Ritchie Lake Wetland Restoration: From Bad to Rad!

The following story was provided by the South Okanagan-Similkameen Conservation Program , detailing the amazing transformation of a damaged bog into a key piece of wildlife habitat. The Summerland Sportsmen’s Association received an HCTF PCAF grant to fence and restore the Ritchie Lake wetland, one of the last intact wetlands in the Garnet Valley. Through partnerships with Province, local conservation organizations and the incredible efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers, they have certainly provided a helping hand for wildlife in BC. In the 1980’s the Province of BC had the foresight to purchase a number of properties in Garnet Valley just north of Summerland to augment existing crown lands and conserve some of the highest quality ungulate winter range some wildlife biologists had ever seen. The area, known as “Antler’s Saddle” is low elevation and highly suitable winter and early spring ranges for mule deer. The valley and hillside also supports sensitive grasslands, wetlands and open forest ecosystems – habitat for other wildlife species, some of which are federally listed as “at risk”. The area is managed by the Province of BC through the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and what a challenge it is to...
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HCTF Online is Now Open

We are now accepting applications for 2014-15 Enhancement & Restoration projects  through our online application system. Applications can be submitted via HCTF Online until the deadline of  November 2nd, 2013 .

HCTF Board Visits Acquisition Properties in the South Okanagan

It was a perfect day for touring two of HCTF's most recent acquisition properties: Sage & Sparrow Grasslands  and Elkink South Block . Led by NCC's Okanagan Property Manager Barb Pryce, HCTF board members got to experience first-hand the subtle beauty of these grasslands, and learn more about their incredible ecological values. HCTF contributed $300,000 to NCC's purchase of the Sage & Sparrow Grasslands in 2012, and then granted a further $500,000 to NCC's campaign to purchase Elkink South Block last June. Together, the properties create over 3,100 acres of continuous rare grassland habitat that is home to a diverse range of amphibian, reptile, bird and mammal species, some of which occur nowhere else in the world. As part of the excursion, Board Members got to visit the site of the Burrowing Owl Recovery Program on the South Block property, and view some of the research sites where scientists are now conducting surveys of the many plants and animals inhabiting this rare ecosystem. In addition to experiencing the impressive sights (and fragrant smell of sagebrush), board members were provided with some excellent information on enhancement projects taking place within the area, as well as some of the conservation challenges facing...
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Burrard Inlet Restoration Program Featured in the Vancouver Sun

The Burrard Inlet Restoration Pilot Program was recently featured in the Vancouver Sun. You can find links to both the video and print versions of this story and other articles about the Foundation on our HCTF in the News page.

The Burrard Inlet Restoration Program

The following stroy was published in the 2013 July/August issue of Outdoor Edge magazine.  On July 24, 2007, construction workers punctured a pipeline in Burnaby, sending crude oil spraying 12 metres into the air. The black geyser flooded surrounding homes and oil poured into the storm sewers, eventually making its way to the waters of Burrard Inlet. The spill impacted over 1200 m of shoreline, contaminating birds and sea life. In addition to the estimated $15 million that was spent on cleanup and rehabilitation, the convicted parties agreed to pay a total of $447,000 to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) as part of the Crown Counsel's recommendation to use creative sentencing provisions in the Environmental Management Act. Creative sentencing provides an alternative to traditional sentencing options (such as fines or imprisonment) by allowing judges to specify payments be made to HCTF. In this case, the creative sentencing award allowed HCTF to form the Burrard Inlet Restoration Project, an innovative granting program providing funding for restoration projects on the Inlet. The first application intake provided funding for 6 projects, all of which involve students of BCIT's Ecological Restoration program. I had the opportunity to speak with three of those students:...
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