Habitat Acquisition Trust is a regional land trust that conserves nature on south Vancouver Island. We envision a future where the full array of natural habitats on south Vancouver Island and southern Gulf Islands is healthy and conserved.
There are five ways we work to achieve our vision:
- by increasing the amount of protected natural area in our region;
- by maintaining and restoring natural areas;
- by engaging the public;
- by creating community partnerships; and
- by ensuring HAT's organizational excellence.
HAT accepts donations of property, purchases land, and helps landowners establish permanent legal restrictions to protect natural habitats. HAT works in partnership with governments and other non-profit organizations to achieve our goals. We also work with communities, schools, and individual landowners to enhance habitat protection on private land - making everyone part of the solution!
Where We Work
HAT works in a spectacular part of Canada, being in the south-west corner of British Columbia. The area our mandate area centres around the Capital Regional District of British Columbia, and consists of southern Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands. This is a special part of Canada where the warm, mild climate is home to species and habitats that cannot be found elsewhere in Canada - and some of these ecosystems and species are the most endangered in the country. A disproportionate number of BC's threatened and endangered species occur in our region, which also has a disproportionate amount of British Columbia's private lands.
Every year, more and more tourists and new residents come to our region to enjoy the mild climate and spectacular scenery. Development places ever-increasing pressure on our disappearing habitats.
HAT was established in 1996 by the Victoria Natural History Society. The VNHS envisioned a local land trust that would directly conserve land by acquiring titles and covenants, and by working with residents to foster stewardship of natural ecosystems.
HAT was involved in promoting the effort to estiblish a Sea-to-Sea Greenbelt in the Sooke Hills and beyond. As a result of that effort HAT worked with the Society to Protect Ayum Creek to conserve Ayum Estuary. That purchase became our first acquisition. Today, the Sea-to-Sea Greenbelt is over 95% protected, and HAT protects over 2100 hectares of natural habitats.
HAT is a registered society (S-36193) with an elected, volunteer Board of Directors. We are also a registered charity (88962 6545 RR0001). As a registered society, HAT has a constitution and a set of by-laws to which we adhere.
This year, we are transitioning into the new Societies Act, and will be proposing revised Constitution and Bylaws at our upcoming AGM in Januaruy 2018. We welcome any feedback for our Members on these proposed changes. To review the complete set of the new Constitution and Bylaws, and review a summary of the proposed changes, see below:
HAT has organizational policies approved by our Board of Directors that guide HAT activities.
For a look at all of HAT's policies, please see attached HAT Policy Manual.