Topic 4: Funding for species and ecosystems at risk



The Province is interested in investigating innovative funding sources that would provide long-term, stable funding to support conservation of species at risk.

WHAT’S THE ISSUE

The recovery and protection of species and ecosystems at risk requires long-term, stable funding to support activities such as research, monitoring, reporting and stewardship. The Province’s challenge is to provide long-term, stable funding options to meet our conservation goals for species at risk – while at the same time balancing fiscal priorities across all sectors of government.

BACKGROUND

Conservation projects throughout North America have been supported through a variety of approaches such as trust funds, licence fees for resource users, voluntary initiatives and taxation. Below are a few examples of successful conservation funding programs.

Trust Funds

Trust funds are often based on an initial amount of money that is invested which in turn provides annual earnings through the interest and or further contributions. Trust funds can be supported through governments or the private sector.

An example of a non-profit charitable foundation that supports BC conservation projects through the use of a trust fund is the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF). It is funded by a provincially legislated surcharge on hunting and fishing licences. These surcharges are invested to improve habitat conditions for native species, and may also provide benefits to contributors by directly enhancing their opportunities to use and enjoy wildlife and fish resources. Projects funded include on-the-ground conservation projects and environmental education.

Voluntary Fees

It has been shown that voluntary fees work well as a funding source when there is an incentive for people to support the fee.

In Florida, residents can purchase a conservation licence plate for an additional $15 showing that they support conservation efforts in their state. Drivers choose which project they support and receive a specially designed plate for that project, with their fees going directly to their chosen project.

Taxes

Some jurisdictions allocate income generated from [taxes] towards species at risk projects. Funding can be allocated from general tax revenue (e.g., a fixed annual allocation) or through a subject specific tax that is placed on services (i.e., the allocation varies with use of the service).

The Government of Canada developed the Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP) as part of its species at risk strategy. The HSP provides approximately $12.7 million a year to projects that both conserve and protect species at risk and their habitats. Similarly, the Government of Ontario has a number of programs that allocate provincial grants for species at risk projects.

Please provide your answers to the following questions:

  • Do you have examples of other innovative funding opportunities that have worked well for conservation projects on a stable, long-term basis?
  • Of the models presented or of others that you are aware of, which do you prefer and why?

 

 

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    User avatar
    [-] Gregory West

    I would support a small tax increase to fund better protection of endangered species. This is a vitally important issue. I would also suggest a tax or fee for those using BC land for resource extraction. This seems like an obvious solution that would garner widespread public support.

    User avatar
    [-] Dan Durston

    The government of BC should fund the Species at Risk Act and it’s enforcement. Without funding it will lack teeth, and with funding from corporation it’ll become vulnerable to corporate legislation. Our environment and species are the most important thing we have and we need to protect it without outside influence.

    User avatar
    [-] Noah Quastel

    We have an income tax and a corporate tax and those rates have been lowered in the last decades without good reason. Scandinavian and other Northern European countries direct 10 to 20 percent more of GDP to government through the tax system than in British Columbia. So raise taxes to support legislation and administration that fulfills our moral duties and international obligations.

    User avatar
    [-] Cindy Wilson

    We need to do far more to protect species at risk from habitat loss, which, along with climate change, is the leading cause of declining wildlife populations.

    User avatar
    [-] BCSPCA

    Agree that the Province needs to provide long-term, stable funding to protect species at risk and support proper enforcement and monitoring of a provincial endangered species law.

    User avatar
    [-] Dave

    I was just at a Forestry Engineering Conference in Richmond. In it one of the presentations was about “fish habitat banking”. This is a program where we propose to DFO an enhancement program that will improve fish habitat. As I understand it once approved we do the enhancement, monitor it, to prove that it works, and then receive a credit that we can use in the future to offset an impact from another project with negative impacts to fish. It seems to be a very transferable concept to SAR. I am a road engineer and can see lots of opportunity where I can modify a project to enhance SAR as a part of my existing projects that fit with this concept.

    User avatar
    [-] Sarah Brown

    •The protection of species at risk should be properly funded by the BC government. Programs should not be reliant on bake sales or handouts from corporate donors as is the case now.
    •BC needs a strong provincial endangered species law that is well funded to ensure proper enforcement and monitoring

    User avatar
    [-] Judith

    Funding for protection of species at risk needs core government funding.

    User avatar
    [-] Bernadette Keenan

    The protection of species at risk should be properly funded by the BC government. Programs should not be reliant on bake sales or handouts from corporate donors as is the case now.
    BC needs a strong provincial endangered species law that is well funded to ensure proper enforcement and monitoring.
    Every one benefits including economically from industry like eco-tourism when the environment is healthy so provincial funding for protection of endangered species is best.

    User avatar
    [-] Tina

    Provincial government should fund mapping of important SEAR habitat across the province – add to and improve on federal gov’t Critical Habitat mapping. Support citizens and local governments with this information. I don’t feel that voluntary fees will help enough. Spend time/money instead on monitoring, mapping and protecting species by improving provincial legislation and supporting resources. If there are red-listed species out there with habitat in BC that is not yet protected, let’s just protect it.

    User avatar
    [-] Keith Monroe

    I think this section has gone off on a tangent and it appears that the author thinks of conservation of species at risk in terms of construction projects to be funded by “special” funding sources. It is important to recognize that this is a central important part of government’s natural resource management mandate and should be part of the normal budget allocation process. The first step in conserving species at risk is to protect important habitat. This could often be accomplished at little direct cost to government.
    If a significant need for funding is identified and government doesn’t want to divert funds from other priorities then increasing revenues from resource royalties should be considered.
    What about using the money that is currently used to subsidize the fossil fuel industry?

    User avatar
    [-] Mark D. Thompson

    I think that the project that Willie Smits describes in the following links are some of the most innovative approaches to conservation, because the returns on investment are clear:
    https://www.ted.com/talks/willie_smits_restores_a_rainforest
    http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-08299-8_10

    I’m also appreciative of the BC Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program and the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund opportunities. However, I’m still concerned that the monetary funding approach does not do enough for long-term ecological experiments. Ultimately, we require longer-term investments into ecological and conservation management research on the order of 50-100 years of study and investigation. The approach advocated by the international long term ecological research network (ILTER) is the approach that I prefer, because we need large collaborative efforts that brings researchers together from diverse backgrounds to gain an explicit understanding of the issues and how conservation initiatives are providing returns on investment.

    User avatar
    [-] Sue M

    I appreciate trust funds and others providing the support in the interim before our provincial government can actually lead on this, however, it is important that this has ongoing stable funding and is seen as a core role of government, not just a charitable issues that happens when funding allows. We should charge more royalties on extractive industries to fund the work needed to protect species. Taxation is my preference.

    User avatar
    [-] Sue M

    Also, if the provincial government is proper;y funding the work on species at risk, this helps to address the fact that presently all of these habitat destruction issues are an externalized cost where industry and the province do not pay for the destruction and reap the benefits but the environment and society pays. By including these externalized costs to the province (and hopefully through taxes to the industry or responsible party), perhaps better decisions on land use can be made.

    User avatar
    [-] Judy Carlson

    I recognize that there is never enough tax money go go around, but the other species with whom we share this land are part of our common heritage, and ensuring that they thrive also ensures a healthier world for us. We all, individuals as well as corporations, are exploiting our natural resources without taking adequate account of the damage we are doing. Adjust the taxation system to protect our natural capital.

    User avatar
    [-] Ron Percival

    The Province of British Columbia in concert with conservation, civic and industrial organizations could consider organizing fund raising benefit concerts and other public events to raise funding to protect species at risk. There will be entertainers, celebrities, professional athletes and and others who would volunteer to contribute appearance time to such an important initiative. Who wouldn’t want to support the protection of precious species at risk in our beautiful province? Someone just has to facilitate – and perhaps the dedicated government managers behind this initiative are the appropriate facilitators.

    User avatar
    [-] Jenefer Smalley

    1. Taxes and Florida’s idea for revenue are great ideas for raising funds. A portion of our taxes should be allocated to our environment just as every other sector to create a balance. I have never raised money for a conservation project so I can’t answer this question.

    User avatar
    [-] Calvin Sandborn

    BC could raise millions of dollars to protect endangered ecosystems in the province without raising taxes. That’s just one of a number of findings in a new ELC report prepared for the Ancient Forest Alliance.

    The UVic Environmental Law Centre Report “Finding the Money to Buy and Protect Natural Lands” provides numerous ideas for funding the acquisition of lands to protect at-risk species and other natural values. See http://www.elc.uvic.ca/?s=funding+for+nature.

    “Finding the Money to Buy and Protect Natural Lands” highlights the urgent need to protect sensitive lands in BC before they are permanently lost to urban growth, industrial activities or other development. The report provides 17 recommendations, including a call for the Province to establish an annual $40 million Natural Lands Acquisition Fund to purchase and protect endangered ecosystems from private landowners.

    Because private lands account for such a high percentage of BC’s most endangered, biologically diverse and rich ecosystems, they are disproportionally important for conservation efforts in BC. Land trusts, environmental groups and private citizens can help, but they don’t have the funds to protect enough of the lands at risk.

    There are hundreds of examples across the province where a BC Natural Lands Acquisition Trust could protect land – including old-growth forest land – immediately. Time is of the essence as some risks could be imminent: Island Timberlands has recently carved roads into the mountainside above Cathedral Grove, which may mean it could be logged soon.

    Fortunately, the report provides many examples of how other jurisdictions are purchasing lands in need of protection. And it offers some relatively easy and low cost mechanisms the Province could implement quickly.

    The example that would bring in millions – without raising taxes – would be to collect unredeemed beverage deposits. BC residents pay deposit on soft drink and other containers, which is refunded upon return. If the container is not returned, the deposit remains with the beverage industry. It can be a substantial windfall – in 2014 BC had $16 million worth of unclaimed bottle deposits.

    Alternatively, the Province could choose to establish a tax to offset the depletion of non-renewable resources and use those funds to purchase and protect land. That mechanism has been the most important fund-raising mechanism for funding US federal parks. In 2006, revenues from oil and gas sales, fees and rentals in BC generated over $2 billion. Devoting even a small portion of that revenue to a trust would allow industries using up non-renewable resources to compensate future generations by protecting endangered lands.

    Alternatively, the Province could consider the Vermont example, and use funds from a tax on real estate speculation.

    The entire ELC report should be carefully considered by anyone interested in how Government could raise money to protect the habitat of endangered species.

    Professor Calvin Sandborn
    Legal Director
    UVic Environmental Law Centre

    User avatar
    [-] Kara Morgan

    I would like the Federal Government to provide funding for First Nations Communities that are developing a Land Use Plan with particular regards to protecting species at risk-this includes wildlife, and medicinal and traditional plants. I believe the migration patterns should be mapped, and we develop safe habitats. This includes protection and enhancement of their food source, water source, habitat (this includes places to hide from predators including human encroachment of homes and hunting) and controlling hunting in that area (this would require greater participation by the conservation officers to monitor those areas for poaching and illegal hunting in protected areas)

    User avatar
    [-] Peter Trescher

    I have real concerns about how “Trusts” buy up private land to ensure that land is not used for resource extraction. It would be better if the land was managed in away that is sustainable. I am a rancher who manages livestock on private land through rotational grazing. I have more elk grazing on my 800 acre ranch than Kootenay National Park has ….why?….because I create the environment for growing grass that is nutritious….. the elk, deer and waterfowl know where to go and find it. I am compensated through the Agriculture-Wildlife Program for creating the habitat…so I am happy. The new Farmland Advantage Program is also used to compensate for land set aside to maintain riparian areas. Its a new program that specializes in smaller BMP projects. Happy with it too.

    User avatar
    [-] Lynda Gagne

    Taxes are too low. There is too much money in private hands directed at excessive consumption and waste while social and environmental protection are falling by the wayside. Voluntary contributions only go so far – there is a lot of free riding. I already voluntarily contribute as much as I can. I would be willing to tighten my belt even further if everyone else who can afford it was also required to do so. Increase income and carbon taxes to fund the programs we need to establish a just and sustainable society.

    User avatar
    [-] Jody Lownds

    Agree that the Province needs to provide long-term, stable funding to protect species at risk and support proper enforcement and monitoring of a provincial endangered species law.

    User avatar
    [-] Natalia Kuzmyn

    How about a wildlife conservation lottery fund? I would sooner buy tickets for something like that than supporting most of the current BC lottery causes. Losing would truly feel like winning, rather than simply a tax on poor people’s hopes for a better life. With definite goals spelled out and enacted, it could become the most popular of all lotteries.
    Another idea, Eco-Tourism, is not being explored to the extent of many other nations’ efforts–beyond turkey shooting at bears. The BC wilderness experience is unique without guns, yet even most Canadians are unaware of it.
    It is sad that funding such efforts is not considered as crucial and fundamental as for corporate welfare for non-sustainable industries that harm our ecosystems. The very fact that government is casting out for these funding ideas rather than cleaning house first is objectionable.

    User avatar
    [-] Steeve Caron

    A tax form is one way to achieve stable funding. It could take the shape of a mandatory contribution from resources extracting businesses. The members of the public could also contribute by voluntary taxes. The taxes levied by government on resources cies should be invested in trusts funds.

    User avatar
    [-] Judy Thomas

    Taxes on corporations are too low. Taxes on corporations (and on all of us) are for funding public good. When taxes are low there are less funds and it is not a given that low taxes mean more economic development. Can be a race to the bottom for society.
    Add a tax on timber harvesting and oil gas extraction to compensate for their disruption on habitat.

    User avatar
    [-] Des Belton

    Fees to visit critical habitat areas would be a good idea, especially if combined with promotion of tourism for such purposes. We need to develop much more of a wilderness guiding tourism system (for photog or art or viewing) parallel to the hunting guiding system, with a percentage of the fees paid to a conservation trust…

    User avatar
    [-] Onni Milne

    The Province needs to provide long-term, stable funding to protect species at risk and support proper enforcement and monitoring of a provincial endangered species law. We have a responsibility as stewards of this land to pass on a Super Natural BC filled with magic creatures and plants.

    I encourage increasing taxes to corporations which benefit from destroying our environment, i.e. logging, LNG. How about offering a plaque with names of voluntary donors to projects.

    User avatar
    [-] Warren Bell

    For heaven’s sake do not rely on voluntary methods! (Unless you’re hoping they’ll fail.) Surcharges on hunting and fishing licences, on user fees for provincial park use, on guides (an annual fee), on fishing and hunting lodge owners, on purchase of off-road vehicles, fishing gear, firearms and even outdoor clothing for back-country use, and any other person or activity that uses open spaces or natural ecosystems — this would be a start. Couple this with fines for habitat degradation, harm or destruction which goes ENTIRELY into SAR protection, and a surcharge on costs associated with habitat restoration after it has been damaged — these are all options.

    User avatar
    [-] John Bergenske

    The existing funding mechanisms such as HCTF should be expanded to include a tax on outdoor recreational goods, guided hunting and outdoor recreation (including skiing etc.), an additional surcharge on the sales of all recreational vehicles, and licencing and taxation of all out of province recreational vehicles (ATVs, snow machines).

    The recommendations from UVic deserve special attention.

    User avatar
    [-] Chloe Annas

    Agree that the Province needs to provide long-term, stable funding to protect species at risk
    and support proper enforcement and monitoring of a provincial endangered species law.

    User avatar
    [-] Sue Womersley

    I agree the province should provide long term, stable funding to support conservation of species and their habitats. I believe it should be achieved thru both fees and surcharges to outdoor recreation (as accomplished in other arenas such as recycling surcharges such as paint and bottles, taxes in fuel, resort fee surcharges etc). At the opposite end of this is fines for destruction, required restitution etc. How Cities and Municipalities protect trees on city lots could also apply… Fees, protection, huge deposit kept for 1 year to ensure the onus is on applicants to protect the trees…. They are inspired to care from the outset and encouraged by a big hit to the wallet if not successful…

    User avatar
    [-] Jennifer I Sullivan

    I agree that the Province needs to provide long-term, stable funding to protect species at risk and support proper enforcement and monitoring of a provincial endangered species law.

    This should come out of provincial taxes and the Premier’s salary.

    User avatar
    [-] Sharon Cross

    Long term, stable funding is long overdue. Enforcement is an issue that is sadly lacking in Ministry of Environment. A conservation tax paid for by corporations currently involved in resource extraction would be an option. This is normally where wildlife habitat is most devastatingly impacted.

    User avatar
    [-] Judy Thomas

    Prefer the taxes option, but tax resource extractors not residents.

    User avatar
    [-] Mackenzie

    I really like the conservation licence plate that Florida provides for people. Personally I think its a great idea to get some extra funding; I know that many people I know would be happy the spend some extra money on a licence plate that shows support for conservation within our province.

    User avatar
    [-] Matthew Connolly

    Extra costs associated with mitigation for SAR (i.e. extra salvaging costs, required plantings) for works in SAR habitat need to be provided by the province for smaller jurisdictions doing routine work.

    HSP funding isn’t applicable for legally required mitigation/enhancement and doesn’t address the issue of the huge costs associated with SAR mitigation. There needs to be funding and support in place to mitigate costs to smaller municipalities for things such as extra salvage effort and required plantings or habitat enhancements. This issue is just going to become more prevalent as more SAR are listed and more municipalities have to grapple with the implications of mitigating harm to SAR during routine municipal operations,

    User avatar
    [-] Islands_Trust

    • We suggest that the Province create a fund to support voluntary land stewardship actions on private land, including the costs associated with land acquisition and registering voluntary conservation covenants which provide lasting protection that runs with the land title.

    • The Islands Trust Council offers an innovative program that combines ecosystem conservation and tax savings. The Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Program (NAPTEP) is a unique program enabled by the provincial Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Regulation under the Islands Trust Act. NAPTEP provides landowners with an annual exemption of up to 65% of their property taxes when they permanently protect the natural features of their land. Natural features eligible for protection include relatively undisturbed sensitive ecosystems; habitat for species at risk or rare ecological communities; or special geological features. Since NAPTEP’s launch in 2005, the Islands Trust Fund has protected 24 properties and 77 hectares through the program. While the program has been successful, it could be more effective if provincial funding was available to help landowners with the costs associated with registering a covenant which range from $3,500 to $12,600. For more information on the costs, please visit the Islands Fund website to see our fact sheet on the costs and benefits of NAPTEP.

    User avatar
    [-] Bronwen Evans

    Agree that the Province needs to provide long-term, stable funding to protect species at risk
    and support proper enforcement and monitoring of a provincial endangered species law.

    User avatar
    [-] Gillian Anderson

    The provincial government wastes millions of dollars annually. Make the allocation of funds for the critical work – protecting wildlife at risk – a priority and you will have the tools you need financially.

    User avatar
    [-] Chico DeMann

    Dogs, dogs, dogs.. oh yeah.. and more dogs.

    Alberta has them and many at risk US states too because they have a 100% accuracy rate at sniffing out tiny Zebra and Quagga mussels at mandatory stations.
    They can also be trained to sniff out noxious weeds too.
    Apparently, with many US states legalizing marijuana, there is a surplus of pretrained dogs which can be repurposed to detect invasives only. —
    Sorry, with present boater attitudes and “mandatory” boat check stations only being open untill 4PM, nothing else will keep invasive aquatic species out of our lakes.

    I would like to see boat sanitizer units built right into every boat launch that would help the public save time but how do you control all the canoes, paddleboards, dingys and even water wings changing lakes too?
    It only takes one kids squeeze-toy filled with tiny Quagga/Zebra mussel babies infested lakewater to contaminate a lake or stream.

    User avatar
    [-] isinipit

    The HCTF program is very successful and should continue for the long-term. I do see opportunity for more collaboration with major and minor forest tenure holders to leverage funds for further treatment. One area of suggestion is prescribed burning. Tenure holders used to prescribed burn much more frequently than they do today. For a variety of reasons they have shy’d away from this treatment (air quality and liability being the big hitters). The HCTF could collaborate with tenure holders to encourage more prescribed burning in identified habitat areas.

    Taxation of the commoner is not appropriate as they have not reaped any benefit from resource extraction. A portion of mining royalty and logging stumpage should be allocated into a new sort of habitat trust and not submited to general revenue as they are today. There already is a portion of stumpage that is set aside into a wildfire protection, so why not do the same for wildlife habitat.

    User avatar
    [-] Marjorie Coey

    I would gladly pay a dollar to ten dollar tax to support programs like the Canada Conservancy and BC conservancy ideas. I would like to see urban spreading and farmlands protected from future overdevelopment…and end to all clear cutting period. No more trophy hunting…I think we need to rethink allowing some species to the “hunted”…

    Also would like to see a “think tank” set up of for consultation and innovations that could work in the future “green framework” recently outlined by the federal / provincial governments to help with land / species protection and preservation for future generations.

    User avatar
    [-] Eva Gersbach

    Agree that the Province needs to provide long-term, stable funding to protect species at risk
    and support proper enforcement and monitoring of a provincial endangered species law.

    User avatar
    [-] Anne Skinner

    A combination of all the models will likely be needed, an allocation of taxes is fair, everyone pays to support a societal good, same as schools, hospitals or infrastructure (all the same pot of $). Trust funds can be great but support is often targeted for a species or location & not necessarily aligned with science or provincial priorities.
    Ensuring funds are spent wisely is most important not only for effectiveness but individiuals, gov’ts & organizations are all motivated to continue funding efforts that demonstrate positive results.

    User avatar
    [-] SCCP

    Do you have examples of other innovative funding opportunities that have worked well for conservation projects on a stable, long-term basis?
    As with many organizations, the SCCP continues to face challenges in this regard. As the main organization for species at risk conservation on the South Coast of BC since 2005, the SCCP has not been able to secure sustained funding or support and has had to curtail its activities when funding successes are limited. This impacts the continuity and effectiveness of our programs. This is frustrating as there continues to be growing expectations from the province and federal government around our organization taking a leading role in species at risk recovery. The most continuous and significant source of funds for the SCCP has been the Federal Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP). If the Province is serious about species at risk recovery through community partnerships, a somewhat similar grant to leverage against the HSP funds could allow our species at risk programs to thrive and grow to reach a bigger audience. Referencing Topic 3, the Kootenay Conservation Fund has proven to be successful, but is not a transferable model to all areas of the province. Locally-based (regional) taxation or trust fund mechanisms may be more dependable as long as the funding is allocated/awarded equitably and gets to the organizations it really needs to go to using defensible and transparent allocation criteria.

    Direct partnering through the provision of expertise and services in exchange for funding (cost recovery) between a conservation NGO and a regional district or municipality is one option. This has been done in the South Okanagan. The SCCP has been developing a “Social Enterprise Model” to assist local governments in policy development and operational capacity and knowledge growth around species at risk and critical habitat protection. However this model cannot achieve its potential effectiveness as long as local jurisdictions remain confused about their responsibilities for species at risk. The SCCP has heard from many municipalities that they do not understand what their legal responsibilities are and prefer to take a wait and see approach to what the provincial government does or directs them to do.

    Of the models presented or of others that you are aware of, which do you prefer and why?
    As with the previous topic (3), explicit funding for species at risk conservation can be variable and not all models work in all areas. The federal HSP and AFSAR (Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk) has a limited budget that is subject to change every year and has become increasingly over-subscribed. The $12.7 million referenced is for the entire country.BC has only seen about $2 million of that and the amount has been relatively static for a number of years (and has decreased since it was first created).
    HCTF is a good model but it is important to note that HCTF does not consistently fund projects that involve species at risk and or restoration of their habitat. As well, HCTF (like the federal grant systems mentioned above) has onerous and often overly extensive application requirements. This exemplifies the fact that meeting objectives for funding from many organizations can be difficult and competition for many existing and new funding sources is reaching critical mass.

    User avatar
    [-] Alex Inselberg

    The Province needs to provide long-term, stable funding to protect species at risk and support proper enforcement and monitoring of a provincial endangered species law.

    User avatar
    [-] Susan Courtemanche

    I believe funding conservation projects should be a long term responsibility of the BC provincial government in order to provide stability and best oversight. This funding should be a designated priority from budget to budget. The money should not be “borrowed” to fund other government projects.
    Perhaps the BC environment ministry could work cooperatively with environment organizations such as the Wilderness Committee of BC, the Sierra Club of BC, and the Ancient Forest Alliance.

    User avatar
    [-] MARION ACHOULIAS

    Provincial grants, tax incentives, HSP fund programs are important. Stable funding is needed to bring about real change. With respect to public education, the school board and universites should do their part. Volunteer and practicum programs (offering certification) will contribute in providing essential human resources. In addition, the logging and mining industries should be held accountable (yes-financially) for the damage they have done. As this is unlikely to ever happen, at least these resource extractors (and destroyers I should add) should be taxed (it is not acceptable that local residents shoulder the burden alone). I would gladly contribute to a fair and just program (shared responsibility) but structural change is needed.

    User avatar
    [-] Bevan

    In my opinion the management of species at risk warrants a certain level of funding from general tax revenue. The conservation of species at risk will contribute to overall conservation of ecosystems and the services they provide. These services benefit all British Columbians so some funding through general revenue would be justified. Voluntary fees can be used to fund specific projects when there are short term costs that cannot be covered through general tax revenue.

    User avatar
    [-] Juliet Craig

    The Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund was established by the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) in 2008. The Kootenay Conservation Program was instrumental in the development of this fund but it is a RDEK Service. Residents of the Columbia Valley pay $20/parcel/year towards conservation efforts. A Technical Review Committee reviews proposals for this fund, both securement and stewardship projects, and provides recommendations to the RDEK. Since 2008, this fund has generated $1.6 million towards conservation.

    The Kootenay Lake Local Conservation Fund was established in 2015 in the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) based on this model.

    Both of these funds support a variety of conservation projects that include species at risk recovery efforts (e.g. frogs, bats, toads) as well as other initiatives (e.g. wetland restoration, invasive plant control, grassland restoration).

    Although this is a successful model for part of funding, the provincial government needs to demonstrate leadership and contribution to species at risk efforts by providing adequate funding opportunities.

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