News in brief: fish conservation, invasive species, Telus

Fish conservation projects in Valley receive funding from foundation

  • Apr. 29, 2016 5:00 a.m.

Fish conservation projects in Valley receive funding from foundation

Several fish conservation projects in the Cowichan Valley will receive funding from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.

Included in the almost $500,000 the foundation has committed to on Vancouver Island this year is  $48,000 in grants for the BC Conservation Foundation to identify and restore degraded habitats in Cowichan Lake and the Lower Cowichan River.

The Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team will receive a $29,000 grant to continue working towards restoring Western bluebirds to their former range in the Cowichan Valley.

As well, E. Wind Consulting will receive a $43,000 grant to radio-track Western Toads to their hibernation sites to guide habitat conservation efforts in areas affected by urban development.

Most of the grant money comes from surcharges on fishing and hunting licences.

While many of the approved projects are focused on species important to anglers and hunters, a significant number of grants also go to environmental education programs and projects benefitting ecosystems and species at risk.

“We consistently hear from our grant recipients just how essential this funding is to making their projects happen,” said Ross Peck, chairman of the HCTF board of directors.

“These licence surcharges provide the financial resources necessary for the province’s top conservation professionals to take on the challenges facing B.C.’s fish and wildlife.”

 

Province provides $7,000 to help North Cowichan fight invasive species

The Municipality of North Cowichan will receive $7,000 from the province to help fight invasive species.

The funding is part of $1.7 million in grants Victoria is providing 31 grants to various agencies to control the spread of invasive plants in the province.

Invasive plants are species that have been introduced into British Columbia from other areas.

They displace native vegetation, can cause significant economic and environmental damage, and may pose health risks to people and animals.

“The 2016 invasive plant grant program represents our government’s ongoing commitment to the control or eradication of harmful invasive  plants in British Columbia,” said Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson.

“This funding supports the great work being done by local governments and regional weed committees to help protect landscape values and our ranching and agriculture industries.”

 

Communications company to sink $12M into Duncan and Chemainus

Telus will invest $12 million in new infrastructure and facilities in Duncan and Chemainus this year.

The funding is intended primarily to complete the communication company’s  $29-million fibre-optic network that will connect most homes and businesses in the community directly to Telus Fibre.

In addition, Telus will increase wireless capacity to meet growing demand, ensuring customers stay connected at home and on the go.

This investment is part of Telus’ commitment to invest $4.5 billion in British Columbia to extend fibre-optic infrastructure directly to thousands of homes and businesses in rural and urban communities, further strengthening wireless service, and supporting key services, including healthcare and education, with new technologies.

“Our investment reflects Telus’ commitment to provide the advanced telecommunications connections to our residential, business and community customers to assist them to take full advantage of Canada’s digital economy,” said Ray Lawson, Telus GM for Vancouver Island.

“Through our fibre build, we’re deploying some of the most advanced networks in the world in Duncan and Chemainus, which will open up exciting new possibilities in education, entertainment, healthcare and commerce.”