Photo by Ned Rozell

Applications open for Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund

Managed by the HCTF, $1.5 million available in funding for applicaple projects

The public is now invited to apply for the Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund, a $2 million grant from the province to the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund (HCTF) to aid in caribou habitat restoration.

The fund was announced in April 2018 and has allowed the HCTF to support porjects in the Kootenary-Boundary and Skeena regions designed to support caribou habitats. According to a release from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, approximately $1.5 million is available for projects in this funding round.

“Our provincial Caribou Recovery Program recognizes the need for a number of actions to help recover caribou populations, including habitat restoration,” said Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development Minister Doug Donaldson in the release. “Earlier this year we were able to direct funding to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation for that purpose.”

The release states that projects funded by the Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund will “focus on restoring habitats through both functional and ecological approaches.” It cites that human influence on landscapes, including forestry, mining and roadbuilding, are all factors that affect caribou.

“Examples of functional restoration activities include planting trees, spreading coarse woody debris and installing fences to disrupt linear thoroughfares that advantage predators, whereas ecological restoration activities include encouraging native plants and trees that support the return of caribou habitat to its undisturbed state,” reads the release.

“Investing in habitat restoration is a key component of caribou recovery,” said Brian Springinotic, chief executive officer of the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation in the release. “We are pleased to work with the Province to improve conservation outcomes for these vulnerable and iconic herds.”

Earlier this summer, the HCTF also helped distribute funding from the Forest Enhance Society of British Columbia for the study of mule deer in the area in relation to their declining population and what factors may be causing this.

“Since its inception in 1981, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation has invested over $180 million in grant money to more than 2,800 conservation projects in B.C., with the goal to restore, maintain or enhance native fish and wildlife populations and habitats,” states the release.

Those interested in applying for funding from the Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund are advised to visit www.hctf.ca/caribou to learn more about funding priorities. Applications will be accepted until Jan. 11, 2019, with successful projects being announced in spring 2019.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

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