VICTORIA, B.C. – The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation has approved 14 grants for projects that help restore caribou habitat in British Columbia, including eight in the Northeast region.

With support from the B.C. and federal governments, the 2021 grants were allocated through the foundation’s Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund, totalling more than $1.65 million.

The province committed $8.5 million in 2018 to support the foundation, and in 2021, the federal government added $5 million over five years for projects to support the Central Group of Southern Mountain Caribou.

Five of the projects approved in 2021 will be funded in part by the province and by Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Since 2018, 32 grants have been provided by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation worth close to $4 million.

The recovery program aims to restore the iconic Canadian species back to a sustainable population.

Of the 14 grants given out at the third public application intake, most are for projects in the Northeast region of British Columbia.

This project is continuing from 2021, and $175,780 has been approved for 2021-2022. The project is being led by the Fort Nelson First Nation Lands Office. The project area is around 80 kilometres east of Fort Nelson. This project will benefit the Snake-Sahtahneh boreal caribou herd by restoring habitat on 45 kilometres of seismic lines, according to a release.

This project is continuing from last year and was granted $6,120 for this year. Canadian Forest Products Inc. is leading the way in an area 86 kilometres east of Prince George. It is restoring habitat on a 7.5-kilometre road that ran through high-value caribou habitat for the Hart Ranges herd. The grant will go primarily towards monitoring the already completed restoration work.

Over $53,400 was approved for this continued project, co-funded by the province and Environment and Climate Change Canada. The Nîkanêse Wah Tzee Stewardship Society. The project area is 54 kilometres east of Chetwynd. So far, the project has restored 1,287 hectares of habitat in the Klinse-Za caribou herd area. This year’s funding will go towards ongoing monitoring of last year’s completed work.

This new project was granted just under $123,000, split between the provincial government and Environment and Climate Change Canada, also led by the Nîkanêse Wah Tzee Stewardship Society. This project covers an area 45 kilometres northeast of Mackenzie, where 16 kilometres of road is being restored.

This new project was granted nearly $73,000 for a project to restore up to 16 kilometres of road. This will benefit the Chase caribou herd. The project is led by Chu Cho Environmental, and it covers an area 173 kilometres northwest of Mackenzie.

Almost $193,000 was given for a new project 65 kilometres west of Moberly Lake, led by the Nîkanêse Wah tzee Stewardship Society. The project will restore habitat on 150 kilometres of road to benefit the Klinse-Za and Scott East caribou herds.

Over $324,000 was approved for a project led by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development to restore habitat interrupted by 87 kilometres of roads and seismic lines about 20 kilometres east of Tumbler Ridge.