The Prince Edward Island Wildlife Conservation Fund provides financial support to groups working on projects that benefit wildlife and wildlife conservation in PEI. The sources for funds are: (1) annual conservation fees incorporated into PEI licences for hunting, angling and trapping and (2) Conservation Plates purchased for motor vehicles in PEI . Awards are merit-based and determined by an independent committee of eleven volunteers who represent specific wildlife interest groups on the Island. This Committee is not an arm of government, but rather operates independently and arms-length from government. The Province’s role is to collect the fees from Islanders that support the fund, transfer those fees 100% annually to the fund, and hold one of the eleven seats on the WCF Committee.
The goals of the PEI Wildlife Conservation Fund Committee, according to their terms of reference are:
- To ensure that monies are distributed to achieve long-term benefits to wildlife populations and associated habitats
- To encourage and/or promote sustainable use of wildlife resources on Prince Edward Island
- To ensure that the PEI Wildlife Conservation Fund is accountable to those who contribute to it
History of the PEI Wildlife Conservation Fund
In 1998, the Province of Prince Edward Island created the PEI Wildlife Conservation Fund out of revenues generated from a conservation fee charged for hunting, trapping and angling licences. The original purpose for the fund was to support a hatchery that could restock native fishes into Island rivers that had been impacted by fish kills. The fund was administered internally through the Forest, Fish and Wildlife Division for several years.
In the early 2000’s there was a call from the public to have the fund made arms-length from government and open to an application-based awards process. Hence, in 2006, a committee of volunteers was struck to consider applications and award funding based on project merit. A fee-for-service contract was established to cover the administration of the fund through a third party. Along with the drafting of terms of reference for the committee, this has allowed the fund to function with a certain level of autonomy.
In September 2013, an additional source of revenue for the fund was acquired through the sale of motor vehicle Conservation Licence Plates (or Conservation Plates).
The PEI Wildlife Conservation Fund Committee
The Wildlife Conservation Fund Committee is composed of volunteers who are nominated by the public and/or associations representing the individuals that contribute revenues to the fund. They sit for a three-year term and can remain for two 3-year terms. Nominations are considered as seats are vacated and replacements are voted in by the existing committee members. Each committee member represents a user and/or interest group as follows:
|Total Seats: 11|
In 2017, the Committee is made up of the following individuals:
|Hunting||Kevin Arsenault, Ken Gillan, Dennis Rix|
|Angling||John LeLacheur, Taylor Main, Scott Roloson|
|Watershed Groups||Dale Cameron|