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

Cullen confirmed as B.C. NDP candidate for Stikine despite party’s equity policy

Former Tahltan Central Government President Annita McPhee said the process made her feel “abused”

CityWest to expand into Vanderhoof

The company will provide internet, TV and phone services over fibre-to-the-home technology

B.C. snap election: What we know about candidates running in the Nechako Lakes riding

Premier Horgan called for a snap election Monday, Sept. 21.

Manslaughter plea entered for 2012 death

Two others earlier pleaded guilty in murder of Fribjon Bjornson

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

Grand jury indicts police officer in Breonna Taylor death

Officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Attorney General of Canada defends Kelowna Mountie involved in rough arrest

Tyler Russell filed a lawsuit against Const. Siggy Pietrzak in June of this year

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Refresh of Liberal government’s agenda comes amid new looming COVID-19 crisis

Lockdowns saw fed spending soar to historic levels in effort to offset pandemic’s blow to Canadians’ livelihoods

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

Most Read