100 Mile House Emergency Response Update

October 12, 2021 – A Message from Mayor and Council

I hope everyone had a healthy and happy Thanksgiving, after a summer of challenges we faced with wildfires, smoke, and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.  They had an impact on all of us in some way, and the District of 100 Mile House is no exception.   

Our staff worked tirelessly in the Emergency Operations Centre for most of the summer, putting in long hours under difficult conditions, with Covid protocols to follow, and constantly changing weather and fire behavior.  Daily briefings from BC Wildfire Service were crucial in ensuring we were prepared in case the fire became an even greater and more immediate threat.  The District has an Emergency Preparedness and Evacuation Plan, which thankfully was not needed to be actioned this summer for an evacuation.

On behalf of all of Council, I want to extend our sincere thanks to the fire fighters and support crews with the BC Wildfire Service, the RCMP, Search and Rescue, ESS, and all the many agencies who supported the wildfire effort and saw us through another difficult fire season.  I also want to acknowledge the logging community for their tireless efforts assisting the Wildfire Service with the various incidents in our region this past summer – the loggers provide an invaluable support service during fire season.

There’s no question, we fared better this time around, with no evacuation orders in town, but some of our CRD neighbours were not so lucky.  Also, while small, there were several fires in the Community Forest, which we are just in the process of assessing for the volume of burned timber.  Meantime, we can say with confidence that between the 2017 and the 2021 wildfire seasons, we have been preparing for future fire events by undertaking fuel mitigation projects, almost exclusively.

Thanks to funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), three projects were funded which helped reduce wildfire risk in a few priority interface areas near residential neighbourhoods. 

Mitch Campsall, Mayor of 100 Mile House

These projects consisted of harvesting, tree thinning, pruning and reduction of fuel loading around 100 Mile House, Horse Lake and Lone Butte.  These and other projects are featured in a recent FESBC news item called: 120 Communities Throughout B.C. Reduce their Risk from Wildfire – Cariboo https://www.fesbc.ca/120-communities-throughout-b-c-reduce-their-risk-from-wildfire-cariboo/.  A link to 41 projects in the region includes our FESBC projects in 100 Mile House. 

“The District of 100 Mile House and the consultants hired to coordinate and administer these projects have done a great job to achieve the desired end result on the ground,” says Ray Raatz, Operations Manager, FESBC.  “I have visited the treatment sites several times over the duration of the project and seen the effort and diligence of the crews and machine operators doing the work.  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 is due to the collaborative efforts of all the parties involved, and support from the people of 100 Mile House and area.”

These projects also contributed to fast actioning of the various wildfires that struck in the region in late June and early July.  Community Forest Manager, Bill Hadden notes that “wildfire crews were on-site much sooner than they otherwise would have been, thanks to the road access provided by these forestry projects.”   

FESBC funding was also secured for planning, layout and prescriptions for wildfire treatments in the Woodlot up at the 99 Mile Recreation Area.  Subsequently, the District accessed the Forest Employment Program to implement the prescriptions and undertake the wildfire fuel break adjacent to the 99 Mile trails and the railroad south of town.  Not only were local forestry crews kept employed throughout this project, but 100 Mile House itself was the beneficiary of improved protection brought about by the treatments.        

All these projects are nearing completion, with just the hand piled and machine piles left to burn this fall and winter.  Burning is expected to begin in early October and may continue into the winter, pending safe and favourable burning conditions, including venting indexes.  Google Earth images have recently been updated, and clearly show many of the treatment areas.   

Now to Covid.  Our local Covid cases have been spiking in the past few weeks.  With that, it’s time for us all to re-focus on overcoming this very real pandemic – and we all know how to do this: by following public health orders, making good decisions based on data, and doing our part to be safe, to stay safe, and to keep others safe.   Now more than ever, we need to keep up our sanitation protocols, physical distancing, wearing a mask, and washing our hands.  But above all – get vaccinated.  We’ve come too far to get complacent now.

Let’s keep supporting our local businesses, and also local clubs and organizations.  Our sincere appreciation goes out to our healthcare and frontline workers.  Finally, I want to thank residents for staying calm and for trusting the agencies and plans in place are there to help ensure everyone’s safety – whether wildfire or Covid related.

This is our time to stay strong and stay committed to healthy behaviors that will bring our covid case rates back down.

We are stronger together.

Mayor Mitch Campsall

NEW! Watch The Video: B.C. Forestry Workers are Climate Change Heroes

Climate Change Heroes

FESBC Sept 2021 Newsletter

We have developed a monthly newsletter to curate the good news stories we share throughout the province featuring FESBC-funded projects which are seeing excellent economic, social, and environmental benefits. Stories are shared in collaboration with our project partners. We’ve had the opportunity to share FESBC-funded project stories from throughout our province through our NEW Climate Change Heroes video and in collaboration with National Forest Week. Our projects have been featured in local, provincial, national and international publications which help build social license for the exceptional forest enhancement work throughout our province.

Read this month’s Executive Director’s Newsletter

Subscribe to receive the latest newsletter in your inbox every month!

Dave Conly, Operations Manager, FESBC, Aaron Higginbottom and John Walker, Williams Lake First Nation featured in the Forestry Workers are Climate Change Heroes video.

For an interview to find out more about FESBC or good news stories, please contact:
Aleece Laird, FESBC Communications Liaison | communications@fesbc.ca | 250.574.0221

Wildfire Risk Has Been Reduced to Protect a Kootenay “Jewel”

Greenwood, B.C. – a popular recreational area 20 minutes north of Greenwood is now safer for people thanks to a forestry initiative. A significant amount of burnable wood was removed, while also protecting some old growth trees, providing employment, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A 32-hectare area in the West Boundary Community Forest (WBCF) where the project work was done is situated by popular Jewel Lake. Thanks to a grant from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) for $254,100, the project reduced amounts of flammable wood, which increased safety for residents and visitors in the event of a fire.

“This project has been very collaborative from the start,” said Ross Elliot, Director on the Board of the WBCF. “We have consulted with our First Nations partners from the Osoyoos Indian Band who did initial field visits and supplied crews to do some of the hand treatments. We have connected with leaders from the Jewel Lake Environmental Protection Society, BC Parks, and Vaagen Fibre Canada. This project has shown how when we engage various groups, we get some of the best ideas coming forward in how to work together. We are appreciative of FESBC for the grant which got this project going in the first place.”

The FESBC grant enabled wildfire risk reduction and, at the same time, assisted in using waste wood which otherwise would have been piled and burned. The outcome for locals and tourists alike is the opportunity to not only enjoy interpretive hiking trails, but also the added comfort knowing emergency services have increased access to the area.

“With the FESBC funding for this work, we are able to better protect area homes and recreational infrastructure from a catastrophic wildfire while maintaining the aesthetics across the landscape.”

Dan Macmaster, RPF, Forest Manager, West Boundary Community Forest

“We’ve gone through a challenging summer with wildfires in many parts of the province and close to home here in the Kootenays,” said Dan Macmaster, RPF, Forest Manager of the West Boundary Community Forest. “With the FESBC funding for this work, we are able to better protect area homes and recreational infrastructure from a catastrophic wildfire while maintaining the aesthetics across the landscape. The onerous task of removing fuels while preserving old growth trees would not have been possible without FESBC funding.”

Pleased with the level of collaboration and work that has been accomplished to date is Gord Pratt, RPF, Operations Manager, FESBC.

“The accumulation of flammable wood in the forest resulted in the Jewel Lake area being classified as a fire-susceptible-ecosystem. The build-up of fibre was due in part to decades of fire suppression activities in the area,” said Pratt. “The initial work to engage community stakeholders created the local support and understanding of the scope of work required to better protect communities from wildfires. The project has shown that wildfire risk reduction work coupled with community engagement can achieve positive win-win environmental and social benefits.”

The West Boundary Community Forest employs 100% of its contractors from rural communities, creating revenue for the local economy. Fibre removed from the project site will be hauled to the Midway Chipper yard with sawlogs sold to the local mills of Vaagen Fibre Canada and Interfor. Fibre that cannot be safely transported will be scattered on site at low density and logging debris unable to be hauled or spread will be put in a burn pile and disposed of this fall.

For an interview with FESBC, contact:
Aleece Laird, FESBC Communications Liaison | communications@fesbc.ca | 250.574.0221

For an interview with the West Boundary Community Forest, contact:
Dan Macmaster, West Boundary Community Forest Manager | dmacmaster@vaagen.ca | 250.528.0344

Why Planting Trees is Good for the Environment

By Steven F. Kozuki, RPF

The climate is becoming warmer. One reason for this is believed to be the increasing amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Like other greenhouse gases such as water vapour and methane, carbon dioxide absorbs heat from the sun. The more greenhouse gases there are in the atmosphere, the more heat is absorbed. Therefore, one way to take action on climate change is to use forests to remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Carbon moves and changes all the time on planet Earth. It exists in the air, water, land, and every living thing. It moves around and back again in an endless cycle and forests are a significant part of this global carbon cycle. Growing trees use sunlight and water to absorb carbon dioxide from the air. At the same time, growing trees make a type of sugar and release oxygen. The carbon in the tree becomes part of the tree’s roots, stems, and leaves. This process of using sunlight to grow organic biomass is called photosynthesis and is the basis for most life on Earth.

The Paris Agreement is an international treaty to limit global warming. Article 5 of the agreement invites countries to take action and manage greenhouse gases in their forests. This is because forests absorb carbon dioxide and provide oxygen as they grow, and carbon is stored in the wood until it decays or burns. Therefore, planting more trees absorbs more carbon, and burning less wood emits fewer greenhouse gases. Further greenhouse gas benefits are also possible by using more wood in buildings and less concrete or steel, and by using wood to make green energy instead of using fossil fuels.

Most healthy forests have a positive carbon balance, absorbing more greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than they emit. However, severe events such as the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic and the catastrophic wildfires of 2017, 2018, and 2021 in British Columbia can cause many trees to suddenly die and become greenhouse gas emitters.

Government reforestation projects involve planting trees in areas affected by natural disturbances. Compared with natural forest regeneration, planting accelerates the rate at which these areas return to being healthy growing forests. Healthy young forests have a positive carbon balance, drawing down more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than they emit. However, when disturbances occur such as wildfire or insect attack, many trees die, tree growth decreases, decomposition rates increase, and the stands shift to having a negative carbon balance.

Forest carbon balance is quantified in units of “tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent” (tCO2e). This unit is used to describe the impact of all types of greenhouse gas emissions, including methane and nitrous oxides, which are released by fire and are much more potent for global warming.

When determining if a potential forestry project is net carbon positive or net carbon negative, the BC Forest Carbon Initiative models estimate 1) how many tonnes of CO2e are absorbed or avoided, 2) the amount of CO2e expended to do the project, and 3) whether the project is over-and-above what would naturally happen.

By 2022, the projects funded by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC will have planted over 70 million trees, which, along with other FESBC projects, will generate a net positive 5.3 million tonnes CO2e, which is equivalent to taking 1.1 million cars off the road for a year. Planting trees on areas that otherwise would not have been reforested is a big part of the climate change solution. And in B.C., many climate change heroes are the hard-working women and men working in our forests.

Steven F Kozuki, RPF, Executive Director, Forest Enhancement Society of B.C.

Steven has worked within the forest industry since the 1984. He graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Forestry in 1994 and has held various positions from Timber Valuation Coordinator for Weldwood and General Manager of Forestry for the Council of Forest Industries, to working in BC Timber Sales and timber pricing for the BC Public Service. He is passionate about the work FESBC does to advance the environmental and resource stewardship of B.C.’s forests.

For an interview with FESBC regarding nature-based forestry solutions to take action on climate change, contact:

Forest Enhancement Society of BC
Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison
Direct: 250 574 0221 | communications@fesbc.ca

Logan Lake hoping to step up fire mitigation efforts with funding from Forest Enhancement Society of BC

CFJC News is highlighting how the work that Logan Lake did to become FireSmart helped the town survive a catastrophic wildfire. FESBC has funded several projects in and around Logan Lake and Steve Kozuki, FESBC Executive Director, was on hand to talk about the role of fibre utilization.

From the story:

“It’s been well-documented this summer how FireSmart initiatives in Logan Lake helped save the community from the raging Tremont Creek wildfire. Logan Lake was Canada’s first FireSmart community in 2013. However, such efforts have been going on since 2003…

‘When the communities do these treatments and it results in woody fibre, biomass, we like to see projects where that biomass is used to create green energy for British Columbians or even exporting around the world in the form of pellets, or in the case of electricity it can be sold to Alberta and other provinces,’ said Steve Kozuki from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC.”

The full story and video can be found on the CFJC website, here: Logan Lake hoping to step up fire mitigation efforts with funding from Forest Enhancement Society of BC | CFJC Today Kamloops

Bioenergy Insight Magazine: Forest sector helps BC take action on climate change

Steve Kozuki, executive director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, explains how FESBC is supporting the utilization of forest residual fibre in the September / October 2021 edition of Bioenergy Insight magazine.

Atlantic Power – Utilizing Residual Fibre

Since 2010, Bioenergy Insight “has swiftly built up a reputation for delivering quality news, analysis, market information and technical articles relating to the biomass, biogas and biopower industries. Published six times a year to coincide with leading industry events, it provides ideas and insights for its audience of bioenergy professionals. Within each issue you can expect to find up-to-date industry news, the most recent technical developments, exclusive interviews with plant operators, an in-depth analysis of a particular region, and a whole host of feature-length technical articles.”

Bioenergy insight has close relationships with industry associations, such as the European Biomass Association, the US Pellet Fuels Institute, the Renewable Energy Association and the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association and is delivered to over 18,000 readers.

To become a member and receive the Bioenergy Insight magazine, visit: New Member | Bioenergy Insight Magazine (bioenergy-news.com)

Read the full Bioenergy Insight – FESBC article, here:

Kamloops This Week – 2021 National Forest Week Publication Features FESBC Projects

Kamloops This Week has several stories in their 2021 National Forest Week publication featuring FESBC projects to help celebrate National Forestry Week.

The FESBC stories include:

  • Planting Trees is good for the environment (featuring FESBC’s Executive Director, Steve Kozuki on page 3)
  • Wells Gray Community Forest Enhancement Project (Page 4)
  • Slashing Wood Waste and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Nicola Valley (Page 8)
  • An Update of Forest Enhancement Accomplishments (Page 10)

View the publication here: 2021 National Forest Week publication

For more information and media enquiries, please contact:

Forest Enhancement Society of BC
Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison
Direct: 250 574 0221 | communications@fesbc.ca

B.C. Forestry Workers are Climate Change Heroes

~Acknowledging the Women and Men Taking Action on Climate Change~

BRITISH COLUMBIA: Climate change is a concern for many people around the world. In British Columbia, there are local people throughout the province taking action on climate change through their work in forestry. A new video is being released by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) during National Forest Week (Sept 19 – 25). It highlights nature-based forestry solutions that people in B.C.’s forestry sector are implementing to take action on climate change.

“Our goal was to provide an educational video to help British Columbians better understand the important role of forestry to help in the achievement of British Columbia’s and Canada’s climate change targets,” said Steve Kozuki, RPF, Executive Director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC. “We also wanted to acknowledge and recognize people from First Nations, industry, community forests, and others who are doing innovative forestry work which is often unseen.”

When it comes to climate change, the video outlines two main approaches we can make: adapt or take action.

“One approach to tackle climate change is to adapt to increases in drought, wildfires, flooding, and other extreme weather occurrences,” said Kozuki. “We could as a society learn to adapt.”

The second approach is taking action to prevent, or at least limit, further climate change.

“To do that,” noted Kozuki, “We need to improve the management of greenhouse gases. International carbon accounting standards recognize that forestry helps mitigate climate change which makes our forests the biggest nature-based tool we have. The government of British Columbia has climate scientists and expert carbon modellers on staff who evaluate projects for potential greenhouse gas benefits and carbon expenditures to determine how much net benefit there will be.”

The video describes nature-based forestry solutions, including fertilization of trees and reducing the burning of wood waste after harvesting. Another solution is planting trees, a collaborative program with the Office of the Chief Forester which saw a significant number of trees planted throughout the province.

“FESBC was pleased to collaborate to help plant 70 million trees in the span of 5 years,” said Kozuki. “Many of these trees were planted in areas following natural disasters such as insect epidemics or catastrophic wildfires. The science tells us that reforestation is a significant way we can help mitigate climate change, and we have many in the forest industry to thank for that work.”

To see the video, visit https://bit.ly/ClimateChangeHeroes

For an interview with FESBC regarding nature-based forestry solutions to take action on climate change, contact:

Forest Enhancement Society of BC
Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison
Direct: 250 574 0221 | communications@fesbc.ca

Community Forest Indicators 2021 – Measuring the Benefits of Community Forestry

Forest Enhancement Society of BC is proud to support the work of the BC Community Forest Association and has partnered with several members of the BCCFA. You can read about FESBC’s involvement in the BCCFA’s 2021 Community Forest Indicators Report , including a feature on the Wells Gray Community Forest Corporation Grinding Waste project (P.11).

From the BCCFA: “The Annual Community Forest Indicators Report is a window into community forestry in BC. Since 2014 the BCCFA has conducted an annual survey of its members to measure the benefits that community forests generate. Eighteen indicators provide tangible, quantitative information on the economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits of community forests. The annual report shares the survey results along with many examples and firsthand stories.

The 2021 Community Forest Indicators Report is a detailed culmination of input from 30 community forests across BC on 18 indicators that reflect the multi-value management approach of community forests. The combined results from their last full operating year are evidence of the success and promise of community forestry.”

“As the province moves from a focus on volume to value and to an increase in the participation of First Nations and communities in the forest sector, community forests provide compelling examples of how this can be done.”

-Harley Wright, BCCFA President

Forest Restoration for Marten and Weasels Receives Part of $9.3 Million in Funding

Kelowna, BC: For 40 years, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has helped fund conservation groups, government, Indigenous Nations, and local communities to implement projects that protect B.C.’s wildlife, freshwater fish, and the habitats they need to survive and thrive. This year, HCTF awarded $9.3 million in funding for 175 individual conservation projects throughout British Columbia.

HCTF’s CEO Dan Buffett is pleased to report that the 2021/22 grant season represents the Foundation’s highest record annual investment and reflects the financial contributions and hard work of many British Columbians that fund and implement these projects. To date, HCTF has funded 3,230 conservation projects and granted over $195 million in funds across the length and breadth of this ecologically diverse province.

One such project being led by the Applied Mammal Research Institute aims to improve habitat for B.C.’s native mustelid species. The project, which received $31,500 in funding from HCTF and the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), will conduct an array of forest management techniques to restore understory cover and accelerate forest regeneration in stands affected by Mountain Pine Beetle infestation.

American Marten – photo HCTF

The Mustelidae family includes martens, weasels, and ermine. As furbearers and important predator species in forest ecosystems, they have long been a priority for conservation efforts in B.C. Marten and weasel species occupy a mosaic of forest landscapes including 80+ year old conifer stands, and although some level of habitat disturbance is a natural and healthy occurrence in B.C.’s forests, we are increasingly seeing large scale disturbance events like those created by infestations species such as Mountain Pine Beetle. After such events, forest regeneration and eventual restoration can take many decades and even centuries. This project seeks to investigate what forest management techniques might increase the speed and effectiveness of forest recovery in order to improve habitat for mustelid and other small mammal species.

“This research project asks if there are ways to significantly accelerate restoration activities that grow new mature forest environments in reduced lengths of time that will provide both economic (i.e. timber and non-timber products) as well as environmental, wildlife habitat, and biodiversity benefits,” said project lead Thomas Sullivan. “Structural attributes, such as woody debris piles, may constitute an adequate surrogate for large overstory trees lost to Mountain Pine Beetle disturbance and help to retain and improve forest biodiversity and wildlife habitats.”

Other HCTF-funded projects taking place in the Okanagan Region include:

  • $91,000 for research into the response of mule deer to wildlife activity in the Boundary region, West Okanagan and Bonaparte Plateau areas, co-funded by FESBC.
  • $71,000 for research into the effects of climate change on aquatic ecosystems within Bessette and Duteau Creek.
  • $54,000 to assess the status of the bull trout population in the Upper Shuswap River.
  • $52,000 for stewardship efforts engaging residence of the Kettle River Watershed to restore and maintain riverside Black Cottonwood forests in the area.
  • $20,000 for naturalization efforts designed to return 10 acres along the Similkameen river to riverside forest habitat, co-funded by FESBC.

Funding and support for these projects and others across the province come from a wide variety of sources including public groups such as the British Columbia Wildlife Federation (BCWF), partner organizations like FESBC, provincial government contributions, court fines, and endowments. A significant source of funding comes from the conservation surcharge paid by B.C.’s anglers, hunters, trappers, and guide outfitters.

“Over 40 years ago, a group of concerned hunters and anglers, lobbied for a surcharge on hunting and fishing licenses to fund wildlife and fish habitat improvement projects throughout the province,” said BCWF president Chuck Zuckerman. “The result of this impassioned call from B.C.’s hunters, anglers, trappers and sport shooters formed a new fund in 1981 that subsequently evolved into the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.”

Steve Kozuki, executive director of FESBC, has been pleased to be a partner with HCTF.

“We are proud to partner with HCTF and local experts on the ground throughout British Columbia to improve wildlife habitat,” said Kozuki. “HCTF combines wildlife biology expertise with their excellent management of funds to deliver outstanding benefits for wildlife. With all the pressures on the land base, the good work HCTF does is more important than ever.”

Each project funded by HCTF goes through a multi-level, objective and technical review process prior to final Board review and decision. HCTF’s Board of Directors ensure that species important to B.C. 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 2021-22 Approved Project List.

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 B.C.’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 B.C.’s natural assets. 2021 marks HCTF’s 40th anniversary of helping conservation groups and individuals secure funding for conservation projects and providing education to the general public about B.C.’s important natural assets. Since 1981, HCTF has provided over $195 million in grants for 3,230 conservation projects across B.C. HCTF began as an initiative by B.C. anglers, hunters, trappers, and guide outfitters.

Northwest Forestry Project Sees Positive Environmental and Economic Benefits

HAZELTON, B.C. – utilization of residual wood fibre by coastal pulp mills has reduced pile burning and greenhouse gas emissions from the forested areas near Hazelton in northwest British Columbia. This work has contributed significantly not only to the local and provincial economies but also environmentally to assist in the achievement of British Columbia’s and Canada’s climate change targets. The project was supported by a $484,164 grant from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC).

“Our FESBC-funded project allowed us to increase the overall recovery of fibre from our area forests, resulting in a greater availability of logs for domestic pulp producers and a reduction of the amount of biomass that is burned each year,” said Cathy Craig, CEO, NorthPac Forestry Group Ltd.

Residual waste wood fibre in the forest is typically legally required to be burned to reduce wildfire hazard, and, because this fibre has a low economic value, it is usually piled and burned. Leaving and burning pulp logs is, in many cases, the only solution as the incremental operational costs of skidding, processing, loading, hauling, and increased road maintenance is greater than the value of the fibre. This is especially difficult within the Kispiox area where there are minimal wood processing facilities and a forest dominated by low-value hemlock. The grant helped to create positive economic conditions for NorthPac which allowed Craig and her team to utilize the fibre and avoid burning.

All West Trading Inc’s log dump at Minette Bay at Kitimat

“The dollars allocated to us as a grant from FESBC provided us with operational certainty,” said Craig. “These dollars allowed us to commit to contracts with loggers and truck drivers, which further stimulated our local economy. Our crew at NorthPac is grateful for the grant and consider the project a great success.”

When piles of residual wood are burned, greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are released. If the piles are not burned and the fibre is instead utilized, then much of the greenhouse gas emissions are avoided.

The FESBC-funded NorthPac project will save approximately 42,000 cubic metres of pulp logs from being burned in the forest. That equates to approximately 1,050 truckloads of fibre not being burned and instead delivered to the point of sale in Kitimat. The pulp logs were purchased by All West Trading Limited and barged to coastal pulp mills to be used to make pulp, paper products, and green energy. Gord Pratt, RPF, FESBC Operations Manager is pleased with the overall outcomes citing it as a team effort of many forest sector professionals.

“The project was delivered by a team of local logging and trucking contractors, and it contributed to the regional economy of northwest British Columbia,” said Pratt. “This is a win-win because it not only creates economic benefits for local communities, but global environmental ones as well.”

Moe MacLean at Minette Bay with NorthPac logs destined for a coastal pulp mill

For information or an interview regarding this project, contact:

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

120 Communities Throughout B.C. Reduce their Risk from Wildfire – South Coast & Vancouver Island Regions

SOUTH COAST & VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C. – many Indigenous communities, municipalities, regional districts, woodlots, and community forests have taken action in the last few years to protect their communities from wildfire. Using funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) these project partners first create a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) or a Community Resiliency Protection Plan (CRPP), which identifies the location of buildings, communications infrastructure, water, power, safe places, and emergency escape routes. Then based on the amount of woody fuel risk, the CWPP or CRPP prioritizes which treatments should be done first.

“The key goals of the Community Wildfire Resiliency Planning process are varied,” said Gord Pratt, RPF, Operations Manager FESBC. “Goals include increasing communities’ capacity and understanding of wildfire risk, fostering greater collaboration across administrative boundaries, and being more responsive to the needs of different types of communities throughout B.C. in terms of their size, capacity, and the threats they face.”

Wildfire risk mitigation planning and treatments can be quite different depending on where in the province a project is located. 

“Wildfire treatments will often space trees far apart and remove low branches in order to keep a fire on the ground and to reduce the amount of wood in the forest, so it doesn’t burn as hot. This makes it easier to fight the fire,” said Steve Kozuki, RPF, Executive Director of FESBC. “But every community is different, and some communities have chosen to encourage the planting of broad-leaved trees in specific areas because they are often more fire-resistant.”

Since inception, FESBC has provided nearly $57 million to fund 124 wildfire risk reduction projects. These projects have not only reduced wildfire risk to 120 communities and rural sub-divisions but have generated an estimated 483 jobs (full time equivalent jobs created) and 43 of these projects have involved, or have been led by, First Nations.

“We wanted to share with residents in the region some of the wildfire mitigation work FESBC has funded in the area,” said Kozuki. “We’ve enclosed descriptions of 8 projects in the South Coast and Vancouver Island regions to provide a deeper look at the important work that has been done. Although many of the project leaders are currently working on fighting fires and unfortunately not available for interviews at this time, our team at FESBC is ready to share additional project details or answer questions media or citizens may have.”

In addition, when it comes to wildfire mitigation work, the BC government has a wildfire risk reduction funding program called Community Resiliency Investment Program (CRI) which is a partnership with the First Nations Emergency Services Society, the Union of BC Municipalities, the Ministry of Forests, and others, including FESBC. The CRI Program has been spear-heading the FireSmart initiative to educate homeowners about actions they can take to protect themselves, such as cleaning gutters and removing flammable materials outside of homes and businesses. Other funding programs to reduce wildfire risk are administered by the Columbia Basin Trust and the BC Community Forest Association.

For information or an interview regarding these projects, contact:

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director | skozuki@fesbc.ca | 250.819.2888

120 Communities Throughout B.C. Reduce their Risk from Wildfire – Skeena and Omineca Regions

SKEENA & OMINECA REGIONS, B.C. – many Indigenous communities, municipalities, regional districts, woodlots, and community forests have taken action in the last few years to protect their communities from wildfire. Using funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) these project partners first create a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) or a Community Resiliency Protection Plan (CRPP), which identifies the location of buildings, communications infrastructure, water, power, safe places, and emergency escape routes. Then based on the amount of woody fuel risk, the CWPP or CRPP prioritizes which treatments should be done first.

“The key goals of the Community Wildfire Resiliency Planning process are varied,” said Gord Pratt, RPF, Operations Manager FESBC. “Goals include increasing communities’ capacity and understanding of wildfire risk, fostering greater collaboration across administrative boundaries, and being more responsive to the needs of different types of communities throughout B.C. in terms of their size, capacity, and the threats they face.”

Wildfire risk mitigation planning and treatments can be quite different depending on where in the province a project is located. 

“Wildfire treatments will often space trees far apart and remove low branches in order to keep a fire on the ground and to reduce the amount of wood in the forest, so it doesn’t burn as hot. This makes it easier to fight the fire,” said Steve Kozuki, RPF, Executive Director of FESBC. “But every community is different, and some communities have chosen to encourage the planting of broad-leaved trees in specific areas because they are often more fire-resistant.”

Granisle Risk Reduction Treatment – Babine Lake Community Forest Society

Since inception, FESBC has provided nearly $57 million to fund 124 wildfire risk reduction projects. These projects have not only reduced wildfire risk to 120 communities and rural sub-divisions but have generated an estimated 483 jobs (full time equivalent jobs created) and 43 of these projects have involved, or have been led by, First Nations.

“We wanted to share with residents in the region some of the wildfire mitigation work FESBC has funded in the area,” said Kozuki. “We’ve enclosed descriptions of 8 projects in the Skeena and Omineca regions to provide a deeper look at the important work that has been done. Although many of the project leaders are currently working on fighting fires and unfortunately not available for interviews at this time, our team at FESBC is ready to share additional project details or answer questions media or citizens may have.”

In addition, when it comes to wildfire mitigation work, the BC government has a wildfire risk reduction funding program called Community Resiliency Investment Program (CRI) which is a partnership with the First Nations Emergency Services Society, the Union of BC Municipalities, the Ministry of Forests, and others, including FESBC. The CRI Program has been spear-heading the FireSmart initiative to educate homeowners about actions they can take to protect themselves, such as cleaning gutters and removing flammable materials outside of homes and businesses. Other funding programs to reduce wildfire risk are administered by the Columbia Basin Trust and the BC Community Forest Association.

For information or an interview regarding these projects, contact:

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director | skozuki@fesbc.ca | 250.819.2888

120 Communities Throughout B.C. Reduce their Risk from Wildfire – Cariboo

CARIBOO REGION, B.C. – many Indigenous communities, municipalities, regional districts, woodlots, and community forests have taken action in the last few years to protect their communities from wildfire. Using funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) these project partners first create a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) or a Community Resiliency Protection Plan (CRPP), which identifies the location of buildings, communications infrastructure, water, power, safe places, and emergency escape routes. Then, based on the amount of woody fuel risk, the CWPP or CRPP prioritizes which treatments should be done first.

“The key goals of the Community Wildfire Resiliency Planning process are varied,” said Gord Pratt, RPF, Operations Manager FESBC. “Goals include increasing communities’ capacity and understanding of wildfire risk, fostering greater collaboration across administrative boundaries, and being more responsive to the needs of different types of communities throughout B.C. in terms of their size, capacity, and the threats they face.”

Wildfire risk mitigation planning and treatments can be quite different depending on where in the province a project is located. 

“Wildfire treatments will often space trees far apart and remove low branches in order to keep a fire on the ground and to reduce the amount of wood in the forest, so it doesn’t burn as hot. This makes it easier to fight the fire,” said Steve Kozuki, RPF, Executive Director of FESBC. “But every community is different, and some communities have chosen to encourage the planting of broad-leaved trees in specific areas because they are often more fire-resistant.”

Since inception, FESBC has provided nearly $57 million to fund 124 wildfire risk reduction projects. These projects have not only reduced wildfire risk to 120 communities and rural sub-divisions but have generated an estimated 483 jobs (full time equivalent jobs created) and 43 of these projects have involved, or have been led by, First Nations.

“We wanted to share with residents in the region some of the wildfire mitigation work FESBC has funded in the area,” said Kozuki. “We’ve enclosed descriptions of 41 projects in the Cariboo region to provide a deeper look at the important work that has been done. Although many of the project leaders are currently working on fighting fires and unfortunately not available for interviews at this time, our team at FESBC is ready to share additional project details or answer questions media or citizens may have.”

In addition, when it comes to wildfire mitigation work, the BC government has a wildfire risk reduction funding program called Community Resiliency Investment Program (CRI) which is a partnership with the First Nations Emergency Services Society, the Union of BC Municipalities, the Ministry of Forests, and others, including FESBC. The CRI Program has been spear-heading the FireSmart initiative to educate homeowners about actions they can take to protect themselves, such as cleaning gutters and removing flammable materials outside of homes and businesses. Other funding programs to reduce wildfire risk are administered by the Columbia Basin Trust and the BC Community Forest Association.

For information or an interview regarding these projects, contact:

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director | skozuki@fesbc.ca | 250.819.2888

120 Communities Throughout B.C. Reduce their Risk from Wildfire – Kootenay Region

KOOTENAY REGION, B.C. – many Indigenous communities, municipalities, regional districts, woodlots, and community forests have taken action in the last few years to protect their communities from wildfire. Using funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) these project partners first create a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) or a Community Resiliency Protection Plan (CRPP), which identifies the location of buildings, communications infrastructure, water, power, safe places, and emergency escape routes. Then based on the amount of woody fuel risk, the CWPP or CRPP prioritizes which treatments should be done first.

“The key goals of the Community Wildfire Resiliency Planning process are varied,” said Gord Pratt, RPF, Operations Manager FESBC. “Goals include increasing communities’ capacity and understanding of wildfire risk, fostering greater collaboration across administrative boundaries, and being more responsive to the needs of different types of communities throughout B.C. in terms of their size, capacity, and the threats they face.”

Wildfire risk mitigation planning and treatments can be quite different depending on where in the province a project is located. 

“Wildfire treatments will often space trees far apart and remove low branches in order to keep a fire on the ground and to reduce the amount of wood in the forest, so it doesn’t burn as hot. This makes it easier to fight the fire,” said Steve Kozuki, RPF, Executive Director of FESBC. “But every community is different, and some communities have chosen to encourage the planting of broad-leaved trees in specific areas because they are often more fire-resistant.”

Since inception, FESBC has provided nearly $57 million to fund 124 wildfire risk reduction projects. These projects have not only reduced wildfire risk to 120 communities and rural sub-divisions but have generated an estimated 483 jobs (full time equivalent jobs created) and 43 of these projects have involved, or have been led by, First Nations.

“We wanted to share with residents in the region some of the wildfire mitigation work FESBC has funded in the area,” said Kozuki. “We’ve enclosed descriptions of 40 projects in the Kootenay region to provide a deeper look at the important work that has been done. Although many of the project leaders are currently working on fighting fires and unfortunately not available for interviews at this time, our team at FESBC is ready to share additional project details or answer questions media or citizens may have.”

In addition, when it comes to wildfire mitigation work, the BC government has a wildfire risk reduction funding program called Community Resiliency Investment Program (CRI) which is a partnership with the First Nations Emergency Services Society, the Union of BC Municipalities, the Ministry of Forests, and others, including FESBC. The CRI Program has been spear-heading the FireSmart initiative to educate homeowners about actions they can take to protect themselves, such as cleaning gutters and removing flammable materials outside of homes and businesses. Other funding programs to reduce wildfire risk are administered by the Columbia Basin Trust and the BC Community Forest Association.

For information or an interview regarding these projects, contact:

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director | skozuki@fesbc.ca | 250.819.2888

120 Communities Throughout B.C. Reduce their Risk from Wildfire – Thompson, Nicola, Okanagan

THOMPSON, NICOLA, OKANAGAN REGIONS, B.C. – many Indigenous communities, municipalities, regional districts, woodlots, and community forests have taken action in the last few years to protect their communities from wildfire. Using funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) these project partners first create a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) or a Community Resiliency Protection Plan (CRPP), which identifies the location of buildings, communications infrastructure, water, power, safe places, and emergency escape routes. Then based on the amount of woody fuel risk, the CWPP or CRPP prioritizes which treatments should be done first.

“The key goals of the Community Wildfire Resiliency Planning process are varied,” said Gord Pratt, RPF, Operations Manager FESBC. “Goals include increasing communities’ capacity and understanding of wildfire risk, fostering greater collaboration across administrative boundaries, and being more responsive to the needs of different types of communities throughout B.C. in terms of their size, capacity, and the threats they face.”

Wildfire risk mitigation planning and treatments can be quite different depending on where in the province a project is located. 

“Wildfire treatments will often space trees far apart and remove low branches in order to keep a fire on the ground and to reduce the amount of wood in the forest, so it doesn’t burn as hot. This makes it easier to fight the fire,” said Steve Kozuki, RPF, Executive Director of FESBC. “But every community is different, and some communities have chosen to encourage the planting of broad-leaved trees in specific areas because they are often more fire-resistant.”

Since inception, FESBC has provided nearly $57 million to fund 124 wildfire risk reduction projects. These projects have not only reduced wildfire risk to 120 communities and rural sub-divisions but have generated an estimated 483 jobs (full time equivalent jobs created) and 43 of these projects have involved, or have been led by, First Nations.

“We wanted to share with residents in the region some of the wildfire mitigation work FESBC has funded in the area,” said Kozuki. “We’ve enclosed descriptions of 26 projects in the Thompson, Nicola, Okanagan regions to provide a deeper look at the important work that has been done. Although many of the project leaders are currently working on fighting fires and unfortunately not available for interviews at this time, our team at FESBC is ready to share additional project details or answer questions media or citizens may have.”

Before and After Wildfire Mitigation Work

In addition, when it comes to wildfire mitigation work, the BC government has a wildfire risk reduction funding program called Community Resiliency Investment Program (CRI) which is a partnership with the First Nations Emergency Services Society, the Union of BC Municipalities, the Ministry of Forests, and others, including FESBC. The CRI Program has been spear-heading the FireSmart initiative to educate homeowners about actions they can take to protect themselves, such as cleaning gutters and removing flammable materials outside of homes and businesses. Other funding programs to reduce wildfire risk are administered by the Columbia Basin Trust and the BC Community Forest Association.

For information or an interview regarding these projects, contact:

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director | skozuki@fesbc.ca | 250.819.2888

Truck Logger Magazine – Fibre Utilization Win-Win

The latest issue of Truck Logger Magazine features a story on partnerships created to utilize fibre on the North Coast of B.C. The Forest Enhancement Society of BC provided some of the funding for this project which created much needed employment as well as utilizing fibre which otherwise may have been burnt.

The full story, Working Together for Win-Win Fibre Solutions by Pam Agnew, is available, here:

Truck Logger BC Summer 2021 (mydigitalpublication.com)

For media enquiries to hear more about fibre utilization in BC, contact:

Forest Enhancement Society of BC
Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison
Direct: 250 574 0221 | communications@fesbc.ca

Roosevelt Elk Habitat Project on Vancouver Island Receives Part of $9.3 Million in Funding

Victoria, BC: For 40 years, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has helped fund conservation groups, government, Indigenous Nations, and local communities to implement projects that protect B.C.’s wildlife, freshwater fish, and the habitats they need to survive and thrive. This year, HCTF awarded $9.3 million in funding for 175 individual conservation projects throughout British Columbia.

HCTF’s CEO Dan Buffett is pleased to report that the 2021/22 grant season represents the Foundation’s highest record annual investment and reflects the financial contributions and hard work of many British Columbians that fund and implement these projects. To date, HCTF has funded 3,230 conservation projects and granted over $195 million in funds across the length and breadth of this ecologically diverse province.

One such project led by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, is a Seasonal Habitat Study for the Management and Restoration of Roosevelt Elk. The project, which received $113,700 in funding from HCTF and the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) will track Roosevelt elk in the Campbell River Natural Resource District on Vancouver Island.

The Roosevelt elk is endemic to coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest and is on the province’s species at risk blue-list. As one of the largest herbivores and prey species on the coast, Roosevelt elk play an important role in Vancouver Island ecosystems and are a traditional food source for coastal First Nations.

Working with students from the University of British Columbia, the study seeks to investigate which seasonal habitat types Roosevelt elk prefer throughout the year and the availability of those habitats to support elk population. The project will attach GPS tracking collars to the elk which will track and produce data about the movements of elk through various habitat types seasonally. This data will then be used to model habitat supply and inform the province’s Roosevelt elk management plan.

“Roosevelt elk are an important component of the West Coast ecosystem and a top management priority in B.C. Understanding the quality, quantity, and distribution of habitats across all seasons is fundamental for informing our habitat and population management objectives and meeting key recommendations in the management plan for this blue-listed species,” said Carl Morrison, Ecosystems Biologist and project lead. “Support from HCTF and FESBC is allowing us to update the science behind our habitat supply models to inform management decisions and risk assessments, like monitoring the effectiveness of Ungulate Winter Ranges to support our population objectives.”

Other HCTF-funded projects taking place on Vancouver Island include:

  • $49,450 for establishing Vancouver Island Marmots in Strathcona Provincial Park, co-funded by FESBC.
  • $100,000 to study Keogh River Steelhead population dynamics, informing B.C.’s Steelhead management efforts.
  • $20,182 to support the recovery of reintroduced Western Bluebirds populations across the coastal Gary oak ecosystem throughout the Salish Sea.
  • $24,484 to improve the survival of juvenile Western Toads by reducing the disturbance of shoreline habitat and by reducing road mortality through planned wildlife pathways.

$38,000 for the ecological restoration of Vancouver Island estuaries including those around the Nanaimo River, in partnership with the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

Funding and support for these projects and others across the province come from a wide variety of sources including public groups such as the British Columbia Wildlife Federation (BCWF), partner organizations like FESBC, provincial government contributions, court fines, and endowments. A significant source of funding comes from the conservation surcharge paid by B.C.’s anglers, hunters, trappers, and guide outfitters.

“Over 40 years ago, a group of concerned hunters and anglers, lobbied for a surcharge on hunting and fishing licenses to fund wildlife and fish habitat improvement projects throughout the province,” said BCWF president Chuck Zuckerman. “The result of this impassioned call from B.C.’s hunters, anglers, trappers and sport shooters formed a new fund in 1981 that subsequently evolved into the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.”

Steve Kozuki, executive director of FESBC, has been pleased to be a partner with HCTF.

“We are proud to partner with HCTF and local experts on the ground throughout British Columbia to improve wildlife habitat,” said Kozuki. “HCTF combines wildlife biology expertise with their excellent management of funds to deliver outstanding benefits for wildlife. With all the pressures on the land base, the good work HCTF does is more important than ever.”

Each project funded by HCTF goes through a multi-level, objective and technical review process prior to final Board review and decision. HCTF’s Board of Directors ensure that species important to B.C. 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 2021-22 Approved Project List.

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 B.C.’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 B.C.’s natural assets. 2021 marks HCTF’s 40th anniversary of helping conservation groups and individuals secure funding for conservation projects and providing education to the general public about B.C.’s important natural assets. Since 1981, HCTF has provided over $195 million in grants for 3,230 conservation projects across B.C. HCTF began as an initiative by B.C. anglers, hunters, trappers, and guide outfitters.

Bridging the gap: Log hauler transitions to grinding residual fibre – Canadian Forest Industries Magazine

Merritt, B.C.-based Valley Carriers Ltd. is profiled in the Canadian Forest Industries Magazine. The article showcases how Valley Carriers was able to pivot their business to take advantage of new opportunities, thanks in part to funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC.

Here is an excerpt:

“We always had that value-added piece of, ‘What can we do with this fibre to turn it into a product that people can use?’”

Ben Klassen, CEO, Valley Carriers Ltd.

So, when the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) put out a call for proposals in the fall of 2020, Klassen saw an opportunity to bring economic and environmental benefits to the community…FESBC approved a grant of $416,029 to Valley Carriers for this project, which began in December 2020. 

Canadian Forest Industries Magazine

To read the full story, visit: Bridging the gap: Log hauler transitions to grinding residual fibre – Wood Business

For Media Enquiries:

Forest Enhancement Society of BC
Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison
Direct: 250 574 0221 | communications@fesbc.ca

Valley Carriers – an FESBC funding recipient – is featured in the Canadian Forest Industries Magazine

Moose Food Enhancement Project in the Skeena Region Receives Part of $9.3 Million Funding

Smithers, B.C.: for 40 years, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has helped fund conservation groups, government, Indigenous Nations, and local communities to implement projects that protect B.C.’s wildlife, freshwater fish, and the habitats they need to survive and thrive. This year, HCTF awarded $9.3 million in funding for 175 individual conservation projects throughout British Columbia.

HCTF’s CEO Dan Buffett is pleased to report that the 2021/22 grant season represents the Foundation’s highest record annual investment and reflects the financial contributions and hard work of many British Columbians that fund and implement these projects. To date, HCTF has funded 3,230 conservation projects and granted over $195 million in funds across the length and breadth of this ecologically diverse province.

One such project is led by the Bulkley Valley Rod and Gun Club. The Lake Babine Area Moose Winter Range Enhancement project received $107,847 in funding and will increase winter moose browse supply and availability near Smithers, B.C.

In many parts of northwestern B.C., moose populations have been in decline due to several cumulative factors, and the loss of quality moose forage supply is directly correlated to declining moose numbers. To address this issue, a percentage of Scouler’s Willow has been manually felled and “hinged” to improve stump and tree sprouting while also providing on-the-ground forage for moose. This treatment increases the amount of winter food currently available and improves the growth of the plants for years to come. The unroaded treatment area is connected to other valuable winter range areas for moose and supports fire risk reduction objectives for the Lake Babine Nation. In addition, a follow up study will guide future activities in terms of seasonal timing and methodology.

“This work would not be possible without the financial contribution of HCTF, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), and the Forest Employment Program,” said project manager, Len Vanderstar. “720 hectares of Scouler’s Willow sites have been treated within the Lake Babine area this year alone and is expected to enhance forage supply of treated vegetation by up to four times for up to 15 to 20 years.”

Other HCTF-funded projects taking place in the Skeena Region include:

  • $50,000 to restore and replant Whitebark Pine Ecosystems, co-funded by FESBC.
  • $53,603 to restore fish passages at road, rail, and stream crossings along the Bulkley River Watershed.
  • $34,000 to research Mountain Goat range boundaries, habitat selection, and population dynamics, co-funded by FESBC.
  • $42,000 to assess species composition, distribution, and exploitation rate of Bull Trout and Dolly Varden in both the Nass and middle Skeena Rivers.
  • $24,062 for a Taku River Tlingit First Nation’s led initiative, monitoring habitat use, migration and health of Tawéi (Tlingit word for thinhorn sheep) near Atlin.

Funding and support for these projects and others across the province come from a wide variety of sources including public groups such as the British Columbia Wildlife Federation (BCWF), partner organizations like FESBC, provincial government contributions, court fines, and endowments. A significant source of funding comes from the conservation surcharge paid by B.C.’s anglers, hunters, trappers, and guide outfitters.

“Over 40 years ago, a group of concerned hunters and anglers, lobbied for a surcharge on hunting and fishing licenses to fund wildlife and fish habitat improvement projects throughout the province,” said BCWF president Chuck Zuckerman. “The result of this impassioned call from B.C.’s hunters, anglers, trappers and sport shooters formed a new fund in 1981 that subsequently evolved into the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.”

Steve Kozuki, executive director of FESBC, has been pleased to be a partner with HCTF.

“We are proud to partner with HCTF and local experts on the ground throughout British Columbia to improve wildlife habitat,” said Kozuki. “HCTF combines wildlife biology expertise with their excellent management of funds to deliver outstanding benefits for wildlife. With all the pressures on the land base, the good work HCTF does is more important than ever.”

Each project funded by HCTF goes through a multi-level, objective and technical review process prior to final Board review and decision. HCTF’s Board of Directors ensure that species important to B.C. 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 2021-22 Approved Project List.

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 B.C.’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 B.C.’s natural assets. 2021 marks HCTF’s 40th anniversary of helping conservation groups and individuals secure funding for conservation projects and providing education to the general public about B.C.’s important natural assets. Since 1981, HCTF has provided over $195 million in grants for 3,230 conservation projects across B.C. HCTF began as an initiative by B.C. anglers, hunters, trappers, and guide outfitters.

Lower Mainland Conservation Projects Receive Part of $9.3 Million in Funding

Townsend’s Big-eared Bat
Photo Neil Boyle

Vancouver, BC: For 40 years, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has helped fund conservation groups, government, Indigenous Nations, and local communities to implement projects that protect B.C.’s wildlife, freshwater fish, and the habitats they need to survive and thrive. This year, HCTF awarded $9.3 million in funding for 175 individual conservation projects throughout British Columbia.

HCTF’s CEO Dan Buffett is pleased to report that the 2021/22 grant season represents the Foundation’s highest record annual investment and reflects the financial contributions and hard work of many British Columbians that fund and implement these projects. To date, HCTF has funded 3,230 conservation projects and granted over $195 million in funds across the length and breadth of this ecologically diverse province.

One such project lead by the British Columbia Conservation Foundation is Got Bats? BC Community Bat Program. The program, which received $77,237 in funding from HCTF and the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), encourages B.C. residents to value, protect, and monitor bats. Bats play an integral part in many environments, keep down the number of biting insects, and strengthen and improve overall ecosystem health. The B.C. wide network of programs aim to raise awareness of threats to bats, protect, monitor and install bat roosting sites and provide guidance and support for developing a local Bat-friendly Community approach to bat conservation.

Richmond and Delta are recognized as two of the four certified “Bat-friendly” communities in B.C. By engaging and educating the public about bats, Got Bats? strives to secure these important species for generations to come.

“The program is particularly important in the face of white-nose syndrome, a fatal bat disease that is spreading across North America and is currently less than 150 km from the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island,” said Got Bats? Provincial Coordinator, Mandy Kellner. “Our goal is to promote conservation of bats on private land through education and outreach, landowner contact, and promoting citizen science involvement in disease surveillance and the B.C. Annual Bat Count.”

Other HCTF funded projects taking place in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland include:

  • $80,000 to support urgent work to re-establish a fish passage in the face of a Rockslide along the Seymour River before salmon return in access their spawning grounds.
  • $22,000 for native plant landscaping and bird habitat restoration in Vancouver with the Environmental Youth Alliance and 50 local community organizations and schools.
  • $65,000 to evaluate Northern Goshawk breeding success in coastal and transitional forests.
  • $79,000 for research to identify and confirm critical habitat for juvenile White Sturgeon along the Pitt River.
  • $30,000 to enhance 1,295 hectares (3,200 acres) of upland agricultural habitat in the Fraser River estuary for bird species, in partnership with farmers in the cities of Delta and Richmond.

Funding and support for these projects and others across the province come from a wide variety of sources including public groups such as the British Columbia Wildlife Federation (BCWF), partner organizations like the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, provincial government contributions, court fines, and endowments. A significant source of funding comes from the conservation surcharge paid by B.C.’s anglers, hunters, trappers, and guide outfitters.

“Over 40 years ago, a group of concerned hunters and anglers, now represented by B.C. Wildlife Federation, lobbied for a surcharge on hunting and fishing licenses to fund wildlife and fish habitat improvement projects throughout the province,” said BCWF president Chuck Zuckerman. “The result of this impassioned call from B.C.’s hunters, anglers, trappers and sport shooters formed a new fund in 1981 that subsequently evolved into the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.”

Steve Kozuki, executive director of FESBC, has been pleased to be a partner with HCTF.

“We are proud to partner with HCTF and local experts on the ground throughout British Columbia to improve wildlife habitat,” said Kozuki. “HCTF combines wildlife biology expertise with their excellent management of funds to deliver outstanding benefits for wildlife. With all the pressures on the land base, the good work HCTF does is more important than ever.”

Each project funded by HCTF goes through a multi-level, objective and technical review process prior to final Board review and decision. HCTF’s Board of Directors ensure that species important to B.C. 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 2021-22 Approved Project List.

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 B.C.’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 B.C.’s natural assets. 2021 marks HCTF’s 40th anniversary of helping conservation groups and individuals secure funding for conservation projects and providing education to the general public about B.C.’s important natural assets. Since 1981, HCTF has provided over $195 million in grants for 3,230 conservation projects across B.C. HCTF began as an initiative by B.C. anglers, hunters, trappers, and guide outfitters.

39 Forestry Projects Protect and Enhance B.C.’s Recreational Values

-Campsites, Hiking Trails, Ski Resorts and Heritage Sites-

British Columbia: in the midst of wildfire season, many British Columbians understandably become focused on fires burning throughout the province and close to their communities, threatening treasured hiking and biking trails, recreational sites, and more.  The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is releasing a 2021 Summer Accomplishments Update featuring 39 forest enhancement projects which are protecting and enhancing important recreational values from campsites and hiking trails to ski resorts and heritage sites.

“Earlier this spring, our team was reviewing the 269 projects FESBC has funded since inception, and we noted a number of the projects throughout the province had a secondary benefit to them – protecting and enhancing recreational values,” said Steve Kozuki, RPF, executive director FESBC. “The primary purposes of FESBC projects range from mitigating wildfire risk and enhancing wildlife habitat to improving the recovery of wood fibre and replanting forests. At the same time, FESBC projects often deliver additional co-benefits such as climate change mitigation, job creation, Indigenous peoples’ participation in the forest economy, as well as protecting and enhancing forest recreation.”

Of FESBC’s 269 projects, 39 were identified to protect or enhance one or more recreational values. Project examples include:

Project partners are thankful for the funding and what the forest enhancement work means to their communities.

“When you live in a community where there’s only one road in and out, you can see the devastation a fire can have on a community, it’s nerve racking.”

Michael J. Ballingall, Senior VP, Big White Ski Resort Ltd.

“We are proud of the work that was done, the results, and the safety assurances it brings. This action speaks for itself. We feel protected,” said Michael J. Ballingall, senior vice president of Big White Ski Resort Ltd.

Echoing Ballingall is Ed Coleman, former CEO of Barkerville Historic Town & Park.

“We look forward to the future as we care for the past. One where the historic town and park are safe from damaging wildfires so we can continue to welcome thousands of tourists each year and provide both employment and enjoyment because of the proactive work we did now.”

Since inception, FESBC has empowered local people who want to do local projects that contribute to the achievement of our climate change goals and enhance B.C.’s forests through wildfire risk mitigation, accelerated ecological recovery after wildfires, wildlife habitat enhancement, and increased utilization of forest fibre.

FESBC Board Chair Jim Snetsinger is proud of the efforts of the FESBC team and the many First Nations, community forest leaders, local governments, and industry partners who carried out this exceptional work.

“With support from the governments of B.C. and Canada, FESBC has enabled others to do this remarkable work to enhance our forests, generating immense social, economic, and environmental benefits,” said Snetsinger. “When British Columbians enhance our forests, we are bequeathing an inheritance to our children and grandchildren: cleaner air, fewer greenhouse gases, better timber supply, higher quality wildlife habitat, safer communities, and protecting important recreational assets we all value and enjoy.”

View the 2021 FESBC Summer Accomplishments Update.

For information or an interview regarding these projects, contact:

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

Mackenzie Mill Maximizes Wood Fibre with Grant: “It’s the Right Thing To Do”

MACKENZIE, B.C.: close to $615,000 in funding awarded to East Fraser Fiber Co. Ltd. (EFF) by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is helping to support jobs in Mackenzie and in the recovery of close to 30,000 cubic metres of low-quality fibre that otherwise would not have been used. Extracting as much useable fibre from a block, and not burning it at roadside, allows for significant greenhouse gas emissions to be avoided, contributing to meeting British Columbia’s and Canada’s climate change targets.

“Increased utilization is good for the environment and the economy”

Jo-Anne Lang, RPF, East Fraser Fiber Forester

“Increased utilization is good for the environment and the economy,” said Jo-Anne Lang, RPF, EFF forester. “To be able to do this successfully in remaining mountain pine beetle-killed and significantly deteriorated stands, support such as that provided by FESBC is necessary.”

EFF mill owners Pat and Richard Glazier have always believed that the full utilization of sawlogs and residual material is the right thing to do, which is why 30 years ago the company built a whole log chip plant equipped with the first drum de-barker in B.C. This allowed for efficient debarking of small diameter logs and debris that would otherwise have been left at roadside to be piled and burnt.

“In 2005 and 2006,” said Pat, “We logged a mountain pine beetle-attacked block, and by bringing it in tree length and processing in the yard, we were able to realize 98,000 cubic metres of sawlogs and 35,000 cubic metres of pulp from a block that originally cruised out at 92,000 cubic metres.”

Although it has not always been profitable, EFF has continued to hold on to their vision of enhanced utilization of fibre because they strongly believed in the long-term benefits this approach would bring to revitalizing forests for future generations. “We worked together to make it work,” said Pat.

One of the ways EFF has been working together with partners was through a log purchase agreement with Three Feathers Limited Partnership, a consortium of the Kwadacha First Nation, Tsay Keh Dene First Nation, and the McLeod Lake Indian Band. Three Feathers holds a Non-Replaceable Forest Licence with requirements to harvest significantly damaged leading pine stands of which EFF is currently harvesting and managing volume under this agreement.

“We’re still harvesting mountain pine beetle-impacted stands, which are well past their prime,” said Lang. “Harvesting is more costly, and blocks are further and further away from the mill. FESBC funding made it possible to substantially increase the utilization of residual fibre from damaged and low value stands that our company may otherwise have had to leave or burn at roadside because of the costs to transport it. Being able to harvest and deliver the fibre to those who can utilize it will benefit the community, contractors, employees, and the environment.”

Also, EFF now has a business relationship with Sasuchan Development Corporation (SDC) to do similar work.

“Similar to Three Feathers, SDC holds a non-replaceable forest licences (NRFL) with conditions to harvest significantly damaged leading pine stands,” said Lang. “EFF is currently managing and harvesting a portion of this volume under our agreement with SDC, and some of pulp will be extracted from the SDC NRFL utilizing the FESBC funds.”

In providing the grant to EFF through its 7th Intake, FESBC recognized the proposal’s many benefits.

“A project like this generates so many benefits,” said Steve Kozuki, executive director of FESBC. “Healthy forests for future generations of British Columbians, improved wildlife habitat, better water quality, reduced greenhouse gases, reduced wildfire risk, jobs in the Port of Vancouver and beyond, and the enhanced utilization of pulp products which can displace fossil fuels such as plastic straws. Hard-working people in the Mackenzie area are doing their part to make life better for all of us.”

Robert MacCarthy, EFF’s regional manager commented on the good work. “On any given block, we can extract up to 50 per cent additional volume in the form of pulp logs. There is immense overall benefit to the public in making sure the fibre is brought in and utilized.”

Robert MacCarthy, regional manager, East Fraser Fiber

EFF’s operations in Mackenzie include a chip plant, logging side, and a finger joint mill. The finger joint mill is a value-added plant that utilizes residual fibre from sawmills to produce finger joint studs. Residual material from the finger joint and chip plant is sold to others to generate power or produce pulp. Providing employment through every phase, Mackenzie Mayor Joan Atkinson notes the diversity of operations and the economic stability it brings to the community.

“Mackenzie exists to support the forest industry, that’s why the town is here. It’s nice to see a local business like East Fraser Fiber so focused on community and supporting their employees. And kudos to FESBC for raising the bar in terms of forest management and practices. I think companies should be looking at what FESBC is trying to achieve to support sustainable forest management practices especially with so much of our forests having been lost to fire and insects.”

For information or an interview regarding this project, contact:
Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison | communications@fesbc.ca | 250.574.0221

$9.3 Million for Wildlife, Fish and Habitat Including Projects in the Kootenays

Cranbrook, BC: For 40 years, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has helped fund conservation groups, government, Indigenous Nations, and local communities to implement projects that protect B.C.’s wildlife, freshwater fish, and the habitats they need to survive and thrive. This year, HCTF awarded $9.3 million in funding for 175 individual conservation projects across British Columbia.

HCTF’s CEO Dan Buffett is pleased to report that the 2021/22 grant season represents the Foundation’s highest record annual investment and reflects the financial contributions and hard work of many British Columbians that fund and implement these projects. To date, HCTF has funded 3,230 conservation projects and granted over $195 million in funds across the length and breadth of this ecologically diverse province.

One such project is the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Developments’ Boundary Restoration and Enhancement Program. The program, which received $67,380 in funding, aims to improve habitat quality, ecosystem resiliency and forage availability for ungulates and other native species by restoring or enhancing habitats and ecosystems. Often the final phase of treatment is the implementation of closely monitored prescribed burns. Not only does the application of controlled burns revitalize habitat conditions for wildlife species such as mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, Williamson’s sapsucker and Lewis’s woodpecker, but it also decreases the risk and intensity of future wildfire events in the area by reducing the continuity and availability of forest fuels. Additionally, the program continues to grow the collaborations with the Okanagan Nation Alliance, Penticton Indian Band and Osoyoos Indian Band on project planning and implementation; and is partnering with all of the areas major forest licensees. The program is working with local communities in generating employment with highly skilled local contractors and improving the knowledge of controlled prescribed fire.

Prescribed Burn – Lisa Tedesco Photo

“The ongoing funding from HCTF has been critical in the programs longevity and success” says Lisa Tedesco, Project Lead with FLNRORD. “We have restored over 600 ha (1483 acres) of low elevation open forest ecosystems with selective harvest, understory slashing, prescribed burn and invasive plant treatments and have an additional 450 ha (1112 acres), including high elevation and mixed forest stands, under prescription and ready for implementation.”

Bubar Ignitions – HCTF

Other HCTF funded projects taking place in the Kootenay region include:
• $130,500 to support the Kootenay Region River Guardian Program which provides a compliance presence, collects angler survey data, and educates the public about sportfish populations.
• $93,500 to evaluate 15 years of conservation activities applied toward recovering a threatened grizzly bear population in the South Selkirks, co-funded by FESBC.
• $50,000 to improve wildlife connectivity and human safety along Highway 3 in the southern Canadian Rockies.
• $45,000 for invasive plant management on critical bighorn sheep winter ranges in Wigwam Flats, Bull River and Columbia Lake East, co-funded by FESBC.
• $52,150 to assists with recovery of Kootenay Lake kokanee by encouraging increased angler participation in the public fishery.

Funding and support for these projects and others across the province come from a wide variety of sources including public groups such as the British Columbia Wildlife Federation (BCWF), partner organizations like the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), provincial government contributions, court fines, and endowments. A significant source of funding comes from the conservation surcharge paid by B.C.’s anglers, hunters, trappers, and guide outfitters.

“Over 40 years ago, the B.C. Wildlife Federation lobbied for a surcharge on hunting and fishing licenses to fund wildlife and fish habitat improvement projects throughout the province,” said BCWF president Chuck Zuckerman. “The result of this impassioned call from B.C.’s hunters, anglers, trappers and sport shooters formed a new fund in 1981 that subsequently evolved into the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.”

Steve Kozuki, executive director of FESBC, has been pleased to be a partner with HCTF.

“FESBC is proud to partner with HCTF and local experts on the ground throughout British Columbia to improve wildlife habitat,” said Kozuki. “HCTF combines wildlife biology expertise with their excellent management of funds to deliver outstanding benefits for wildlife. With all the pressures on the land base, the good work HCTF does is more important than ever.”

Each project funded by HCTF goes through a multi-level, objective and technical review process prior to final Board review and decision. HCTF’s Board of Directors ensure that species important to B.C. 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 2021-22 Approved Project List.

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 B.C.’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 B.C.’s natural assets. 2021 marks HCTF’s 40th anniversary of helping conservation groups and individuals secure funding for conservation projects and providing education to the general public about B.C.’s important natural assets. Since 1981, HCTF has provided over $195 million in grants for 3,230 conservation projects across B.C. HCTF began as an initiative by B.C. anglers, hunters, trappers, and guide outfitters.

Taking Action on Climate Change: a First Nations + Industry Collaboration

CHETWYND, B.C.: a forest enhancement project to utilize wood waste in Northeast B.C. is wrapping up, but the social, economic, and environmental benefits will endure for the community of Chetwynd and many members of the McLeod Lake Indian Band. The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) provided $299,759 in funding to a partnership project led by Duz Cho Logging of the McLeod Lake Indian Band and Canfor Energy North.

“FESBC was allocated $3 million from the provincial government as a part of its StrongerBC For Everyone: B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan to deploy to projects that would increase the utilization of wood fibre throughout the province,” said Ray Raatz, RPF, Operations Manager, FESBC. “The submission from Duz Cho Logging and Canfor Energy North was well thought out and we collectively could envision how it might be a catalyst for more of this kind of work in the Northeast region of B.C.”

The project resulted in the utilization of low-grade residual wood fibre left over from harvesting operations in the Chetwynd area.  The current economics for recovery of this fibre is limiting. Funding from FESBC extends the economic reach by enabling recovery and utilization of the low-grade fibre from areas a greater distance from the facility using the fibre. Typically, without funding like this from FESBC, leftover wood fibre is piled and burned, but in this case the residual fibre was hauled to the Canfor Energy North Pellet plant in Chetwynd where it was chipped and used for pellet and energy production.

“We were very pleased with the opportunity to help take the lead in this project,” said Chris Hayward, Logging Manager, Duz Cho Logging. “One of our core principles at Duz Cho is we ensure the footprints we leave behind are the ones our children will be proud to walk in, and this project was definitely in alignment. The environmental benefits were significant because by avoiding pile burning, the result is fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The economic benefits were also significant in that we were able to provide employment for McLeod Lake Indian Band members. Not only are these good paying jobs to benefit our members and their families, but people have the opportunity to learn new skills while doing this hands-on work which is important.”

Don Rosen of Canfor Energy North agrees.

“This was an important project for many reasons, including the economic and environmental benefits Chris referred to,” said Rosen. “Not only was it an exceptional partnership with McLeod Lake Indian Band’s Duz Cho Logging Partnership, but the FESBC funding was the impetus for our company to do more of this work as this was our first residuals utilization project in the bush. The project helped to expand our capacity for what we can do as a company in the future to better utilize fibre from our operations and create additional revenue streams for our partners like Duz Cho. We also know there are downstream benefits of these projects for logging contractors and haulers/truckers. We look forward to doing more!”

The project helped to expand our capacity for what we can do as a company in the future to better utilize fibre from our operations and create additional revenue streams for our partners like Duz Cho.

Don Rosen, Canfor Energy North

In total, the project utilized 14,742 cubic metres of residual waste fibre, equivalent to 295 truckloads. Duz Cho Logging and Canfor Energy North employees were able to contribute to the Chetwynd economy through fuel, accommodation, and food purchases, as well as hiring local tradespeople to provide maintenance on equipment.

Chip pile and chipper one week after chipper start up – D. Rosen Photo

“This project was a great opportunity for members of the McLeod Lake Indian Band to participate in a project that helps utilize more of the wood fibre being harvested within the traditional territories. We are creating a greener, more sustainable environment.”

Chris Hayward, Logging Manager, Duz Cho Logging

As a part of the StrongerBC funding allocation, FESBC provided funding to 14 fibre utilization projects, including the Duz Cho/Canfor Energy project, in many parts of the province.

“Our project showed true partnership,” said Hayward. “So much happened behind the scenes in the planning and implementation and from start to finish it was truly a collaboration – a project in support of each other for the benefit of many.”

For information or an interview regarding this project, contact:

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

Project Partners

$9.3 Million for Wildlife, Fish and Habitat Including Steelhead in Southern B.C.

“FESBC is proud to partner with HCTF and local experts on the ground throughout British Columbia to improve wildlife habitat. HCTF combines wildlife biology expertise with their excellent management of funds to deliver outstanding benefits for wildlife. With all the pressures on the land base, the good work HCTF does is more important than ever.” – Steve Kozuki, Executive Director, FESBC

Kamloops, B.C.: For 40 years, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has helped fund conservation groups, government branches, Indigenous Nations, and local communities to implement projects that protect B.C.’s wildlife, freshwater fish, and the habitats they need to survive and thrive. This year, HCTF has awarded $9.3 million in funding for 175 individual conservation projects across British Columbia.

HCTF’s CEO Dan Buffett is pleased to report that the 2021/22 grant season represents the Foundation’s highest record annual investment and reflects the financial contributions and hard work of many British Columbians that fund and implement these projects. To date, HCTF has funded 3,230 conservation projects and granted over $195 million in funds across the length and breadth of this ecologically diverse province.

One such project is the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources’ Interior Fraser Wild Steelhead Conservation program. The program, which received $98,677 in funding, monitors the abundance, productivity, and ongoing conservation status of wild steelhead populations, including the Thompson and Chilcotin populations. This freshwater salmonid species is of exceptional importance to First Nations peoples, anglers, local communities, and conservationists. The data collected through the project will help to inform provincial, federal and First Nations fisheries management plans and conservation management.

“Steelhead are highly migratory, like salmon, which creates management challenges involving multiple agencies; challenges that are well-served by understanding the biology of these fish, the status of the populations, and the factors affecting the populations,” said project lead Robert Bison. “With HCTF’s support, we have been able to provide evidence and insights into factors affecting southern B.C. steelhead populations for which there is conservation concern.”

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

  • $135,519 in funds to assist the St’át’imc Government to monitor the critically endangered Stein/Nahatlatch grizzly bear population. Research will help inform species recovery plans for both the Province and Indigenous groups.
  • $45,051 to support invasive plant management and land rehabilitation at Turtle Valley Farm and Toad Hollow near Chase, B.C.
  • $40,250 to monitor Mid-Fraser Sturgeon near Lillooet, B.C. Examining the distribution, population density and health of sturgeon population will inform federal government assessments and the management of the recreational fishery.
  • $112,071 for a Steelhead population assessment along the Dean River which hosts one of the world’s most popular steelhead sport fisheries.
  • $22,936 for a study assessing the density and population health of cougar in the Cariboo region. This project will involve a citizen science component and will rely on stakeholders to help estimate cougar populations.

Funding and support for these projects and others across the province come from a wide variety of sources including public groups such as the British Columbia Wildlife Federation (BCWF), partner organizations like the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), provincial government contributions, court fines, and endowments. A significant source of funding comes from the conservation surcharge paid by B.C.’s anglers, hunters, trappers, and guide outfitters.

“Over 40 years ago, the BC Wildlife Federation lobbied for a surcharge on hunting and fishing licenses to fund wildlife and fish habitat improvement projects throughout the province,” said BCWF president Chuck Zuckerman. “The result of this impassioned call from B.C.’s hunters, anglers, trappers and sport shooters formed a new fund in 1981 that subsequently evolved into the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.”

Steve Kozuki, executive director of FESBC, has been pleased to be a partner with HCTF.

“FESBC is proud to partner with HCTF and local experts on the ground throughout British Columbia to improve wildlife habitat,” said Kozuki. “HCTF combines wildlife biology expertise with their excellent management of funds to deliver outstanding benefits for wildlife. With all the pressures on the land base, the good work HCTF does is more important than ever.”

Each project funded by HCTF goes through a multi-level, objective and technical review process prior to final Board review and decision. HCTF’s Board of Directors ensure that species important to B.C. 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

2021-22 Approved Project List or the HCTF 2021-22 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

Community of Mackenzie Now has a Safe Emergency Evacuation Route

“The safety of our community is our top priority and funding provided by FESBC and the Provincial government allowed wildfire mitigation prescriptions to be carried out along the Highway 39 corridor.”  – Mackenzie Mayor, Joan Atkinson      

MACKENZIE, B.C.—Highway 39 is heavily forested on both sides of the highway and is the only access route in and out of the community of Mackenzie. The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) provided a grant of $1 million toward supporting a project by the District of Mackenzie (DOM) to reduce flammable woody fuel along the corridor.

The community of Mackenzie is located on Highway 39 in the Rocky Mountain Trench, about two hours north of Prince George. The target treatment areas of the FESBC-funded project aligned with the recently updated District of Mackenzie Community Wildfire Protection Plan and project activities included planning and prescription development, harvesting, understory pruning and thinning, and forest floor fuel piling and burning. 

“The District of Mackenzie is very grateful for the support from FESBC,” said Joan Atkinson, Mayor of Mackenzie. “As a ‘one road in – one road out’ community, having a secure egress route in the event of a wildfire has been an ongoing concern. The safety of our community is our top priority and funding provided by FESBC and the Provincial government allowed wildfire mitigation prescriptions to be carried out along the Highway 39 corridor.”        

Due to the scale and dispersed nature of the treatment areas, the project was conducted over a span of three years. In 2019, activities focused on refining the areas requiring treatment and developing fuel management prescriptions. Approximately 190 hectares of high fire risk areas were prescribed for treatment along the highway. In 2020 and 2021, fuel reduction treatments were carried out on 120 hectares of the highest risk areas. An additional 26 hectares of high fire risk area was treated by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development under its Wildfire Risk Reduction initiative using treatment prescription funded by the FESBC.

“Wildfire risk reduction treatments along key community access corridors like Highway 39 are important to help ensure safety of citizens in the event of a wildfire threatening the community,” said Ray Raatz, RPF, FESBC Operations Manager. “The success of this project was the result of a collaborative effort by local First Nations, the community of Mackenzie, contractors, and industry partners.”

The District of Mackenzie received significant support from the McLeod Lake Mackenzie Community Forest – a 50/50 partnership between the McLeod Lake Indian Band and the District of Mackenzie – which contracted out the work to reduce fuel loading in the priority treatment areas.  Mechanical treatments were used in most areas enabling the recovery of low value fibre. 

Ian LeBlanc, RFT, Wildfire Project Coordinator with the District of Mackenzie said there was a real effort made to take the visual quality and wildlife values of the corridor into account while reducing wildfire risk.

“I’ve had calls from folks saying how impressed they are with the work done and the considerate manner it is being done in,” said LeBlanc. “It makes people feel more comfortable to see this work going on—especially after some large wildfires in recent years.”

The project also supported training opportunities at the College of New Caledonia campus in Mackenzie with residents receiving training which facilitated nine temporary full-time positions working on the project. The community now has local people who are trained in wildfire mitigation work.

“The town of Mackenzie Community Wildfire Advisory Committee coordinated efforts to apply for funding through FESBC making the project possible,” said LeBlanc. “Thanks to the cooperation of many, it has been a highly successful project. It would be great to be able to access additional funding from FESBC to complete the remaining 25% of high fire risk areas.  FESBC staff are well informed professionals and have been great to work with. We hope this program can be extended as it has been a huge success.”

For information on/or an interview regarding this project, contact:

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

Ian LeBlanc, Wildfire Project Coordinator | District of Mackenzie | wpc@mlmcf.ca | 250.640.6287

Project Partners

Northwest B.C. Fibre Supporting Coastal Pulp Sector

TERRACE, B.C.—The forest industry in B.C.’s northwest is working together to use more waste wood from logging operations and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The initiative is being facilitated by nearly $540,000 in funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) and managed by Westland Resources Ltd. The avoidance of pile burning waste wood results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to the achievement of B.C.’s and Canada’s climate change targets. The funding was part of the provincial government’s StrongerBC for Everyone: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan.

“We are grateful to FESBC and the provincial government for the funding for our Coast Mountains fibre utilization project,” said Brittany Dewar, FIT, Westland Resources. “We are proud to work with forest licensees and FESBC on projects that provide economic, social, and environmental benefits to our communities.” 

The project moved over 19,000 cubic metres – about 475 truckloads – of uneconomic low-quality logs from three forest harvesting licences held in the Terrace area including two held by First Nation companies Kitselas Forestry Limited Partnership (KFLP) and Kalum Ventures Ltd (KVL), and one by Skeena Sawmills last winter. The fibre was chipped at Skeena Sawmill’s whole-log chipper in Terrace and the fibre was then shipped to Harmac Pacific’s pulp mill near Nanaimo. It is anticipated that an additional 600 truckloads of normally uneconomic fibre will be utilized this summer and fall by KFLP and/or KVL.

If not for the initiative, the low-quality wood fibre would have been left in slash piles to be burned as the purchase price for the pulp-quality fibre at the time in these areas was less than the cost of delivering it to the coastal pulp mills. Oftentimes, Canadian pulp is used to make many products including cloth (rayon), toothpaste, ice cream, nail polish, makeup, disinfecting wipes, medications (as an inert carrier for the medicine), paint, ping pong balls, and LCD screens. With funds from FESBC, the fibre was utilized and reduced the potential for greenhouse gas emissions because the fibre was not burned—resulting in a project that made good environmental sense.

“Many of the forests in the Terrace area contain up to 50 per cent low-quality fibre which is difficult to use economically,” said Gord Pratt, RPF, Operations Manager, FESBC. “We were very supportive of providing funding which allows for the coastal pulp mills to use of this lower-quality fibre and increase the forest sector jobs in the Terrace area.”

This project supported the Province’s StrongerBC$1.5-billion economic recovery plan to support the Province’s goal to provide economic benefits for all British Columbians, and specifically to support economic recovery post-pandemic by funding fibre utilization and stand rehabilitation projects. The project will result in increased utilization of post-harvest residual fibre and conversion of low value uneconomic stands to future forests while creating jobs in the forest sector.

For information on/or an interview regarding this project, contact:

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

Valley Carriers Story Featured in Canadian Forest Industries Wood Business Magazine

An FESBC funded project with Valley Carriers out of Merritt, B.C. was featured in Canadian Forest Industry’s Wood Business Magazine.

Excerpt from Editor, Ellen Cools: “In 2019, during the height of the forest industry’s downturn, many sawmills were permanently shut down and logging contractors were faced with a dilemma; move their logging fleet to a different location, or sell their equipment and lay off people? For Merritt, B.C.-based Valley Carriers Ltd., the answer was a mix of both.”

Read the Full Story:  https://tinyurl.com/cjarmm8

About Canadian Forest Industries Wood Business:

Helping A Community Forest Rebuild for the Future

BURNS LAKE, B.C.— Over 10,000 hectares of the Chinook Community Forest (CCF) was lost in the 2018 wildfires and the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) has provided $800,000 toward revitalizing approximately 300 hectares of the hardest hit stands.

“As a shareholder in the Chinook Community Forest, we are grateful to FESBC for the funding to salvage burned fibre from the devastating wildfires of 2018,” said Dolores Funk, Mayor, Burns Lake. “This project benefits our local economy through job creation and allowing the utilization of fibre that is no longer economically viable.”

The fire reduced the value of the remaining fibre significantly and it was unlikely it was ever going to be economically viable to salvage the fibre and regenerate the site with a new forest. FESBC funding allows for the rehabilitation of this area resulting in the quicker regeneration of a healthy forest.

“The Chinook Community Forest, a partnership between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, is committed to good forest stewardship and seeing this forest thriving for future generations,” said Ken Nielsen, General Manager, CCF. “This is a long-term investment by all parties to get to regeneration.”

A high level of utilization means there is a long-term carbon benefit by avoiding the fibre being burned in slash piles. The removal of fuel also results in wildfire risk mitigation as there is less available to burn if there is ever another fire in the area.

“We are happy to support this project and bring some hope and opportunity back to the community after the wildfires,” said Gord Pratt, RPF, Operations Manager, FESBC. “It is important to assist with the heavy lifting due to the economic challenges and bring this area back to a green, healthy forest.”

Nielsen agrees. “We were hit heavily. Through this project, CCF, FESBC and other partners pulled together to rebuild from that devastating loss.”

Jennifer Gunter, Executive Director of the BC Community Forest Association, is pleased to see the collaborative efforts as well.

“Community forest tenures give communities the opportunity to steward the land,” said Gunter. “Among the multiple benefits of this project is the fact that it is making the community forest land base more resilient and reducing the risk of more catastrophic fire in the future. Community forest tenure holders are proving to be important leaders in this work. The tenure is a significant asset that helps to make this possible.”

Community forests are “an integral way to manage forests for the long-term sustainability of our region and projects such as these ensure communities are stronger, healthier and safer.”

Dolores Funk, Mayor, Burns Lake

CCF has salvaged approximately 100 hectares of the burned fibre last year and plans to salvage anther 200 hectares this year. It was bunch skidded to the roadside where it was then recovered and the sawlog was trucked to various secondary fibre users like a local fence post operation and Pinnacle Pellet, depending on the condition and size of the fibre. This approach meant that all the burned fibre removed from the community forest was utilized.

Tree planting is slated to begin in the spring of 2022 with a company associated with one of the local Indigenous communities.

“It’s really important to fund the reforestation of these areas,” said Clint Lambert, Director of Electoral Area E. “The trees originally growing there were not big enough to produce cones yet, which means the area didn’t naturally reforest itself after the fire. We have lost a lot of fibre and therefore jobs, so it’s nice to support local companies and help a community get back on its feet again.”

Project Partner

For information on/or an interview with Chinook Community Forest regarding this project, contact:

Ken Nielsen, General Manager, Chinook Community Forest, 250.692.0630, Ken.Nielsen@chinookcomfor.ca.

For information on/or an interview with FESBC regarding this project, contact:

Gord Pratt, Operations Manager| gpratt@fesbc.ca | 250.319.1119

Mercer Celgar and Forest Workers Reduce Greenhouse Emissions in the Kootenays

CASTLEGAR, B.C.— Mercer Celgar is actively working to facilitate and increase fibre utilization in the Kootenay-Boundary Forest Region thanks to $3M in funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC).

The funding facilitates the recovery of fibre that would otherwise be burned on site, resulting in less burning which avoids the immediate release of carbon into the atmosphere.

Across the company’s operational area, significant volumes of usable fibre have continued to be burned as a result of the harvesting activities by forest licensees or from wildfire risk reduction projects near communities or in parks. Meanwhile, Mercer Celgar has been exploring many ways to have their fibre supply increased by improving utilization of non-sawlog fibre to their pulp mill in Castlegar. FESBC and Mercer both saw the opportunity in the convergence of these two issues.

“The FESBC funding has provided the economic support required for logging contractors to innovate new methods of increasing utilization of fibre from the areas they were harvesting,” said Gord Pratt, Operations Manager, FESBC. “For this project to be successful it took many partners to adjust their operations and policies to allow fibre to make its way to the pulp mill.” 

Pratt said these adjustments included how logs were loaded onto the logging trucks and the support of residents to allow logging trucks to use roads on private land to recover fibre from a wildfire risk reduction treatment in the neighbouring West Arm Park near Nelson. If not recovered, this fibre would have been burned on site. 

“Mercer Celgar’s program with FESBC has strongly influenced the company’s decision to proceed with the woodroom modernization announced last week that incorporates full forest utilization and sustainable resource management as a key requirement of the project,” said Stan Hadikin, RPF, Manager, Fibre Procurement, Mercer Celgar. “Strong collaborative efforts from industry, government, and stakeholders demonstrate a multitude of benefits including reduced wildfire risk, enhanced public safety, increased employment, improved wildlife habitat, ecosystem resilience, and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.”

Utilization can minimize the overall residual (left over) fibre on site by factors of 10 to 90 per cent. This project involves working with forest operators to increase the use of wood fibre and support the transportation of up to 200,000 cubic metres (one cubic metre is about the size of a telephone pole) of residual fibre for use at Mercer Celgar facilities.

The goal of fibre recovery and carbon benefits are intertwined. Through this project, Mercer Celgar will reduce the amount of carbon and other greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by avoiding the burning of wood waste, along with the negative health effects associated with the activity.

“Initiatives like this are critical to optimize the use of the existing wood fibre supply as much as possible,”

Gord Pratt, Operations Manager, FESBC

“FESBC is excited to hear that Mercer Celgar was able to take what they learned from their FESBC fibre utilization project and make the decision to invest in a significant improvement to their facility which will result in the long-term increase of forest fibre utilization well into the future,” Gord Pratt, Operations Manager, FESBC

West Arm Park Interface Treatment with Follow Up Discussion: Erik Leslie – Manager, Harrop Proctor Community Forest; Amanda Weber-Roy – Conservation Specialist, BC Parks; Amber Cooke – Wildfire Risk Reduction Specialist, FLNRORD; Charlene Strelaeff – Fibre Forester, Mercer Celgar; Len MacCharles – Fire Chief, City of Nelson; Gord Pratt – FESBC; John Dooley – Mayor, City of Nelson; Grant Walton, Resource Operations Manager, FLNRORD; Eric Wahn, Land & Resource Coordinator FLNRORD

Project Partner

For information on/or an interview with Mercer Celgar regarding this project, contact:

Rose Leslie, Communications Advisor | publicrelations.mc@mercerint.com | 250.365.7211 Ext. 3347 

For information on/or an interview with FESBC regarding this project, contact:

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

Print Version: FESBC Mercer Celgar Press Release June-22-2021

Accomplishments Update Highlights – 14 New FESBC Projects Throughout B.C.

Kamloops, B.C.: From the Province’s $1.5 billion StrongerBC For Everyone: B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) received $3 million and funded 14 forestry projects throughout the province to increase the utilization of wood fibre creating many positive benefits.

“Projects funded by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC address a number of environmental, social, and economic priorities of British Columbians,” said Jim Snetsinger, RPF, FESBC board chair. “Forest enhancement projects achieve social, environmental, and economic aspirations of British Columbians. Investing in forests reduces our carbon footprint, reduces wildfire risks, enhances wildlife habitat, and creates jobs. It’s a win-win-win on all fronts.”

Moe MacLean is the scaler for All West Trading Ltd. where NorthPac is taking their logs.

The $3 million in funding helped to sustain approximately 100 forestry jobs this past winter to utilize wood fibre that is normally left behind after logging and burned in slash piles.

“Upon receiving word of the allocation, our team moved quickly to prepare and announce its seventh intake for funding applications,” said Snetsinger. “We were delighted with the quality and innovation shown in the proposals. It demonstrates the significant role the forestry sector plays in our province’s broader economic recovery, while at the same time helping to achieve B.C.’s and Canada’s climate change targets.”

Codie Long, 3rd generation owner of Longs Logging Terrace, B.C. and Rich-Seymour, Operations Manager, Kitselas Forestry LP

In total, FESBC approved funding for 14 projects which have just been completed as of March 31, 2021.

LocationProject PartnerFESBC-Funding*
Boston BarInterwest Timber Ltd$13,000
ChetwyndDuz Cho Logging Ltd.$300,000
ClintonArrow Transportation Systems Inc$720,748
Fraser LakeThe Corporation of the Village of Fraser Lake$100,818
HazeltonNorthPac Forestry Group Ltd.$279,749
MassetHusby Forest Products$61,750
MackenzieEast Fraser Fiber$294,000
MerrittValley Carriers Ltd.$416,029
NazkoCariboo Pulp & Paper$134,897
PrincetonWestwood Fibre Resources Ltd.$6,000
SmithersPinnacle Renewable Energy Inc.$133,745
TerraceWestland Resources Limited$256,561
Williams LakeAtlantic Power (Williams Lake) Ltd.$199,603
Williams LakeElhdaqox Developments Ltd.$83,100
*approved FESBC-funding as of March 2021

The 14 projects sustained an estimated 100 forestry jobs to utilize about 233,000 cubic metres of wood fibre (approximately 4,600 truckloads) this past winter and the projects are estimated to help avoid 65,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, equivalent to taking 13,000 cars off the road for a year.

Maverick Mueller, long-time Mackenzie resident and second generation logger, member of the Tsilqot’in First Nation

“Our Accomplishments Update report highlights these projects and the good work happening in B.C. forests,” said Steve Kozuki, RPF, FESBC executive director. “Our report also features the people behind the projects. It is our opportunity to broadly share with British Columbians the good work not often seen or understood by non-foresters. As we like to say, in B.C. climate change heroes can often be found in the forest wearing hard hats.” 

Read the full FESBC Accomplishments Update

For more information or to arrange an interview with FESBC:

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

Three generations working in the grinding industry. From left to right: Mike Kilba, Benton Kilba, and Greg Kilba
Grinding work of residual wood fibre from harvesting operations in the Wells Gray Community Forest – G. Brcko photo

Wells Gray Community Forest Enhancement Project Achieved Through Collaboration & Innovation

Clearwater, B.C.: Many areas of B.C. are facing the challenge of a shortage of wood fibre that was more plentiful just a few years ago. Today, with many of the damaged mountain pine beetle stands harvested, wildfires and other factors, the scarcity of wood fibre supply has led the forestry sector to find innovative and collaborative ways to utilize the fibre that was previously piled and burned.

A project in the Wells Gray Community Forest (WGCF) in Clearwater, funded by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), has meant a homecoming for Greg Kilba, Division Manager Portable Wood Processing and Log Buying of Arrow Transportation Systems Inc. (Arrow), who grew up in the community and spent time raising his family there, too.

“Clearwater is a pristine and beautiful area I have many fond memories of and the Wells Gray Community Forest is a gem for the community,” said Kilba, now based in Kamloops. “When our team at Arrow first looked at a fibre utilization project in the Community Forest, there were many challenges – wet ground and large road ditches. There was a lot of fibre that could not be utilized by sawmills because of the amount of rotten wood typical of this type of stand. The Community Forest group’s goal was to log four cut blocks to help get a healthy stand of trees growing again. Together, we figured we could make economic sense of the project if we applied to FESBC for a grant. With the good news of an approval of a grant for $720,748, we developed a project plan for approximately $307,000 for the Wells Gray Community Forest, then got to work.”

Greg, his son Benton, his father Mike, and the rest of the Arrow team went back to the blocks in mid-October, taking the residual wood left over from earlier logging operations and ground it into hog fuel. Because of the planning of the project prior to harvesting, the WGCF was able to work with the logging contractors to build more accessible road systems to ensure Arrow’s grinder and trucks could access the slash piles.

“It was amazing to see trucks in the forest hauling out fibre,” said Kilba. “Early in my forestry career, I had contracts to burn slash piles like this. We would light up the piles and there was an amazing amount of energy coming from them. I had always wondered how we could harness that energy instead of wasting it. With the introduction of boilers that use this wood fibre, we now take this fibre we once burned and use it to create electricity. The grant from FESBC made it economically feasible to haul the material. Without this funding, piles of fibre would have otherwise been burned on site.”

Three Generations: Mike Kilba, Benton Kilba, and Greg Kilba

In total, Arrow ground 18,992 cubic metres of wood fibre, translating roughly to 350 logging trucks worth of wood fibre. The ground-up fibre was then transported to Domtar in Kamloops to generate electricity to run operations, with additional green energy being put back to the grid. The grinding project not only created an estimated 600 person days of work, or close to 5,000 employable hours, but by avoiding the burning of slash piles, the Clearwater airshed was spared smoke from fires, something George Brcko, WGCF General Manager, and many Clearwater residents appreciate.

“As a Community Forest, we can be nimble and innovative in finding ways to be collaborative and get work done,” said Brcko. “The grinding and hauling of these residuals meant that we didn’t have smoke hanging in our valleys from burning slash. Additionally, by removing the leftover wood fibre, this means we lessen the opportunity for a catastrophic wildfire in these areas.”

“Without FESBC filling the gap financially, this project would not have happened. This kind of collaboration and support of community forests is the way of the future and I believe just the tip of the iceberg in forest stewardship as we all work to do things better.”

George Brcko, Wells Gray Community Forest, General Manager

The WGCF has been an asset to the citizens of Clearwater as revenues generated from operations flow directly back into the community. Since 2004, almost $3 million has gone back into community projects like seniors housing, summer camps for kids, and accessibility projects like multi-use pathways, a boon to the community that BC Community Forest Association’s (BCCFA) Executive Director Jennifer Gunter applauds.

“As we work to grow the bioeconomy and make our communities and forests more resilient, FESBC is providing the missing link by enabling community forests and local entrepreneurs to partner on innovative projects like this,” said Jennifer Gunter, Executive Director of the BC Community Forest Association. “By supporting the utilization of residual fibre, multiple benefits are created for the communities, the forests and the province as a whole.”

Helping to fund and oversee the project on behalf of FESBC is Operations Manager Dave Conly.

“Arrow, in partnership with Domtar, has been able to develop great solutions with our local community forests, and by using fibre that would otherwise be wasted, they are creating well-paying jobs and assisting the Province in achieving climate goals,” said Conly. “Overall, FESBC projects will have generated 5.3 million tonnes of net carbon benefits which is equivalent to removing 1.1 million cars off the road for a year. Forestry is a great way to achieve B.C.’s and Canada’s climate change targets, while at the same time create more jobs in the bioeconomy.”

“I absolutely love that Arrow found a way, in partnership with FESBC and our Community Forest, to utilize residual wood fibre or slash. Our local Forestry Working Group – a group comprised of City councilors, local government representatives and industry stakeholders – has long advocated for this kind of work to be done because of the countless benefits: the economic benefits of good paying jobs for people, the social benefits when steady employment is available and smoke is removed from our airshed, and the environmental benefits when wood fibre is optimally used to reduce our carbon footprint.”

– Merlin Blackwell, Mayor of Clearwater

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

To arrange an interview with FESBC, Wells Gray Community Forest or Arrow contact:
Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison | communications@fesbc.ca | 250.574.0221

Slashing Wood Waste and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Nicola Valley

Merritt, B.C.: A grant from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is helping Valley Carriers take a new approach to bring 24,000 cubic metres of wood fibre into Merritt to be used to generate electricity instead of burning it in slash piles. With the FESBC grant, Valley Carriers initially explored an opportunity to use a forest slash bundler to see what they could recover in waste residual forest fibre piled along forestry roads in the area. The pilot hoped to prepare biomass bundles that could be transported by regular logging trucks.  Valley Carriers modified their approach after a full evaluation of the bundler and approached the remaining utilization opportunities with a more conventional grinding operation.

“The project trial had some initial challenges, but what we appreciate about working with the team at Valley Carriers is their approach and innovative style,” said Dave Conly, Operations Manager, FESBC. “They have been able to pivot and get into the grinding business to assist the local economy in improving forest fibre utilization. By all accounts, it has been a great success so far and a benefit to B.C.’s environment and economy.” 

With a funding grant of $416,029 from FESBC, the recovered fibre will be delivered to Merritt Green Energy and used to generate electricity. When the residual fibre is utilized instead of burned in slash piles, there are fewer greenhouse gas emissions contributing to help achieve B.C.’s and Canada’s climate change targets. Additionally, the electricity generated can displace electricity otherwise generated by fossil fuels.

“The FESBC funding is allowing us to provide a solution for fibre removal that was previously burned because of high hauling and transport costs,” said Derek Mobbs, Interior Operations Manager, Valley Carriers. “It is great to see the wood fibre in the brush piles being utilized instead of burned and to see extra value being created out of our local timber resources.”

Valley Carriers’ Merritt-based division specializes in forest product transportation, sawmill residual service, supply, and grinding residual forest fibre. The FESBC funding made it possible for the company to extend their grinding operations and keep up to 10 people employed with 5,750-person hours generated from this project. Employment included the full-time operations of a grinder, loader, four 53-foot trucks and the part-time employment of a dozer, excavator, and a spare truck. The fibre produced from this project is anticipated to provide Merritt Green Energy with 37 days of run time.

“Our small community has been hard hit by the mountain pine beetle and mill closures. Being able to keep our people working and producing fibre for our customers is critical.”

Ben Klassen, CEO, Valley Carriers

Klassen notes the FESBC grant is projected to generate $1.75 million in revenue that helps to sustain members of the community who have endured multiple sawmill curtailments and closures over the last decade. “We have been able to support our community with good paying jobs from a resource that otherwise would have gone unrecovered. At times, we have had to juggle our operations to address customer needs, and without the flexibility of this FESBC support, this would not have been possible.”

The project has also led to collaborative working relationships with Stuwix Resources, Tolko, and Aspen Planers to recover forest fibre in other parts of the Southern Interior.

For information on/or an interview with FESBC regarding this project, contact:

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

Fire Followers Exhibit at Beaty Biodiversity Museum

Vancouver, B.C.: A new online exhibit is on display with the Beaty Biodiversity Museum called Fire Followers. In the exhibit, artist Megan Majewski and writer Sharon Roberts give voice to forests impacted by B.C. wildfires. While preparing for the exhibit, Sharon interviewed the Forest Enhancement Society of BC’s (FESBC) Executive Director, Steve Kozuki.

“We were approached by Sharon back in 2018 when she was first working on the Fire Followers project,” said Kozuki. “The idea of taking an artistic approach to telling the story about the impacts of B.C. wildfires intrigued me because of the work I do with FESBC. It is abundantly clear that there are many, many passionate people who want to improve B.C.’s forests, including First Nations, community forests, woodlots and many others.

“FESBC has been empowering local people who want to do local projects that enhance our forests through wildfire risk mitigation, accelerated ecological recovery after wildfires, wildlife habitat enhancement, and increased utilization of forest fibre to contribute to the achievement of our climate change goals. The work we do now means people today, and for generations to come, will benefit from our forests. We thank Sharon and Megan for their work to bring the voice of our forests to all British Columbian’s through this unique exhibit.”

The artists’ greatest hopes for the project are to help shape the public perception of what a healthy forest looks like.

“We view this exhibit as a living and breathing thing, just as the forests are – it’s just a sapling now, it’s soil freshly tilled,” said Sharon and Megan. “With the care and nurturing by all who contribute it will take on a life of its own and grow into something beautiful that we can’t yet imagine. Something as rich and diverse as the forests themselves.”

To view the exhibit online:

Fire Followers Online Exhibit

Community Impact featuring FESBC’s Steve Kozuki

Collaboration in the Okanagan is Reducing Wildfire Risk to Water Supply

Okanagan, B.C.:

In the summer of 2019, four water utility providers in the Okanagan were awarded close to $680,000 in grants from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC). The grants supported a collaborative approach to wildfire risk reduction in four major Okanagan watersheds that border one another and are managed by the District of Lake Country, Black Mountain Irrigation District, Glenmore Ellison Improvement District, and the Regional District of North Okanagan.

Work is now underway on the ground to protect several high-priority interface areas of the individual watersheds. Wildfire risk reduction will help better protect the Okanagan basin’s water quality, important wildlife habitat and infrastructure, and create opportunities to enhance the utilization of woody debris left behind after fuel management treatments.

“The funding provided by FESBC was fundamental in bringing together all four water purveyors on the Aberdeen plateau, in collaboration with the Okanagan Shuswap Natural Resource District and Gorman Brothers, to guide the watersheds towards a more fire resilient condition through wildfire risk mitigation planning,” said John Davies, RPF, Frontline Operations Group Ltd.

This analysis started over the summer of 2019, including the completion of mapping of potential fuel breaks – an area where flammable woody material is removed to slow or stop a wildfire – in all watersheds and identifying the highest priority interface fuel breaks.

Pre-treatment shows a high stand density with heavy surface fuel loading

FESBC funding approval enabled the partners to collaborate on overview planning, leading to efficiencies in key components such as GIS (Geographic Information System) analysis. This overview planning then identified critical priority areas for detailed planning. This planning included developing a wildfire risk reduction prescription, obtaining support from BC Wildfire Services and local Forest Lands & Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development representatives, and groundwork including identifying and confirming the treatment boundaries and unique values to be protected.

Professional fuel management prescriptions were completed for a high-risk interface area in each watershed. Once the planning was complete, the contracts were put out to bid and were awarded to Sage Forestry Ltd. and Loki Tree Service. 

“These projects are an opportunity for good-paying jobs allowing companies like mine to keep people working and to reinvest in the industry, while providing much-needed wildfire risk reduction to communities in B.C. at the same time.”

Burke Nesjan, RPF, Sage Forestry

Each area has unique features requiring different approaches. Here is a status update on each project:

District of Lake Country: completed treatment operations adjacent to Beaver Lake Lodge and district water intake of Beaver Lake involving the removal of surface woody debris from approximately 2.5 hectares.

Black Mountain Irrigation District: provided operational treatment recommendations for Gorman Brothers’ operations on Schram Creek slope and completed field survey of proposed fuel break locations above Schram Creek slope.

Glenmore Ellison Improvement District: completed treatment operations within the interface above Postill Lake Road.

Regional District of North Okanagan: completed interface treatment operations adjacent to Blue Nose trail and are currently implementing prescriptions adjacent to private property on Blue Nose Road.

“FESBC is pleased to see the high level of collaboration between Frontline Operations Group and each of the local water purveyors,” said Dave Conly, RPF, Operations Manager, FESBC. “These four significant watersheds provide both drinking water and irrigation water for local communities. We deployed funding to do our best to protect the watersheds from extensive damage which could potentially result from wildfires. We’re pleased to see the overview plans, which set the stage for longer-term work, while addressing some of the highest priority areas with the funding available.”

Work is expected to be completed by the end of summer of 2021 and further updates to media and the community will follow.

“The FESBC funding program has been instrumental in addressing wildfire risk mitigation on Crown land in B.C. at a meaningful scale,” said Davies. “We have gained in leaps and bounds with this important endeavour in the Okanagan Valley through FESBC support.”

Post-treatment illustrates a lower density and significantly less surface fuel loading resulting in a lower potential fire behaviour than the pre-treatment stand

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

New grants to help use more wood fibre

VICTORIA – The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) has allocated $3 million in new grants throughout the province to support jobs in the forestry sector and increase the use of wood fibre that otherwise would be burned as slash.

“This new funding is part of the government’s $1.5 billion economic recovery plan, which reflects our ongoing commitment to help British Columbians deal with challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

“The grants will support local jobs and help make better use of wood debris left behind after timber harvesting.”

Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development

The latest round of funding supports 15 different projects in different regions of the province, with individual grant amounts ranging from $6,000 to $663,748 (see backgrounder for details about each project). The projects will allow about 250,000 cubic metres of post-harvest waste wood to be used in the production of pulp, wood pellets, electricity and compost for soil remediation. This work will also provide environmental, economic and social benefits to B.C. communities, including a reduction in greenhouse gases.

“One of the aims of our StrongerBC economic recovery plan is to build stronger, more resilient communities in every corner of the province,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “This program does just that, while also advancing the forest sector’s transition to high-value production, which is essential for B.C.’s long-term economic wellbeing.”

Eight of the approved applications were from new proponents that will receive FESBC project funding for the first time.

“We were very pleased to receive this additional funding to support incremental fibre use and forest rehabilitation projects,” said Jim Snetsinger, board chair, FESBC. “Upon receiving word of the $3 million allocation, our team moved quickly to prepare and announce its seventh intake for funding applications.”

“We were delighted with the quality and innovation shown in the proposals that we received. This work will help support families and communities in a time of need. It demonstrates the significant role that the forestry sector plays in our province’s broader economic recovery, while at the same time helping to achieve B.C.’s and Canada’s climate change targets.”

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: http://news.gov.bc.ca/connect

Facts about FESBC

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is a Crown agency. It was established in 2016 to advance the environmental and resource stewardship of the province’s forests by:

  • preventing wildfires and mitigating wildfire impacts;
  • improving damaged or low-value forests;
  • improving wildlife habitat;
  • supporting the use of fibre from damaged or low-value forests; and
  • treating forests to improve the management of greenhouse gases.

As of Jan. 28, 2021, the B.C. government has invested $238 million in FESBC, with about $237 million allocated to 270 projects since the society’s inception. Funded projects have helped minimize wildfire risks, enhance wildlife habitat, improve low-value and damaged forests, replant damaged forests and use fibre for green-energy production.

FESBC is a partner in the Forest Carbon Initiative, which is funded in part through the federal government’s Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund. This initiative assists with B.C. government priorities, such as:

  • revitalizing the forest sector;
  • partnering with First Nations;
  • supporting the Province’s CleanBC commitment to transition to a low-carbon economy; and
  • providing economic benefits for rural communities.

$3 million in grants support fibre use projects

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC has allocated another $3 million in grants to support 15 projects that will increase the use of wood fibre that otherwise would have been burned as slash.

Funding for these projects has been distributed as follows:

October 2020 project approvals (Intake #7):

  • $20,000 to Interwest Timber Ltd. to take uneconomical pulp fibre to a plant for chipping and future delivery to coastal pulp mills (about 1,537 cubic metres in the south coast region)
  • $101,562 to the Village of Fraser Lake for the Fraser Lake Community Forest, to transport uneconomic residual waste fibre to the Pinnacle Pellet plant in Burns Lake (about 13,488 cubic metres in the Omineca region)
  • $135,000 to Cariboo Pulp & Paper to transport low-value pulp fibre, which otherwise would be uneconomical to move, to manufacture pulp (about 9,122 cubic metres in the Cariboo region)
  • $200,000 to Atlantic Power (Williams Lake) Ltd. to help local First Nations companies deliver fibre to Atlantic Power for electricity generation (about 15,385 cubic metres in the Cariboo region)
  • $663,748 to Arrow Transportation Systems Inc. to transport uneconomic fibre to secondary users (about 44,250 cubic metres in the Thompson-Okanagan region)
  • $216,158 to Westland Resources Limited to enhance use of uneconomic pulp logs from two licensees (about 22,125 cubic metres in the Skeena region)
  • $279,749 to NorthPac Forestry Group Ltd. to increase fibre use by sending residual waste to coastal pulp mills (about 18,355 cubic metres in the Skeena region)
  • $6,000 to Westwood Fibre Resources Ltd. to increase use of residual waste fibre for distribution to secondary fibre users in the southern Interior (about 660 cubic metres in the Thompson-Okanagan region)
  • $133,745 to Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. to increase fibre use by manufacturing wood pellets (about 45,803 cubic metres at various locations across the province)
  • $336,252 to East Fraser Fiber to distribute waste fibre to a local chipping plant and other secondary fibre users in the north-central Interior (about 15,913 cubic metres in the Omineca region)
  • $300,000 to Duz Cho Logging Limited Partnership to increase fibre use by manufacturing wood pellets (about 15,625 cubic metres in the northeast region)
  • $61,750 to Husby Forest Products to recover otherwise uneconomic fibre from timber harvesting operations and support coastal pulp mills (about 4,060 cubic metres in the West Coast region)
  • $326,533 to Valley Carriers Ltd. to increase use of wood waste, which will be ground up for use in energy production (about 30,432 cubic metres in the Okanagan Shuswap District)
  • $83,100 to ?Elhdaqox Developments Ltd. to use waste fibre from a tree stand rehabilitation project for energy or wood pellet production (about 10,000 cubic metres in the Cariboo Chilcotin District)
  • $136,403 to Tk͛emlupsemc Forestry Development Corporation to convert woody biomass into a growth medium that expedites plant growth and soil stabilization (about 5,940 cubic metres in the Thompson-Okanagan Region)

See the FESBC Projects page for a map of all projects: https://www.fesbc.ca/projects/

Cariboo Wildfire Risk Reduction Project Nears Completion

Big Bar Lake, B.C. – Zanzibar Holdings Ltd. and the community of Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation (St-wet-lem hight-lem) (SXFN) have partnered to reduce wildfire risk to the rural communities of Big Bar Lake with funding support from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC).

FESBC provided close to $625,000 toward two projects in the Cariboo region, both of which are nearing completion and are focused on reducing wildfire risk in forested areas near Big Bar Lake, which is located approximately 40 kilometres west of Clinton, B.C. The areas were identified as priorities for wildfire risk mitigation by the 100 Mile House Resource District.

The joint project with SXFN (formerly Dog Creek Indian Band & Canoe Creek Indian Band) has provided employment for local crews for the last two years. Crews have been creating a series of landscape-level fuel breaks to help reduce the intensity and rate of spread of any approaching wildfire and provide a safer point of attack for firefighters if a wildfire occurs. The treatments include:

  • removing accumulations of forest fuels (e.g. wood waste, vegetation and other flammable material)
  • decreasing the number of trees
  • pruning other trees, from the ground up to shoulder height, to remove “ladder fuels” (e.g. low branches that could allow a fire to spread into treetops)
  • clearing away ground fuels by gathering them into piles and burning them

“There is tremendous potential for a significant wildfire to come through the area close to the community of Big Bar Lake,” said Bill Layton, RPF, senior forester with Zanzibar Holdings Ltd. “Depending on a fire’s behaviour and the site conditions, the fuel breaks that we’re working on would do a lot to stop a fire’s progress from the northwest and southeast.”

The width of the fuel breaks ranges from 100 to 300 metres in strategic areas around Big Bar Lake, and they total more than three kilometres in length.

“Wildfire risk mitigation treatments are quite intensive and can be very costly. FESBC funding is critical to being able to complete this work.”

BILL LAYTON, RPF, SENIOR FORESTER, ZANZIBAR HOLDINGS LTD.

The Big Bar Lake area is a relatively dry and cool ecosystem with stands ranging from even-aged juvenile pine to multi-layered Douglas-fir dominated forest with dense understory. Future treatments such as low-intensity prescribed burns or cutting of new growth will be required in the area to ensure the objectives of the fuel break are maintained.

“These projects are a great example of proponents working with their partners and staff from the 100 Mile House Natural Resource District to help protect a rural community from the threat of a wildfire, to support the District in achieving its wildfire risk mitigation priorities, and to provide employment opportunities to local forestry workers,” said Ray Raatz, RPF, Operations Manager, FESBC. “This project is a triple win for British Columbians as it has helped create positive social impacts, employment, and greater resiliency in one of our most significant natural resources: our forests.”

To Arrange an Interview with FESBC or Zanzibar Holdings Ltd.:

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

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.