A Helping Hand for Fish & Wildlife Conservation in BC
What is PCAF?
The Public Conservation Assistance Fund provides small grants to organizations and individuals who have a conservation project in mind but need financial help to make it happen. Each year since 1974, the Province of BC and the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation provide approximately $150,000 in PCAF grants to help implement on-the-ground conservation work, with a particular focus on hands-on, community-based, and public awareness initiatives. More than 1000 such projects have been carried out under the program so far.
How much funding can we apply for?
PCAF will fund eligible expenses up to $10,000 in any one year. You must match the requested funds by contributing volunteer labour credited at $15 per hour, materials, or other allowable donations. To assist as many groups as possible throughout the province each year, grants are modest, averaging about $2,500 each. The total amount available over the life of a project is $20,000.
What kind of activities are eligible?
Projects must be of a conservation nature, with priority given to projects that focus on activities that maintain, conserve or restore native (indigenous) fish and wildlife species and their habitats. There’s almost no limit to on-the-ground activities we consider, as long as they contribute to the conservation of wildlife and fisheries. Examples include:
- building bird houses
- planting shrubs for cover
- tagging / monitoring animals
- restoring riparian areas
- restoring grasslands
- building waterfowl nesting floats and boxes
- improving spawning grounds for freshwater fishes
- improving winter range
While we will consider recreation-oriented projects, the proposal must clearly demonstrate either direct conservation benefits, or how the project will contribute to an increased awareness and appreciation for natural resources.
We prefer projects with long-range benefits involving as many volunteers as possible, and that offer opportunities for organizational capacity building, and raising community awareness and involvement in conservation.
Grant applications must be approved before commencing your project. PCAF will not fund project activities retroactively.
What kind of activities are ineligible?
Sorry, PCAF grants are not available to fund the following types of projects or activities:
- Lecture series or conventions
- Photographic documentaries
- Promotion of business opportunities
- Projects that require ongoing maintenance as grant money is not available for that purpose, unless you can provide evidence of secured funding for that purpose.
- Payment of wages (except for contracted equipment or special expertise required in the field, e.g., a biologist, restoration specialist, etc.).
- Payment of vehicle mileage (although actual fuel costs can be covered)
- Salmon-only or marine projects that do not demonstrate clear benefits to freshwater species or habitats
See the PCAF Application Rules and Guidelines for complete information on project eligibility and other important information on expenses you can claim.
The annual application deadline is May 16th at 4:30pm PST.
Public Conservation Assistance Fund #107-19 Dallas Road Victoria, BC V8V 5A6
What happens next?
Submitted PCAF proposals are reviewed by the PCAF Advisory Committee, composed of provincial Fish and Wildlife staff, a representative from the Federation of British Columbia Naturalists and the B.C. Wildlife Federation, and staff of the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. Recommendations for approval are presented to the Chair of the HCTF Board of Directors for final funding decisions.