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Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation announces funding for projects in the Interior

A project led by the Applied Mammal Research Institute has received $31,500 to improve the habitat for BC's native mustelid populations which include martens, weasels, and ermine.

The project will work to restore underbrush habitats and accelerate forest regeneration in areas affected by pine beetle infestations.

Earlier this year the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) awarded $9.3 million to fund 175 individual conservation projects across the province.

This project is funded by HCTF and the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC).

<who> Photo Credit: Courtesy of Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation</who> American Marten

According to the statement, some level of forest disruption is a normal occurrence in BC’s forests but large scale disturbances have been observed in recent years.

After these disturbances, like pine beetle infestations, restoration can take decades.

“This research project asks if there are ways to significantly accelerate restoration activities that grow new mature forest environments in reduced lengths of time that will provide both economic [and] environmental benefits,” said Thomas Sullivan, project lead.

<who> Photo Credit: Courtesy of Thomas Sullivan</who> Short-tailed Weasel

Other HCTF-funded projects taking place in the Interior region include:

  • $91,000 for research into the response of mule deer to wildlife activity in the Boundary region, West Okanagan and Bonaparte Plateau areas

  • $71,000 for research into the effects of climate change on aquatic ecosystems within Bessette and Duteau Creek.

  • $54,000 to assess the status of the bull trout population in the Upper Shuswap River

  • $52,000 for stewardship efforts engaging residents of the Kettle River Watershed to restore and maintain riverside Black Cottonwood forests in the area.

  • $20,000 for naturalization efforts designed to return 10 acres along the Similkameen river to riverside forest habitat

For 40 years, HCTF has been helping conservation groups, governments, Indigenous nations and local communities with the implementation of projects that protect wildlife and their habitats.

Much of the funding comes from public groups like the BC Wildlife Federation and FESBC, the provincial government, court fines and a large amount comes from the conservation surcharge paid by BC anglers, hunters and trappers.

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