $28,431 approved for 2021-22 (continuing project)
  • led by Yucwmenlúcwu (Caretakers of the Land) LLP
  • Kootenay region (about 140 kilometres north of Revelstoke)
  • This project has restored habitat on about five kilometres of linear features in the Columbia North herd area. This year’s grant is primarily for monitoring the completed restoration work.

Mica Creek (Project 4-622)

  • grant of $288,681 approved for 2021-22 (new project)
  • led by Yucwmenlúcwu (Caretakers of the Land) LLP
  • Kootenay region (about 140 kilometres north of Revelstoke)
  • This project is designed to benefit the Columbia North caribou herd through the restoration of habitat on two resource road networks.

Tweedsmuir Caribou Winter Range – Chelaslie Road Restoration (Project 6-283)

  • grant of $70,671 approved for 2021-22 (continuing project)
  • led by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
  • Skeena region (about 60 kilometres south of Burns Lake)
  • This project is designed to benefit the Tweedsmuir-Entiako caribou herd by restoring habitat on up to 78 kilometres of road.

Whitesail (Project 6-306)

  • grant of $87,174 approved for 2021-22 (new project)
  • led by Canadian Forest Products Ltd.
  • Skeena region (about 122 kilometres south of Smithers)
  • This project is designed to benefit the Tweedsmuir-Entiako caribou herd by restoring about 73 kilometres of road.

Amoco Road (Project 7-528)

  • grant of $23,315 approved for 2021-22 (continuing project)
  • co-funded by the B.C. government and Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • led by the Nîkanêse Wah tzee Stewardship Society
  • Northeast region (56 kilometres west of Chetwynd)
  • This project has restored habitat on 15 kilometres of road in the Klinse-Za caribou herd area. This year’s grant is primarily for monitoring the completed restoration work.

Kotcho Lake Restoration Area (Project 7-529)

  • grant of $175,780 approved for 2021-22 (continuing project)
  • led by the Fort Nelson First Nation Lands Office
  • Northeast region (about 80 kilometres northeast of Fort Nelson)
  • This project is designed to benefit the Snake-Sahtahneh boreal caribou herd by restoring habitat on 45 kilometres of seismic lines.

Otter (Project 7-530)

  • grant of $6,120 approved for 2021-22 (continuing project)
  • led by Canadian Forest Products Ltd.
  • Northeast Region (about 86 kilometres northeast of Prince George)
  • This project restored habitat on a 7.5-kilometre road that was fragmenting high-value habitat for the Hart Ranges caribou herd. This year’s grant is primarily for monitoring the completed restoration work.

Tumuch (Project 7-534)

  • grant of $8,720 approved for 2021-22 (continuing project)
  • led by Canadian Forest Products Ltd.
  • Northeast Region (about 95 kilometres southeast of Prince George)
  • This project restored habitat on 12.4 kilometres of road to create a connected area of almost 70,000 hectares of high-value habitat for the North Cariboo herd. This year’s grant is primarily for monitoring the completed restoration work.

Peck Creek-Upper Carbon (Project 7-543)

  • grant of $53,452 approved for 2021-22 (continuing project)
  • co-funded by the B.C. government and Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • led by the Nîkanêse Wah tzee Stewardship Society
  • Northeast Region (about 54 kilometres west of Chetwynd)
  • This project has restored 1,287 hectares of habitat in the Klinse-Za caribou-herd area. This year’s grant is primarily for monitoring the completed restoration work.

Callazon-Clearwater Valley: 4000 and 3800 Roads (Project 7-554)

  • grant of $122,984 approved for 2021-22 (new project)
  • co-funded by the B.C. government and Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • led by the Nîkanêse Wah tzee Stewardship Society
  • Northeast Region (about 45 kilometres northeast of Mackenzie)
  • This project is designed to benefit the Klinse-Za caribou herd by restoring habitat on about 16 kilometres of road.

Goldway Road (Project 7-555)

  • grant of $72,959 approved for 2021-22 (new project)
  • led by Chu Cho Environmental
  • Northeast Region (about 170 kilometres northwest of Mackenzie)
  • This project is designed to benefit the Chase caribou herd by restoring habitat on up to 16 kilometres of road.

Mount Rochfort (Project 7-557)

  • grant of $192,617 approved for 2021-22 (new project)
  • co-funded by the B.C. government and Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • led by the Nîkanêse Wah tzee Stewardship Society
  • Northeast Region (about 65 kilometres west of Moberly Lake)
  • This project is designed to benefit the Klinse-Za and Scott East caribou herds by restoring habitat on about 150 kilometres of road.

East Babcock Restoration Area (Project 7-558)

  • grant of $324,720 approved for 2021-22 (new project)
  • co-funded by the B.C. government and Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • led by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
  • Northeast Region (about 20 kilometres southeast of Tumbler Ridge)
  • This project is designed to benefit the Quintette and Narraway caribou herds by restoring habitat on approximately 87 kilometres of roads and seismic lines.

For more information see the Province of British Columbia’s official Information Bulletin here.

Wed, 7 Jul 2021

Project Profile: Amoco Road Restoration Project

The Amoco Road restoration site is a legacy oil and gas road that stretches from valley bottom to the alpine in the Klinse-Za caribou herd in northeastern BC. Twenty-two years after the road was installed, the site is still dominated by non-native grass species, which has prevented naturally re-seeded seedlings from establishing and growing. As a result, the road remains a large scar on the landscape and fragments the mature forest ecosystem. The road also creates an easy travel route for predators to access critical caribou habitat in the alpine, and large stretches of open road also enable predators to spot caribou further away, improving their hunting efficiency. Use of the road by snowmobiles during the winter allows wolves easy travel along the packed trails into the alpine, increasing risk of predation on caribou. To speed up forest recovery and reduce the use of the road by predators, the Nîkanêse Wah tzee Stewardship Society has undertaken steps to restore the road to a forested ecosystem, thereby restoring critical caribou habitat. Restoration activities such as the planting of seedlings and juvenile trees along the road and the falling of dead trees across the road surface were completed in Summer 2020. These restoration activities will speed up natural forest regeneration and limit the ability of predators to use the corridor to access critical caribou habitat. Moving forward, activities, such as tree regeneration surveys and wildlife use monitoring, will be continued to determine the success of the restoration activities.

This Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund project was undertaken with the financial support of the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada through the federal Department of Environment and Climate Change.

 

 

 

 

 

Amoco Road restoration helicopter

Juvenile hybrid spruce and lodgepole pine trees being transported onto Amoco Road restoration site, Summer 2020.

 

Crews planting juvenile hybrid spruce and lodgepole pine trees on Amoco Road.

Crews planting juvenile hybrid spruce and lodgepole pine trees on Amoco Road restoration site, Summer 2020.

Juvenile hybrid spruce and lodgepole pine trees planted on Amoco Road.

Juvenile hybrid spruce and lodgepole pine trees planted in theatre-style spacing on one of the seven planting sites on Amoco Road restoration site, Summer 2020.

Caribou detected on a camera trap on Amoco Road restoration site, Summer 2020.

Caribou detected on a camera trap on Amoco Road restoration site, Summer 2020.

 

Grizzly bear

Grizzly bear detected on a camera trap on Amoco Road restoration site, Fall 2020.

 

 

Thu, 1 Jul 2021

Project Profile: Kotcho Lake Restoration Project

Aerial photo of caribou in Kotch Lake restoration area.

The Kotcho Lake Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund project is focused on restoring legacy seismic lines in core boreal caribou habitat located in the Snake Sahtenah range. Fort Nelson First Nation (FNFN) identified this area as a high priority for restoration due to the cultural importance of the area, the value of the area for caribou and other species, and the very high density of old seismic lines, which were not recovering on their own. Restoration work is conducted in the late summer, using light machinery to access intersections of old seismic lines and transplant “donor” mounds from areas beside the seismic lines. Donor mounds are then transplanted with black spruce seedlings, and trees are felled around the transplanted sites to block the lines until the mounds can establish. By treating in the summer, FNFN believe that restored sites will more closely resemble natural sites than areas treated in the winter. Summer treatments may also prove less expensive than winter work, which is currently the industry standard for restoring these sites. FNFN’s hypothesis is that the donor mounds will quickly establish on seismic lines and accelerate ecological recovery. By treating line intersections, they anticipate seeing reduced use of the untreated areas between the intersections by wolves and other predators. Overall, FNFN hope this approach (treating in the summer; hummock transplants and tree falling; focusing on intersections; and selecting key access routes) can result in effective restoration over a large area of the landscape. Monitoring of the vegetation response, the wildlife use of treated and untreated areas, and the overall cost of the treatments in comparison to winter work is ongoing to determine treatment effectiveness. You can read the full Year 2 technical report about this project here.

Katherine and Susan monitoring restoration works

Katherine and Susan monitoring restoration works

Tree growing like a boss in a transplanted hummock.

Tree growing in a transplanted hummock.

 

Woody vascular species also appear to be growing well on the hummocks.

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development for making this project possible.

Fri, 11 Jun 2021

Project Profile: Adams Groundhog Road Rehabilitation and Reforestation Project

Goat Creek Road following treatment

This Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund project is designed to benefit the Groundhog caribou herd in the Upper Adams River Valley and is led by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. The project targets forest roads within, adjacent or leading to critical high elevation caribou habitat.

Forest professionals assessed and prescribed treatments on suitable roads that were no longer needed. In 2019-20, a total of 41 km of road was assessed and this led to 14.1 km of treatments being prescribed and completed in 2020. The primary treatment was road rehabilitation using an excavator to decompact the road surface, redistribute woody debris & organic material, and restore natural drainage patterns. Rehabilitation treatments prepared the sites for reforestation (tree planting) in 2021. Support and participation of First Nations was integral to the success of this project. Local First Nations supported restoration at this site and the Adams Lake Indian Band had the capacity and resources to complete all road works and provide professional oversight.

Before:

Goat Creek Road prior to restoration

Goat Creek Road prior to restoration.

 

After:

Goat Creek Road after restoration

Goat Creek Road after restoration

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development for making the Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund possible.