Sarah Fraser Appointed to FESBC Board

KAMLOOPS, B.C.: The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Sarah Fraser to the Board of Directors.

Sarah is currently the A/Assistant Deputy Minister, Rural Opportunities, Tenures and Engineering Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. She is responsible for a diverse portfolio including strategic and operational policies that relate to authorizing disposition of Crown land and forest tenures, sale of high value Crown land, and remediation of Crown contaminated sites.

The FESBC Board is responsible for the strategic direction and performance of the Society, and reviews and approves annual operating plans and budgets, including the proposed forest enhancement projects.

“Sarah’s extensive background and experience in economic development and community transition support programs will be a benefit to the important strategic decisions we make as Board members for the benefit of British Columbians. Her background in public service working to further rural policy and programs will certainly strengthen our organization and our FESBC Board and staff are pleased to welcome Sarah to the team.”

-Jim Snetsinger, RFP, FESBC Board Chair

Fraser is equally enthused to join the Board:

“I am excited to join FESBC to further the important work of the Society,” said Fraser. “FESBC has been a leader and an agent of action, funding projects which help fight climate change, reduce wildfire risk, and build future timber supply. The innovative work is done in consideration of social, environmental, and economic benefits for Indigenous peoples and communities and am pleased to lend my knowledge and experience.”

-Sarah Fraser

For More Information:

Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison | communications@fesbc.ca | 250.574.0221

A Community Focuses on Forest Health and Wildfire Risk Mitigation

Midway, B.C.: The small rural community of Midway is located on Highway #3 about one hour east of Osoyoos. The town may only have a population of 649 people, but the community hosts thousands of visitors throughout the year who venture into the West Boundary Community Forest (WBCF) to hike, bike or snowshoe the extensive Midway Trails network. As locals, visitors, and school groups are actively out in the community forest, the WBCF Board understood how critical it was to proactively start looking at ways to improve the health of the forest for future generations and to start removing dead and fallen trees that could pose a catastrophic wildfire threat.

“This project has been a community effort,” said Dan Macmaster, Fibre Manager for Vaagen Fibre Canada and Forest Manager of the WBCF. “Our team at Vaagen worked to develop the prescription, and then supervise and implement the work using funding dollars provided by FESBC and the WBCF. This project is on actively used trail systems, so it was important to engage the community to ensure their involvement and buy in, including our First Nations partners, in the planning and implementation phases.”

The Osoyoos Indian Band and their forestry team provided archaeology assessments at the outset and members of the Band have been involved in post-harvest treatments like bucking and piling trees.

“This project work has been a very light touch on the landscape using an innovative harvesting/forwarding system to minimize soil disturbance. Plus, we are doing hand treatments where possible. We’ve even had school groups come in to learn more about their community forest and to do some of the hands-on work.”

Dan Macmaster, Fibre Manager Vaagen Fibre Canada, Forest Manager WBCF

The need for the project started in the summer of 2018 when a strong windstorm came through the southern Boundary region and blew over a vast number of trees. Through daily inspections by the Midway Trail Society volunteers, blowdown from the storm was noted as significant, and an aerial inspection by the WBCF verified the extent of the damage. Because the area is already susceptible to the Douglas-fir beetle, the downed trees needed to be removed to prevent further infestation in the local forest. The Mayors of Midway and Greenwood were very supportive of the project, and a Director of the WBCF Board has been hearing excellent reviews from local residents and community leaders alike.

“We are pleased to see the hard work of so many make an improved difference for our Community Forest and for the Midway Trails,” said Ross Elliot, Director on the Board of the WBCF. “We expressed early on to the Midway Trails Society members and to the residents of Midway and Greenwood who have joint ownership of this Community Forest that there was a lot of work to be done. The $94,200 in FESBC funding, in conjunction with a $139,500 contribution from the WBCF, has allowed us to get the work underway. Moving forward, we will continue to rely on our community volunteers to maintain the trails well into the future for everyone to enjoy.”

Noting the many benefits of the project is FESBC Operations Manager, Gord Pratt.

“Our team likes to see projects that request FESBC-funding cover a number of our purposes and this project is doing just that. Not only are excessive fuel loads being reduced to mitigate increased wildfire risk, but the work is making the forest healthier. This in turn helps create enhanced wildlife habitat, maintain forest recreation opportunities, and ensures timber supply for future generations. When marginal stands can be harvested and brought to the local mill, projects like this also create economic benefits, including jobs for the community.”

To see the project area in relation to the Midway Trails System, refer to the map below or visit the West Boundary Community Forest’s website

For a tour of the area following all Covid-19 safety protocols or an interview:
Dan Macmaster, RPF, Fibre Manager Vaagen Fibre Canada & Forest Manager West Boundary Community Forest
dmacmaster@vaagen.ca | 250.528.0344

For information on/or an interview with FESBC:
Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison, Forest Enhancement Society of BC
communications@fesbc.ca | 250.574.0221

Skid trails to become new hiking trails in Midway

Ember the FireSmart Fox Name chosen after nationwide online contest by FireSmart BC

FireSmart BC welcomed a new member to the team: Ember the FireSmart Fox!

Ember is a fun, fictional fox mascot whose image will become part of FireSmart messages, activities and events. 

The name Ember was determined through an online contest that encouraged Canadians to submit suggestions. The winning entry was submitted by Arlene Steward of Swansea Point, B.C., who was the first of more than 50 Canadians (across every province and territory), and one of more than 500 contest participants, to suggest Ember.

Ember is an effective messenger because of her unique characteristics that include alertness, adaptability, intelligence and community-mindedness. Ember’s primary job is to educate the public about how to apply FireSmart principles to their homes, properties and neighbourhoods to increase wildfire resiliency.

“In an effort to spread awareness about our brand and programs, we’ve worked with FireSmart Canada to develop a fox mascot to help further engage and connect with the public,” says Kelsey Winter, FireSmart BC program lead and chair of the BC FireSmart Committee. “Ember will serve as a key tool to help us communicate to BC residents the importance of adopting FireSmart principles and best practices.”

FireSmart BC is a partner of FireSmart Canada, which leads the development of resources and programs designed to empower the public and increase community resilience to wildfire across Canada. 

To learn more about Ember, get to know some of our contest participants, and read about their FireSmart experiences, visit www.firesmartfox.ca.

About the BC FireSmart Committee:

The BC FireSmart Committee was initiated by the BC Wildfire Service in May 2017 to provide greater direction for wildfire prevention activities and better integration of the seven FireSmart disciplines throughout the province — based on the FireSmart Canada model. 

Members of the committee include the BC Wildfire Service, the Office of the Fire Commissioner, the Union of B.C. Municipalities, the Fire Chiefs’ Association of B.C., Emergency Management BC, the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. and the First Nations’ Emergency Services Society of B.C., Indigenous Services Canada, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Regions and Rural Development – Regional Operations, Parks Canada, and B.C. Parks.

Resources:

FireSmart BC website: https://firesmartbc.ca/

FireSmart BC Twitter: https://twitter.com/BCFireSmart 

FireSmart BC Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/firesmartbc 

FireSmart BC Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/firesmartbc/ 

Media Contact: 

About FireSmart Canada:

FireSmart® Canada is the national program committed to helping Canadians reduce their wildfire risk. Through publications, programs, outreach training, and workshops, FireSmart Canada provides tools for Canadians to become proactive in reducing the risk of wildfire to their homes and neighbourhoods. FireSmart programs and products are supported by organizations such as the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, the National Fire Protection Association and The Co-operators. For more information visit www.firesmartcanada.ca.

Meet Ember the FireSmart Fox!

Wildfire Risk Reduction Projects on the Move to Safeguard Okanagan Watersheds

Okanagan, B.C.: Last summer, four water purveyors – or municipal/regional water utility providers – in the Okanagan were awarded grants from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC totaling $678,910. The purpose of the grants was to fund a collaborative approach to wildfire risk reduction in all four major Okanagan watersheds.

The work happening on the ground now will not only safeguard high priority interface areas of the individual watersheds which border one another, but also help protect the broader Okanagan basin’s water quality, important wildlife habitat and infrastructure, and create opportunities to enhance the utilization of woody fibre associated with interface fuel management treatment.

Frontline Operations Group Ltd.’s Principal, John Davies, RPF, is heading up the projects. He’s been working with all four water purveyors together with input from First Nations, local governments, and key stakeholders to lead the development of prescriptions for high-value watershed infrastructure sites and a landscape level wildfire risk management plan to identify high-risk areas and subsequent plans to reduce dangerous wildfire behaviour. He is pleased with the level of engagement from all the water purveyors in the planning and the work now being done for the projects.

“The four water purveyors for the watersheds on the Aberdeen Plateau have collaboratively developed maps illustrating opportunities for landscape level fuel break development extending across the watersheds from Lavington to Joe Rich,” says Davies. “The locations are conceptual and based on in-depth GIS analysis and additional input from BC Wildfire Service (BCWS).”

A fuel break is an area where flammable woody material is removed in order to slow or stop a wildfire.

The four water purveyors involved have all started the hands-on work:

  • District of Lake Country,
  • Regional District of North Okanagan,
  • Glenmore-Ellison Improvement District, and
  • Black Mountain Irrigation District

“All four water purveyors have small-scale operational projects on the go over the fall and winter. Work will occur around residential developments as well as critical infrastructure associated with water intakes, treatment facilities, and communication towers essential to safe operations of the watersheds. Plus, these projects are providing opportunities for local contractors to pick up additional work.”

John Davies, RPF, Frontline Operations Group Ltd.

Here is a status report on each of the projects:

District of Lake Country Project: work has seen the removal of woody debris from approximately 2.5 hectares in an area near the Beaver Lake Lodge and the Vernon Creek intake. The Beaver Lake Reservoir provides essential water services for over 4,000 customers and is a backup for Okanagan Lake water customers. The wood being removed is fallen dead wood which has been provided as firewood for the local community and delivered to Okanagan Indian Band for their elders.

Black Mountain Irrigation District: A treatment to thin and remove trees for the Philpott Road has been prescribed and the Irrigation District is working with Gorman Bros. Lumber to finalize the implementation of the project this winter. Mapping of the area and recommended treatments are complete on four fuel break areas above Schram Creek slope.

Glenmore Ellison Improvement District: The Postill Lake project area will see work begin shortly as site conditions permit. An additional area has also been prescribed for treatment outside of the Postill Lake area and has been sent to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, and BCWS for assistance.

Regional District of North Okanagan: The removal of trees and ground debris through hand and machine treatments is underway in an area near the Bluenose Trail in Lavington and behind private residences along Bluenose Road. The work will serve to reduce wildfire risk for homes and key infrastructure for the Greater Vernon Water Utility. Timber harvested by local contractors will go to local mills and any merchantable timber will go to local processing facilities. In addition, traditional Indigenous fire practices will be incorporated in understory cleanup.

Also pleased with the planning and implementation is Dave Conly, RPF, Operations Manager for FESBC.

“When we are assessing projects to fund, not only do they need to align with our purposes, but we appreciate it when they are proactive and collaborative, and these four projects checked all the boxes,” said Conly. “We continue to monitor progress and are engaging in a number of field trips with the contractors and water purveyors. We look forward to completing this first phase of work to reduce fire behaviour and severity.”

All four FESBC-funded projects are expected to be complete by late summer 2021.

“The watersheds provide water to many communities, and tens of thousands of residents, throughout the North and Central Okanagan. To have the water quality and quantity within these watersheds impacted to any degree by a wildfire would cause incredible duress to communities and residents alike.”

John Davies, RPF, Frontline Operations Group Ltd.

For an interview with Frontline Operations Group Ltd.: John Davies, RPF, Wildfire Management Specialist | john@frontlineops.ca| 250.540.3473

For information on/or an interview with FESBC: Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison | communications@fesbc.ca | 250.574.0221

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC Announces Intake 7

British Columbia: The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is pleased to announce its seventh intake for funding applications. Applications will be accepted through the Forest Enhancement Society Information Management System (FESIMS) starting on September 28, 2020. The online FESIMS portal will remain open for applications until midnight October 16, 2020. 

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is pleased to invite applications from all over British Columbia,” said Steve Kozuki, Executive Director, FESBC. “Projects being considered for Intake 7 will be for increased utilization of wood fibre that would normally be left as waste or the rehabilitation of forests where low value or damaged areas can be cleared to then be reforested to grow healthier forests. These projects not only provide strong environmental benefits, they also generate much-needed economic benefits locally by creating and maintaining jobs.”

Funding applications will be required to clearly demonstrate that all activities under the proposal will be fully completed and invoiced by March 31, 2021. Interested proponents are encouraged to click the Applying for Funding tab for details on how to apply through the FESIMS system.

“The FESBC website also showcases the diversity of previously successful proponents such as First Nations forest companies, small woodlots, community forests and others,” said Kozuki. “We hope these stories inspire others to apply.”


All applications must be submitted through FESIMS and there are limited funds available.

FESBC Launches its 2020 Accomplishments Report

250 Reasons Why B.C.’s Forests are Better Today

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) has launched its 2020 Accomplishments Report to coincide with Canada’s National Forest Week “healthy forests, healthy future” celebrations. There are two-hundred and fifty FESBC-funded projects throughout British Columbia featured in the Accomplishments Report. These projects were proposed by First Nations, woodlot owners, community forests, and many others to enhance B.C.’s forests for today and generations to come.

“FESBC is helping many communities in B.C.,” said Steve Kozuki, Executive Director of FESBC. “We are putting $233 million in the hands of local experts for projects across the province to reduce wildfire risks to protect people and communities, to enhance wildlife habitat, to improve low value and damaged forests, to re-plant damaged forests, and to use waste wood that otherwise would have been slash burned.”

The 36-page Report not only outlines the 250 projects by their purposes, ie: wildfire risk reduction, but also features projects by community so British Columbians can at a glance see the projects that have occurred, or are occurring, in their own backyard.

“These projects are taking action to improve not only the health of our environment but are also creating many social and economic benefits for the people and communities where these projects are occurring.”

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director, FESBC

Since the inception of the government agency in 2016, FESBC has generated significant benefits from the 250 projects including:

  • The creation of 2,124 full time equivalent jobs
  • $357 million in economic activity created from the $233 million investment
  • 60 projects led by First Nations plus 22 with significant First Nations involvement

“With support from the governments of B.C. and Canada, FESBC has been enabling others to reduce greenhouse gases, protect communities from wildfire, improve wildlife habitat, and create jobs for British Columbians,” said Jim Snetsinger, FESBC Board Chair and former Chief Forester for the Province of BC. “This work generates immense social, economic, and environmental benefits, now and into the future.”

Although FESBC is immensely proud of the progress, Kozuki acknowledges there is much more to be done.

“FESBC is well-positioned to continue the successful delivery of a carefully crafted program of initiatives that serve the needs of British Columbians. With so many people in every community committed to forest enhancement, there is no doubt we will achieve our shared vision of enhanced forest resilience for the lasting benefit of B.C.’s environment, wildlife, forest health, and communities.”

View the 2020 Accomplishments Report here:

2020 Accomplishments Report

For More Information or Media Interviews:

Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison, FESBC
250.574.0221 | communications@fesbc.ca

Partnership Supports Local Jobs, Reduces Carbon Emissions

Grants of $3.9 million provided to Pinnacle Renewable Energy by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) are helping support jobs throughout the Interior and recover about 300,000 cubic metres of wood waste that otherwise would have been burned in slash piles.

A $500,000 allocation from those grants made it economical for Lavington Pellet Limited Partnership to recover 38,000 cubic metres of residual wood fibre (also known as “bio-logs”) from harvesting areas in the Monashee Mountains. The area’s steep terrain makes it difficult for wood grinders and traditional chip trucks to reach harvesting sites after logging is finished. However, with this funding, the uneconomic waste wood fibre could be hauled out at minimal additional cost by logging contractors already working in the area.

Lavington Pellet Limited Partnership in the Okanagan Valley is a joint venture between Pinnacle Renewable Energy and Tolko Industries Ltd. The project began in the winter of 2019-20 and is expected to last until March 2022.

“These companies are working together to support local jobs and produce a marketable wood product from residual fibre, while also reducing carbon emissions,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

“The crucial financial support provided by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC made this innovative project possible.”

Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development

The collaboration between FESBC and local forestry companies not only helps improve air quality by burning less wood waste, but also supports good-quality jobs for British Columbians in their communities. The strategy has resulted in a consistent supply of wood fibre for Lavington Pellet Limited Partnership.

“This funding allowed us to reduce carbon emissions through the utilization of harvest waste,” said Jason Fisher, vice-president fibre, Pinnacle Renewable Energy. “Harvest residuals are more costly to handle, process and transport than mill residuals, especially in areas with challenging geography like the regions around Lavington. FESBC’s support for this project turned into local benefits and helps us turn B.C. wood waste into a global carbon solution.”

The residual waste recovered by Lavington Pellet Limited Partnership was stored in Lumby and processed in the spring, when mill curtailments and road use bans were in effect. Having the additional waste fibre available for processing reduced layoffs for 35 direct employees and 80 truck drivers.

“It’s a win-win project that supports the environment, local industries and the economy by providing employment opportunities for local contractors,” said Dave Conly, operations manager, FESBC.

To learn more, visit the FESBC project pages or the BC Government website: news.gov.bc.ca

Contacts:

Aleece Laird
Communications Liaison
Forest Enhancement Society of BC
communications@fesbc.ca
250 574-0221

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource
Operations and Rural Development
Media Relations
250 213-8172

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect

Creating Economic and Environmental Benefits for Rural and Urban Communities

Roderick Island, B.C.: many British Columbians may not have heard of Roderick Island located near Klemtu in the Great Bear Rainforest in the Central Coast District. Nor have they visited the area only accessible by a one hour 45-minute float plane flight from Campbell River, but a collaborative initiative is underway to both enhance the utilization of wood fibre and create more room for trees to grow.

Ironside Contracting Ltd., based out of Campbell River, operates a 42-person logging camp working on road building and logging in the Jackson Lake area where Kitasoo Forest Company (KFC), a company 100% owned by the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation, and Western Forest Products (WFP) do the harvesting. Typically, low value wood has been left behind in the area because the costs of transporting it to facilities that could use it far exceeded the sale price of that wood when delivered by barge to the south coast. Now, with funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), more wood fibre is being moved out of the area for use by local pulp mills.

“We were very pleased to receive funding from FESBC,” said Tim Walley, MBA, Domestic Sales and Cedar Sales Specialist with Storey Creek Trading, the company that does the marketing, quality control, and log sales for the KFC and WFP joint venture. “This funding has meant the difference between leaving the uneconomic wood fibre in the area, spread out in small piles at roadside to allow for reforestation activities, to this new opportunity to ship these lower value logs to market. It’s a win-win project with economic benefits to the area’s First Nations people and B.C. companies.”

Overall, the amount of available wood in the area presents a challenge for harvesting as there are lower volumes of trees per hectare and the general quality of the timber is average or poor. When trees are harvested, they are trucked approximately 15 kilometers to the ocean where they are put into the water, bundled, and loaded on to a barge for shipping. The pulp and other uneconomic logs are then chipped in the south coast of B.C. 

“FESBC funding has assisted us in being able to bring out more of the lower value wood fibre,” said Walley. “The opportunity to harvest more wood from the forest helps with overall fibre supply.”

Tim Walley, Storey Creek Trading

To Dave Conly, RPF, Operations Manager of FESBC, the project is assisting in the recovery of low value wood that traditionally is unable to be utilized, thus creating more opportunities for employment and for fibre to secondary manufacturing facilities such as pulp mills that would otherwise not have been possible. The project was originally approved as it meets several of FESBC purposes, in particular Improving Low Value or Damaged Forests and Recovery of Fibre. Environmentally, the project reduces wood waste which results in increased plantable spots for a healthy new forest. 

“The remoteness of this area presents unique challenges for harvesting,” said Conly. “Severe weather, limited hours of daylight, and seasonal conditions can all play a role. The funding provided by FESBC means several different companies, each of whom is committed to good forest management and sustainable timber harvesting practices, are able to enhance fibre utilization and set the stage for planting the forests for our children and grandchildren. This collaboration helps create jobs, benefits both remote communities who rely on forestry and coastal pulp mills who rely on a robust fibre supply and enhances the management of our most important natural renewable resources – our forests.”

For more information or to arrange interviews:

Aleece Laird,

Communications Liaison
Forest Enhancement Society of BC

communications@fesbc.ca | 250.574.0221

Work Heats Up to Cool Down Wildfire Risk in 100 Mile House

A partnership between the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) and 100 Mile House Development Corporation is reducing the risk of wildfires for people living in and around 100 Mile House.

Manual and machine clearing of forested areas for fuel breaks is focused on neighbourhoods and areas near the community, with the goal of reducing wildfire risk to homes and recreational areas.

“This partnership is supporting the economy by creating opportunities for people from local communities, including the Canim Lake Band, as well as local contractors,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “It’s also benefiting people living in and near 100 Mile House, and all British Columbians, by reducing wildfire risk.”

The project is contributing to an estimated 10 full-time jobs and is providing opportunities for local contract work. It includes machine and hand clearing, as well as prescribed burns.

“People are facing the risks connected to climate change and preparing their communities to respond. Reducing the risk of wildfires is one of the actions communities can take to safeguard public health and safety,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “This project and others like it create opportunity and provide jobs through economic recovery from COVID-19.”

FESBC funding of nearly $1.3 million in 2019 has allowed the corporation to clear close to 240 hectares since the project began last fall.

“The contractor is working with experienced crews from local First Nations communities, and with the slowing of the local forest economy, they also employed laid-off loggers,” said Joanne Doddridge, director of economic development and planning, District of 100 Mile House. “The public has been, overall, supportive. The development corporation is aware of the impact of implementing the treatments so close to residences. We are striving to minimize the impact on these neighbourhoods, while creating fuel breaks to enhance public safety and reduce wildfire risk.”

Much of 2019 was spent doing mechanical harvesting and piling treatments, followed by manual work where crews prune trees, thin out small stems and pile debris. This summer, crews laid out areas for prescribed burns and prepared for mechanical clearing. Manual treatment options may be delayed due to COVID-19 related restrictions.

Activities for this field season will take place north and south of Horse Lake. Work will also include the completion of activities in areas treated last fall east of 100 Mile and properties on the north side of Horse Lake Road and the Ranchette subdivision.

It is hoped that material removed this year to create the fuel breaks can be used as biomass in the form of pulp or ground for pellets, minimizing the amount of material that needs to be burned. All the pulp fibre and a significant portion of the residual fibre removed last year was used.

The project is expected to continue through March 2022.

“This project has been innovative in maximizing the use of mechanical treatments, which reduces overall costs and allows more area to be treated. The success of this project has been due to the collaborative efforts of all the parties involved to achieve a successful outcome.”

Ray Raatz, Operations Manager, Forest Enhancement Society of BC

“Funding from FESBC has been critical in all phases of this project. Assessing, developing prescriptions and treating these fuel treatment blocks to enhance community safety would not be possible without the assistance of FESBC.”

Mitch Campsall, mayor of 100 Mile House

To learn more, visit the BC Government website, here or the FESBC projects pages: www.fesbc.ca/projects

The Pinnacle of Emission Reduction and Fibre Recovery in Smithers

Smithers is contributing to the achievement of Canada’s and B.C’s climate change targets by diverting residual fibre from the Bulkley Timber Supply Area that would otherwise be burned due to the uneconomic haul distance to Pinnacle Renewable Energy’s newly developed Smithers Pellet Facility. This is a good example of what the transition to green sustainable bioeconomy looks like.

$1.2 million in funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) helped to bridge haul costs, meaning the residual fibre is now being delivered to the pellet facility as raw material to create a marketable product, instead of being piled and burned in a cut block in the forest. As a result, air quality is better protected because incineration of biomass is cleaner than open burning of wood piles, Pinnacle Renewable Energy’s customers are able to reduce their overall fossil fuel consumption, all the while creating family-supporting jobs.

“In recent years in the Bulkley Valley, there has been no feasible end destination for any pulp-logs or bio-logs , forcing licensees to burn high amounts of fibre that could have been used to produce energy,” said Josh McQuillin, Superintendent of Biomass, Pinnacle Renewable Energy. “Through this funding we were able to utilize nearly 90,000 cubic metres of fibre that would otherwise have been piled and burned.”

Pinnacle Renewable Energy has a log supply agreement with Pacific Inland Resources, a division of West Fraser and partners with them to recover residual material left behind after timber harvesting within West Fraser’s license area.

“Harvest residuals can add challenges where the logistics costs of transporting fibre from cut blocks to our plant are difficult, or where storage space is limited, as is the case with Smithers,” said Jason Fisher, Vice President Fibre, Pinnacle Renewable Energy. “We know that by turning harvest residuals into pellets we are putting the carbon in that fibre to good use.”

Pinnacle Renewable Energy applied for FESBC funding to help offset any incremental haul costs associated with hauling fibre from greater than five hours away, allowing for the recovery and utilization of fibre that would otherwise not be economically feasible.

“FESBC funding enables Pinnacle to utilize fibre otherwise too expensive to haul to their facility which helps Pinnacle reduce greenhouse gas emissions by avoiding the burning of that residual fibre,” said Gord Pratt, RPF, Operations Manager, FESBC. “We are pleased to support Pinnacle in reducing those emissions.”

Fisher said Pinnacle Renewable Energy recognizes the importance of reducing carbon emissions.

“Our customers buy our pellets to reduce their carbon emissions. FESBC funding allowed us to achieve that goal through enhanced fibre utilization,” said Fisher. “FESBC support turns into local benefits and helps us turn BC harvest residuals into a global carbon solution.”

McQuillin said additional community benefits include improved local air quality and employment opportunities for local contractors. The funding allowed Pinnacle Renewable Energy to find longer-term storage for a surge of fibre supply, resulting in employment continuity.

“We were able to divert fibre being produced by local contractors to an offsite storage facility where it was stored and then hauled to a pellet plant over break-up,” said McQuillin. “Without FESBC, our fibre supply needs in both Burns Lake and Smithers were challenged. Initiatives such as this help balance fibre needs as well as create and sustain several local jobs.”

This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada.

To find projects in your area, visit the FESBC projects pages: www.fesbc.ca/projects

For more information or to arrange interviews:
Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison
Forest Enhancement Society of BC
communications@fesbc.ca | 250.574.0221

Forestry Project Cuts Carbon, Boosts Bulkley Jobs

SMITHERS – Funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is helping a small mill in the Bulkley Valley turn wood waste into products it can sell, reduce carbon emissions and create local jobs.

Seaton Forest Products, located nine kilometres west of the Wet’suwet’en village of Witset (formerly Moricetown) and 30 kilometres west of Smithers, received $2.5 million from FESBC in 2018. It is two years into a three-and-a-half-year project funding the diversion of 170,000 cubic metres of fibre from distant cutblocks to manufacture into lumber and wood chips.

“This FESBC project supports the use of fibre that would otherwise go to waste, while creating jobs for local communities, including Indigenous communities,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “It’s great to see this funding already making a difference by reducing wildfire risk and carbon emissions, while building up local economies.”

The FESBC grant is funding 22 in-forest fibre-recovery jobs over the project. Meanwhile, the Seaton mill employs another 22 people, including approximately 15 from local Indigenous communities.

About half the recovered fibre is manufactured into cants – large squared-off logs that can be processed into smaller lumber products – and exported to China. The rest is chipped, sold to Pinnacle Renewable Energy in Smithers and processed into pellets.

“This funding improves our ability to have consistent access to wood and become part of the supply chain, as we use half the log for product and chip and ship the rest to be processed into pellets,” said Andy Thompson, manager, Seaton Forest Products. “While most larger mills require more wood and green wood, we are able to take the logs others cannot utilize and would have normally been either left in the bush and/or burnt.”

Including the FESBC-funded fibre recovery, Seaton is able to secure a total of 80,000 cubic metres of wood waste a year. Using the wood waste means it won’t be burnt to release carbon or left on site where it can be a wildfire risk.

“FESBC is excited to provide funding to enable operations like Seaton Forest Products to utilize fibre outside their current economic radius that would traditionally have been burned at the cutblock,” said Gord Pratt, operations manager, FESBC. “FESBC is pleased to assist the Province in meeting its goals of increasing fibre utilization and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by funding projects like this one with Seaton. Projects like this also often create much-needed local employment opportunities.”

This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada.

Kirsteen Laing, Seaton Forest Products

Kirsteen Laing, administrator, Seaton Forest Products:

“There are very few employment opportunities in this area, so to provide up to 22 jobs is pretty significant. If we have a good wood supply, it supports one shift year-round. If the markets are down, then we can have some down time. It’s beneficial for us to use what we can and send the rest to the pellet plant. Here, we’re able to put more people to work and support the economy with an annual supply of 80,000 cubic metres.”

To learn more, visit the BC Government website, here or the FESBC projects pages: www.fesbc.ca/projects

First Nations work together to increase wood-fibre use

WILLIAMS LAKE – A $1-million grant from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. will increase use of waste wood fibre, bring more wood products to market and support forestry jobs in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region.

Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. is a joint venture company owned by the Tŝideldel First Nation (Alexis Creek First Nation) and the Tl’etinqox government (Anaham First Nation). The first phase of this project began in early 2017, when a $3.4-million grant from FESBC allowed the company to reduce wildfire risks and rehabilitate forests impacted by mountain pine beetles west of the Anaham community.

The $1-million grant that FESBC provided in 2019 funds the second part of the project. Beginning in September 2019, it focuses on recovering and using at least 200,000 cubic metres of waste wood fibre that accumulated during the first phase of the project.

“This project demonstrates how factoring in greater waste-fibre utilization in projects like this generates multiple benefits,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “First Nations leadership has reduced wildfire risks and rehabilitated forests, and now the company is ensuring that the residual fibre is also put to good use.”

Waste wood is normally burned on site to help reduce wildfire risks. However, the grant provided by FESBC allows Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. to divert the residual fibre for other purposes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by not burning the material in slash piles. It is expected that the grant will support the full-time equivalent employment of about nine loggers, truckers and other forestry workers.

Recovered pulp-grade logs are being hauled to Cariboo Pulp in Quesnel. The remaining material is being ground up by Tsi Del Del Ltd. and shipped to either Pinnacle Renewable Energy͛s pellet plant or sent to Atlantic Power to generate electricity, both located in Williams Lake.

“This funding allows us to maximize our ability to deliver a by-product that is typically left on site, increase the overall recovery of fibre and create long-term carbon benefits by harnessing new values from traditional logging sites outside of the saw log fibre supply,” said Percy Guichon, director, Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd.

The two First Nations that operate the company hold multiple forest licences. They aim to increase their use of waste wood, bringing an additional 20% to 50% of leftover wood fibre to market. Without the FESBC grant, it would be uneconomical to recover the waste wood fibre.

“Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. has been working on several FESBC-funded projects to reduce wildfire risks, by removing vegetation in specified areas to establish large fuel breaks that can slow the growth of a wildfire,” said Dave Conly, operations manager, FESBC. “That work creates a large amount of uneconomic wood, but that residual fibre can be utilized for pulp and wood pellets, or to generate power.”

The recovery effort has resulted in 200,000 cubic metres of residual fibre (about 3,300 truckloads) being used since the project started in September 2019, generating between $7 million and $8.5 million in sales for a product that would otherwise be burned.

“This project is allowing First Nation-owned businesses to expand capacity and expertise as the forest industry transitions from a harvest economy to a forest-management economy,” said Hugh Flinton, forestry manager, Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd.

The Government of Canada and the Province are jointly investing $290 million over five years in B.C.͛s forests to take action on climate change. The FESBC’s $1-million grant to the Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. project is supported by the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund and the Forest Carbon Initiative.

Full news release here

Tree Buffer to Reduce Wildfire Risk for Granisle Residents

GRANISLE – People living in the Village of Granisle will benefit from reduced wildfire risk when a buffer of birch and cottonwood trees are planted around the community.

Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) funding of approximately $400,000 is supporting the Babine Lake Community Forest (BLCF) to surround the village with a mixed stand of trees, mostly made up of deciduous trees, which are less susceptible to forest fires than conifers.

“It’s great to see communities and First Nations like the Village of Granisle and Lake Babine Nation working together to reduce the risk of wildfires on their doorsteps,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Provincial funding to FESBC allowed it to support these projects and now it’s making a difference on the ground, protecting communities and creating local employment opportunities.”

As part of the project, BLCF has cut 36,000 cubic metres of existing conifers in the forest, which were then delivered to Hampton Mills in Burns Lake where they will be used to produce lumber. Planting of the buffer of 225,000 trees will begin next year.

The community forest is held in equal partnership between Lake Babine Nation and the Village of Granisle, which has a population of about 350 and could not afford to take the project on alone.

The FESBC funding was approved in 2018 to assist BLCF with its long-term wildfire mitigation, including community consultation and long-term site plans that integrate wildlife values. It is part of the larger project, to which BLCF is contributing $1.7 million.

As part of the project, conifers were logged last year. Fuel management is planned this year (the piling and burning of surface fuels) and planting will take place next year.

“The Village of Granisle and Lake Babine Nation have both been incredibly supportive,” said Peter Tweedie, general manager, BLCF, and owner of Tyhee Forestry Consultants, which conducted the work on behalf of BLCF. “In our public-input meetings, they were diligent in providing information. We’ve had almost unanimous buy-in from attendees who have felt anxious about the existing wildfire risk – especially since the 2017 and 2018 wildfire seasons.”

A review by the BLCF and the BC Wildfire Service indicated that replacing the dense conifer stand around the community with deciduous trees would be a low-maintenance, long-term solution to creating a wildfire buffer around the community.

“Our community is extremely grateful for the time and direction by our community forest board of directors in addressing the wildfire mitigation surrounding our town,” said Linda McGuire, mayor, Village of Granisle. “Daily, we have been observing the progress of this project and have every confidence it will be completed in the coming months and the board will have achieved their goal on a successful endeavour.”

The project is also enhancing skills training opportunities and providing employment to residents of both Lake Babine Nation and the Village of Granisle. FESBC funding is creating about four jobs.

Quotes:

Gord Pratt, operations manager, FESBC –

“FESBC is excited to assist the BLCF meet multiple objectives. This includes reducing the wildfire risk to the Village of Granisle and improving the forest by taking an innovative approach to diversifying the species in the community forest, allowing them to market hardwood fibre in the future.”

Gordon Alec, Chief of Babine Lake First Nation –

“Having worked in the forest industry for 43 years, I know managing and sustaining the forest and economy is vitally important. I fully support the Babine Lake Community Forest. I am quite confident that this venture will go a very long way in benefiting all of the communities involved. Let’s keep these positive initiatives going. Thank you all.”

To learn more, visit the BC Government website, here or the FESBC projects pages: www.fesbc.ca/projects

Terrace Community Forest Cuts Greenhouse Gas Emissions

TERRACE – A grant of $443,400 from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC to the Terrace Community Forest (TCF) is helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions and use wood fibre that would otherwise be burned.

The project, which got underway on June 1, 2020, will support an estimated four (full-time equivalent) jobs, through the grinding and trucking of waste wood fibre. The grant will allow TCF to ship the ground waste wood to Skeena Bioenergy’s new pellet plant in Terrace, where it will be used to manufacture wood pellets.

“One of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC’s goals is to support increased use of fibre from damaged or low-value forests,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “This project is a great example of how waste wood fibre can be redirected to support the production of high-quality wood pellets.”

The TCF has been thinning second-growth tree stands over the past few years within its tenure area, with white wood waste (hemlock and balsam) being brought to a processing area to be delimbed and cut to log length. About 15,000 cubic metres of hemlock and balsam were piled up to allow the wood to dry for two years. This curing period reduces the moisture content of the wood and decreases its weight, allowing more of it to be transported per truckload and lowering drying costs at the pellet plant.

TCF had stockpiled the wood waste for two years instead of burning it, hoping to find another way to utilize the fibre. The grant from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, which is supported by the B.C. government and the federal government, will help meet that objective.

Pellet plants often mix white wood with “hog fuel”, which is an unrefined mix of coarse chips of bark and wood fibre, to produce higher-quality pellets.

“Without this funding, we would be burning this fibre since it is otherwise uneconomical to transport it,” said Kim Haworth, general manager, TCF. “Now we can grind and store the white wood on site and supply the fibre to the pellet plant on an as-needed basis. We would rather see the fibre used, generate some revenue and provide economic, social and environmental benefits to our community.”

TCF is a company owned by the City of Terrace. It is managed by an appointed board that directs the general operation of the forest tenure. Its primary mandate is to create employment opportunities in the Terrace area, while financially supporting recreation and community groups that provide recreational activities within the Terrace Community Forest and the community.

“We are pleased to fund the Terrace Community Forest project,” said Gord Pratt, RPF, operations manager for the Forest Enhancement Society of BC. “In the long run, it will help improve future forest practices to increase fibre utilization and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the burning of residual fibre.”

To learn more, visit the BC Government website, here or the FESBC projects pages: www.fesbc.ca/projects

First Nations’ Forestry Projects Generate Jobs, Green Energy

WILLIAMS LAKE – Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) grants are supporting the Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN) as it creates jobs, fights climate change and reduces wildfire risk near its community.

To date, grants have supported the removal of 64,000 cubic metres of slash (debris from forest fires) and over the next two years, the total will reach 200,000 cubic metres.

The ongoing project is also creating an estimated 26 jobs for both the WLFN and the Tŝideldel First Nation (TFN), which has partnered to grind the debris on site and ship it to local markets.

“The WLFN have partnered with the TFN on this unique ongoing project that is seeing slash piles turned into biomass fuel instead of burning them,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “This green-energy project is reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building new economic opportunities for
both communities while contributing to B.C.’s clean energy plan.”

Three FESBC grants between 2017 and 2019, totalling more than $3 million, allowed WLFN to develop an ongoing program and enabled it to build several partnerships to grind the debris at site and truck it to local markets. One of the most significant partnerships was with the TFN contractor, Tsi Del Biomass Ltd., which brought logging and grinding experience to the project.

Typically, slash from wildfire salvage logging is piled and burned at site because transportation is cost prohibitive. Burning slash piles increases smoke in local airsheds and increases greenhouse gas emissions.

“Tsi Del Del has really appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with Williams Lake First Nation on grinding and trucking more than 1,000 piles to customers in our local fibre basket,” said Percy Guichon, director, Tsi Del Del Enterprises, Ltd., and Tŝideldel First Nation councillor. “Working together on a business basis has resulted in benefits for both communities and created employment opportunities while making products from this biomass.”

High-quality slash fibre from the projects will be used by Pinnacle Renewable Energy to make industrial wood pellets, which are used by large-scale thermal power generators as a greener alternative to produce power. Lower-quality slash fibre will be turned into “hog” fuel to be used by Atlantic Power Corporation’s biomass-fired generating facility located in Williams Lake, to provide thermal electricity for the community’s energy grid.

“WLFN continues to seek out partners either in the local, provincial and federal capacities who will assist and build upon WLFN environmental goals and objectives,” said Chief Willie Sellars of the WLFN. “The FESBC funding has been crucial in assisting the shared mandate of reducing these outdated burning programs. FESBC funding allows First Nation communities such as WLFN of the Secwepemc and Tŝideldel of the Tsilhqot’in National Government, two Nations that have historically not worked together, an opportunity that will benefit both Nations and each of their companies.”

Ongoing operations over the next two years will continue to support recovery of logging debris from wildfire risk reduction projects and will generate fibre to sell in the Williams Lake market.

The projects were funded through FESBC grants supported by the provincial government and the Government of Canada.

Quotes:

Ken Day, consulting forester, KDay Forestry Ltd.

“On average, biomass costs more to produce than what the market will pay. There are two markets in Williams Lake who can use the fibre – Pinnacle Renewable Energy and Atlantic Power. We also wanted to avoid burning the debris and creating smoke in the air, which would have been hard on the community. Not removing the piles of debris could contribute to a very intense fire – obviously undesirable adjacent to the community. Without funding from FESBC to make up the shortfall, this important project would not have gone ahead.”

Dave Conly, operations manager, FESBC

“This project is based on community interest in avoiding burning the thousands of piles of wood waste resulting from salvage harvesting done in the 2017 fire areas. The parties came together and created fantastic results over the course of two years. I was extremely impressed by the collaboration and partnerships developed.”

To learn more, visit the BC Government website, here or the FESBC projects pages: www.fesbc.ca/projects

Funding for Southern Interior Mule Deer Research and 180 Conservation Projects Across BC

Kelowna, BC: The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has announced $9.2 million in funding for more than 180 individual wildlife, freshwater fish, and habitat conservation projects across British Columbia this year.

“This is no small feat,” said Dan Buffett, CEO of HCTF. “It reflects a diversity of funding from our core contributors [hunters, anglers, trappers and guides], court awards, provincial government contributions and endowments, and our partners such as the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC).”

Through cooperation with partners such as the FESBC, HCTF is able to support conservation projects like the Southern Interior Mule Deer Project in studying how mule deer population respond to wildlife and habitat change. Conducting research in the Boundary Region, West Okanagan, and Bonaparte Plateau the project hopes to reveal why mule deer populations are declining in BC’s southern interior and provide recommendation on how to restore their abundance in the area.

“What we have heard from Indigenous communities, ecologists, and resident hunters is that the decline of mule deer matters to them and the status quo is no longer sufficient. It is time we bring more science to bear on issues affecting wildlife in BC,” said Dr. Adam T. Ford, Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia.

A combination of GPS tracking collars, trail cameras and pregnancy checks on wild doe deer are being used by researchers to assess changes in deer populations at the study sites. These research activities are helping to reveal how wildlife along with fire suppression efforts, timber extractions, highways and urban development are changing the movement and size of deer populations in BC’s southern interior. Bringing together conservation organizations, government agencies, and universities in both Canada and the USA, this project combines cutting-edge research on deer ecology with on-the-ground partnerships with First Nations, industry experts and local communities to investigate and develop solutions for mule deer conservation.

Other funded projects taking place in the Okanagan Region include:

  • $28,500 to support the South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program to protect fish and wildlife habitat. Co-funded with FESBC.
  • $47,129 for assessing the bull trout population in the Upper Shuswap.
  • $53,080 for habitat restoration of Black Cottonwood ecosystems in the Kettle River Watershed to help conserve species-at-risk such as the Lewis’s Woodpecker.

FESBC’s Executive Director Steve Kozuki is “thrilled to partner with the trusted and respected Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation to improve wildlife habitat. With their first-in-class management of funds and projects by talented and professional staff, we know that we are maximizing benefits for wildlife in British Columbia.”

Each project funded through HCTF is reviewed by a multi-level, objective technical review process prior to final Board review and decision. HCTF’s Board of Directors ensures that species important to BC anglers and hunters are supported but also place a great deal of importance on conserving whole ecosystems, species-at-risk and investing in environmental education across the province.

To see the complete list of HCTF funded projects or explore the conservation work being done near you view the 2020-21 Approved Project List or the HCTF 2020-21 Project Map.

Fire Rehabilitation Work Underway – South of Burns Lake

BURNS LAKE – With the help of a $1.25-million grant from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, the Cheslatta Carrier Nation is rehabilitating tree stands that were severely damaged by wildfires in 2018 and re-establishing productive forest ecosystems.

“This project is an excellent example of how partnerships are improving the health of B.C.’s forests,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “The funding that the Province provided to back the society’s projects is making a difference and supporting jobs in many parts of British Columbia.”

Work on this project started in May 2020 on the south side of François Lake between Grassy Plains, Ootsa and Cheslatta Lakes, about 65 kilometres south of the Village of Burns Lake.

Fire-damaged trees are being removed so the wood can be used, instead of burning fibre that would otherwise be uneconomical to deliver to a processing facility. The grant from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC will help Cheslatta Forest Products (which is 100% owned by the Cheslatta Carrier Nation) cover the costs of shipping the residual fibre to a pellet plant or bioenergy facility. Diverting this fibre from burn piles will result in a net reduction of carbon emissions.

The logging operations were planned with the needs of wildlife in mind, ensuring high-value habitat areas and trees will be preserved. Rehabilitation of these fire-damaged stands will improve wildlife habitat in areas heavily impacted by the 2018 wildfires. The treated areas will be reforested, primarily with spruce seedlings.

“The wildfires of 2018 burned 75% of the Cheslatta Community Forest and even more overall on the territory,” said Ben Wilson, forestry co-ordinator, Cheslatta Carrier Nation. “At Cheslatta, we were proportionally impacted along with everyone else, and our goal was to clean the burned wood off the land base and get it growing green again.”

The Cheslatta Carrier Nation has a proven history in the forest industry. Its members depend on forests not only for cultural well-being, but also to provide financial opportunities. Logging had just begun in its harvest permit area when wildfires burned through much of it in the summer of 2018, resulting is a substantial loss of revenue. This project supports local employment and makes use of community-owned equipment to remove dead wood, providing benefits to the larger community and support for the local economy.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is excited to fund this project to improve forest stands heavily impacted by the 2018 wildfires,” said Gord Pratt, operations manager, Forest Enhancement Society of BC. “The rehabilitation of the ecosystem to pre-fire conditions will improve the damaged forests by creating diverse, healthy stands. It will contribute to the future timber supply and improve many forest values, including wildlife habitat.”

Read more on the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development website: https://news.gov.bc.ca/22573

Funding for Replanting of Whitebark Pine Ecosystems in the Skeena Region and 180 Conservation Projects Across BC

Smithers, BC: the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has announced $9.2 million in funding for more than 180 individual wildlife, freshwater fish, and habitat conservation projects across British Columbia this year.

“This is no small feat,” said Dan Buffett, CEO of HCTF. “It reflects a diversity of funding from our core contributors [hunters, anglers, trappers and guides], court awards, provincial government contributions and endowments, and our partners such as the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC).”

Tree planting – Sybille Haeussler Photo

Through cooperation with partners such as FESBC, HCTF is able to support conservation organizations like the Bulkley Valley Centre for Natural Resources Research and Management in their efforts to restore endangered whitebark pine ecosystems in the Skeena region. As western Canada’s first officially endangered tree species, the whitebark pine, and the ecosystems they support, are of critical importance to high elevation grizzly bears, birds and other wildlife species that rely on their oil-rich seeds for energy in cold climates.

The centre has been restoring remote whitebark pine ecosystems across the Skeena Region since 2011, contributing to the restoration and conservation of biodiversity, carbon storage and beauty of the region’s scenic mountain ecosystems. Working along-side BC provincial parks, community forests and the forestry industry, the centre collects seeds from healthy parent trees, grows and plants seedlings in disturbed ecosystems and assists breeding efforts to improve resistance to the deadly white pine blister rust disease. Recently, the centre received word that one of their parent trees was found to produce the most disease-resistant seedlings ever tested in BC.

Sybille Haeussler, an adjunct professor at the University of Northern BC and project lead, is hopeful that the 25,000 seedlings currently being grown in a local nursery will contribute to ongoing efforts that see the restoration and persistence of whitebark pine ecosystems across their northeastern range.

“We continue to monitor the growth and survival of restoration trials established across northern BC and are learning much more about how and when the white pine blister rust attacks and kills trees and how to ensure that seedlings are planted in the best possible sites to ensure future survival under climate change. It will be a long time before these young trees start to produce cones and seeds that will support healthy wildlife populations, but we are in this project for the long run,” says Haeussler.

6 year old planted whitebark pine at Morice Lake – Sybille Haeussler photo

Other HCTF funded projects taking place in the Skeena region:

  • $29,900 for research into Mountain Goat range boundaries, habitat selection and population dynamics, co-funded by FESBC.
  • $43,788 for Northern Goshawk nest and habitat assessment led by the Kitasoo Xai’xais First Nation that will inform the implementation of the provincial Northern Goshawk recovery plan.
  • $113,000 for fisheries development, planning and stock assessment activities on the Skeena, Kitwanga, Bulkley, Kispiox and Morice Rivers.

FESBC’s Executive Director Steve Kozuki is “thrilled to partner with the trusted and respected Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation to improve wildlife habitat. With their first-in-class management of funds and projects by talented and professional staff, we know that we are maximizing benefits for wildlife in British Columbia.”

Each project funded through HCTF is reviewed by a multi-level, objective technical review process prior to final Board review and decision. HCTF’s Board of Directors ensures that species important to BC anglers and hunters are supported but also place a great deal of importance on conserving whole ecosystems, species-at-risk and investing in environmental education across the province.

To see the complete list of HCTF funded projects or explore the conservation work being done near you, view the 2020-21 Approved Project List or our 2020-21 Project Map.

Human/Grizzly Bear Coexistence Project in the Kootenays Gets Funding Plus 180 B.C. Conservation Projects

Cranbrook, BC: the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has announced $9.2 million in funding for more than 180 individual wildlife, freshwater fish, and habitat conservation projects across British Columbia this year.

Text Box:
Grizzly: Photo Clayton Lamb

“This is no small feat,” said Dan Buffett, CEO of HCTF. “It reflects a diversity of funding from our core contributors ( hunters, anglers, trappers and guides ), court awards, provincial government contributions and endowments, and our partners such as the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC).”

Through cooperation with conservation groups like FESBC, HCTF is able to support projects such as the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development’s study of grizzly bear mortality in the Kootenay region. This project builds upon a large base of research to provide recommendations on how best to solve pressing conservation concerns in a region with one of the highest rates of human caused grizzly bear mortality in the province.

Project lead Clayton Lamb is working with researchers and local authorities in the Elk Valley to track bear populations and implement precautionary measures designed to limit human/bear conflict.

“Our project blends scientific rigour and a large group of collaborators to achieve on-the-ground conservation for grizzly bears and the people who coexist with them. Through HCTF and FESBC’s funding, we have been successful in monitoring over 50 grizzly bears in south eastern BC,” says Lamb.

To date, the project has achieved a number of meaningful conservation actions, including removing uncontrolled roadkill dumping sites near communities where bears were feeding, breaking ground on roadkill-reducing underpasses along Highway 3 near Fernie, and reducing resource road densities throughout the Elk Valley. This project is an excellent example of how conservationists across the province are taking in-depth scientific research and applying it to practical conservation solutions to the benefit of both BC’s wildlife and the human populations that coexist with them.

Other HCTF funded projects taking place in the Kootenay region:

  • $68,000 for invasive plant management and forage improvement on bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer winter ranges, co-funded by FESBC
  • $122,800 for habitat enhancement and connectivity improvement for the Bull River bighorn sheep population
  • $147,500 to support the Kootenay Region River Guardian Program which provides a compliance presence, collects angler survey data, and educates the public about sport fish populations across the region

FESBC’s Executive Director Steve Kozuki is “thrilled to partner with the trusted and respected Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation to improve wildlife habitat. With their first-in-class management of funds and projects by talented and professional staff, we know that we are maximizing benefits for wildlife in British Columbia.”


Each project funded through HCTF is reviewed by a multi-level, objective technical review process prior to final Board review and decision. HCTF’s Board of Directors ensures that species important to BC anglers and hunters are supported but also place a great deal of importance on conserving whole ecosystems, species-at-risk and investing in environmental education across the province.

To see the complete list of HCTF funded projects or explore the conservation work being done near you view the 2020-21 Approved Project List or our 2020-21 Project Map.

$9.2 M in Funding for South Coastal Northern Goshawk Research and Conservation Projects Across BC

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has announced $9.2 million in funding for more than 180 individual wildlife, freshwater fish, and habitat conservation projects across British Columbia this year.

“This is no small feat,” said Dan Buffett, CEO of HCTF. “It reflects a diversity of funding from our core contributors (hunters, anglers, trappers and guides), court awards, provincial government contributions and endowments, and our partners such as the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC).”

Through cooperation with partners like the FESBC, HCTF is able to support conservation projects such as the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development’s (FLNRORD) study of Northern Goshawk in South Coastal BC. The project, occurring among coastal and transitional forests of the Lower Mainland region, aims to investigate breeding success and habitat requirements of at-risk Northern Goshawk populations in coastal and transitional forest landscapes.

The Northern Goshawk’s short but powerful wings and long tail feathers make the species expertly adapted to maneuvering through forest canopies in search of prey such as squirrels, hares, and grouse. Because of these adaptations the birds require structurally mature forest stands to support both the breeding pair and their chicks, however this habitat type is increasingly becoming fragmented due to forest harvesting activities. As a result, the species has been recognized as threatened by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada and has been placed on BC’s provincial red list. To ensure the survival of the species, it is necessary to fill in some gaps in the scientific understanding of the species and pinpoint crucial habitat areas within their range.

This is where Melanie Wilson, FLNRORD Wildlife Biologist, and her team come in. Utilizing modern tracking technology, fitting birds with telemetry backpacks and placing motion cameras to monitor nest sites, researchers can identify highly valuable foraging areas and better understand the types of prey species being delivered to the nests.

“This research provides a unique opportunity to investigate the ecology of this threatened forest raptor and will provide valuable data to inform provincial management recommendations and ensure species recovery,” said Wilson.

Other HCTF funded projects taking place in the Lower Mainland region:

  • $29,593 for habitat restoration and invasive species removal, restoring and reconnecting a floodplain forest with the Fraser River, co-funded by FESBC.
  • $36,000 for research into grizzly bear ecology, habitat use and movement relative to landscape features and human activity, co-funded by FESBC.
  • $47,804 to facilitate a Bull Trout fishery assessment on Chilliwack Lake, utilizing a tag-return study to assess conservation and management priorities.

FESBC’s Executive Director Steve Kozuki is “thrilled to partner with the trusted and respected Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation to improve wildlife habitat. With their first-in-class management of funds and projects by talented and professional staff, we know that we are maximizing benefits for wildlife in British Columbia.”

Each project funded through HCTF is reviewed by a multi-level, objective technical review process prior to final Board review and decision. HCTF’s Board of Directors ensures that species important to BC anglers and hunters are supported but also place a great deal of importance on conserving whole ecosystems, species-at-risk and investing in environmental education across the province.

To see the complete list of HCTF funded projects or explore the conservation work being done near you view the 2020-21 Approved Project List or our 2020-21 Project Map.

PacBio Complete McBride Residual Fibre Recovery Project

McBride Mayor Eugene ‘Gene’ Runtz says, “This project was a triple win for McBride. We all breathed easier when we learned that the fibre would be used at PacBio’s plant in Prince George instead of being burned and filling the air in McBride with wood smoke. We all celebrated the grinding and trucking jobs for local residents that came with the project. PacBio told us they would hire local whenever possible and they were true to their word. The project also presented new opportunities for local businesses. PacBio hired local contractors for road maintenance, fibre sorting and truck loading, and rented land at a local business to inventory fibre before it was trucked to Prince George. Opportunities like these are important for a small community like ours and we thank PacBio for making it all possible.”

The McBride Residual Fibre Recovery Project was completed with the support of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FES). FES is an agency established by the Province of BC to help reforest and sustain BC forests. PacBio applied for funding to partially offset the trucking costs for utilizing fibre outside PacBio’s normal economic range to make the project feasible. FES knew that the community was behind the project and that made it even easier to support.

Read the Full Story Here: https://www.pacificbioenergy.ca/pacbio-completes-mcbride-residual-fibre-recovery-project/

Endangered Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery – part of the $9.2 M for B.C. Conservation Projects

The Forest Enhancement Society Executive Director Steve Kozuki is “thrilled to partner with the trusted and respected Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation to improve wildlife habitat. With their first-in-class management of funds and projects by talented and professional staff, we know that we are maximizing benefits for wildlife in British Columbia.”

To read about the Endangered Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery and other projects, please visit the HCTF website, here: https://hctf.ca/hctf-announces-2020-21-list-of-approved-conservation-projects-across-bc/

$9.2 Million for Wildlife, Fish and Habitat Including Fishers in the BC Interior

Kamloops, BC:

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) is proud to announce $9.2 million in funding for more than 180 individual wildlife, freshwater fish, and habitat conservation projects across British Columbia this year.

“This is no small feat,” said Dan Buffett, CEO of HCTF. “It reflects a diversity of funding from our core contributors [hunters, anglers, trappers and guides], court awards, provincial government contributions and endowments, and our partners such as the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC).”

Through cooperation with conservation organizations like the FESBC, HCTF is able to support projects such as the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy’s initiative to increase fisher habitat stewardship in the forestry sector. This project, occurring throughout the Thompson-Nicola, Cariboo, Skeena and Omineca-Peace regions, is working to provide forestry professionals with the tools they need to identify, manage and improve fisher habitat during key stages of the forest management process.

Fishers are members of the weasel family and while their habitat range includes much of BC’s central interior, research shows that their populations have been significantly impacted by human alteration to their mature forest habitats. The project’s lead biologist Scott Yaegar said, “It is true that timber harvest can dramatically impact the ability of the forest landscape to support fishers. But it doesn’t have to!” The BC Fisher Habitat Working Group, with funding from HCTF and FESBC, is working closely with forest industry partners to develop GIS planning and on-the-ground identification tools that will allow forestry professionals to identify and manage their impact to fisher habitat. This combined approach to fisher conservation is an excellent example of how conservation organizations, government, forestry industry, and scientific communities are working together to improve wildlife and habitat outcomes throughout BC.

Other HCTF funded projects in the Thompson-Nicola and Cariboo regions include:

  • $70,000 for continued research into moose population trends, calving rates, and calf/cow survival rates throughout central interior BC.
  • $79,000 for continued monitoring of the abundance, productivity, and conservation status of wild Interior Fraser steelhead, providing data to inform provincial, federal, and First Nations fisheries management in the Thompson-Nicola region.
  • $28,000 for research into the use of high-elevation forestry blocks by large mammal species, including moose, caribou, wolves and bears in the Cariboo region.

FESBC’s Executive Director Steve Kozuki is “thrilled to partner with the trusted and respected Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation to improve wildlife habitat. With their first-in-class management of funds and projects by talented and professional staff, we know that we are maximizing benefits for wildlife in British Columbia.”

Each project funded through HCTF is reviewed by a multi-level, objective technical review process prior to final Board review and decision. HCTF’s Board of Directors ensures that species important to BC anglers and hunters are supported but also place a great deal of importance on conserving whole ecosystems, species-at-risk and investing in environmental education across the province.

To see the complete list of HCTF funded projects or explore the conservation work being done near you view the 2020-21 Approved Project List or our 2020-21 Project Map.

For Interviews:

Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation

Craig Doucette, Communications Officer

Direct: 250 940 3012 | Toll-free: 1 800 387 9853 ext. 212 

Craig.Doucette@hctf.ca

Forest Enhancement Society of BC

Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison

Direct: 250 574 0221

communications@fesbc.ca

HCTF Quick Facts

It is the mission of HCTF to improve the conservation outcomes of BC’s fish and wildlife, and the habitats in which they live. We make a difference by funding conservation projects and by educating and engaging the public about BC’s natural assets.

  • Since 1981, HCTF has provided over $189 million in grants for almost 3,000 conservation projects across BC.
  • HCTF began as an initiative by BC anglers, hunters, trappers, and guide outfitters.

FESBC Quick Facts

In February 2016, the B.C. Government announced the formation of FESBC with initial funding of $85 million and a five-member Board of Directors to oversee the establishment of the Society and the delivery of its purposes. An additional $150 million was announced in early 2017.

  • The purposes of FESBC are to advance environmental and resource stewardship of BC’s forests by: 1) preventing and mitigating the impact of wildfires; 2) improving damaged or low value forests; 3) improving habitat for wildlife; 4) supporting the use of fibre from damaged and low value forests; and 5) treating forests to improve the management of greenhouse gases.
  • As of January 30, 2020, FESBC has supported 250 projects valued at $233 million, in partnership with the Province of BC and the Government of Canada.

FESBC Announces Interim Board Chair

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director of FESBC, announced today that Wayne Clogg will be stepping down as Board Chair effective May 1st.

Wayne has Chaired the Society since its inception in 2016 and helped to build FESBC into an effective organization that delivers funding for forest restoration, wildfire risk reduction, enhanced fibre recovery and greenhouse gas management in B.C. On behalf of FESBC and the people of British Columbia, Steve and the Board of Directors would like to sincerely thank Wayne for his dedication, hard work and the leadership he has provided in the successful delivery of the Forest Enhancement Society mandate across the Province over the past four years.

Jim Snetsinger will assume the role of interim Board Chair. Jim, a former Chief Forester for B.C., has been a Board member and the Vice Chair of FESBC since 2016.

Wayne will continue as a director with FESBC to provide support and ensure a smooth transition.

B.C. Based Organizations Partner to Improve Forest Fibre Utilization and Forest Resilience

There is tremendous value to British Columbians in reducing forest slash burning. Benefits include improved community protection, lessened environmental impacts, and increased employment.

Since 2017, FPInnovations and the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia (FESBC) have partnered to find solutions that maximize the use of forest fibre, all while enhancing forest resiliency throughout B.C. This is a key priority for the provincial government considering the mid-term fibre supply deficits, the latest consequential mill closures, and the recent catastrophic wildfires.

The power of efficiency
“With the financial support of FESBC, FPInnovations has unraveled the economics of forest operations tailored to increase the use of existing fibre sources,” stated Ken Byrne, manager of resource management for FPInnovations. “The findings will provide the B.C. forest sector with the necessary information to become innovative, cut costs, and maximize operations.”

Much of FPInnovations’ research has revolved around the incremental costs of harvesting and transporting biomass logs. These costs are over and above what it would normally cost to transport logs for market. The research has also looked at alternative processing systems to identify opportunities to reduce costs and increase fibre utilization.

“Initial research identified opportunities to increase volume recovery using centrally located yards instead of processing solely at roadside.” said Byrne. “These studies also showed that if biomass logs are transported to market instead of piling and burning them at roadside, there is potential for higher profits.”

250 Reasons why B.C.’s Forests are Better Today

Work done to enhance and protect B.C.’s forests is critical. Environmentally for wildlife, greenhouse gas reduction, and responsible land stewardship for future generations; economically for workers and communities to thrive; and socially for people to enjoy and explore this important asset.

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) was established to advance environmental and resource stewardship of the province’s forests. Since 2016, the Society has worked with Community Forests, First Nations, Regional Districts, municipalities, Provincial Government agencies, and the forest industry to enhance and protect B.C.’s forests.

There are 250 FESBC projects across the province and we invite you to learn more about what’s happening, not only in your province, but in your own backyard, too.

Grants to Help Make Use of Wood Fibre

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC has allocated another $2,737,764 in grants for four projects that will support forestry contractors and increase the use of wood fibre that otherwise would have been burned.

Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, made the announcement at the Western Forestry Contractors’ Association conference in Prince George on Jan. 30, 2020.

“Our government’s focus is creating jobs in the forest sector by getting the most out of the fibre that comes out of our public forests,” said Donaldson. “Our partnership with the Forest Enhancement Society of BC is making sure that more fibre gets turned into viable products – supporting good jobs in rural B.C. – and less is left on the forest floor.”

FESBC Fights Climate Change and Creates Jobs in the Green Economy

PRINCETON, B.C.— $1.4 million in funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) in partnership with the BC government and the Government of Canada is achieving greenhouse gas reduction targets while creating economic sustainability. The funding addresses the uneconomic viability of processing low-grade fibre, like small-diameter treetops, by supporting the incremental hauling costs of fibre to Okanagan-based BC EcoChips Ltd.

About 325,000 cubic metres of normally unmerchantable wood fibre will be saved from burning in slash piles over the next four years. Over 35,000 cubic metres have already been hauled and chipped since spring 2019.

The project is being managed by Westwood Fibre Resources Ltd. of Kamloops, B.C. President Jim Thrower said they are working with Weyerhaeuser to secure the additional fibre to haul to BC EcoChips Ltd. facilities in Princeton and Okanagan Falls, B.C.

“We oversee the recovery from bush operations and delivery of the tops into the log yards at Princeton and OK Falls where they are chipped by BC EcoChips Ltd.,” said Thrower. “This project is allowing the delivery and utilization of material that would otherwise be burned.”

Safeguarding Big White through Wildfire Risk Reduction

KELOWNA B.C.—Close to 100 hectares near Big White Ski Resort will be treated to reduce interface wildfire risk. The goal is to minimize potential home, resort infrastructure and business loss due to wildfire, and ensure the resort’s continued contribution to the economy. The treatments will also help to protect part of the mountain’s only egress route.

Big White, which is the highest point of the Okanagan Highlands, is home to 251 year-round residents and a community school with over 50 students.

“When you live in a community where there’s only one road out and you see the devastation a fire can bring, it’s nerve racking,” said Michael Ballingall, senior vice president, Big White Ski Resort. “In 2003, during the Okanagan fires, we were on evacuation standby with only one road out. The forest around the resort hasn’t burned for over 200 years, so we were looking for a program to help us clear around Big White.”

FESBC-funded Project in Nazko Shows Value in Wildfire Risk Mitigation Work

NAZKO, B.C.: located 100km west of Quesnel on the Nazko River is the small ranching and logging First Nations community of Nazko. In the past two years a wildfire risk mitigation project funded by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) working with the Nazko Logging Ltd. Partnership got underway, and earlier this spring, the wildfire risk mitigation work showed its value when a downed powerline started a fire in the area that had been treated.

“The good work of the Nazko Logging Ltd. team in the fuel management treatments meant that the area where the fire started had already been cleared of debris, brush, dead trees, and ladder fuels,” said Ray Raatz, Operations Manager, FESBC. “The fire did go through a portion of the area but stayed low to the ground and didn’t have an opportunity to go up into the crowns of the trees, which meant crews had a better chance to respond and there was relatively little damage. It’s a good news story for the community and shows the value of proactive wildfire risk reduction work.”

The project objective was to identify and treat stands within 5 kilometers of the communities of Nazko and Kluskus heavily damaged by mountain pine bark beetle and had significant accumulations of fuel that, if untreated, would create extreme fire conditions in the event of a wildfire and increase the risk to communities and interface areas.

Ravi Kahlon Announces $27M in Project Grants – News Release – November 2019

PRINCE GEORGE – More than $27 million in project grants that will help create jobs throughout British Columbia will also help increase the use of wood fibre that otherwise would have been burned as slash.

This was done by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC), which distributes the grants, in partnership with the B.C. government and the Government of Canada.

“Nothing frustrates people more than seeing piles of slash go to waste rather than be used to help create jobs,” said Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

Kahlon made the announcement at the Pacific BioEnergy plant in Prince George and was joined by industry and FESBC representatives and Mackenzie Mayor, Joan Atkinson.

These projects will employ forestry contractors, some of whom might otherwise be unemployed. In addition, it will help to employ mill workers who produce electricity, wood pellets and pulp at mills that produce these products specifically. As result, more wood waste will be turned into electricity, heat energy and pulp products to help achieve B.C.͛s and Canada͛s climate change targets.

Wildfire Risk Reduction Project in the Shuswap Ready to Go!

SICAMOUS, B.C.: A wildfire risk reduction project, valued at almost $1,000,000, is ready to roll out to provide greater protection from wildfires around the perimeter of Sicamous. The Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) project will protect important infrastructure owned by the District of Sicamous (DOS) like its water reservoir and vital transportation corridors. The DOS will also realize another benefit from the work removing forest fuels in the development of a mountain bike park in the treatment area to allow for greater and safer access for citizens.

“Our community welcomes a large number of tourists each year,” said Operations Manager for the DOS, Joe McCulloch. “The work we’re doing now will not only help protect our local community and important infrastructure from the threat of wildfire but will also create additional opportunities for people to safely access the land for their recreational pursuits.”

The first area identified for priority treatment will be the community’s eastern boundary, an area with dense second growth Doulas Fir, Larch, Cedar, and Hemlock stands that extend from mountain tops to valley bottoms. These forests include high risk wildfire threats.

“We are excited to move forward on this project,” said DOS Fire Chief, Brett Ogino. “The first treatment will involve commercially thinning the overstory. The second treatment, funded by FESBC, entails thinning the understory by pruning and brushing to remove ladder and ground fuels. The combined treatments will reduce future wildfire intensity and reduce the likelihood of the fire getting into the treetops. If we can keep future fires on the ground, fire fighters will have a better chance of protecting the community. The area becomes increasingly drier in the summers and is a primary access point for thousands of recreational users. We still want people to be able to access these areas safely and enable our fire crews to have safer and easier access in the event of a wildfire.”

FESBC to Share Wildfire Risk Project Details at Water Supply Association of B.C. Conference

PENTICTON, B.C.: The Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) has been invited to present at the Water Supply Association of B.C.’s (WSABC) annual conference to speak about their partnership project focused on reducing wildfire risk in Peachland. In this collaborative project, local First Nations Penticton Indian Band and Okanagan Nation Alliance, Gorman Bros Ltd., the Provincial government, and FESBC worked together to develop solutions to benefit and protect all citizens, wildlife habitat, ecosystem functioning, and cultural values of the land.

The project successfully married timber harvesting with cultural-ecological restoration at a landscape level.

“This was an excellent collaborative project,” said Dave Conly, RPF, FESBC Operations Manager. “Overall, the number of trees was reduced from 350 trees per hectare to 75, 2,400 cubic metres of pulp fibre was recovered, and 7,000 cubic metres of merchantable timber was harvested. The effort will help restore the forest ecosystem functions associated with low intensity stand maintaining fire regime, and contribute to a fuel break to protect Summerland, Peachland, and rural development from wildfire risk.”

Bob Hrasko, administrator for the Black Mountain Irrigation District, and WSABC chairman, heard about the success of this collaborative project and invited the project partners to present at the annual conference on the afternoon of November 8.

Protecting Baldy Mountain Resort: Rural Wildfire Risk Reduction Project Successfully Completed

OLIVER, B.C.: Funding approved by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) facilitated the protection of Baldy Mountain Resort, the community, and the resort’s future sub-divisions with a 350-metre-wide fuel break. The last wildfire moved through the area in the 1930s. Since that time, a stand of dense fire-prone trees has grown back. The over $279,000 in funding from FESBC was critical in protecting the community from future wildfires.

“As a high-risk area, prone to large-scale catastrophic wildfire, we undertook this project to not only protect the resort, and community of over 100 cabins, but an area of abundant natural beauty,” said Andy Foster of Baldy Mountain Resort. “While the main aim was to build a fuel break, it was also vital to the resort to have minimal impact on the aesthetics of the mountain so the resort can be enjoyed for years to come.”

The fuel break is in a horseshoe-shaped band around the resort and was created by increasing spacing between tree crowns and decreasing surface fuel loading on the forest floor, so if or when a fire enters the fuel break, it’s lower in intensity. The goal was to thin trees in a patchy distribution to form islands of trees and avoid clearcutting the area, a project fully supported by the provincial government’s Mountain Resorts Branch.

“FESBC is delighted to participate with Baldy Mountain Resort in reducing wildfire risk to their citizens, homes, and infrastructure such as emergency escape routes, water availability, and communication infrastructure,” said FESBC Operations Manager Dave Conly, RPF. “FESBC applauds Mount Baldy for recognizing the risk of wildfire and taking action to reduce that risk.”

Managing Community Forests: Cariboo Wildfire Risk Reduction Projects

100 MILE HOUSE, B.C.: The Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) is supporting three projects within the 100 Mile House Community Forest which will reduce wildfire risk in priority interface areas.

The 100 Mile House Development Corporation undertook a multi-phase project. The first phase assessed and identified wildfire risk and the second phase included the development of site-specific forestry. Implementation of various fuel management treatments falls under the third phase.

“In 2018, the focus of the 100 Mile Community Forest shifted from harvesting objectives to fuel management and fire break activities,” said Mitch Campsall, mayor, 100 Mile House. “We realigned our priorities to embark on an ambitious fuel management program with the help of FESBC.”

A phased project approach is important to ensure nothing is missed and the highest-risk areas are treated with the overall goal of achieving the surface fuel loadings desired by the B.C. Wildfire Service.

“It takes time to do a project like this well and to make sure you’re achieving all the operational goals and desired outcomes on the landscape,” said 100 Mile House resident Ray Raatz, RPF, FESBC operations manager. “The whole intention is to change fire behaviour, getting the fire to move from high-intensity crown fire to a low-intensity ground fire to make it easier to suppress or put out, thereby reducing the overall risk to the community. This project is consistent with FESBC’s purpose of wildfire risk reduction and mitigation and aligns with existing community strategies.”

Woodlot Challenges and Opportunities – Theme for the 2019 Federation of B.C. Woodlot Association AGM & Conference

SMITHERS, B.C.: The Federation of British Columbia Woodlot Association (FBCWA) is set to hold their 2019 AGM and Conference in Smithers October 6 – 7, hosted by the Nadina, Kispiox and Bulkley Woodlot Associations. The theme is Beyond Sawlogs: Woodlot Challenges and Opportunities.

There are 855 active woodlots in British Columbia, of which over 90 are located in the Nadina, Bulkley, and Kispiox Timber Supply Areas. The FBCWA represents 17 woodlot associations whose members harvest approximately 1.5 million cubic metres of timber annually, generating significant economic activity in communities.

“The FBCWA has a vision where woodlot holders/owners will participate in a healthy and diverse forest industry with woodlot licences and private forest lands making significant contributions to local communities and providing a sustainable supply of forest products,” said Brian McNaughton, FBCWA General Manager. “Our association has a voice in forest and economic policy and we desire for B.C.’s woodlots to be models of forest management excellence and world renowned for their social, economic, recreational, cultural, and educational contributions to rural communities.”

Conference delegates will take part in the annual field trip to visit three industry partners in Houston that are working co-operatively to utilize and convert wood fibre into wood products: Canfor Houston is a supermill which makes commodity lumber products; Corewood uses low-value logs to make wood products such as square cants and rig mats; and Pinnacle Renewable Energy uses woody biomass to make wood pellets.

Working Together: Theme for the 2019 SISCO Fall Field Tour in the Okanagan

SUMMERLAND, B.C.: The Southern Interior Silviculture Committee (SISCO) is set to host their 2019 Fall Field Tour in the Okanagan Oct 1 – 3, 2019. The theme is Working Together: Integration and Collaboration – the Necessary Ingredients to Achieve Results in Natural Resources Management. The tour will visit sites where collaboration has been a key element in achieving desired results in forest management.

Natural resource activities have changed on the land base of British Columbia as a result of both physical (climate) and social pressures. The increase in forest fires has resulted in a renewed awareness of the importance of protecting communities and the values society deems important. The other change agents are the recognition of the need to incorporate integration and collaboration into the activities that occur on these same lands as well as the interest the general public has in ensuring the values they deem important are managed and protected.

“SISCO has organized a winter workshop and summer field tour every year for more than 30 years,” said April Anderson RPF, Administrator and Scholarship Liaison for SISCO. “These workshops and field tours provide silviculture foresters the opportunity to exchange ideas and information about current silviculture practices, issues, and research activities.”

The annual field tour is designed by a local committee to showcase their silviculture practices in different locations throughout the southern interior. “This year’s field tour, designed by Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd., the Okanagan Shuswap Forest District, and Tolko Industries provides an opportunity for forest and range resource managers to see firsthand a number of excellent projects in the Okanagan emphasizing the importance of integration and collaboration in forest management.” said Anderson.

Keeping Campers Safe: Wildfire Risk Reduction at Agur Lake Camp

SUMMERLAND, B.C.: Agur Lake Camp, located 20 km west of Summerland, is B.C.’s only fully accessible campground for people with disabilities and their families and caregivers. The camp provides an oasis for rest and rejuvenation from the challenges of living with an illness or disability. Recently, the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) funded a wildfire risk reduction project which resulted in the removal of fuel from over six hectares of land, a project critically important to protect those who visit and operate the camp, as well as the infrastructure of the camp itself.

“There are a lot of families and groups that service people with disabilities who return every summer,” said Debbie Schneider, office manager and director of the camp. “We had over 400 visitors join us in 2019. Many of them come from the Okanagan, but a large number also come up from the lower mainland. We are a camp open to people with many disabilities, not just physical.”

In 2015, the BC Wildfire Management Branch identified that the Camp was in the wildland urban interface and categorized the area as a high to extreme fire threat. The Agur Lake Camp Society Board of Directors wanted to reduce the amount of fuel and reduce wildfire risk to the camp’s 10 structures and camp users. Camp volunteers had been actively reducing fuel loads on the Crown lease area, but the size and scope of the work required expertise and additional resources to be effective.

West Chilcotin Fibre Utilization Project a Success

ANAHIM LAKE, B.C.: A Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) funded fibre recovery project in the Chilcotin is increasing utilization of forest fibre by 20 per cent and the number of full-time jobs by 20. The FESBC funding is enabling Ulkatcho First Nation-owned West Chilcotin Forest Products (WCFP) to bring forest fibre to market that would normally be left behind or burned as waste in cut blocks.

Over the winter and through early spring, WCFP was unable to haul the pulp logs into Bella Coola due to the severity of seasonal storms that hit the Bella Coola Valley which prevents the safe log hauling, storage and barge loading. A provincial shortage of haul trucks presented an added challenge even if there had have been a good weather window to load the log barges.

“The West Chilcotin plateau lacks the infrastructure many other areas of our province take for granted,” said Stephen James, Executive Director of WCFP. “Given the distance to markets for our forest products, enhanced utilization of our forest fibre has always been a struggle. With funding from FESBC, we can now start to do our part to fight climate change while at the same time provide much needed employment for our band members.”

Despite the current challenging state of the forestry industry, WCFP reached another production milestone. Pulp wood that was being burnt this time last year is now sitting in bundles at the reload area in Bella Coola, ready to be loaded onto a barge. This fibre will be barged to a chipper and then on to Harmac Pacific Pulp mill to be made into pulp.

Terrace Community Forest Seeks to Enhance Timber Supply and Wildlife Habitat

TERRACE, B.C.: A Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) funded project to commercially thin trees within the Terrace Community Forest (TCF) tenure is currently in the planning and development phase and is targeting to be operational in the near future. The project is rehabilitating low value forests, enhancing wildlife habitat, and increasing the opportunity to recover wood fibre for other uses, such as making wood pellets. The information learned from this project is being shared to benefit other forested areas of the Coast Mountains Resource District.

“We’ve employed purpose-driven silviculture, harvesting, and spacing plans to affect change on the forest landscape within the TCF,” said Kim Haworth, General Manager of TCF. “Our Community Forest has, within its operating areas, a large contingent of unmanaged, high density second growth forest. As a result of this overcrowding, growth rates of all trees are negatively impacted and understory development of small shrubs and vegetation is non-existent, leading to poor biodiversity values necessary for wildlife sustainability. The work we’re doing, thanks to FESBC-funding, is changing that.”

The TCF covers 25,165 hectares located within the Coast Mountains Resource District . The community holds a long-term Community Forest Agreement with exclusive rights to harvest crown timber within the area. The second growth forests Haworth refers to make up about 10% of the TCF’s Timber Harvesting Land Base. Without some form of economical harvest treatment, the area would be left with its current composition thus delaying the availability of trees for harvest and increasing the amount of fibre not being fully utilized in future harvesting. A lack of treatment would lead to a reduction of the Community Forest’s allowable annual cut, lessening the opportunity for the TCF to generate financial benefits for the community.

Wildfire Risk Reduction Projects Obtain Funding to Protect Critical Okanagan Watersheds

Okanagan, B.C.: watersheds within the Okanagan basin will soon be better protected through the development of a plan to reduce wildfire risk thanks in part to $663,910 in funding granted by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC). Four water purveyors in the Okanagan are proactively working together with Frontline Operations Group Ltd. (FLO) to protect this vital community resource in the immediate future and in the long term.

“We are incredibly grateful to FESBC for funding these projects as they may not have happened otherwise,” said John Davies, RPF, Wildfire Management Specialist with FLO. “Although these are separate watershed projects in the Okanagan, all work is collaborative because they are adjacent to one another and wildfires know no boundaries. Our immediate focus is to prescribe treatment operations to address the wildfire risk around critical areas within the watersheds.”

The four water purveyors involved are the District of Lake Country (Oyama and Vernon Creek Watersheds – receiving $142,860 in FESBC funding), the Regional District North Okanagan (Duteau Watershed – receiving $146,235 in FESBC funding), Glenmore-Ellison Improvement District (Kelowna Community Watershed – receiving $140,910 in FESBC funding), and Black Mountain Irrigation District (Mission Creek Watershed – receiving $233,905.00 in FESBC funding). Work will occur around residential developments as well as critical infrastructure associated with water intakes, treatment facilities, and communication towers essential to safe operations of the watersheds.

Plans are underway for Open Houses to share information with community members and the media to outline project scope and answer questions.

Collaborative Community Forest Project Leads to Unique Prescription Recommendations

Logan Lake, B.C.: The management of wildfire risk is increasingly important to British Columbians. A collaborative planning project funded by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) in the Logan Lake Community Forest (LLCF) brought together First Nations, registered professional foresters, and key stakeholders to develop an implementation plan focusing on areas of highest risk to ensure work done is strategic and priority-based.

“Thanks to a grant from FESBC, the Logan Lake Wildfire Risk Management Plan (WRMP) was initiated in January of 2018,” said Garnet Mierau, RPF, Senior Planning Forester with Forsite and Management of the LLCF. “The plan involved many steps including documenting internal and external considerations with respect to wildfire risk management, conducting a risk assessment, and then developing management strategies in response to the risks identified. The final report highlights the areas of most significant risk to wildfire, and we’ve already begun work on the ground to mitigate this risk to an incredibly important asset, our community forest.”

The risk management process was directed by the management team of the LLCF and a planning team which included internal B.C. government specialists from the BC Wildfire Service and the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

Syilx Stewardship Project Collaborates to Reduce Wildfire Risk in Peachland

Peachland, B.C.: the Syilx Territory and the Thompson-Okanagan Region have historically been maintained by fire events, but active fire suppression tactics have led to vegetation ingrowth and extreme fuel loading throughout Syilx Territory, a territory covering approximately 69,000 square kilometres. Combined with climate change, fire suppression has led to longer, more intense, and more destructive wildfire seasons and a less resilient forest ecosystem. A collaborative project has local First Nations, industry, the Provincial government, and the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) working together to develop solutions to benefit and protect all citizens, wildlife habitat, ecosystem functioning, and cultural values of the land.

“The Syilx territory is a diverse and beautiful landscape of deserts, lakes, forests, and endangered grasslands with the highest concentration of rare and threatened species in British Columbia,” said Cailyn Glasser, Biologist for Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA). “This project is the product of collaboration between local First Nations Penticton Indian Band and ONA, Gorman Brothers Ltd. (GBL), the Provincial government, and FESBC. Our objectives were to reduce wildfire risk, increase forest stand values, protect ecological values, and enhance cultural resource values.”

Recently, representatives from GBL, FESBC, the Syilx territory, ONA, and the Provincial government were on site for a field tour to see the work that has taken place.

Barkerville Historic Town & Park Completes First Phase of Wildfire Mitigation Work

Barkerville, B.C.: heralded as the largest living-history museum in western North America, Barkerville Historic Town & Park (BHT&P) was declared a National Historic Site of Canada in 1924 and a Provincial Heritage Property in 1958. As with other resorts, heritage sites, and recreation or tourism destinations in B.C., the catastrophic wildfire seasons of 2017 and 2018 put a damper on tourism numbers. In 2017, a wildfire travelling at 4.5 kms per day came within just 12 kms of the historic site, something BHT&P CEO Ed Coleman and his team knew they needed to do something about in order to protect this irreplaceable historic Canadian asset.

“The 2017 wildfires came much too close to the heritage park and we knew in order to protect this historic town, immediate and strategic measures needed to happen,” said Ed Coleman, CEO, BHT&P. “We have been working on fuel mitigation planning for 3½ years, designing the prescriptions and subsequent treatments to protect the site from a wildfire.”

The planning and treatment of this first phase of the fuel mitigation plan presented several challenges due to the high elevation of Barkerville at 4,300 feet, challenging fuel types, and the need to protect heritage and other resource values located in the treatment area. Very few fuel management projects have been done in this type of physical environment, so it was completely new ground for Coleman and his team.

Community Forests: Exceptional Work in Local Forests by Local People Making Local Decisions

Kamloops, B.C.: ahead of the BC Community Forest Association’s (BCCFA) Conference and AGM in Mission, B.C. June 12 to 14, the team at the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) is reflecting on the important work community forests throughout the province are undertaking to mitigate wildlife risk and at the same time enhance wildlife habitat, forest recreation, increase the utilization of fibre, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through various treatments. These projects provide a triple win for British Columbians: increased social, economic and environmental benefits.

“Wildfire risk reduction to protect people, homes, businesses, communications, water, power, and emergency escape routes is a priority for FESBC and community forests. We’ve been able to collaborate with many community forests throughout the province and have worked in unison with the BCCFA,” said FESBC Executive Director Steve Kozuki. “The BCCFA is a network of community-based organizations in B.C. that are either currently managing or striving to establish community forests. Their leadership to ensure the viability of community forest initiatives, to provide education on community forestry issues, and to promote community forest management as a strategy for rural economic development is outstanding. Many of their members have received FESBC funding to do critical work to enhance and protect their community forests, and a great number of these projects are now reaching important project milestones.”

Echoing Kozuki’s comments is BCCFA Executive Director Jennifer Gunter. “British Columbians are passionate about community forests because they involve the three pillars of sustainable development: social, ecological, and economic stability. At its core, community forestry is about local control over, and the enjoyment of, the monetary and non-monetary benefits offered by local forest resources. We are so pleased to have FESBC fund many community forest projects and already see the great outcomes these projects are providing local communities across the province.”

Province Boosts Support for Emergency Preparedness, Wildfire Risk Reduction

To support community resiliency in the face of wildfires, floods and other emergencies, the Province is giving a $31 million boost to the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) for local governments and First Nations.

This brings the total program funding to $69.5 million.

“In the wake of consecutive record-breaking wildfire and flood seasons, the Province is providing more resources to help prepare communities and keep people safe in a disaster,” said Premier John Horgan. “With these investments, we are supporting communities and emergency responders to reduce wildfire risk and better mitigate, respond to and recover from emergencies.”

The Province is also investing an additional $19 million for 40 wildfire risk reduction projects in B.C. communities, delivered through the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. Thirty-six of the 40 approved projects are for fuel management projects that will directly reduce wildfire risk within two kilometres of a community.

Falkland Forest Rehabilitation Project: 129,000 Trees Planted Spring 2019

FALKLAND, B.C.: a large area 8 kilometers east of the community of Falkland on Highway 97C, previously burned by a wildfire 14 years ago, was the focus of a local Natural Resource District staff and Tolko Industries Ltd. project funded by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) for forest rehabilitation and to improve the area for Mule deer winter range.

“The Cedar Hills fire of 2005 in the Okanagan Shuswap Forest District burned approximately 1,200 hectares of forest land,” said Dave Conly, Operations Manager for FESBC. “Of the land affected by the fire, 830 hectares was salvage logged and reforested by Tolko Industries Ltd., BC Timber Sales, and local woodlot holders. There remained a significant area of land untreated, and until now, was severely degraded due to the intensity of the fire.”

Difficult growing conditions, including drought, existed for some of the remaining area and previous attempts to reforest for timber productivity had been largely unsuccessful.

“Tolko Industries Ltd., working with the local Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) District staff, assessed the site and concluded there was an opportunity to reforest portions of the burnt area,” said Conly. “14 years since the fire, the area has experienced some deciduous brush growth and recovery of the soil which led the professional foresters to conclude it would be worth another try to regenerate the area. The work is supported by local biologists as the area is part of a critical mule deer winter range.”

Close to Completion: Wildfire Risk Mitigation Project in Cheakamus Community Forest

WHISTLER, B.C.: The Cheakamus Community Forest (CCF), one of 50+ community managed forests in the province, is completing a fuel-thinning wildfire risk mitigation project as part of a landscape level fuel break on the southern slopes of Whistler Mountain. The project, along both sides of the Cheakamus Lake Forest Service Road, serves as the main access point into Cheakamus Lake and Garibaldi Provincial Park. The project is funded by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC), the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW), and all revenue generated from the sale of logs from the thinning are applied to reduce the cost of treatment. The purpose is to alter wildfire behavior by modifying forest densities and structure in this high priority, heavily used portion of the community forest to protect the south facing slopes of Whistler Mountain, the community of Whistler, and the western edge of Garibaldi Provincial Park.

Situated on more than 33,000 hectares surrounding Whistler, the CCF was established in April 2009 when the Lil’wat and Squamish First Nations and the RMOW jointly signed a 25-year tenure with the Ministry of Forests. Together, they oversee the management and operation of the forest through the Cheakamus Community Forest Society. The RMOW’s multi-year Wildfire Protection Strategy focuses on landscape level and interface treatments plus infrastructure protection and community outreach under the FireSmart initiative. “We’re adopting a multi-pronged approach and partnering with the CCF to deliver on the landscape scale fuel breaks,” said Heather Beresford, RMOW Environmental Stewardship Manager and CCF Administrator. “We believe this is what is needed to complete such a momentous task with urgency, and one all community leaders fully support in the face of our rapidly changing climate.”

Forestry Project on Haida Gwaii Incorporates Haida Culture While Treating the Land

HAIDA GWAII, B.C.: In the West Coast Region in the Haida Gwaii District, Taan Forest, an enterprise established by HaiCo in 2010 to manage forests incorporating Haida values, is working on a forest rehabilitation project funded by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC). The project, valued at $344,000, is locally supported to achieve long term restoration objectives in areas within the Yakoun River drainage. One of Taan Forest’s goals is to have a permanent silviculture crew on Haida Gwaii comprised of members of the Haida Nation. The project is also assisting the crew to focus on restoring wildlife habitat for salmon, black bear, and raptors while at the same time creating economic benefits of employment and enhanced value of forest products such as Western Red Cedar.

“The overall plan for this project is multi-year,” said Jeff Mosher, Planning Manager for Taan Forest. “This funding allows us to move forward with treatments to the land, which incorporates Haida culture and will benefit many species like the black bear. By accelerating the transition of young trees, through thinning and fertilization, to become forests with more old growth characteristics and values, we will improve black bear habitat. The project will also restore forests within the river valley with benefits to salmon and other fish and many spin-off benefits to goshawk, eagles, saw whet owls, bats and many other resident and migratory birds. With FESBC funding the planning, overstory removal, fertilization, and thinning, it’s an exceptional collaboration with what we hope will provide some outstanding results.”

FESBC Funded Fibre Recovery Project underway in Anahim Lake

ANAHIM LAKE, B.C.: West Chilcotin Forest Products (WCFP), a company owned by the Ulkatcho First Nation, is pleased to announce that work on a fibre recovery program is well underway thanks to the approval of funding by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC)

“The West Chilcotin plateau lacks the infrastructure many other areas of our province take for granted,” said Stephen James, Executive Director of WCFP. “Given the distance to markets for our forest products, enhanced utilization of our forest fibre has always been a struggle. With funding from FESBC, we can now start to do our part to fight climate change while at the same time provide much needed employment for our band members.”

The fibre recovery program is enabling WCFP to increase utilization of non-merchantable and undersize logs by providing economic support for the cost of harvesting and hauling of the pulp wood to Bella Coola to then ship to the Harmac Pacific pulp mill in Nanaimo.

“This program has many benefits for the area that would not be a reality without this funding. We’ve been able to contribute to economic benefits for the west Chilcotin area through increasing the number of good jobs – a total of approximately 20 full time positions for local harvesting companies, log haulers, and pulp mill workers. Plus, we are forging strong relationships with the community of Bella Coola, the Bella Coola Community Forest, and Harmac Pacific. This is a good news story for our area and for the community members.”

On the ground, the fibre recovery program is increasing utilization of forest fibre by approximately 20% based on current harvest plans with the added benefit of addressing the use of waste wood which has concerned local citizens in the past. As a result, cull piles are now smaller, and less material is burned as waste in cut blocks.

Mule Deer Winter Range Enhancement and Wildfire Risk Mitigation Project Sees Positive Outcomes in Williams Lake Community Forest

Williams Lake, B.C.: the Williams Lake Community Forest (WLCF) is situated in two separate geographic areas around the City of Williams Lake covering a total of 288 square kilometres. As a 50/50 partnership between the Williams Lake Indian Band and the City of Williams Lake, the community forest is a vital resource having contributed both financial support as well as employment opportunities into the communities since 2014. Work to protect this asset from wildfire while enhancing Mule Deer Winter Range attributes through a project funded by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) is ongoing.

“This project is critical to our community forest,” said Kent Watson of C+P Management Ltd., the company that manages the WLCF. “The southwest portion of our project, known as Flatrock or Ne Sextine, is situated west of the City of Williams Lake between Williams Creek Valley and Highway 20. The area is within Mule Deer winter range and a Wildland Urban Interface behind the residential areas on Birch Lane and Woodland Drive. The funding provided us with an opportunity to achieve many positive outcomes such as enhancing habitat for wildlife and reducing wildfire risk to our communities.”

Through the historic harvest history of the area and with current harvest restrictions, much of the project site was occupied by moderate to high density stands, high risks for wildfires. The area is often impacted by snow, ice damage, and Spruce budworm and the stand itself has been suppressed with trees of small diameter which has led to an environment limiting forage opportunities for wildlife.

Wildfire Risk Mitigation Project Underway in Kelowna Area

KELOWNA, B.C. Now that spring has arrived, wildfire risk reduction work is well underway in the Kelowna area, including a $1.6 million project southeast of Kelowna funded by the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia.

Staff from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development are working in an area near Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park on provincial Crown land. The goal is to thin out dense stands of pine and Douglas-fir trees and remove accumulations of dead wood that currently pose a significant fire hazard in areas covering about 1,000 hectares.

This project started with a wildfire management specialist identifying blocks of Crown land where landscapelevel treatments would be effective in reducing wildfire threats. Treatment activities in these 15-hectare and 50-hectare blocks include thinning trees, trimming the lower branches – or ladder fuels – of the remaining trees, and then removing that wood and other forest fuels from the ground.

In the event of a future wildfire in the area, less flammable material would be available to burn and the risk of a catastrophic fire would be reduced. This work will also improve firefighter access to the area and make it easier and safer for them to fight a fire.

News Release – Province Announces $134M to Re-grow B.C.’s Forests, Support Communities

PRINCE GEORGE – Communities and wildlife will benefit from $134 million being awarded by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) to 71 forest enhancement projects around the Province, Premier John Horgan announced today.

“In the wake of the 2017 wildfires, our government has a responsibility to restore damaged forests and support communities,” said Premier Horgan. “These investments in reforestation will benefit ecosystems, workers and the communities that rely on forestry for their livelihood.”

Over $99 million is being awarded in the Cariboo, with the majority focused on forest enhancement and restoration of public forests impacted by the 2017 wildfires. Approximately 30% of the work will involve, or be led by, First Nations and their partners.

Forestry project aims to protect Williams Lake from wildfire threats

Efforts are underway in Williams Lake to create a fuel break that will protect residential areas from the threat of wildfires approaching from the west.

Under the direction of Williams Lake Community Forest manager Ken Day, crews have begun clearing a 300-metre wide pathway in the community forest’s Flat Rock block that will eventually be 11 kilometres in length.

“We have been asked by the Cariboo Region and the forest district to create a shaded fuel break to protect the city of Williams Lake and the local area from a wind-driven crown fire approaching from the west,” Day said Wednesday as he gave the Tribune a tour of the area. “If you think back to 2010, and the concerns we had with west of the Fraser River and everybody was on high alert in the log yards to deal with sparks, etc. That’s what we are addressing here. ”

The project is comprised of three phase and will take quite a few years to complete, Day said.

The first phase is to thin forest stands.

Secondly, crews have taken out all commercial logs to the roadside and transported them to local mills.

Read the full article here.

$150-million Reforestation Investment Will Help Fight Climate Change, Create More Rural Jobs

Jim Snetsinger, FESBC Board of Directors Vice-Chair with Premier Christy Clark

On February 17, 2017, Premier Christy Clark announced $150 million for the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia to plant tens of millions more trees, which will help fight climate change and create over 3,000 jobs in rural British Columbia.

“This is an investment in our forests, in B.C.’s rural communities – and the world’s clean air,” said Premier Christy Clark. “This initiative is another example of how we do business in B.C., striking a balance between environmental protection and economic priorities. That’s the approach that has built Canada’s leading economy, and a world-recognized leader on climate action.”

The $150 million will be transferred in the 2016-17 fiscal year as a lump-sum payment to the independent Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia to advance environmental stewardship and, in particular, focus on reforestation initiatives throughout the province. This is in addition to the $85 million government allocated in 2015-16 to the society.

“The rehabilitation and reforestation of damaged forest stands will provide significant greenhouse gas benefits and increase the use of low-quality fibre,” said Jim Snetsinger, vice-chair, Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia. “The society is pleased to receive this funding and we will work with government agencies, First Nations, forest licensees and stakeholders to achieve these important objectives.”

This one-time investment builds on existing programs within the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations to support the implementation of the Forest Carbon Initiative. This initiative includes a suite of activities under B.C.’s Climate Leadership Plan, which target the reduction of carbon emissions in the forest sector and the capture of carbon through the restoration of forests damaged by disease and wildfire.

Click here for the full story.

Premier Christy Clark, Coralee Oakes, MLA Cariboo North and Jim Snetsinger, FESBC Board of Directors Vice-Chair

Slocan Valley Wildfire Protection Plan gets Support from the Province – The Valley Voice

An ancient rainforest with 2,000-year-old trees stands in the Selkirk mountains along the Incomappleux River, just south of Glacier National Park. The film Primeval: Enter the Incomappleux takes viewers on a journey to this awe-inspiring place – the “crown jewel” of the proposed Selkirk Mountain Caribou Park.

Presented by the Valhalla Wilderness Society (VWS), the film premiered in Nelson at the Capitol Theatre on November 9. It will be showing at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival later this month, and will be on tour around the province over the next year in an effort to put public pressure on the government to create the Selkirk Mountain Caribou Park.

At the Nelson premiere, VWS representatives urged the audience to write letters to the BC government and federal Minister of Environment to ask for the creation of the park. Filmmaker Damien Gillis, biologist Dr. Toby Spribille, and VWS reps were in attendance to introduce the film and answer questions. Craig Pettitt of VWS made a presentation about the park proposal, which the society has been working on for the last 10 years.

Partnership to restore forest

A partnership between the Penticton Indian Band, the provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and the Okanagan Region of the B.C. Wildlife Federation will work together for habitat and cultural enhancement in the Garnett Valley area north of Summerland.

The primary objective of the partnership is to treat forest ingrowth and habitat degradation in the area.

A secondary objective is to use traditional practices and ecosystem and fire science in harmony.

The partnership has received $150,000 for its efforts.

The funding, from the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C., is part of more than $2.74 million given to 23 projects around the province.

Read the full article here.

Okanagan Project Aims to Preserve and Restore Garnet Valley

A co-operative project is underway to mitigate impacts from wildfire and to preserve and restore the Garnet Valley, north of Summerland, is underway.

The Penticton Indian Band, B.C. Ministry of Forests, Land and Natural Resource Operations and the Okanagan region of the B.C. Wildlife Federation received $150,000 to prevent and/or mitigate economic, ecologocal and cultural impacts of wildfire in the Summerland area, improve important wildlife habitat habitat (particularly the Mule deer winter range) and provide a platform for relationship building between the province, the PIB, the Summerland and Peachland Sportsman’s Associations and the B.C. Wildlife Federation.

The funding is from the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C., which allocated over $2.74 million to 23 projects around the province to the first group of funding commitments.

Read the full article here.