Four Cariboo conservation projects and two programs were among the list of grant recipients announced by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) in Fernie last Friday. In total, they were approved for over $300,000 in grants to support work benefitting local fish and wildlife. Approved projects include:
A $28,000 grant for the Mid-Fraser River White Sturgeon Radio Telemetry project, which tracks the movement of radio-tagged sturgeon in order to identify key habitats and better understand their migrations.
A $26,000 grant to reduce tree encroachment in grasslands and remove ingrowth from Douglas fir stands to improve mule deer range within Churn Creek Protected Area.
An $88,000 grant for the Quesnel Lake Angler Exploitation study, which is using the latest in acoustic technology to estimate the proportion of large rainbow trout, bull trout and lake trout caught in Quesnel Lake.
Maintenance of regional fisheries infrastructure, including aerators on Irish, Simon and Skulow Lakes.
Habitat enhancement activities on a number of Cariboo conservation lands, including Chilcotin Lake & Marshes and Knife Creek.
HCTF Chair Harvey Andrusak says the grant selection process is competitive and ensures that the maximum conservation benefit is achieved for the money available.
“Each year, we receive hundreds of applications requesting funding for BC conservation projects,” said Andrusak.
“These proposals are carefully reviewed and evaluated on their technical merit, and also their potential to make a positive difference for fish and wildlife: only the best of the best are selected for funding.”
For 2015/16, HCTF has approved 118 projects in BC: a total of $6.5 million in grants.
Most of the funding awarded comes from surcharges on fishing and hunting licences, and many of the approved projects are focused on species important to anglers and hunters.
However, a significant number of grants also go to projects benefitting whole ecosystems, species-at-risk, and environmental education programs.