Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) is a regional land trust that conserves nature on south Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands on the territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən, W̱SÁNEĆ, SC’IȺNEW, T’Sou-ke, and Pacheedaht Nations. We envision a future where the full array of natural habitats on south Vancouver Island and southern Gulf Islands is healthy and conserved for future generations of all species.
HAT fosters community-engaged conservation, bringing individuals, groups, and communities together through working with the earth through restoration and enhancement. We help property owners establish permanent legal restrictions to protect natural habitats through our Good Neighbours program and by way of registering conservation covenants on private properties.
HAT works in partnership with local Indigenous Nations, 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! Rarely, HAT accepts donations of property and purchases lands that are then placed into permanent conservation.
Conservation takes a community. With our local roots, HAT is able to focus our work on a very specific geography. Because of our size, HAT is a dynamic organization that can adapt quickly to the changing landscape of conservation in these territories.
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 quickly disappearing habitats. Given the important of Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, which is an ongoing process, with more people moving to the region it is important for conservation groups to be able to shapeshift to meet new needs and challenges faced by our conservation community.
Since 1996 HAT has been called on by local government and local Indigenous Nations to partner on the creation of new conservation areas, parks, and green spaces. From the Sea to Sea Green Blue Belt to (most recently) the Mountain Road Forest Project…from providing site-visits to help local property owners turn their gardens to native plant habitat, to cultivating a network of private properties that create a broad migration corridor – HAT’s focus is on conservation through partnership, and seeing the vision of our conservation community realized.