MacKay Creek Estuary Restoration Underway

  North Vancouver, BC – The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) is partnering with Seaspan Shipyards, Canada's non-combat shipbuilder, to breathe new life into the estuary at the mouth of MacKay Creek. The MacKay Creek estuary is the first of seven degraded pocket estuaries in Burrard Inlet to be restored. It is important to understand that estuaries are one of our most valuable natural resources, more productive per acre than the richest farmland. "The HCTF's contribution to the MacKay Creek project in support of restoration is consistent with its policy to use monies from creative sentencing awards to address conservation issues at or near the site of impact", said Brian Springinotic, CEO of the HCTF. Creative sentencing enables judges to use sentencing alternatives beyond the traditional options of fines, penalties and imprisonment. Under this approach, courts can order offenders to make payments to HCTF, who will then invest those funds into science based, peer reviewed conservation projects. To date, the Foundation has invested over $1.3 million, from creative sentencing awards, in conservation projects throughout the province. The investment by the HCTF in the MacKay Creek estuary is complementary to the restoration work undertaken by Seaspan as part of its Vancouver...
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PCAF Application Deadline Sept 15

The second and final call for 2013-14 PCAF applications is only a few weeks away. Applications must be received by 4:30pm on Sunday, September 15th to be considered for funding. Please ensure you review all of the information on our PCAF application page , as there have been some changes to both the application form and guidelines. Questions about PCAF or the application process? Contact us.
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PCAF Project Makes Ancient Forest Accessible to All

Earlier this month, hundreds of people turned out for the Grand Opening of the Universal Boardwalk, near Dome Creek, BC . The newly-constructed boardwalk allows people of all ages and abilities to experience hiking through a unique inland temperate rainforest. The Ancient Forest is one of only a few surviving stands of old-growth cedar forest in the Upper Fraser River and Robson Valley, and is home to a rich abundance of native flora and fauna. There are more tree species within the inland rain forests than anywhere else in BC, and these include some impressive specimens: a number of the Ancient Forest's giant cedars are over 1000 years old and nearly 16 feet in diameter. More than 200 different kinds of lichen have been found here, some of which researchers believe may be newly-discovered species. And the forest and surrounding area provides habitat for a suite of iconic BC carnivores, including grizzly bears, lynx, wolves, wolverines, and cougars. Before the boardwalk was constructed, the rough terrain of the Ancient Forest Trail made it extremely difficult for people with physical limitations to experience this spectacular ecosystem first-hand. Now, the boardwalk provides full access for visitors requiring wheelchairs or other mobility devices.  ...
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New Docks for Urban Lakes

A joint venture between HCTF, FFSBC and the Province is making angling more accessible to families who may have previously found going fishing a challenge. By installing docks and making site improvements at stocked lakes near urban centres, the Vancouver Island Urban Lake Fishery Development & Improvement Program is providing new opportunities for anglers young and old to experience great fishing close to home. Urban lake infrastructure programs have been created to help reverse the trend of declining angler numbers across BC. Research by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC (FFSBC) indicates that one of the best ways to increase angler participation is through creation of new fishing opportunities for youth. By constructing family-friendly fishing sites that don't require a boat and are within easy driving distance of urban centres, project leaders hope to eliminate some of the hurdles that may have previously discouraged families from fishing. The Vancouver Island Urban Lake Fishery Development & Improvement Program began in 2009 with seed funding from HCTF. Project leader Scott Silvestri and his team carefully selected project sites that would both maximize potential angler benefits and minimize expenditures through partnerships with local clubs and municipalities. The project has already received over $75,000...
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Last Call for 2013 Learn to Fish

As summer draws to a close, so does the lake-based 2013 Learn to Fish program. There are still a few opportunities to take part in one of these hands-on instructional sessions, designed to get new anglers of all ages fishing with confidence. FFSBC has a full list of Learn to Fish program dates and locations available on their website (please note that some sessions require pre-registration). Participants will learn to identify local fish species, set up tackle, how to cast, safe fish handling, and more. No more 2013 sessions in your area? FFSBC runs the program year round from their visitor centre at the Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery in Abbotsford. You can also check out the information in the Learn to Fish program guide . Happy angling! HCTF has been a major funder of the Learn to Fish program since 2007. Last year, over 25,000 youth took part in one of 800 sessions offered in locations across BC.