HCTF Board Changes

This month, we welcomed a new HCTF Board member – and welcomed back a familiar face. Brenda Nelson was appointed as the representative for the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia , replacing Anna Fontana. Al Martin has returned to the Board as the BC Wildlife Federation representative, replacing Les Husband. Both Anna and Les served as volunteer HCTF Board members for over a decade, and each brought a tremendous range of experience and knowledge regarding natural resource issues. Their experience served the Foundation extremely well, and we thank them for their commitment to sustaining the fish and wildlife resources of this province. While they are no longer members of the HCTF Board, we know that they will continue to work hard for conservation in BC. Good luck!

2014-15 Preliminary List of Approved Projects

The preliminary list of approved HCTF Enhancement & Restoration projects is available here . Please note these projects are approved in principle only and may have funding conditions and/or budget adjustments. You will receive official notification of your project’s funding status as well as the reviewer’s comments and any funding conditions in the next few weeks.

Natural Allies

Robin Annschild of the Salt Spring Island Conservancy explains how working together with their local Rod & Gun Club has turned out to be a win-win situation. Listen to anyone speak about the good ol’ days of conservation in this province, and it will quickly become apparent how much things have changed.  Though environmental pressures have increased, stable sources of funding have become increasingly hard to come by. From land conservancies to stewardship groups, organizations have had to find ways of doing more with less, requiring increased resourcefulness, innovation and formation of partnerships beyond traditional allies. The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) had the opportunity to talk with Robin Annschild, Conservation Director of the Salt Spring Island Conservancy , about how her organization is doing just that, to the benefit of everyone involved. Robin, over the past 3 years, the Salt Spring Island Conservancy (SSIC) has managed to secure an impressive amount of habitat, but I’m told there’s far more work to be done. Why is land securement so important on Salt Spring? Salt Spring lies within the Coastal Douglas Fir zone–the rarest ecosystem in the province with the highest number of species at risk. Over 50 rare or endangered...
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Acquisition Grant Application Deadline March 31st

We are four weeks away from the deadline for submitting an HCTF acquisition grant application .  Each year, HCTF provides grants to organizations seeking funds to acquire land with high conservation values, so that these values may be protected in perpetuity. Last year, an HCTF acquisition grant enabled the Nature Conservancy of Canada to purchase Elkink South Block in the South Okanagan. Read more about HCTF's past acquisition projects, or find out how to apply>>

Elkink South Block, Sagebrush Slopes and Sparrow Grasslands

The South Okanagan-Similkameen region is a biodiversity hotspot, home to unique assemblages of plants and animals. The Bunchgrass Zone ecosystem of this region is found in less than one percent of BC, yet it supports a tremendous diversity and density of wildlife.  Unfortunately, agricultural use and urbanization have resulted in this delicate ecosystem becoming one of the three most endangered in Canada. With thirty percent of the province’s at-risk species dependent on it, there has been a great impetus to conserve grassland properties before the ecosystem and its inhabitants are lost. HCTF contributed $800,000 to NCC ’s purchase of three properties in the South Okanagan Similkameen that contain significant amounts of grassland habitat.  Sagebrush Slopes, Sparrow Grasslands and Elkink South Block added a total of 1,263 hectares of invaluable habitat to existing protected areas. Together, these parcels comprise the most extensive sagebrush community in the region. Their protection preserves migration corridors and allows wildlife to move freely between the Similkameen and Okanagan Valleys, and through to the desert areas of the western United States. Red-listed species on site include the Grasshopper, Lark and Brewer’s Sparrows, Lewis’s Woodpecker, American Badger and Burrowing Owl. Once the management plan for the recently-purchased Elkink...
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