Nechako Environmental Enhancement Fund

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between the NEEF MC and NEEF Society?

Answer: The Management Committee (MC) is comprised of Rio Tinto and the Province of BC. Decisions on how the funds will be used were determined by the MC. The MC is not a legal entity and therefore cannot enter into agreements with grant recipients. The NEEF Society was established in 2015 to act as an agent for the MC which includes reviewing and making decisions on proposals, entering into agreements with grant recipients and forwarding funds. The NEEF Society is governed by a Board of Directors, two of which are the NEEF MC members.

2. Where does NEEF Society get its funding from?

Answer: As part of the BC/Alcan 1997 Agreement between the Province and Alcan, Rio Tinto agreed to contribute up to $50 million to the NEEF Fund.

3. What are the NEEF MC Decisions?

Answer: Following a public consultation process, the NEEF MC made 10 decisions on how the NEEF funds were to be used. The 10 Decisions outline the timeframe and under what criteria funding can be granted. Any project proposals submitted must adhere to the criteria of one of the decisions. The decisions can be found here

4.  Is there one pool of money I can apply to or are there different categories?

Answer: The 10 NEEF MC Decisions identify the breakdown on the use of the $50 million dollars available for enhancement of the Nechako Watershed. If you plan to apply for funds, please first read through the Decisions to determine where your project might fit. Proposals must show a strong tie to a specific decision.

5. Question: Is it possible that no money will be available for new projects in a given year?

Answer: Yes. NEEF MC Decisions #3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 are intended to be disbursed in equal annual allocation amounts over the period of time referenced in each of these decisions. It is possible the full annual allocation may be granted to a single project, meaning no funds are available to other projects for the rest of the year. There is also a possibility of multi-year projects. For example, a project under Decision 6 that is granted $200,000 per year for five years would mean funding under Decision 6 would not be available for other projects in this category until year 6.

6. Question: Decisions 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 all state that funds are available “by way of an annual allocation.” What does this mean?

Answer: The funding available under a decision, rather than the total amount being available in a single year, is available in equal amounts over the specified time period (either 5 or 10 years, depending on the decision).

7. Will NEEF consider funding more than 50% of a project?

Answer: No. As outlined in the 10 Decisions, funds are available by way of an annual allocation on a matching fund basis. Matching funding from a source other than NEEF is required.

8.  What funding has already been granted under which decisions?

•    Under Decision 5 – White Sturgeon Conservation Fish Culture Program: Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC is granted $4,000,000.00 over a ten-year period for the operation of the sturgeon conservation centre in Vanderhoof.
•    Under Decision 6 – Tributary Watershed Restoration and Stewardship: Nechako Environmental Watershed Stewardship Society was granted $1,000,000 over a 5-year period for the Nechako River Sustainability Project.
•    Under Decision 7 – Integrated Watershed Research: University of Northern British Columbia was granted $500,000 over a four year-period for the Integrated Watershed Research in the Nechako River Basin project.

9. What happens if no funds are granted in a particular year under a decision?

Answer: The funding is available by way of an annual allocation over a defined period time. For example, under Decision 7 – Integrated Watershed Research, “A total of $1 million of the NEEF will be available by way of an annual allocation over a period of ten years…” The ten years do not necessarily need to be chronological. There need only be 10 years of annual allocation, the timeframe to achieve this may be longer than 10 years. 

10. Why are the decisions so important? Can’t they be changed?

Answer: The decisions of the MC were arrived at after a lengthy public consultation process. The decisions are legally binding. The full report on the Decisions can be downloaded at

How To Apply