Three Northern Leopard Frogs pictured on an open palm. The Northern Leopard Frog population across much of Western Canada declined sharply in the 1970s. The DFO recently announced annual funding to the province’s Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk (AFSAR) and the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk (HSP). (Black Press file photo)

DFO announces project funding to at-risk species conservation programs

The two programs have approved funding for nearly 90 new projects over the next year.

Among flailing sockeye numbers and general uncertainty regarding 2019 salmon returns, the province has announced annual project funding for two species at risk conservation programs.

On Tuesday Minister Jonathan Wilkinson of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) announced project funding to the province’s Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk (AFSAR) and the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk (HSP).

The two programs have approved approximately $4.5 million in funding for nearly 90 new projects combined in 2019-2020.

“Over the past 50 years, the world’s wildlife populations have declined by 60 per cent. Here in Canada, approximately 544 species have been identified as being at risk under the Species at Risk Act and the list is growing,” said Wilkinson at a press release Tuesday.

An agreement between the Carrier Sekani First Nations Tribal Council to improve monitoring of spawning White Sturgeon on the Nechako River and an agreement with the Langley Environmental Partners Society to improve the habitats of the at-risk Salish sucker and Nooksack dace in the Bertrand Creek Watershed are two examples of projects that have been proposed for funding through the DFO’s investment.

“The decline in biodiversity impacts both our natural environment, and the economy. That’s why, protecting, enhancing and conserving Canada’s species at risk and their habitats is a priority for our government. This funding will enable our partners, including Indigenous organizations across the country to improve our country’s biodiversity and the natural resources that Canadians rely on.”

READ MORE: DFO announces openings for fresh water Chinook

The DFO said that these investments will help to alleviate human threats to the habitats of aquatic species at risk, as well as support their long-term recovery over future generations.

Environment and Climate Change Canada leads on land-based aspects of AFSAR and HSP, while the DFO takes the lead on aquatic aspects of the programs.

AFSAR supports the involvement of Indigenous communities in Species at Risk Act (SARA) implementation by investing in community capacity and encouraging activities that contribute to conservation and recovery of species at risk, while HSP contributes to the recovery of endangered, theatened and other species deemed at risk by engaging Canadians in conversations surrounding conserving wildlife.

READ MORE: Telkwa angler praises DFO salmon closure

SARA was passed in 2002.

It’s goal is to protect organisms deemed endangered or threatened, while also managing species that are not yet threatened but “whose existence or habitat is in jeopardy.”

SARA has six categories for labelling species: Not at Risk, Special Concern, Threatened, Endangered, Extirpated and Extinct.



trevor.hewitt@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PQB crime report: Thieves pilfer safe, flare gun, even a walker

Oceaside RCMP deal with 196 complaints in one-week span

Coldest Night of the Year walk in Parksville scheduled for Feb. 22

Annual event raises money for those in need

PQBeat Podcast: The Old School House Arts Centre executive director Illana Hester

Listen: Talk includes changes at TOSH, long-term view of local arts scene

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Most Read