The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation has announced $9.2 million in funding for more than 180 individual wildlife, freshwater fish, and habitat conservation projects across the province.
The HCTF is also partnering with the Forest Enhancement Society of BC to support the Bulkley Valley Centre for Natural Resources and Management in efforts to restore endangered whitebark pine ecosystems in the Skeena Region.
CEO of HCTF Dan Buffett says as the eco-systems improve the habitats become more resilient.
“To keep the ecosystem resilient that means all of the ecosystems function so, that means water quality, the water reducing flooding all of those things benefit society as a whole,” he said.
The Bulkley Valley Centre for Natural Resources and Management has been restoring remote whitebark pine ecosystems in the Skeena Region since 2011.
The centre recently received word that one of their parent’s trees was found to produce the most disease-resistant seedlings every tested in the province.
Buffett also said the HCTF has a specific process on how they choose which project to fund.
“Our goal is to put the limited number of money we have which a lot of our money comes from the surcharge on licenses which are the fees you pay when you buy a hunting license, a fishing license or a trapping license and put those into the best projects,” he said.
Other projects in the Skeena Region funded by the HCTF are:
- $29,900 for research into Mountain Goat range boundaries, habitat selection, and population dynamics
- $43,788 for Northern Goshawk nest and habitat assessment led by the Kitasoo Xai,xais First Nation that will inform the implementation of the provincial Northern Goshawk recovery plan
- $113,000 for fisheries development, planning, and stock development activities on the Skeena, Kitwanga, Bulkley, Kispiox and Morice Rivers
According to Buffett, HCTF not only invests in habitat but also invests in education programs which include schools in the Skeena Region.