Faces of Forestry: Dave Gill

Faces of Forestry is an initiative of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to highlight people doing great work to enhance our forests throughout British Columbia. This month, we feature Dave Gill, general manager of Ntityix Resources LP.

Dave’s interest and passion for forestry began when he was hired as a summer student by the Pacific Forestry Research Center in Victoria, where he worked on a Spruce Bark Beetle Research project near Hixon, BC.

“I was in the woods just about every day that summer. I loved learning about the forests I was working in, the industry, and the profession itself,” he explained.

This month, we feature Dave Gill, general manager of Ntityix Resources LP.

That same summer, Dave enrolled in the University of British Columbia’s Forestry program, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry a few years later.

Currently, Dave works as the general manager of Ntityix Resources LP, a company owned by Westbank First Nation (WFN).

“Ntityix Resources has been given the privilege and the responsibility of managing the forest tenures held by WFN with the best interests of the WFN and West Kelowna/Peachland communities in mind,” he said.  

Additionally, within this role, he guides a dedicated and diverse team focused on gaining a deeper understanding of the lands they manage, with an emphasis on maintaining and enhancing the values provided by these forests.

Dave and his team have been actively collaborating with FESBC since its inception, undertaking vital wildfire mitigation projects within the Community Forest around the City of West Kelowna and the District of Peachland.

“Our partnership with FESBC has been crucial in treating hundreds of hectares around communities and building our in-house capacity to complete this work,” he explained. “Some of this work has been tested by recent wildfires and proven effective. Now we have a full-time forestry crew who completes this work in addition to pre-commercial thinning, pruning, and wildfire suppression.”

Over the past two decades, the importance of the work carried out to protect these communities and the broader landscape from the devastating wildfires has become evident.

“It’s been said so many times that we can’t control the weather, we can’t control the terrain, but we can control the forest fuels. Not only do we have to address the high priority areas near communities, we also need to take a more proactive role in managing fuels at the landscape level,” Dave added.

Throughout his career, Dave has found a deep appreciation for the multifaceted aspects of his work. He finds joy in being outdoors, acknowledging the unique connection with nature that comes with walking through a forest. Additionally, he values the people he gets to work with every day, his community, and the passion they all share for the land, which has provided him with continuous learning opportunities.

As Dave explained, the dynamic and progressive nature of forestry represents an exciting moment in the industry, regardless of the role one plays in it.

“Forestry continues to be a profession in transition. We are adopting a longer-term approach, with an Indigenous lens, to making decisions on the land. We are removing the silos and beginning to understand the inter-connectedness of all values on the land and the long-term consequences of our decisions.”

Thank you, Dave, for your commitment to wildfire mitigation and the crucial role you play in protecting our environment and communities.

Osoyoos Indian Band and Mercer Celgar Work Together to Enhance the Use of “Waste Wood”

Oliver, B.C. – Aligning with the provincial government’s goal to decrease the burning of slash piles and increase the utilization of wood fibre that has traditionally been wasted, the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) and Mercer Celgar (Celgar) are collaborating to rethink conventional practices. With funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), the collaboration is helping recover as much uneconomical residual fibre as possible from the OIB’s traditional territory.

This collaborative project is a strategic effort to capture all low value fibre that typically wouldn’t make its way to sawmills and was not economically feasible for non-sawlog products. For example, some of the fibre captured through this project will produce wood chips, and the material not suitable as chips will be used in a product called hog fuel, which will be used to generate electricity. Some of the residual fibre will be chipped in Midway and then sent to the Mercer pulp mill in Castlegar. 

“Initiatives like this help ensure the long-term health of B.C.’s forestry sector, and the families and communities it supports,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “By making paper and wood chips from trees that previously would have gone to waste or acted as wildfire fuel, the Osoyoos Indian Band and Mercer Celgar are helping get more value out of every tree harvested while also making our forests more resilient to the impacts of climate change.”

The project’s primary goal is to promote diversification and innovation within the supply chain to utilize uneconomical fibre that would typically go unused. By doing so, the collaboration seeks to reduce emissions from slash pile burning, normalize the higher levels of residual fibre utilization, and strengthen reconciliation efforts through collaboration.

Mills have long been adept at utilizing various types of residual fibres to create different products, but this project takes things a step further. To maximize fibre utilization, funding from FESBC is incentivizing tenure holders, excluding BC Timber Sales, and contractors to now consider forest stands that were historically deemed economically unviable to harvest. Celgar and the OIB are looking to examine the difference in cost between harvesting and selling pulp logs – a lower-value log that generally can only be used to create pulp for various products, including paper, tissue, and food packaging and to determine how operations can be modified to bridge the divide. By working together, they’re developing a cost model to help address the recovery of uneconomic fibre, ensuring this wood can be delivered to non-sawlog facilities, in essence, making sure it doesn’t go to waste.

According to Chris Longmore, Manager, Fibre Procurement, with Celgar, FESBC funding has gone towards utilization and rehabilitation from at least seven wildfire-impacted areas spread across the Arrow, Boundary, Okanagan, Kootenay, Revelstoke, and Golden timber supply areas, including the Octopus Creek wildfire which burned more than 22,000 hectares of forest and the Michaud Creek fire, which burned over 14,000 hectares of forest. To date, over 26,000 cubic metres of burnt logging residue has been recovered, loaded on a logging truck, and shipped to the Mercer Celgar facility in Castlegar rather than into a waste pile. That volume will continue to grow in 2024 as efforts continue to focus on utilizing fibre from burnt stands fibre.

“The financial support from FESBC has played a crucial role in bringing together project partners, particularly First Nations, to embark on this transformative journey. This funding highlights the importance of collective efforts in redefining forest management practices and sets the stage for a more sustainable future,” said Longmore.

The collaboration between Celgar and OIB with FESBC funding is helping to raise the bar for higher levels of fibre utilization, mitigating the impacts of climate change by reducing emissions from slash burning      and working in collaboration with First Nations.

According to FESBC Operations Manager Brian Watson, “This program not only provides opportunities for the logging community that is supplying the logs to the Celgar pulp mill, logs that would be burned, but the program is meaningfully reducing carbon emissions associated with the changed behaviour. By creating a wood product, approximately 64,000 tonnes of carbon entering the atmosphere will be avoided. This is the same emissions that 13,800 mid-sized vehicles would produce in 1 year.”

Revelstoke has seen a direct benefit, with $230,000 coming into the community as payment for the use of the Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation log yard for this project. Many other communities in the southern interior are also indirectly receiving an infusion into their economy from this project through the logging community and the businesses that service them.

Currently, the project is 65 per cent complete, and even upon completion, according to Longmore, Celgar will continue to maximize the recovery and utilization of uneconomical fibre while reducing carbon emissions via collaboration with land tenure holders and their logging workforce in the southern interior. This change in culture to continue to pursue full forest utilization sets the stage for a lasting positive impact for both the forest industry and the environment.

Dan Macmaster, Forest Manager at the OIB, highlighted the significance of sustainable resource use for the OIB, stating, “Fibre utilization through proper forest management results in less burning of debris piles, cleaner air and waterways, and financial benefits from processing pulp volume that would normally be left behind. FESBC has provided the funding to help local contractors haul this volume over long distances to the Celgar mill, creating jobs, incentivizing fuel mitigation projects, and adding value to pulp fibre that would otherwise be burned.”

As the project aims to haul approximately 128,000 m3 by March 31, 2024, efforts will continue well into the future to maximize the recovery and utilization of uneconomical fibre.

“Managing the larger landscape for wildfire risk reduction, climate change adaptations, and mitigating insect infestations is critical to the OIB,” shared Macmaster. “This FESBC project has provided the means to meet numerous management objectives on our traditional lands.”

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Job Opportunity: Operations Manager

JOB OPPORTUNITY: OPERATIONS MANAGER

The Context
The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is a semi-autonomous agency of the BC government. The purposes of the Society are:

(a) to advance environmental and resource stewardship of British Columbia’s forests by:
(i) preventing and mitigating the impact of wildfires;
(ii) improving damaged or low value forests;
(iii) improving habitat for wildlife;
(iv) supporting the use of fibre from damaged and low value forests; and
(v) treating forests to improve the management of greenhouse gases; and

(b) to advocate for the environmental and resource stewardship of British Columbia’s forests.

FESBC is seeking an Operations Manager who will assist the Society deliver cost-effective and impactful programs to improve BC communities’ resilience to wildfire, forest conditions, wildlife habitat, fibre utilization, and management of forest carbon.

The Responsibilities
Reporting to the Executive Director (ED) or designate, the Operations Manager is responsible for:
• Program Operations and Delivery.
• Government and Stakeholder Relations.
• Annual Operating Plans.
• Contract and Financial Management; and
• Assisting with Media Communications.

Annual Salary
• $86,200.00 to $122,100.00

The Qualifications and Experience Required
The ideal candidate for this position will likely have experience inside and outside government and a proven track record of delivering cost-effective and efficient operational programs in a natural resource setting.
The successful candidate must have:

  • a degree or diploma in natural resource management or related studies, registered member the Forest Professionals British Columbia (FPBC) and a minimum of seven years of experience in resource management or an equivalent combination,
  • experience developing annual operating plans, operational procedures and practices,
  • experience in a program management capacity,
  • experience leading and coaching diverse teams,
  • experience in contract and financial management,
  • demonstrated experience in stakeholder engagement and relationship building across many sectors, including provincial government agencies, local governments, First Nations, industry and non-governmental organizations, and
  • at minimum a valid Class 5 BC Drivers Licence.

Preference may be given to candidates with:
• expert knowledge in one or more areas of wildfire planning, silviculture, terrestrial wildlife habitat, forest fibre utilization, forest carbon, and/or
• experience in communications and media relations.

The Terms of Employment
Compensation for this position will be competitive with BC public sector salary levels. For interested BC provincial government employees, a secondment opportunity may be considered.

Regular travel within BC to meet with government agencies and stakeholders will be expected.

Successful candidate may work from home anywhere in British Columbia, but the successful candidate will be required to work as needed at FESBC office in Kamloops. Preference may be given to candidates within three hours driving time of Kamloops, BC.

The Application Process
Email a detailed resume to the FESBC Office at: office@fesbc.ca accompanied by a cover letter explaining your interest in the position and highlighting your suitability.

Applications are welcome until the position is filled; however, initial review of applications will be completed by March 8, 2024. Interviews are planned during the last two weeks of March 2024. Only those applicants invited for interviews will receive notification from the hiring panel.

QUESTIONS?

For questions about the position, please call Gord Pratt at 778-765-0983 or contact via email at gpratt@fesbc.ca.

Skeetchestn Indian Band partners with industry to make better use of slash, as featured in CFJC TV Kamloops

The Skeetchestn Indian Band (SIB), through Skeetchestn Natural Resources Corporation (SNRC), is taking the lead to deliver on sustainable forestry practices with a practical approach to the enhanced utilization of low-value wood waste. In a collaborative effort with funding support from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) and operations expertise by Arrow Transportation Systems Inc., SNRC is showing the forestry sector the value of using every part of the tree in its operations.

The story of how the Band is partnering with various industry partners has been covered by CFJC TV Kamloops.

Read the story and watch the video here: https://cfjctoday.com/2024/01/31/skeetchestn-indian-band-partners-with-industry-to-make-better-use-of-slash/

A Local Interior First Nation Takes the Lead to Add Value to Low-Value Wood Fibre

Skeetchestn Indian Band and Industry Partners Working Together

Kamloops, B.C. – Within the vast landscape of British Columbia, an Interior First Nation is taking the lead to demonstrate the importance of forest rehabilitation and utilization aligned with First Nation values at the forefront. The Skeetchestn Indian Band (SIB), through Skeetchestn Natural Resources Corporation (SNRC), is taking the lead to deliver on sustainable forestry practices with a practical approach to the enhanced utilization of low-value wood waste. In a collaborative effort with funding support from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) and operations expertise by Arrow Transportation Systems Inc. (Arrow), SNRC is showing the forestry sector the value of using every part of the tree in its operations.

Utilizing waste wood instead of pile burning it, thus reducing carbon emissions. Photo credit: Arrow.

Kúkpi7 Darrell Draney of the Skeetchestn Indian Band noted how the project aligns with the values of Indigenous Peoples. “For thousands of years, First Nations sought to discover ways to live with the land as equals. Skeetchestn sees this project as a successful way to uphold this long-held practice. We’ve always known and acknowledged that our relationship with the land is reciprocal. This land does not belong to us – we belong to the land.”

The SNRC-led project showcases a practical solution for the economic utilization of slash piles typically left after harvesting and burned. As a part of this project, Arrow successfully ground over 25,000 cubic metres of fire-affected wood, which is equivalent to over 450 truckloads of wood fibre, working closely with First Nation members, local woodlot owners, and ranchers to ensure project success.

“I applaud the Skeetchestn Indian Band, Skeetchestn Natural Resources Corporation, and the Forest Enhancement Society of BC for their leadership in reducing forest waste in B.C.’s forests,” said Bruce Ralston, Minster of Forests. “Projects like this help conserve vital ecosystems, increase wildfire resilience, lower greenhouse gas emissions, while supporting the people and businesses that make up this vital and thriving community.”

According to Greg Kilba, Division Manager with Arrow, the collaboration with the SNRC, Kruger, woodlot owners, local ranchers, government entities, industry partners, and FESBC has proven necessary to ensure projects of this nature are economically viable. The collective effort has not only generated well-paying employment opportunities for local people but has also established a more sustainable source of green energy by repurposing the slash piles.

“The convergence of these diverse collaborators with a shared objective to optimize the utilization of waste wood has fundamentally changed how forest managers look at slash piles, emphasizing a more resourceful approach,” noted Kilba, adding that Arrow’s values are closely aligned with those of SIB to foster a relationship built on shared principles of environmental stewardship, sustainable resource management, and community well-being.

Kilba also noted that both Arrow and the SNRC prioritize responsible forest practices, recognizing the importance of preserving ecosystems and respecting Indigenous values.

“The alignment of these values establishes a strong foundation for collaboration, ensuring Arrow’s operations are conducted in harmony with the Skeetchestn Indian Band’s cultural and environmental priorities. The funding provided by FESBC plays a crucial role in helping facilitate this alignment. By supporting projects that prioritize sustainable forestry, wildlife habitat restoration, and reduce wildfire risk, FESBC funding has enabled both Arrow and the Skeetchestn Indian Band to work together effectively, promoting shared values and contributing to the overall ecological health of the region.”   

Bringing the project together was not without its challenges, noted Mike Anderson, advisor and negotiator for SNRC. The SIB has advocated for years, insisting that the wood ‘waste’ be fully utilized. Their persistence was rewarded when the Provincial government agreed to help support the needs of the pulpwood industry, ensuring they were in alignment with the government’s legislation and policy around waste removal.

Gord Pratt, FESBC’s senior manager, said, “This project is proudly supported by FESBC. With Skeetchestn Natural Resources Corporation working collaboratively with Arrow and Kruger, we are seeing multiple benefits, including increased fibre utilization and improved wildlife habitat, resulting in healthier forest stands for everyone who values our forests across B.C.”

The SIB sees the project and its success as important for a couple of reasons. First, they don’t want to see wood fibre within their territory wasted or contributing to air pollution by being burned. Second, they are of the belief that if a tree is harvested, it should be fully utilized either on-site as a sawlog and wood chips or remain in the forest to contribute to wildlife habitat and soil-building processes. Skeetchestn band members recognize trees as their relatives, and as such, it is disrespectful to not utilize the full tree.

“There is still work to be done to help us more quickly and efficiently facilitate the utilization of wood fibre in our Territory,” said Anderson. “This project is a good start.”

The project area is located near Leighton Lake and Tunkwa Lake, where the low-value wood fibre was hauled to the Kruger pulp mill in Kamloops. For Kruger, this project is important as they are interested in continuing to work with First Nations through partnerships and believe that by working together, they can be part of the solution to reduce the wildfire hazard and produce value-added products such as the fibre from this project is utilized in their boiler system to create green energy.

“This whole operation was thought to be economically infeasible until FESBC got involved. However, once FESBC came to the table with their resources, we were able to make the project move ahead, and we ended up utilizing a lot of otherwise waste material,” said Anderson. “We are pleased to see something that was originally thought to be infeasible work out quite well for everyone involved, and we have respectfully utilized the bulk of all the trees that were sacrificed.”

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Forest Enhancement Society of BC January 2024 Accomplishments Update

Forestry Takes Action on Climate Change and Improves Community Wildfire Safety

Kamloops, B.C. – the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) Accomplishments Update provides an insightful overview of the forest enhancement work accomplished in the past year. At the Truck Logger’s Association convention in January of 2023, Premier David Eby announced that FESBC would be entrusted with administering $50 million for forest enhancement projects, focusing on waste wood utilization and wildfire risk reduction.

In response to the Premier’s announcement, FESBC quickly rolled out a funding intake for First Nations, community forests, companies, and communities throughout the province. Project approvals commenced soon after that. Now, just one year after the initial announcement, FESBC is excited to report the cumulative approvals of 66 projects valued at $47.9 million, with work on those projects actively underway. FESBC is particularly proud that 39 of these projects are led by or involve First Nations, reflecting the collaboration and the importance of First Nations involvement at the core of FESBC’s initiatives.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) supports First Nations, community forests, rural communities, and many others who take on projects to help strengthen forest health and ecosystems while creating good jobs in communities across the province,” said Minister of Forests, Bruce Ralston. “As we look ahead to a new year, it’s vital we build on the lessons learned in 2023, specifically following the worst wildfire season in our province’s history. With the help of the 66 projects funded in 2023, B.C. is taking necessary steps in battling climate change and becoming more resilient in the face of worsening wildfire seasons. Thank you to the entire team at FESBC for a job well done.”

Featured in the Accomplishments Update are three projects showing the positive impacts of FESBC-funded initiatives focused on waste wood utilization and wildfire risk reduction. These projects also created broader benefits such as improved wildlife habitat, additional recreational opportunities on the landbase, job creation in the forestry sector, and improvement to the overall health of B.C.’s forests.

“Healthy forests are essential to thriving and diverse ecosystems that support healthy people, secure communities along with a sustainable B.C. economy,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “They also have a key role in address climate change impacts, given their ability to absorb and store large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. We are proud to work with FESBC, First Nations, and local communities to strengthen forest stewardship so forests, watersheds and our communities are more resilient to the changing climate.”

One such project is happening in the 70 Mile House area in the Cariboo Region of the province, led by the Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. (CCR), a joint venture of the Tŝideldel (read: Sigh Dell Dell) First Nation and the Tl’etinqox (read: Te Tin Co) Government.

“Over the last four years, close to one million cubic metres [17,000 logging trucks] of fibre has been recovered in our region,” shared Percy Guichon, Executive Director of CCR. “Much of the recovery work was supported with funding from FESBC’s fibre utilization program.”

FESBC’s Executive Director, Steve Kozuki, said, “We are very proud of the project partners in local areas all around British Columbia who have stepped forward with creative and thoughtful projects which not only utilize more waste wood or reduce wildfire risk but also drive additional benefits. FESBC projects show that there doesn’t need to be a trade-off between the environment or the economy – it can, and should be, a win for both.”

For further details on forest enhancement projects, visit www.fesbc.ca.

Click here to read the Accomplishments Update: https://www.fesbc.ca/wp-content/themes/ZenGarden/assets/pdf/accomplishments-january-2024.pdf

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Truck Loggers Association Magazine Feature Story: Wildfire Strategies Waiting for the Phoenix to Rise

By Jean Sorensen

BC’s forest industry is waiting for the Phoenix, a new phase of forestry, to rise out of the ashes after devastating years of wildfires with 2023 seeing BC lose both older-aged stands and allowable annual cut. Once trusted forest management practices have come back to literally set the provincial forests on fire triggered by climate change. The question now facing BC is whether existing strategies (that have not always been embraced) plus new strategies will be implemented fast enough to stem BC’s large and intense wildfires.

Read the full story here

Faces of Forestry: Dave Peterson, Board Chair

Faces of Forestry is an initiative of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to highlight people doing great work to enhance our forests throughout British Columbia. In this month’s Faces of Forestry, we are featuring a Face of FESBC to highlight one of the exceptional individuals on our Board of Directors who helps guide our organization toward impactful change.

This month, we feature Dave Peterson, FESBC’s Board Chair and a veteran with over 50 years of experience in the forestry sector. Growing up in a small logging community on Vancouver Island, he quickly developed a strong connection to forestry that has since shaped his life’s work.

With a robust career serving as President of the Cariboo Lumber Manufacturers Association and holding senior positions such as the Chief Forester for BC, Dave’s strong presence and strategic orientation have allowed him to become a leader in the forestry industry.

Dave was an Assistant Deputy Minister within the Ministry of Forests when the idea of FESBC was first raised within the government. His commitment and leadership were instrumental in the development of the concept, leading to the formation and funding of FESBC in 2016. Since then, Dave has remained an integral part of the Board of Directors, helping steer the organization toward its mission to create healthier and more productive forests for the future.

In his role as Board Chair, Dave’s primary responsibility is to ensure the effective operation of the Board of Directors as a cohesive unit. His dedication to his fellow Board members reflects a profound sense of loyalty and commitment to FESBC and the entire team.

“I have been with FESBC since its inception and I am extremely proud of the work we have performed since then,” he said. “I am really excited about the innovations FESBC is supporting where our proponents are delivering projects focused on wildfire risk reduction while also addressing complimentary objectives such as wildlife habitat enhancement and utilization of wood fibre that would normally go to waste.”

Dave also emphasized the global significance of forests in British Columbia, both in the quality of sustainable wood products that can come from them and in the multiple values they support, including wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration, and Indigenous values.

“We have a global responsibility to work together to ensure our forests can deliver all of those values for future generations,” he added.

Looking ahead, Dave envisions forests in the province gaining an even greater importance, and underscores the need for continued innovation in forest management and enhancement. As he explained, FESBC remains dedicated to supporting such advancements to ensure the long-term health and vitality of forests.

Beyond his involvement with FESBC, Dave is especially passionate about his role on the Board of Directors of the Caravan Farm Theatre Society, a unique outdoor-based theatre production with over 40 years of operating in the North Okanagan.

Without a doubt, Dave’s journey is one of leadership, commitment, and a deep passion for the forest sector. His involvement with FESBC for so many years has been pivotal in shaping it into an organization that is now at the forefront of environmental stewardship.

Thank you, Dave, for your invaluable contributions to FESBC and your continuous efforts to safeguard British Columbia’s environment, wildlife, forest health, and communities for years to come.

FESBC Board Chair Dave Peterson to Address Urgent Wildfire Concerns at the Truck Loggers Association Convention and the Role of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC

In a bid to highlight and address the challenges posed by escalating wildfire frequency in British Columbia, Dave Peterson, Board Chair of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), will be part of a distinguished panel at the Truck Loggers Association (TLA) Convention held in Vancouver from January 17 to 19. The panel will explore the crucial question: “With B.C.’s escalating wildfire frequency in recent years, is it imperative to ask if we can be doing better at risk mitigating and identify the requirements to make that happen?”

Graphic Credit: Truck Loggers Association LinkedIn

Expressing his anticipation for the event, Peterson emphasized the urgency of reassessing and enhancing current wildfire management strategies.

“I am very thankful that the Truck Loggers Association chose to include this panel and topic in the agenda for their annual convention; the urgency of improving our wildfire risk reduction strategies can not be overstated, and this platform provides an excellent opportunity to deliver that message to a wide audience. I am also very thankful that the TLA chose to include me, representing the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, in this panel,” said Peterson.

With a robust career that has included serving as the Chief Forester for the Province of BC and as the President of the Cariboo Lumber Manufacturer’s Association, as well as holding several other senior positions in the forest industry, Peterson brings a wealth of practical experience and industry knowledge to the discussion. Given Peterson’s extensive and distinguished background in forestry, his perspectives during the TLA panel discussion will offer a comprehensive understanding of the issues at hand through the lens of a forestry professional steeped in forestry.

During the panel discussion, Peterson will provide a comprehensive overview of the FESBC’s pivotal role in addressing the escalating wildfire crisis. Known for its commitment to projects focused on wildfire risk reduction and fibre utilization by incorporating sustainable practices, FESBC has been at the forefront of funding projects throughout the province that manage the changing dynamics of wildfires. Peterson will share more about FESBC’s funded projects, exploring an overall potential for improvement and adaptation in the face of evolving challenges posed by climate change.

“I am very proud of the key, unique role that FESBC plays in wildfire risk reduction and believe it is important to communicate that role more broadly. My focus will be on describing the unique role of FESBC in risk reduction and its critical importance in helping B.C. pave the way for a more resilient and sustainable future in the midst of changing climate dynamics and human interaction with our forests,” Peterson added.

Peterson will also be highlighting FESBC’s ongoing efforts to navigate the intricate relationship between climate change, fire intensity, and the evolving human connection with forests. The society is strategically positioned to continue to play a crucial role in raising awareness while funding projects that work to address some of the causes of escalating wildfire incidents in the province.

Visit the FESBC website to get more insights into the work being done by FESBC and its project partners: www.fesbc.ca

Responding to the Climate Crisis in BC’s Forests in BC Forest Professional Magazine

In the winter issue of the BC Forest Professionals magazine, Colin Mahony, PhD, RPF, a BC Ministry of Forests Research Climatologist and Team Lead of the Future Forest Ecosystems Centre (FFEC*), has shared an opinion piece as part of a series on climate change and forestry. The first article in this series by FESBC Operations Manager, Brian Watson, was published in the Fall edition, titled “A practical case for utilizing low value fibre derived from logging”.

In the Winter Issue, Mahoney writes on how he sees a clear message for forest professionals: there is some level of climate heating where the impacts become overwhelming and adaptation measures fall apart, and we work on adaptation, we must also advocate for the conditions under which adaptation is possible — a stable climate.

He writes, “BC’s forest professionals are emerging as leaders in climate change adaptation. We also need to be leaders in securing the conditions
under which adaptation is possible.”

*The FFEC is a new scientific team in the Office of the Chief Forester that is focused on forecasting climate change impacts on BC’s forest ecosystems and their multiple values.

A First Nations-Owned Company’s Focus on Forest Rehabilitation through Wildfire Risk Reduction and Fibre Utilization

Williams Lake, B.C. – Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. (CCR), a First Nations-owned and operated company, has been making significant strides in the forest industry through their participation in wildfire risk reduction, stand rehabilitation and fibre utilization projects. CCR is a joint venture between the Tŝideldel First Nation and Tl’etinqox Government, both Tsilhqot’in Nation communities, dedicated to safeguarding the land through traditional Indigenous practices. Over the past few years, CCR has received vital support from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), including recently announced funding for three fibre utilization and wildfire risk reduction projects.

These newly funded projects come as a result of the $50 million given to FESBC earlier this year by the Ministry of Forests aimed at increasing the use of low-value or residual fibre including trees damaged by recent wildfires and waste left on site after logging that would otherwise be burned.

“These projects will help keep communities safer from wildfire, create new jobs and provide much needed fibre for mills and bio-energy plants,” said Minister of Forests Bruce Ralston. “Better fibre utilization, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the spread of wildfires makes a real impact on improving the lives of First Nations, rural communities and forestry workers throughout B.C. Thank you to FESBC for leading the way on these vital programs.”

One of the projects CCR received funding for allows for the full utilization of trees and harvesting debris including tree tops originating from stands of dead trees killed by the mountain pine beetle years ago. This low value fibre will be hauled to facilities to turn into different products like electricity, pulp, and pellets instead of piling wood debris in slash piles and burning. The recovered fibre will help support the Cariboo pulp mill in Quesnel and the Drax pellet plant and Atlantic Power facility in Williams Lake.

Frankie Nelson, Business Manager of Atlantic Power, noted, “Historically, the Atlantic Power plant has almost exclusively consumed wood residues from local sawmills. The impact of the mountain pine beetle infestation, the area wildfires over the past few years, the reduction in the timber harvest, and the increased competition for fibre have reduced the availability of mill residues. Without a stable fuel supply, Williams Lake is at risk of losing its largest taxpayer, along with quality jobs and a local outlet for wood waste from area mills that aids in their competitiveness. CCR has been instrumental in sourcing and delivering an otherwise uneconomic fuel — roadside logging debris in part with FESBC. We have been able to not only create new jobs and procure a much-needed new fuel supply, but we are now utilizing a product that would otherwise be open-burned, and instead, we are turning wood waste into green energy.”

Through this utilization, CCR is making a meaningful contribution to the forest industries Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction efforts. Using 50 m3 of wood at the energy plant that would normally be slated for burning is equivalent to removing 1.8 medium sized vehicles off the road for one year.

“Over the last four years, close to one million cubic metres of fibre has been recovered in our region, and much of the recovery work was supported with funding from FESBC’s fibre utilization program. If not recovered, this fibre – which is equivalent to over 10,000 logging trucks of fibre – would either have been left behind and increased fuel for wildfires or burned in slash piles. Recovering the fibre results in both reduced wildfire risk and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Percy Guichon, executive director of CCR and councillor with Tŝideldel First Nation.

In another FESBC-funded project, the CCR team will work to rehabilitate the forests devastated by the Elephant Hill fire in 2017. By removing fire-damaged timber and fibre and transporting it to local facilities such as the Drax pellet plant and Atlantic Power Corporation in Williams Lake, and the Kruger pulp mill in Kamloops, CCR will be providing a safe working environment for planters who will reforest the area. According to Philippe Theriault, general manager of Tŝideldel Enterprises, “FESBC’s support has enabled us to maximize fibre utilization through innovative projects, not only reducing CO2e emissions from traditional slash-pile burning but also sustaining jobs in the pulp, pellet, and energy industries. This partnership exemplifies that positive outcomes are possible when organizations collaborate for the greater good of our forests and the rural communities they sustain.”

Apart from the work on fibre utilization, CCR has continued to improve wildfire resilience and reduce wildfire risk to the surrounding rural communities. An example is an upcoming project where CCR will work on a landscape-level fuel break adjacent to the Tl’etinqox reserve, Alexis Creek, and a significant portion of Highway 20, with FESBC funding. FESBC Senior Manager, Gord Pratt said, “FESBC is proud to work with CCR, who is a leader in taking the initiative to reduce the wildfire risk to many communities and increasing the utilization of fibre that for many years went to waste in smoke.”

CCR has completed over 40 kilometres of fuel breaks, where trees in planned landscape fuel breaks were carefully thinned or removed to reduce the fuels that would be contributing to potential fast-spreading wildfires, protecting First Nation communities and neighbouring communities of the Chilcotin. These fuel breaks involve a wide range of undertakings, surrounding hand treatments, fuel removal, spacing, and advanced silviculture, synchronized in a manner to reduce the wildfire risk while creating a resilient forest stand for the future. The complexity and challenge of these projects create wide employment opportunities, which helps support families that live on their traditional land base, something Tŝideldel and Tl’etinqox both completely support.

“As a professional forester deeply committed to First Nation-led Forest management, I am grateful to the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia and the Province of British Columbia. Their unwavering financial support for the past five years has been instrumental in the success of CCR. Together, we’ve achieved significant milestones in site rehabilitation, fire hazard reduction, and the construction of vital fire breaks around the Tŝideldel First Nation and Tl’etinqox Government communities,” said Theriault.

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Fibre recovery and bioenergy projects make communities safer, writes the Wood Pellet Association of Canada in Canadian Biomass Magazine

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is funding 61 projects in communities throughout the province in 2023 that include 19 projects, announced November 30, which are supported by funding from the Province of British Columbia. These projects will reduce wildfire risk, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and provide recovered fibre to mills and bioenergy facilities.

“Improving utilization of wood fibre is a win for people and our forests,” emphasizes Gordon Murray, Executive Director, Wood Pellet Association of Canada. “These projects support the conversion of what was once considered waste into wood pellets, creating jobs, heating and powering Canadian homes and businesses, reducing wildfire risk, and contributing to global climate goals by displacing fossil fuels and advancing new technologies like bioenergy with carbon capture and storage.”

Wood pellets play a key role in helping communities create robust, sustainable economies while addressing the challenges of balancing economic development with conservation and community values, with safety at the forefront.

FESBC supported projects are often aimed at helping communities remove excess fibre from forests for two reasons. It reduces fuel for potential wildfires and helps provide the raw materials needed to make bio-products and bioenergy. Given that most of the recovered fibre would otherwise be burned in slash piles (waste from forestry activity), FESBC projects are also helping BC reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

By maximizing the value of every tree harvested, Canadian wood pellet manufacturers are supporting the sustainable use of our forest resources as well as maximizing jobs and opportunities in communities across the country.

At the announcement in Victoria, Minister of Forests, Bruce Ralston, added, “Through a $50 million grant this year from the province, FESBC and their project partners are making significant progress to enhance forest resiliency to wildfire and climate change for the lasting benefit of British Columbians.”

Faces of Forestry: Greg Kilba

Faces of Forestry is an initiative of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to highlight people doing great work to enhance our forests throughout British Columbia. This month, we feature Greg Kilba, Division Manager, Portable Wood Processing and Log Buyer at Arrow Transportation Systems Ltd.

Guided by conversations with his grandad during his youth, Greg found his passion for forestry rooted in the numerous opportunities the field offered.

“There were a lot of pros, such as being able to work outside, learning about the diversity of our forests, understanding how our ecosystems work,” said Greg. “That seed that was planted in my brain at a young age grew and branched out. Over my career, I have luckily been able to learn many of the different aspects of Forestry.”

His early exposure to chainsaw operation and equipment handling in high school further helped set the foundation for essential skills and a profound appreciation for the dynamics of the forestry industry.

After graduating, Greg immersed himself in the industry, saving money by working on a logging show. His passion for forestry eventually led him to enroll in the Natural Resource Science Program in Kamloops, allowing him to continue his job as a young manager in silviculture while simultaneously studying.

At the age of 25, Greg’s curiosity and innovative nature led him to work as a forestry consultant for Weyerhaeuser and the Ministry of Forests, where one of his contracts was burning slash piles.

“I often thought that there had to be a way to harness the energy that was released when lighting a waste pile. It was therefore, a natural fit for me when I heard that they were grinding piles to generate hog fuel that could produce electricity,” he explained.

Currently, Greg manages Arrow’s grinding program in Kamloops and Fort St. James and purchases biomass logs for the grinder and chip plants. Within this role, he actively meets with many forest licensees to collectively work on agreements to utilize fibre that historically was burnt, striving to find the most economical ways of getting the low-value fibre to end users such as Kruger, BioNorth and Drax.

Over the years, he has developed numerous proposals with FESBC, collaborating on projects that have created new well-paying jobs to support the local economy, promoted renewable energy, and minimized environmental impacts.

“FESBC is like no other forestry program that I have been involved in as the funding is incrementally based and a very high percentage of the biomass fibre is paid for by industry. This assistance has allowed us to utilize fibre that was just outside of industries’ economic reach,” noted Greg.

Throughout his career, Greg has appreciated the opportunity to work with like-minded individuals who strive to turn challenges into opportunities.

“I have enjoyed working with people that share similar interests and understanding about how diverse forests are and the importance of caring for this renewable resource.”

In the face of media attention that often focuses on challenges in forestry, Greg underscores the industry’s dedication to sustainable practices. He emphasizes how, since the mountain pine beetle epidemic, the industry has found ways to utilize fibre that would have otherwise been burnt, contributing to the production of lumber, pulp and paper products, and biomass energy.

Thank you, Greg, for your dedication to environmental stewardship and innovative solutions for waste pile energy. Your tireless efforts are undoubtedly shaping a sustainable future of our forests.

FESBC promotes safe communities, creates jobs, supports forest industry

Forestry workers, First Nations and mills are getting to work on Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC)-supported projects that reduce wildfire risk, lower greenhouse gas emissions and provide recovered fibre to mills and bioenergy facilities.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC supports First Nations, community forests, rural communities and many others who take on projects to help strengthen forest health and ecosystems, while creating good jobs in communities across the province,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “Through a $50-million grant this year from the Province, FESBC and their project partners are making significant progress to enhance forest resiliency to wildfire and climate change for the lasting benefit of British Columbians.”

FESBC-supported projects are often aimed at helping communities remove excess fibre from forests for two reasons. It reduces fuel for potential wildfires and helps provide the raw materials needed to make bio-products and bioenergy. Given that most of the recovered fibre would otherwise be burned in slash piles (waste from forestry activity), FESBC projects are also helping B.C. reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Community wildfire protection is a significant mandate of FESBC. Many First Nations and communities are safer and more secure during fire season due to work completed under FESBC leadership.

FESBC is funding 61 projects in 2023, including 19 projects announced on Nov. 30, 2023. The newly announced projects include:

  • almost $800,000 to assist in shipping northern fibre to BioNorth Energy facility in Fort St. James;
  • $1.25 million to Stuwix Resources joint venture (a partnership of eight First Nations in the southern Interior) to support the delivery of more than 1,500 logging-truck loads of low-value fibre to various facilities, including Nicola Clean Power in Merritt; and supporting a pilot project examining the operational and financial realities of a biohub to collect and process/merchandize low-value fibre in a central area; and
  • $1.8 million for a wildfire fuel break to be created by Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation northeast of the Anaham community.  

“FESBC is thrilled to assist the Government of British Columbia to support workers and communities,” said Steve Kozuki, executive director of FESBC. “This funding, in turn, is enabling local people to reflect their local forestry priorities in the projects they propose and often achieve multiple benefits for each project dollar. First Nations and local communities have the knowledge and creativity to leverage forestry projects to also improve wildlife habitat, reduce greenhouse gases, contribute to reconciliation, jobs for workers and much more.”

Founded in 2016, FESBC has been supporting forestry projects at the community level. Fully funded by the Province, B.C. announced $50 million in January 2023 to help FESBC evaluate and fund projects. Of the 61 projects receiving grants from FESBC in 2023, nine are wildfire risk-reduction projects and 52 are fibre-recovery projects. Some serve both needs.

Quotes:

Paul Donald, CEO, Simpcw Resources Group 

“FESBC funding plays a critical role in optimizing resource utilization. It helps us turn low-value fibre into a valuable asset. The resulting economic benefits contribute to the success of the Simpcw Resources Group, River City Fibre and the communities we proudly serve.”

Joe Nemeth, manager, BC Pulp and Paper Coalition 

“The funding from Forest Enhancement Society of BC is making a big and positive difference in our province. Without FESBC’s funding program, I believe we would have seen more pulp-mill downtime and probably one or two mills shut. The funding FESBC provides for projects that enhance the utilization of waste wood is a game changer that is helping to keep mills running and both First Nations and small contractors in business.”

Percy Guichon, executive director, Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. 

“Thanks to the Forest Enhancement Society of BC’s unwavering support and funding, we’ve successfully recovered nearly one million cubic metres of residual fibre in our region over the past four years. This achievement not only represents a remarkable environmental stewardship effort on both FESBC and Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation’s (CCR) part, but also translates into  tangible impact on our community’s safety. It’s a testament to the positive outcomes that collaboration and dedicated funding can achieve for our environment and well-being.”

Gordon Murray, executive director, Wood Pellet Association of Canada –

“Improving utilization of wood fibre is a win for people and our forests. These projects support the conversion of what was once considered waste into wood pellets, creating jobs, heating and powering Canadian homes and businesses, reducing wildfire risk, and contributing to global climate goals by displacing fossil fuels and advancing new technologies like bioenergy with carbon capture and storage.”

Jennifer Gunter, executive director, BC Community Forest Association 

“The BC Community Forest Association and our members would like to express their appreciation to the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) and Ministry of Forests for the funding that has been allocated to projects throughout the province to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires and to better utilize low-value wood fibre. Community forestry is about local management driven by community values. FESBC puts funding directly into the hands of community forests so they can do the work to enhance their local forests and better protect their communities from wildfire.”

Quick Facts:

  • FESBC was founded in 2016 and has supported 372 projects amounting to $306,247,028 as of Nov. 27, 2023.
  • Ninety-seven of these projects were led by First Nations, with an additional 39 having significant First Nations involvement.
  • FESBC operates independently but is wholly funded through the Ministry of Forests.

Click here for the link to the story on the BC Government Website.

Faces of Forestry: Klay Tindall

Faces of Forestry is an initiative of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to highlight people doing great work to enhance our forests throughout British Columbia. This month, we feature Klay Tindall, general manager of forest operations for Lil’wat Forestry Ventures LP. 

Klay’s journey in forestry began with a strong educational foundation. After obtaining a Bachelor of Forestry in Forest Management/Forest Resource Management from The University of British Columbia (UBC), his commitment to personal growth led him to get an additional Certificate in Advanced Leadership from UBC Sauder School of Business.

“In the early days of my career, the adventurous spirit that forestry offered, as well as the excitement of being outdoors every day laid the foundation for this lifelong passion,” said Klay.

Currently, Klay works as the general manager of Forest Operations for Lil’wat Forestry Ventures (LFV) in Mount Currie, British Columbia, which supports the Lil’wat Nation by creating profits, employment, and training.

In this role, he ensures the operation’s contract safety and environmental leadership, leading and coordinating a team responsible for planning and implementing forestry activities. In addition, he is in charge of developing and implementing annual budgets, as well as coordinating the forestry activities with the Indigenous Affairs/Referrals department of Lil’wat Nation to ensure Rights and Titles are strengthened.

“An important part of my role is creating jobs in the community and developing employee skills,” added Klay. “LFV averages 35 employees and does contract forest firefighting, fuels management, silviculture, and road maintenance work for other licensees and clients. I deal directly with our clients that the contracting department works for.”

Additionally, he manages the harvesting, engineering, and silviculture contractors over Lil’wat Nations’ five forest tenures, with LFV harvesting approximately 100,000 cubic metres of timber annually.

Klay’s commitment to enhancing British Columbia’s forests is evident through his engagement with the FESBC. Since 2019, he has led many fuels management projects through his work with the Cheakamus Community Forest (CCF) utilizing FESBC funds.

“Currently, we are working with FESBC on fuels management projects in the CCF and Spel’kúmtn Community Forest, hoping to extend that project to 2024. We are also receiving support from them to harvest low-value stands in Lil’wat Traditional Territory,” he explained.

Reflecting on the journey, one of the aspects Klay cherishes the most is the ability to create long-term financial benefits and meaningful careers for the Lil’wat community.

As he explains, “forestry is an exciting, tricky and ever-changing industry,” adding that “it involves complex and sometimes undiscovered science, historical and traditional knowledge, as well as intrinsic values. It provides meaningful employment producing sustainable products, as well as places to gather food and enjoy the beauties of nature.”

Outside his work, Klay finds solace in the mountains around Whistler, spending quality time with his loved ones. His passion for forestry extends beyond professional boundaries and into his family, as both of his oldest sons have followed in his footsteps, pursuing careers in forestry across British Columbia.

Thank you, Klay, for your dedication to sustainable forestry, and unwavering commitment to supporting the Lil’wat community.

Meet FESBC Operations Manager: Chris McGourlick

The Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia (FESBC) recently added a new operations manager to its team. Meet Chris McGourlick, a Registered Professional Forester (RPF) and licensed interior and coastal scaler with over 25 years of dedicated work in the forestry industry.

As a second-generation forester, Chris’s interest in forestry was a product of his upbringing.

“My dad worked in forestry for 40 years, and I grew up in logging communities on Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii. I grew up with the woods as my backyard in several remote corners of the coast and finding a career in forestry was a natural fit. I love the outdoors and problem-solving which sums up forestry in a nutshell,” he explained.

After graduating from the University of British Columbia’s Forestry Program, Chris spent most of his career working on the coast of British Columbia, spending some time near the Southern and Central Interior of the province.

“My career has been focused on the harvesting side of the industry,” he said. “I started in harvest planning and operations, which I did for about 15 years before moving into the fibre supply side of the business. I have spent the last 10 years working in a variety of roles starting with log quality to log procurement and then finally logistics.”

These experiences have equipped him with a broad background in operations, ultimately leading Chris to FESBC, and making him the perfect person for the job.

As FESBC’s operations manager, Chris is responsible for overseeing the management of projects for its two main intakes – fibre utilization and wildfire risk reduction.

“This usually involves working with our project proponents and our partners at PwC to address changes in plans, finalizing submissions, problem-solving, and generally keeping things moving forward,” explained Chris.

Within this new role, Chris is looking forward to seeing the benefits that FESBC can bring to different parts of BC and its potential growth as forest management in British Columbia evolves with a renewed focus on managing the many values found across the landscape.

“Working with FESBC provides me an opportunity to work across a diverse geographic area and to become involved in projects that wouldn’t have been options in my past stops,” he said.

Over the years, he has found the most rewarding part of his career to be the opportunity to work alongside exceptional individuals. As he begins his journey with FESBC, he is confident that this experience will offer a similar enriching environment.

When not at work, Chris finds solace and adventure in nature, spending most of his time flying fish, mountain biking, paddle boarding, and skiing.

With his wealth of experience, passion, and dedication to responsible forestry practices, Chris is set to make a positive impact on FESBC and contribute to the continued well-being of British Columbia’s forests.

Finding Value in Wood Waste

-How two Merritt-based companies are revolutionizing sustainable forest management-

Merritt, B.C. – In a long-standing alliance, a First Nations-owned and operated fibre management company, Stuwix Resources Joint Venture (SRJV) and Valley Carriers, a visionary multi-generational trucking and specialty transportation company, are working together to make better use of leftover forest materials, i.e., forest residuals. With support from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) funding for a Bush Grind Project, the partners aim to turn these residual materials into valuable biomass products, and they’re pushing the boundaries even further with a significant leap forward in a BioHub Pilot Project, dedicated to managing forest resources sustainably.

The BioHub Pilot Project is centred around the transition that the SRJV is now pursuing, changing from the traditional cut-to-length forestry practice to now full-length tree harvesting, moving toward a full tree utilization and zero-waste approach. This is an enormous step in sustainable forestry practices with significant impacts on forestry residue management. A part of this project is bush grinding of the residuals, for which FESBC has provided funding. Through the Bush Grinding project, forest residuals will be ground instead of being left behind and burned in slash piles, helping to reduce waste and avoid greenhouse gas emissions. This ground fibre will be transported to a green energy facility in Merritt. By extending the use of forest residuals, the two companies look to improve the sustainability of forestry practices by being better stewards of the land.

“Projects like this are a significant step towards a stronger and more sustainable B.C. forestry sector, transforming harvest residue that was once considered waste into value,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “This collaboration between Stuwix Resources Joint Venture and Valley Carriers, with support from FESBC, will also help protect communities from wildfire risks by removing residue from the forest floor, thereby removing wildfire fuel.”

SRJV currently manages the Forest Tenure Opportunity Agreement and the non-replaceable forest licenses on behalf of eight First Nations communities in the Nicola Valley. SRJV’s approach to forest management reflects the cultural, environmental, and social values of these First Nations with a vision to promote healthy ecosystems and communities while integrating traditional uses and practices.

Valley Carriers is part of the family-owned and operated Klassen Business Group, which was founded in 1963. They’ve been working with forest residuals for 60 years, and the family of companies produces and distributes both wholesale and retail wood residual-derived products such as mulch and wood shavings.

Together, the organizations exemplify positive collaboration to pursue the common goal of reducing waste and enhancing the utilization of fibre. However, the project was not envisioned in silos, but came about as a result of the community’s desire to see better-managed forests, according to Lindsay Tighe, General Manager of SRJV.

“It’s all community-driven. Our community strongly believes we need to better utilize the resources that the forest provides. Without the partnership with FESBC, we wouldn’t be able to pursue the transition to full fibre utilization. Their support is critical to enable our operations to adapt to this more sustainable approach,” said Tighe.

The Bush Grind Project is part of a Biohub Pilot Project, with an overarching vision to eradicate the age-old practice of underutilizing, piling, and burning forestry residuals but instead offer a sustainable alternative, converting these residuals into valuable resources, such as clean energy sources, including biogases, advanced biofuels, and various end-use products. By utilizing the entire resource, the two partners are not only respecting the resource itself and the land it is from, but they hope to increase the wood fibre supply for the agriculture, bioproduct, and bioenergy sectors that depend on the biomass generated by the forestry sector.

Ben Klassen, CEO of Valley Carriers, said, “The funding from FESBC is integral for the pilot project, as it helps minimize the risks to private businesses and enables creativity in creating a more sustainable industry.”

The BioHub Pilot Project is a partnership between SRJV, Valley Carriers, FP Innovations, and with support from FESBC funding, it serves as a symbol of improved forestry management practices, emphasizing complete stem utilization.

FESBC Senior Manager, Gord Pratt, said, “FESBC is proud to support the initiatives led by Stuwix and Valley Carriers in finding ways to increase the use of forest fibre that has traditionally not been utilized. Exploring new ways to optimize the delivery and use of forest fibre is long overdue and will only help the economy of the Merritt area. Lessons learned here will help other regions of the province and assist in building a more stable and diverse forest industry which is critical for the future of rural B.C.”

 A centralized, sustainable BioHub, capable of handling a broader spectrum of forestry residuals, will help meet the surging demand for wood residuals and biomass. The goal is to create a variety of value-added products for diverse sectors from what was traditionally thought of as wood waste.

“Our BioHub will increase the stream of residuals and help stabilize the supply of wood fibre to support the needs of the agricultural and clean energy sectors. This project is about using every metre of the forest in the most sustainable way,” said Klassen.

The benefits of the work are far-reaching and move beyond the environmental benefits. By transitioning to full-stem utilization and establishing the BioHub, SRJV will create eight jobs, and Valley Carriers will create an additional eight positions in Merritt, B.C. during the various phases of the project. Considering the level of unemployment in the area and the need to diversify, Klassen and Tighe agree that these jobs mean a lot to people in the region.

“This funding allows us to grow our operations and create more employment. The business of recovering under-utilized residuals has allowed our company to maintain steady employment for 25-30 people in Merritt for the last six years, and we are looking to grow with further resource utilization,” said Klassen.

For companies and communities wanting to move toward full fibre utilization, Klassen recommends maintaining their focus. “Even after many years doing this work, we are still trying to find a long-term solution that isn’t just made up of stop-gap funding. We’ve been able to do this for the last half-decade by not relenting on the conversation,” he said.

From the creation of new jobs to local access to renewable energy, decreasing the waste of natural resources and increasing the supply of wood fibre to combat the shortage in the agricultural sector, the project has a vision to move beyond traditional forestry. In addition to these benefits, fully recovering the forest residuals will remove excess materials that can fuel wildfires while also reducing  greenhouse gas emissions associated with burning these materials in the forest.

“We know we have less wood available; now we need to focus on how to use it properly. It’s like water restrictions; when they are in place, sustainable practices and real change starts to happen. We need to be the ‘Arizona’ of forestry; the forestry industry is not going away, but it is our time to pivot, focus on efficiencies and fully utilize the resources. Everyone can make a difference in forestry residual management, whether it’s a big or small licensee,” said Klassen, adding, “We don’t see this as the end but the start of something that will transform the industry.”

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the

Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Funding Bolsters Chinook Community Forest’s Vital Wildfire Risk Reduction Work

Burns Lake, B.C. – In a continuous effort to mitigate risk to communities and essential infrastructure from the threat of wildfires, the Chinook Community Forest (CCF) has embarked on a vital wildfire risk reduction project with funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC). Due to the large amounts of dead trees in the community forest caused by the mountain pine beetle pandemic, the initiative will have a far-reaching and positive impact on communities. These include areas on the south side of Francois Lake, including Eakin Settlement Road, Keefe’s Landing Road, and Tatalrose Road, as well as outlying communities such as Burns Lake, Danskin, Southbank, Tayksie, Southshore of Ootsa Lake, Sheraton, and Rose Lake.

Ken Nielsen, general manager of the CCF, explained that 80 per cent of the Lakes Timber Supply Area (LTSA) has pine-leading stands, which means that 80 per cent of the LTSA forest is comprised mainly of lodgepole pine, with the remaining 20 per cent comprised of spruce, balsam, and a little bit of fir.  This pine-leading stand has been impacted by the mountain pine beetle epidemic, with nearly all the lodgepole pine trees falling over the last two decades which have built up a layer of four to five feet on the forest floor of dead wood—creating a very high risk for extreme fires.

“With all this dead wood on the ground, there is the potential to have a very high degree of fire behaviour, which could transfer to crown fires, where the fire is able to move to the tops of the trees, jumping from one tree to another at a much faster speed, which firefighters from BC Wildfire Services can’t handle. This situation, if pushed by wind, drives fires into communities. There is a need to clean the forest floor of this dead wood, along with pruning and thinning of the forest stand structure, so in the event there is a fire, it remains on the forest floor at a low intensity, and BC Wildfire Services has a better chance to control it,” said Nielsen.

As part of the project, the community forest will be working on three different wildfire risk reduction areas that are prescribed for treatment which will cover roughly 200 hectares next to private property in the community. CCF is also developing prescriptions for Wildfire Risk Reduction treatments on roughly 900 hectares.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC plays a huge role as the third-party administrator of funds to help carry out critical wildfire risk reduction work that needs to be done in and around communities. A lot of the work that needs to be done is either hand pruning or thinning, selective logging, and the raking of fine fuels. Because this type of work does not create a source of income to pay for these treatment areas, it is very costly and would not have been possible without FESBC’s support,” said Nielsen.

This project is unique in that the proposed area was identified in the Crown Land Wildfire Risk Reduction Tactical Plan for Burns Lake, Rose Lake, Sheraton, and Highway 16 and developed by the Nadina Natural Resource District. The area gained prominence following the 2018 wildfires, prompting the local Ministry staff to pioneer one of the first landscape tactical plan in British Columbia. A landscape tactical plan is a strategic document that assesses and addresses specific hazards and risks within a defined geographic area, such as wildfire threats, insect infestations, or flooding and outlines subsequent actions to manage and mitigate risks.

“Sustainable community forest management is critical to reducing wildfire risk in our province,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “The collaborative efforts of Chinook Community Forest and FESBC will not only help build forest health and resiliency but also better protect people in surrounding communities from wildfire risks.”

This past summer, during a period of active wildfires throughout the province of British Columbia, the importance of the Ministry of Forests’ landscape tactical plan became clear when a lightning strike occurred close to the project area. This incident highlighted the unpredictability of lightning strikes, and wildfires emphasizing that they can occur anywhere and at any time.

“This demonstrated that lightning is not biased to where and when it will strike,” said Nielsen. “It further demonstrated the need for more wildfire risk reduction work around communities and backed up the tactical plan developed by the Province in identifying areas of highest threat. While the tactical plan cannot prevent wildfires, it can significantly enhance the preparedness and response capabilities of Chinook First Responders Society, working in tandem with BC Wildfire Service, to effectively combat wildfires.”

Work on the FESBC-funded project, which started back in the spring of 2023 in Southbank around the Indian Bay area, has been progressing well despite occasional interruptions by Mother Nature, according to Nielsen. Through this project, important resources within the community, including the community of Danskin, a local pharmacy, several residences and businesses, the Cheslatta Carrier Nation’s new office, and a Mennonite church, will all benefit from the wildfire risk reduction work.

Gord Pratt, FESBC’s senior manager said, “FESBC is proud and feels lucky to support such a proactive initiative by the Chinook Community Forest to reduce the wildfire risk to many of the communities at a high risk of being impacted by future wildfires on the south side of Francois Lake and the Burns Lake area.”

Moreover, the treatment units not only address high-risk areas but also provide job opportunities for local contractors and First Nations. It also supports maintaining trail systems in and around the area so people can better access areas to recreate and connect with the land. The work will also help with cattle grazing where these areas overlap by providing better access for the cattle and promoting the growth of grass.

Village of Burns Lake Mayor Henry Wiebe appreciated the work being done by CCF and highlighted its significance. “The wildfire risk reduction treatments being carried out by Chinook Community Forest are an important part of forest management. The treated areas increase security against wildfires, create wildlife corridors, and enhance wildlife habitat,” he said.

As a community forest, CCF is diligently balancing various objectives, including addressing local needs, providing compensation, generating employment, enhancing the forest’s natural beauty, and mitigating the ever-present wildfire risk.

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Constraints to Forestry Innovation as featured in Truck Logger BC

In the Fall 2023 issue of the Truck Logger BC Magazine, Jean Sorensen examines innovation in forestry and what is holding it back, in an article featuring various industry experts, including the Forest Enhancement Society of BC’s (FESBC) Executive Director, Steve Kozuki.

The article, titled “Constraints to Forestry Innovation”, discusses innovation in B.C’s forestry sector and its importance to stay competitive, especially against larger manufacturers. It also emphasizes the need for a supportive business environment and policy stability to encourage innovation.

The forestry industry in BC is facing challenges related to fibre supply uncertainty, which affects the adoption of new technologies and investments. Companies are exploring innovations like LiDAR inventory mapping, the use of drones, and remote-controlled equipment. These innovations are seen as essential, and the article explores their feasibility in the current climate.

In the article,

FESBC Executive Director Steve Kozuki said over the past five years they have funded the utilization of five million cubic metres or roughly 100,000 truckloads of post-harvest residuals that would have been abandoned or burned.

Those five years brought a legacy of operating data. Logging contractors have tried whole log (pulp or biolog) sorts, chipping or grinding fibre at the roadside or landing, baling slash (but it still has a lot of air and costs to transport), central reload sites and sort yards, and barging from the mid and north coast. According to Kozuki, each method has pros and cons and trade-offs, but most contractors favoured transport of fibre in log form or chip/grind in the bush.

Watch the FESBC announcement of the 42 Newly Funded Forest Enhancement Projects in B.C.

Kamloops, B.C.: In January 2023, the Government of BC announced it would provide $50 million in new funding to the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to assist with the delivery of uneconomic forest fibre and to assist communities to reduce their wildfire risk.

On September 12, 2023, FESBC announced 42 newly funded projects valued at $34 million dollars. Watch this video to learn more from funded project partners like Simpcw Resources Group, Arrow Transportation Systems Inc. and Kruger Inc.

Watch the video, where Minister of Forests, Bruce Ralston, talks about the funding, and the work undertaken by FESBC, as well as get a glimpse into the announcement event held on September 12:

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Faces of Forestry: Brittany Dewar, RPF

Faces of Forestry is an initiative of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to highlight people doing great work to enhance our forests throughout British Columbia. This month, we feature Brittany Dewar, a Registered Professional Forester and Forestry Project Manager at Westland Resources Ltd.

After getting her Bachelor of Science degree in Geography from the University of Victoria, Brittany began working in environmental consulting around Victoria and Calgary. After a few years, she decided to move back to British Columbia, settling in Terrace as she started her job at Westland Resources Ltd. in 2015.

At Westland Resources Ltd., a company specializing in natural resource consulting and management services for fish, forests and wildlife, Brittany had the opportunity to pursue a designation as a registered forester. Last December, she was able to complete her designation, becoming a Registered Professional Forester after a number of years spent gaining the necessary work experience and training.

“When I finally became a forester, it felt like a wonderful accomplishment,” said Brittany. “Had I known more about forestry when I was in school, I think I would’ve seriously considered that as my degree. I thoroughly enjoy the work I get to do every day and I am grateful for all the support I have received from my team.”

Currently, Brittany works as a Forestry Project Manager, helping manage small licensees in the district and performing operational and strategic planning as well as other advisory forestry work. Additionally, she also spends some of her time out on the field, performing ecosystem mapping and silviculture work.

“Even though I don’t get to do it that often, reconnecting with the trees and ecosystems is one of the best parts of my job. That is where it all starts for many foresters,” noted Brittany.

Westland Resources Ltd. has been working with FESBC since 2017, collaborating on diverse projects around carbon emission reduction and fibre utilization.

“The first project I helped with was a research-based project on what could be done at the site level to manage carbon. The research work was important to understand how operations and policy that guide operations can change to provide carbon benefits,” said Brittany.

For the past three years, Brittany has been the main administrator of various fibre utilization projects with FESBC, helping put together applications and reporting on behalf of the licensees.

“Fibre utilization has been extremely important for our region in general, as well as for the forest licensees we work with. We have really high percentages of pulp fibre in our stands but it’s hard to find a place where that can easily go,” she noted. “FESBC has been crucial in preventing this fibre from getting wasted and burned, overall making better utilization of our forests which is important for the sustainability of our local logging industry, as well as for the benefits it has for emission reductions.”

Throughout her career, Brittany has appreciated the diversity within her role and encourages young people to take an interest in the forestry industry, as she believes it is a career that can make a real difference in the community and on the landbase.

“Forestry is great because it’s a diverse career path. We need to carefully consider the potential impacts of forestry operations on everything within the landscape, from wildlife to fish to cultural values,” she expressed. “There are numerous job opportunities in B.C., and a career in forestry allows you to make a tangible difference in managing our resources.”

Thank you, Brittany, for your dedication to managing our forests, promoting sustainability and enhancing resource utilization, all contributing to the betterment of our forests and communities.

A Practical Case for Utilizing Low Value Fibre Derived from Logging in BC Forest Professionals Magazine

An article by Brian Watson, Operations Manager, FESBC has been featured in the Fall 2023 issue of the BC Forest Professional Magazine.

The future of the BC forest industry has been debated, examined, and re-examined many times in the last 50 years. Today, discussions are underway at the forest landscape planning tables around the values we share, the health of our communities, and the resilience of our forests. It is more important now than ever to look at the full complement of products our forests can provide, including those derived from low value fibre, harvest residues, or biomass.

Brian Watson is an Operations Manager with the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia. He lives on Ktunaxa territory near ?·a·kiskʼaq– –I?· it (Cranbrook).

Moose Health Study in Omineca Part of $8M Conservation Funding

Vanderhoof, B.C.: The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation is proud to announce over $8 million in funding for 168 fish and wildlife conservation projects across B.C. this year, with over $300,000 allocated to projects in the Omineca region, and over $1M in the northeast.

For over 40 years, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has provided grants to an extensive network of recipients who undertake conservation projects. With support from the HCTF, a wide range of nonprofit organizations, First Nations and Indigenous communities, Provincial ministries, and community groups implement projects that protect B.C.’s wildlife, freshwater fish, and their habitats. Since 1981, the HCTF has funded over 3,550 projects representing an investment of over $215 million for conservation in B.C.

“The many different ecosystems in British Columbia, and the wildlife they support, are vital to the quality and way of life for so many in this amazing province,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “From forests to rivers to oceans, better knowledge means better protection for the organisms that call these ecosystems home. The conservation work that FESBC and the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation are doing is crucial to our ongoing understanding of B.C.’s unique, interlocking landscapes.”

Among this year’s projects in Omineca is a multi-year project to study the impacts of landscape changes on moose health. Currently in its first of three years (though building on a previous project) and led by the University of Northern B.C., the project will identify variables in moose habitat that are associated with their health and survival.

“Moose are a keystone species that play an integral ecological role in predator-prey systems, are culturally significant to First Nations, and economically important to the hunting and guiding communities in B.C.,” says project lead Heather Bryan. “Moose populations fluctuate naturally over time. In the last decade, however, moose populations in parts of interior B.C. have declined by up to 70%.” The research in this project will contribute to broader, provincially-led research by evaluating the role of climate and landscape change on moose parasitism, nutrition, and immune responses, and generate useful information for wildlife and forest management.

The project is being supported by the HCTF and the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) with $80,662 in co-funding this year. According to FESBC’s executive director Steve Kozuki, “HCTF has some of the best expertise in wildlife biology and habitat management. That’s why FESBC is so pleased to collaborate with HCTF. Together we have improved wildlife habitat on numerous successful projects all around British Columbia. And we will continue to endeavour to assist wildlife to thrive and flourish for generations to come.”

HCTF CEO Dan Buffett is proud to work with FESBC in this partnership noting, “Through this collaboration, we can fund more work such as this project that will apply the knowledge learned to improve habitat and health conditions for moose and enable our project partners to deliver more conservation work that benefits wildlife, fish, and their habitats.”

Other HCTF-funded projects in the Omineca region include:

  • $27,500 to better understand Stone’s sheep ranges through defining herd boundaries and habitat selection to monitor and evaluate population trends and habitat management options.
  • $53,000 to restore habitat along 86 km of roads to reduce human and wildlife predator access within core habitat for the Chase caribou herd.
  • $3,462 for mule deer monitoring and ground surveys in the Nechako Valley to provide current conditions and long-term data for management decisions.

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.

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

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. For over forty years, HCTF has been helping conservation groups and individuals secure funding for conservation projects and providing education to the public about B.C.’s important natural assets. Since 1981, HCTF has provided over $215 million in grants for over 3,550 conservation projects across B.C. 

Predator Habitat Use in Partial Logging Areas Study in Skeena Part of $8M Conservation Funding

Burns Lake, B.C.: The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation is proud to announce over $8 million in funding for 168 fish and wildlife conservation projects across B.C. this year, with over $800,000 allocated to projects in the Skeena region.

For over 40 years, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has provided grants to an extensive network of recipients who undertake conservation projects. With support from the HCTF, a wide range of nonprofit organizations, First Nations and Indigenous communities, Provincial ministries, and community groups implement projects that protect B.C.’s wildlife, freshwater fish, and their habitats. Since 1981, the HCTF has funded over 3,550 projects, representing an investment of over $215 million for conservation in B.C.

“The many different ecosystems in British Columbia, and the wildlife they support, are vital to the quality and way of life for so many in this amazing province,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “From forests to rivers to oceans, better knowledge means better protection for the organisms that call these ecosystems home. The conservation work that FESBC and the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation are doing is crucial to our ongoing understanding of B.C.’s unique, interlocking landscapes.”

Among this year’s projects in the Skeena is a multi-year project to study the impacts of partial logging on the habitats of important small wildlife predator species. Currently in its second of five years and led by the University of B.C., the project will examine predator habitat use and selection in forests harvested using partial logging practices compared to traditional logging and unlogged forests.

“Partial logging has benefits for fire management and timber supply and may be more favourable for wildlife, but these benefits have not been thoroughly documented,” says project lead Dr. Karen Hodges. “Determining the effects and possible benefits of switching logging practices to partial harvest models may allow for the conservation and protection of forest predators.” The project is focused on marten and the red-listed fisher, as both are focal management species and sensitive to forest loss.

The project is being supported by the HCTF and the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) with $30,452 in co-funding this year. According to FESBC’s executive director Steve Kozuki, “HCTF has some of the best expertise in wildlife biology and habitat management. That’s why FESBC is so pleased to collaborate with HCTF. Together we have improved wildlife habitat on numerous successful projects all around British Columbia. And we will continue to endeavour to assist wildlife to thrive and flourish for generations to come.”

HCTF CEO Dan Buffett is proud to work with FESBC in this partnership noting, “Through this collaboration, we can fund more work such as this project that will apply the knowledge learned to improve forest habitat conditions for wildlife species and enable our project partners to deliver more conservation work that benefits wildlife, fish, and their habitats.”

Other HCTF-funded projects in the Skeena region include:

  • $98,028 to restore 86 km of roads to reduce human and wildlife predator access within the Whitesail Priority Restoration Area for the Tweedsmuir-Entiako caribou herd.
  • $56,475 to assess watersheds in Skeena for connectivity and restore fish passage at road crossings that are barriers to fish migration.
  • $83,650 to monitor habitat use, migration, and health of Tawéi (Tlingit word for thinhorn sheep) near Atlin to build on traditional and scientific knowledge for better management of Tawéi.
  • $61,000 to address knowledge gaps about the distribution, movements, and exploitation of Bull Trout and Dolly Varden in the lower Nass and middle Skeena Rivers.

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.

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

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. For over forty years, HCTF has been helping conservation groups and individuals secure funding for conservation projects and providing education to the public about B.C.’s important natural assets. Since 1981, HCTF has provided over $215 million in grants for over 3,550 conservation projects across B.C. 

Reducing Wildfire Risk to Communities in Northwestern B.C.

Smithers, B.C. – Situated in the heart of the Bulkley Valley and surrounded by the Town of Smithers, the Village of Telkwa, and the Village of Witset, the Wetzin’kwa Community Forest Corporation (WCFC) has taken on two key roles: as a steward of the land and as a provider of outdoor recreational opportunities for surrounding communities. This significance is underscored by the recent allocation of funds from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) toward a wildfire risk reduction project. With the funding, the WCFC aims to expand a crucial shaded fuel break (where some trees are removed to reduce fuel and some are left standing to create shade) along the Hudson Bay Mountain Road (which is used to access recreational areas). This treatment is a proactive measure against the ever-present risk of wildfire. The project also showcases the community forest’s commitment to integrating the management of natural spaces with the safety and enjoyment of the local residents in mind.

“B.C. has experienced a devastating wildfire season, and given the effects of climate change, mitigating wildfire risk is vital for keeping people, communities and First Nations in B.C. safe – now more than ever,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “FESBC has undertaken many wildfire risk reduction projects, bringing concrete benefits in areas throughout the province. It is encouraging to see this effort continue in the Bulkley Valley in partnership with the Wetzin’kwa Community Forest Corporation.”

For the past several years, WCFC has diligently focused on reducing the wildfire risk within the community forest, and a shaded fuel break supports this goal. Although there are unknowns when it comes to fire behaviour and severity (drought, temperature, wind, etc.), a shaded fuel break is expected to balance forestry and social values by reducing wildfire risk to the community and creating a defensible location for wildfire crews in the event of a major wildfire.

Hudson Bay Mountain Road is an essential transportation corridor for Bulkley Valley residents, connecting them to recreational skiing, snowboarding, hunting, and fishing spots. The road is also a gateway to Hudson Bay Mountain Resort and Bulkley Valley Nordic Centre. The area’s significance extends beyond its role in recreation as this area also supports diverse ecosystems, including grizzly bears and rare whitebark pine, and is an iconic location in the Bulkley Valley and Wetzin’kwa Community Forest. The shaded fuel break is expected to help mitigate risk to these key community resources as well as provide access for fire crews and safe egress (escape) routes for the public.  

Hudson Bay Mountain an iconic feature in the Bulkley Valley and the heart of the Wetzin’kwa Community Forest; Photo credit: Silvicon Services Inc.

Aurora Lavender, general manager of WCFC said, “We are very grateful to FESBC for providing funding for the creation of our 2018 Strategic Wildfire Hazard Mitigation Plan (SWHMP) and this new funding for the implementation of work we are doing to create the shaded fuel break on Hudson Bay Mountain Road.”

The work on the treatment areas is underway and will continue for the next several years. These areas planned for treatments with support from FESBC funding were identified as high-priority regions under the 2018 Strategic Wildfire Hazard Mitigation Plan (SWHMP), to conduct wildfire risk reduction work. These areas were targeted due to the hazardous stand types such as diseased and dead trees, and overcrowded trees in the area, the proximity to the Town of Smithers, and the protection of local assets and recreational spaces and business resources for the communities of Smithers, Telkwa, and Witset.

Village of Telkwa Mayor Leroy Dykens also expressed gratitude and said, “We are extremely grateful to the Forest Enhancement Society of BC for providing funding toward wildfire risk reduction planning and project implementation for the Hudson Bay Mountain Road project. This work is vital in helping better protect the forests, recreational areas, infrastructure, and the public. Given the tremendous increase in wildfires in the Northwest region, it is evident that we need to do whatever we can to help mitigate forest fire concerns.”

Execution of this project involves a combination of manual and mechanical treatments administered by local contractors, including a Wet’suwet’en contractor. The work includes the removal of dead trees and reducing the number of trees through a commercial thinning phase, followed by decreasing the ladder fuels (live and dead vegetation which would otherwise allow a fire to go from the ground to the tops of trees) to more manageable levels per the treatment plans. This isn’t a one-off wildfire risk reduction measure and the WCFC will be continuing to collaborate with the BC Wildfire Service for subsequent maintenance treatments to ensure sustained efficacy.

FESBC Senior Manager, Gord Pratt said, “FESBC is very excited to be able to provide the funding to assist the Wetzin’kwa Community Forest Corporation to reduce the wildfire risk to this very important area to the residents of the Bulkley Valley. Previously, as a longtime resident of Smithers and Telkwa, I am pleased that our organization is able to support this project to reduce the wildfire risk to the many forest and recreation values I personally know are so important to everyone who resides and plays here.”

Over the years, WCFC has actively championed social initiatives advocating for the adoption of wildfire risk reduction strategies and has worked closely with the Skeena-Stikine Natural Resource District and the local BC Wildfire Service staff to do so. WCFC’s development of the SWHMP was timely and crucial toward creating strategies for reducing wildfire risk to the surrounding communities.

As recommended in the SWHMP, WCFC purchased the Wetzin’kwa Fire Trailer in 2019. This year, a small fire broke out within the community forest boundary. The Power’s Creek Fire was 34 hectares in size, and several residential evacuations resulted due to the fire’s proximity to private properties. The Wetzin’kwa Fire Trailer was deployed to the fire and assisted the Smithers Volunteer Firefighters in defending private properties and infrastructure.

FESBC’s executive director, Steve Kozuki said, “Community forests in British Columbia are owned by the communities themselves. As such, they manage their forests with the best interests of people in mind. Local forests managed by local people result in prioritization of what’s important to them—wildfire risk reduction, wildlife habitat, green energy from forest biomass, jobs for workers, and so on. When they do make a profit, that money goes back into the community for the benefit of their citizens”.

WCFC’s commitment to reducing wildfire risk extends beyond the immediate project. The community forest will continue exploring avenues to curtail wildfire risk in other sections, particularly within the Wildland-Urban Interface, and is dedicated to supporting community resiliency and fostering public education specific to wildfires.

“WCFC continues to invest in community safety and hopes to foster public education by creating linkages between wildfire risk reduction and FireSmart practices,” said Lavender.

Additional Quotes:

LINDSAY LANGE (VILLAGE OF TELKWA WCFC DIRECTOR):

“The Hudson Bay Mountain Road Fuel Break was identified as an area in our planning requiring treatments outside the scope of our regular operations. Support from FESBC helps make wildfire risk reduction programs economically feasible for community forests, which in turn helps better protect communities from the threat of wildfires.”

“The Wetzin’kwa Community Forest is a well-loved and heavily-used area of the Bulkley Valley. Many different user groups take advantage of its cultural, ecological, recreational, community, and economic values. Everyone benefits from the Community Forest, so protecting these values is something the Village of Telkwa is proud to support.”

GARY HANSON (TOWN OF SMITHERS WCFC DIRECTOR):

“The 2023 wildfire between Telkwa and Smithers, in the Wetzin’kwa Community Forest, demonstrated that fire poses a significant risk to our communities. Mitigating that risk with projects such as the fuel break work on Hudson Bay Mountain Road, will definitely help to better protect our forests and communities from wildfire.”

DAVID DE WIT (Office of Wet’suwet’en representative on the WCFC Board):

“We are proud of the Wetzin’kwa Community Forest general management team at Silvicon, and their collaboration with the Forest Enhancement Society to mitigate wildfire risk for communities. Understanding community values is a part of Yintah (land) stewardship; however, when projects are actioned that protect and promote the eco-cultural, recreation and economic values, meaningful Yintah management is achieved.”

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Kamloops This Week – 2023 National Forest Week Publication Features FESBC Projects

This year’s National Forest Week, from Sep 17 to 23, is all about celebrating and supporting the biological diversity we can find in Canada’s Forests.

Kamloops This Week featured several stories in their 2023 National Forest Week publication featuring FESBC projects to help celebrate National Forestry Week. These projects contribute to the creation of an environment that supports this year’s National Forest Week theme: Canada’s Forests: Supporting Biological Diversity.

The FESBC stories include:

 Taking Action to Reduce Wildfire Risk (Page 3)

Making a Difference for Communities, Climate (featuring FESBC’s Executive Director, Steve Kozuki on page 4)

Transformational Award-Winning Reading (Page 8)

Cougar Tracking, Part of Conservation Effort (Page 9)

Forest Enhancement Worth Tens of Millions (page 10)

Everyday Chores Make Everyday Heroes (page 11)

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC announces 42 new forest enhancement projects throughout the province of B.C. to utilize uneconomic wood fibre and reduce the risk of wildfires to communities; Photo Credit: Tiffany Christianson Photography.

For more information, please contact:

Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison | 250 574 0221 | communications@fesbc.ca

Faces of Forestry: Dr. Robbie Hember, PhD, P.Ag, Forest Carbon Modeler

Faces of Forestry is an initiative of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to highlight people doing great work to enhance our forests throughout British Columbia. This month, we feature Dr. Robbie Hember, PhD, P.Ag, Forest Carbon Modeller with the Province of British Columbia.

Robbie was drawn to forests as a carbon modeller because he saw a lot of opportunity to have an impact and work on challenging but rewarding problems at the nexus of climate change and resource management. He is particularly interested in the balance between enhancing our use of wood and bioproducts to displace the use of non-renewable resources, while also reducing the degradation of sensitive ecosystems and conserving forests to keep carbon out of the atmosphere.

“Managing for climate change mitigation within the forest sector is a nut we haven’t cracked yet and there is a lot of interesting work and collaboration that needs to be done to achieve these goals,” said Robbie.

Dr. Robbie Hember is a professional forest carbon modeller with the Office of the Chief Forester in the Ministry of Forests. He has been part of the Forest Carbon Initiative team since 2017 and has worked on forest carbon research in British Columbia since 2007. He received training in physical geography and plant biology at Trent University before studying the carbon cycle of forest ecosystems at the University of British Columbia.

“Forest carbon monitoring systems estimate how much carbon is out there on the landscape. We achieve that using computer simulation models that take in all the amazing information that’s collected out in the forest, combine all that data to piece together the flow of carbon through living ecosystems, and spit out a prediction of how management decisions influence the abundance of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” explains Robbie.

As a research associate at the University of British Columbia, Robbie led collaborative efforts by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions and the Canadian Forest Service to account for impacts of environmental change on forest productivity in British Columbia.

Robbie’s role at the Office of the Chief Forester builds on this work, to understand the effects of land use, forest management policies, and harvested wood products on the fluctuating amount of carbon in the atmosphere. As Robbie explains, “our work is really about promoting the natural ability of our forests to sequester carbon and making wood products that can help us move away from a fossil fuel-driven society.”

Newly Funded Projects to Help Utilize Waste Wood and Mitigate Wildfire Risk in B.C.

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC Announces 42 Newly Funded Projects

Kamloops, B.C. – At a press event at River City Fibre in Kamloops, the executive director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), Steve Kozuki, announced 42 newly funded forest enhancement projects. These projects throughout the province of B.C. will either assist with the delivery of uneconomic forest fibre to pulp and pellet mills or green energy facilities, or will help communities reduce their wildfire risk.

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC announces 42 new forest enhancement projects throughout the province of B.C. to utilize uneconomic wood fibre and reduce the risk of wildfires to communities;
Photo Credit: Tiffany Christianson Photography. 

“The funding provided by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a testament to the Government of British Columbia’s drive to foster environmental sustainability and community wildfire risk reduction. Their support of these transformative projects demonstrates their commitment to helping communities reduce their risk of catastrophic wildfire events and transforming waste wood into green energy and sustainable products. They are taking action on climate change while at the same time promoting job growth and community resiliency throughout our province,” said Kozuki.

These newly funded projects come as a result of the $50 million given to FESBC earlier this year by the Ministry of Forests to boost fibre supply by utilizing uneconomic fibre and reduce wildfire risk while also supporting workers and communities. 

“Our forests have endured some very difficult years of late. Devastating wildfires, pine beetle epidemics and the effects of climate change have stressed the environment more than ever before, with direct impacts felt by rural and First Nations communities,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “By using burned or damaged wood, projects around B.C. are providing the forest industry with fibre and are actively increasing our resilience to future wildfires.”

As a part of one project, led by Simpcw Resources Group, funding will enable low-quality logs from outside the current economic range of Simpcw Resources Group’s operations to Arrow and Kruger, instead of being piled and burned.

Kevin Gayfer, RPF, Regional Manager, Arrow noted that “The funding from FESBC plays a pivotal role in supporting the utilization of forest fibre that would otherwise go to waste. This investment not only drives economic growth but also contributes to environmental sustainability through a net reduction of carbon emissions in the form of products derived from Kruger.”

The forest sector encompasses a diverse array of partners including First Nations, the pulp sector, the Provincial government, community forests, wood lots, loggers, silviculture companies, technology companies, and many, many others. Collaboration among these partners is crucial for success. By working together, a sustainable and prosperous future for our forests, workers, and communities can be achieved.

The broader collection of projects funded by FESBC demonstrates the collective efforts being taken to revolutionize the relationship with the forest. These initiatives will utilize waste wood to produce green energy and sustainable products, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and plastics that have long dominated our everyday lives.

“With challenges such as insect epidemics, devastating wildfires, and the need to conserve old growth and wildlife habitat, it is crucial to find innovative solutions,” said Kozuki. “The declining timber supply has amplified the importance of utilizing leftover forest fibre that would have otherwise gone to waste.”

Of the 42 new projects funded throughout the province, 24 projects have direct First Nations involvement, while eight have some First Nations involvement.

ADDITIONAL QUOTES:

Omineca region: Canfor’s Pulp Incremental Haul Program for Pulplog

Kevin Edgson, President & CEO, Canfor Pulp: “We appreciate the grant funding the Forest Enhancement Society of BC awarded for our Incremental Pulplog Haul Program project. This funding allows Canfor Pulp to access and purchase pulp logs that are outside the economic radius we can normally operate within. It is particularly important at a time when the timber supply and the availability of sawmill residual chips is shrinking. This funding will provide assistance to harvesting and hauling contractors, enabling them to supply pulp facilities in nearby communities. We will be able to transform low-value logs, which would otherwise be burned, into higher value-added products. By doing so, it will help minimize waste, pollution and carbon emissions.”

Cariboo region: 2023 Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. Fibre Utilization Project |

Michael Tomlinson, RPF, PAg, Consus Management Ltd.: “Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. (CCR), in partnership with FESBC, has successfully diversified its business practices to enhance the utilization of forest fibre within the traditional territory of its partnered community and beyond. Furthermore, CCR remains committed to supporting government initiatives aimed at reducing our carbon footprint and enhancing our forests for the benefit of future generations.”

Thompson Okanagan region: Southern Interior Biomass Incremental Haul Costs project

Greg Kilba, Arrow: “We are excited about how FESBC has allowed us to utilize biomass logs that historically went up in smoke. FESBC has provided the funding that has allowed us to experiment with logs that had never been used for creating pulp in the past. Using fire-affected logs for pulp production came about from previous FESBC projects. In cooperation with FESBC, our hope is to continue to find innovative ways to be able to utilize fibre that historically had very little to no value. Through this initiative we have been able to bring in logs from further away that can be used for hog and pulp production. Together, we are making a difference, creating jobs, and making positive changes!”

Kootenay Boundary region: Osoyoos Indian Band/Celgar Fibre Recovery Partnership

Dan Macmaster, Osoyoos Indian Band: “Better fibre utilization from harvesting permits is very important to the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB). Our commitment to responsible forestry practices goes beyond limiting brush piles and reducing burning; it extends to ensuring economic viability for logging contractors who are struggling to feasibly haul the low-value pulp logs out of the forest to a chipping facility. Led by the OIB Forestry Department, our project incentivizes licensees to utilize all logging fibre by funding the costs of hauling it to pulp mills or yards. With funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, we can achieve our utilization objectives throughout the OIB’s traditional territory, resulting in better forest stewardship and a significant reduction in burning logging debris. This funding will provide the crucial financial support needed to process and transport pulp fibre, making a tangible impact on climate change and securing a sustainable future for our forests.”

South Coast region: Lil’wat Fibre Recovery 2023-2024 project

Klay Tindall, General Manager of Forest Operations for the Líl̓wat Forestry Ventures LP.: “We are truly excited about the funding we have received from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) for our Lil’wat Fibre Recovery 2023-2024 project. This funding enables us to turn our vision into action and make a tangible impact on our local environment, economy, and community. We recognize the importance of partnerships and collaboration in achieving our goals, and we look forward to sharing our progress and success with FESBC and the broader community.”

West Coast region: CRIBCO Forest Products Ltd. – Heydon Bay

Chief Chris Roberts, Wei Wai Kum: “The FESBC Funding will help CRIBCO, a forest company wholly owned by Wei Wai Kum Nation, utilize low-value and low-end pulp material from our remote, high-cost tenures we hold in our Territory. Utilizing this material from the operating areas is an important part of sustainable resource extraction and something that our Nation has been focused on. The funding FESBC is providing CRIBCO is a win-win for CRIBCO and the Nation, and we look forward to additional opportunities of working with FESBC to assist the Nation with innovation in the forest sector to meet our stewardship and sustainability objectives.”

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Seven Newly Funded Forest Enhancement Projects in the Thompson Okanagan region

Forestry Projects to Help Utilize Waste Wood or Mitigate Wildfire Risk

Kamloops, B.C. – At a press event at River City Fibre in Kamloops, the executive director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), Steve Kozuki, announced 42 newly funded forest enhancement projects. These projects throughout the province of B.C. will either assist with the delivery of uneconomic forest fibre to pulp and pellet mills or green energy facilities or will help communities reduce their wildfire risk. Among these projects, seven projects are located in the Thompson Okanagan region.

With the Southern Interior Biomass Incremental Haul costs project, Arrow will transport low value sawlogs to Kamloops for use in energy and pulp; Photo Credit: Greg Kilba

“The funding provided by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a testament to the Government of British Columbia’s drive to foster environmental sustainability and community wildfire risk reduction. Their support of these transformative projects demonstrates their commitment to helping communities reduce their risk of catastrophic wildfire events and transforming waste wood into green energy and sustainable products. They are taking action on climate change while at the same time promoting job growth and community resiliency throughout our province,” said Kozuki.

These newly funded projects come as a result of the $50 million given to FESBC earlier this year by the Ministry of Forests to boost fibre supply by utilizing uneconomic fibre and reduce wildfire risk while also supporting workers and communities. 

“Our forests have endured some very difficult years of late. Devastating wildfires, pine beetle epidemics and the effects of climate change have stressed the environment more than ever before, with direct impacts felt by rural and First Nations communities,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “By using burned or damaged wood, projects around B.C. are providing the forest industry with fibre and are actively increasing our resilience to future wildfires.”

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC announces 42 new forest enhancement projects throughout the province of B.C. to utilize uneconomic wood fibre and reduce the risk of wildfires to communities;
Photo Credit: Tiffany Christianson Photography. 

The seven projects in the Thompson Okanagan region are:

  • Simpcw Resources Group Pulp Log Utilization: $2,299,175 in FESBC funding to transport low value logs located outside of the current economic range of the River City Fibre Ltd. chipping facility in Kamloops.
  • St’at’imc Tribal Holdings Burn Permit project: $196,350 in FESBC funding to transport low value fibre from burned forest stands to the River City Fibre facility in Kamloops for use in power production.
  • 2023 Ikwadli Creek 3 Fibre Utilization project: $47,595 in FESBC funding to transport low value fibre from the Community Forest owned by the Lower Similkameen Indian Band to Interior pulp mills.
  • Southern Interior Biomass Incremental Haul costs project: $1,075,186 in FESBC funding for Arrow to transport low value sawlogs to Kamloops for use in energy and pulp.
  • CJ4-047 Burn Permit project: $110,620 in FESBC funding to transport low value fibre from burned forest stands to the River City Fibre facility in Kamloops for use in power production.
  • Southern Interior Grinding Fibre Utilization Project: $1,859,069 in FESBC funding to ground and ship waste piles located throughout the Southern Interior to the River City Fibre facility in Kamloops then used for power production at the Kruger Pulp Mill.
  • Stuwix Resources JV-Bush Grind Program: $821,668 in FESBC funding to grind waste material in slash piles to shipment to the energy facility in Merritt.

These initiatives will utilize waste wood to produce green energy and sustainable products, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and plastics that have long dominated our everyday lives. Other projects currently funded by FESBC will reduce wildfire risks for communities.

“With challenges such as insect epidemics, devastating wildfires, and the need to conserve old growth and wildlife habitat, it is crucial to find innovative solutions,” said Kozuki. “The declining timber supply has amplified the importance of utilizing leftover forest fibre that would have otherwise gone to waste.”

Of the 42 new projects funded throughout the province, 24 projects have direct First Nations involvement, while eight have some First Nations involvement.

ADDITIONAL QUOTES:

Simpcw Resources Group Pulp Log Utilization project

Kevin Gayfer, RPF, Regional Manager, Arrow: “The funding from FESBC plays a pivotal role in supporting the utilization of forest fibre that would otherwise go to waste. This investment not only drives economic growth but also contributes to environmental sustainability through a net reduction of carbon emissions in the form of products derived from Kruger.

The collaboration between Kruger, Simpcw Resources Group, and Arrow exemplifies how partnerships can transform industries. Often funding is required to bridge the financial gap of learning new practices until efficiencies can be developed. FESBC and the Ministry of Forests have been excellent to work with on getting these projects off the ground.”

Thomas Hoffman, fibre manager, Kruger Pulp Mill: “Kruger is very pleased to see the Government of BC support the Forest Enhancement Society of BC. The funding from FESBC allows us to work with First Nations Communities and businesses to access and utilize fire-affected fibre to produce value-added products that are used locally and worldwide.”

Glen Foss, Forestry Manager, Simpcw Resources Group: “Beyond utilizing fibre, our project’s true impact lies in reducing the wildfire risk. We’re not just cleaning up post-harvest fuel; we’re better safeguarding our communities and natural landscapes.”

Southern Interior Biomass Incremental Haul Costs project

Greg Kilba, Arrow: “We are excited about how FESBC has allowed us to utilize biomass logs that historically went up in smoke. FESBC has provided the funding that has allowed us to experiment with logs that had never been used for creating pulp in the past. Using fire-affected logs for pulp production came about from previous FESBC projects. In cooperation with FESBC, our hope is to continue to find innovative ways to be able to utilize fibre that historically had very little to no value. Through this initiative we have been able to bring in logs from further away that can be used for hog and pulp production. Together, we are making a difference, creating jobs, and making positive changes!”

Stuwix Resources JV-Bush Grind Program

Ben Klassen, CEO, Valley Carriers Ltd.: “This funding from FESBC allows us to further reach to ensure the maximum utilization of this important resource in our local community. Partnering with Stuwix, we are able to provide five to seven additional local jobs and fulfill the value of maximizing their resource through non-traditional markets. Further, this will help us transform logging residuals into value-added products utilized by the agricultural, pulp, and clean energy industries in B.C.”

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Nine Newly Funded Forest Enhancement Projects in the West Coast Region

Forestry Projects to Help Utilize Waste Wood or Mitigate Wildfire Risk

At a press event in Kamloops, the executive director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), Steve Kozuki, announced 42 newly funded forest enhancement projects. These projects throughout the province of B.C. will either assist with the delivery of uneconomic forest fibre to pulp and pellet mills or green energy facilities, or will help communities reduce their wildfire risk. Among these projects, nine projects are located in the West Coast region.

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC announces 42 new forest enhancement projects throughout the province of B.C. to utilize uneconomic wood fibre and reduce the risk of wildfires to communities; Photo Credit: Tiffany Christianson Photography.

“The funding provided by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a testament to the Government of British Columbia’s drive to foster environmental sustainability and community wildfire risk reduction. Their support of these transformative projects demonstrates their commitment to helping communities reduce their risk of catastrophic wildfire events and transforming waste wood into green energy and sustainable products. They are taking action on climate change while at the same time promoting job growth and community resiliency throughout our province,” said Kozuki.

These newly funded projects come as a result of the $50 million given to FESBC earlier this year by the Ministry of Forests to boost fibre supply by utilizing uneconomic fibre and reduce wildfire risk while also supporting workers and communities. 

“Our forests have endured some very difficult years of late. Devastating wildfires, pine beetle epidemics and the effects of climate change have stressed the environment more than ever before, with direct impacts felt by rural and First Nations communities,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “By using burned or damaged wood, projects around B.C. are providing the forest industry with fibre and are actively increasing our resilience to future wildfires.”

Taan Forest will be transporting low value pulp logs located on Haida Gwaii by barge to pulp mills on the South Coast; Photo credit: Jeff Mosher.

The nine projects in the West Coast region are:

  • Haida Gwaii Fibre Utilization: $195,093 in FESBC funding to transport low value pulp logs located on Haida Gwaii by barge to Husby Forest Products on the South Coast. 
  • Kvamua Forestry Services Ltd. – Sandell Phase 3: $377,127 in FESBC funding to transport pulp logs from the North Coast to pulp mills on the South Coast.
  • Kitasoo First Nation-Pooley Island: $319,199 in FESBC funding to transport low value logs from a remote coastal location to southern pulp mills.
  • Taan Forest -Incremental Haul: $862,395 in FESBC funding to transport low value pulp logs located on Haida Gwaii by barge to pulp mills on the South Coast. 
  • CRIBCO Forest Products Ltd. – Heydon Bay: $87,075 in FESBC funding to transport pulp logs from the mainland coast and outside the Fibre Recovery Zone to pulp mills on the South Coast.
  • Fibre Salvaging – North Vancouver Island: $646,680 in FESBC funding to collect waste wood outside the Fibre Recovery Zone to be transported to the Atli chip facility at Beaver Cove, processed and then towed to pulp mills on the South Coast.
  • Sqomish Forestry LP. Blocks: 51-28; E23; 50-73 project: $150,470 in FESBC funding to transport pulp logs from the mainland coast and outside the Fibre Recovery Zone to pulp mills on the South Coast.
  • A&A Trading Ltd. – HG Moresby Island Incremental Pulp project: $239,523 in FESBC funding to transport pulp logs in Haida Gwaii by barge to pulp mills on the South Coast.
  • Fibre Salvaging – TFL North Vancouver Island: $275,178 in FESBC funding to collect waste wood outside the Fibre Recovery Zone to be transported to the Atli chip facility at Beaver Cove, processed and then towed to pulp mills on the South Coast.

These initiatives will utilize waste wood to produce green energy and sustainable products, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and plastics that have long dominated our everyday lives. Other projects currently funded by FESBC will reduce wildfire risks for communities.

“With challenges such as insect epidemics, devastating wildfires, and the need to conserve old growth and wildlife habitat, it is crucial to find innovative solutions,” said Kozuki. “The declining timber supply has amplified the importance of utilizing leftover forest fibre that would have otherwise gone to waste.”

Of the 42 new projects funded throughout the province, 24 projects have direct First Nations involvement, while eight have some First Nations involvement.

ADDITIONAL QUOTES:

CRIBCO Forest Products Ltd. – Heydon Bay

Chief Chris Roberts, Wei Wai Kum: “The FESBC Funding will help CRIBCO, a forest company wholly owned by Wei Wai Kum Nation, utilize low-value and low-end pulp material from our remote, high-cost tenures we hold in our Territory. Utilizing this material from the operating areas is an important part of sustainable resource extraction and something that our Nation has been focused on. The funding FESBC is providing CRIBCO is a win-win for CRIBCO and the Nation, and we look forward to additional opportunities of working with FESBC to assist the Nation with innovation in the forest sector to meet our stewardship and sustainability objectives.”

Taan Forest – Incremental Haul

Jeff Mosher, Taan Forest: “FESBC’s incremental haul funding is a game-changer for us. It enables us to harvest and market lower-valued logs that would typically be left behind in Haida Gwaii due to high transportation costs, only to be burned as waste. The majority of these logs will now supply the Howe Sound Paper Excellence Mill, bolstering the pulp production. Moreover, Taan Forest’s Forst Stewardship Council certification ensures that the mill’s customers receive sustainably sourced raw materials. This project not only benefits contractors with increased revenue for moving additional volume but also allows Taan Forest to invest in training and equipment. The extra revenue also enables us to provide additional revenue to contractors to move firewood to local communities, reducing carbon emissions from pile burning. We deeply appreciate the incremental haul funding as it provides more revenue, more product for our customers, and better utilization of the forest resource.”

Fibre Salvaging – TFL North Vancouver Island

Doug Mosher, RPF, Atli Resources LP: “The FESBC funding toward two projects to salvage approximately 55,000 cubic metres of salvageable fibre that would otherwise be left in the forest to burn or rot will support the Northern Vancouver Island Fibre Utilization Project. Removing this material helps decrease the potential for wildfires, carbon dioxide emissions, and ash into the atmosphere. The funding is being used in a joint project between Atli Resources LP and a salvaging contractor, Estero Peak Contracting Ltd. The waste wood fibre from the harvested forests is hauled by Estero Peak Contracting, material that would otherwise be beyond the economic range of the chip plant to a chip plant in Beaver Cove to be converted into chips for pulp and paper and for hog fuel (bark) to be utilized for power generation.

The direct contributions and the economic ripple effect of this funding will provide employment for the salvage company employees, chip plant employees, and indirectly to many other businesses in the North Island.”

Sqomish Forestry LP. Blocks: 51-28; E23; 50-73 project

Maxime Lapine, Forestry Manager, Sqomish Forestry LP.: “Transporting pulp logs efficiently from the forests of British Columbia to the mills is not merely a logistical task; it is a crucial link that nourishes the growth of our economy while sustaining our commitment to environmental stewardship.”

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Two Newly Funded Forest Enhancement Projects in the South Coast Region

Forestry Projects to Help Utilize Waste Wood or Mitigate Wildfire Risk

South Coast region, B.C. – At a press event in Kamloops, the executive director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), Steve Kozuki, announced 42 newly funded forest enhancement projects. These projects throughout the province of B.C. will either assist with the delivery of uneconomic forest fibre to pulp and pellet mills or green energy facilities or will help communities reduce their wildfire risk. Among these projects, two projects are located in the South Coast region.

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC announces 42 new forest enhancement projects throughout the province of B.C. to utilize uneconomic wood fibre and reduce the risk of wildfires to communities; Photo Credit: Tiffany Christianson Photography.

“The funding provided by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a testament to the Government of British Columbia’s drive to foster environmental sustainability and community wildfire risk reduction. Their support of these transformative projects demonstrates their commitment to helping communities reduce their risk of catastrophic wildfire events and transforming waste wood into green energy and sustainable products. They are taking action on climate change while at the same time promoting job growth and community resiliency throughout our province,” said Kozuki.

These newly funded projects come as a result of the $50 million given to FESBC earlier this year by the Ministry of Forests to boost fibre supply by utilizing uneconomic fibre and reduce wildfire risk while also supporting workers and communities. 

“Our forests have endured some very difficult years of late. Devastating wildfires, pine beetle epidemics and the effects of climate change have stressed the environment more than ever before, with direct impacts felt by rural and First Nations communities,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “By using burned or damaged wood, projects around B.C. are providing the forest industry with fibre and are actively increasing our resilience to future wildfires.”

Lil’wat Fibre Recovery 2023 2024 project will transport pulp logs from the Mainland Coast and outside of the Fibre Recovery Zone to pulp mills on the South Coast.;
Photo credits: David Conly.

The two projects in the South Coast region are:

  • Lil’wat Fibre Recovery 2023 2024: $38,903 in FESBC funding to transport pulp logs from the Mainland Coast and outside of the Fibre Recovery Zone to pulp mills on the South Coast.
  • HSPP Incremental Haul Program on Vancouver Island: $635,000 in FESBC funding to transport low value pulp logs from harvesting outside of the Fibre Recovery Zone to the Howe Sound Pulp and Paper facility.

These initiatives will utilize waste wood to produce green energy and sustainable products, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and plastics that have long dominated our everyday lives. Other projects currently funded by FESBC will reduce wildfire risks for communities.

“With challenges such as insect epidemics, devastating wildfires, and the need to conserve old growth and wildlife habitat, it is crucial to find innovative solutions,” said Kozuki. “The declining timber supply has amplified the importance of utilizing leftover forest fibre that would have otherwise gone to waste.”

Of the 42 new projects funded throughout the province, 24 projects have direct First Nations involvement, while eight have some First Nations involvement.

ADDITIONAL QUOTE:

Lil’wat Fibre Recovery 2023-2024 project

Klay Tindall, General Manager of Forest Operations for the Líl̓wat Forestry Ventures LP.: “We are truly excited about the funding we have received from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) for our Lil’wat Fibre Recovery 2023-2024 project. This funding marks a significant milestone in our efforts to promote and maintain sustainable forestry practices and contribute to the well-being of our local community and environment. The funding from FESBC will play a pivotal role in recovering pulp fibre from higher-elevation hemlock balsam stands and getting it to local pulp mills. This will not only create a reliable supply of raw materials for the mills but also contribute to the overall economic vitality of our region. By taking these actions, we aim to make the best use of available resources while maintaining a focus on sustainable forestry practices.

This funding enables us to turn our vision into action and make a tangible impact on our local environment, economy, and community. We recognize the importance of partnerships and collaboration in achieving our goals, and we look forward to sharing our progress and success with FESBC and the broader community.”

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Six Newly Funded Forest Enhancement Projects in the Cariboo Region

Forestry Projects to Help Utilize Waste Wood or Mitigate Wildfire Risk

Cariboo region, B.C. – At a press event in Kamloops, the executive director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), Steve Kozuki, announced 42 newly funded forest enhancement projects. These projects throughout the province of B.C. will either assist with the delivery of uneconomic forest fibre to pulp and pellet mills or green energy facilities or will help communities reduce their wildfire risk. Among these projects, six projects are located in the Cariboo region.

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC announces 42 new forest enhancement projects throughout the province of B.C. to utilize uneconomic wood fibre and reduce the risk of wildfires to communities; Photo Credit: Tiffany Christianson Photography.

“The funding provided by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a testament to the Government of British Columbia’s drive to foster environmental sustainability and community wildfire risk reduction. Their support of these transformative projects demonstrates their commitment to helping communities reduce their risk of catastrophic wildfire events and transforming waste wood into green energy and sustainable products. They are taking action on climate change while at the same time promoting job growth and community resiliency throughout our province,” said Kozuki.

These newly funded projects come as a result of the $50 million given to FESBC earlier this year by the Ministry of Forests to boost fibre supply by utilizing uneconomic fibre and reduce wildfire risk while also supporting workers and communities. 

“Our forests have endured some very difficult years of late. Devastating wildfires, pine beetle epidemics and the effects of climate change have stressed the environment more than ever before, with direct impacts felt by rural and First Nations communities,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “By using burned or damaged wood, projects around B.C. are providing the forest industry with fibre and are actively increasing our resilience to future wildfires.”

Photo: A wood fibre utilization project of the Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. near Williams Lake, B.C.
Photo credit: FESBC.

The six projects in the Cariboo region are:

  • West Chilcotin Forest Products Ltd. Fibre Utilization 2023-25 Project: $1,354,929 in FESBC funding to transport low value logs located outside of the current economic range to the pulp mill in Quesnel, rather than being burned. 
  • 2023 Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. Fibre Utilization Project: $3,218,240 in FESBC funding to grind wood waste material in slash piles for transport to pellet and energy facilities as well as transport low-value logs located outside of the current economic range to the pulp mill in Quesnel.
  • Pressy Lake CP394 Rehab/Fibre Utilization Project: $2,073,000 in FESBC funding, Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation will harvest and chip low value burned stands to be shipped to Kamloops. Ground material will be used for pellets.
  • Williams Lake First Nation-150 Mile House Wildfire Risk Reduction Project: $494,802 in FESBC funding to thin forests in 150 Mile House that are adjacent to houses.
  • Nazko First Nation-Wildfire Egress Routes: $676,297 in FESBC funding to thin forests adjacent to egress routes around the Nazko community.
  • Cariboo Pulp & Paper-Fibre Recovery and Utilization 2023-2025 Project: $2,500,000 in FESBC funding to transport low value pulp logs to the Cariboo pulp mill rather than being burned. 

Many of these initiatives will utilize waste wood to produce green energy and sustainable products, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and plastics that have long dominated our everyday lives. Other newly funded projects in the Cariboo will reduce wildfire risks for communities.

“With challenges such as insect epidemics, devastating wildfires, and the need to conserve old growth and wildlife habitat, it is crucial to find innovative solutions,” said Kozuki. “The declining timber supply has amplified the importance of utilizing leftover forest fibre that would have otherwise gone to waste.”

Of the 42 new projects funded throughout the province, 24 projects have direct First Nations involvement, while eight have some First Nations involvement.

ADDITIONAL QUOTE:

2023 Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. Fibre Utilization Project

Michael Tomlinson, RPF, PAg, Consus Management Ltd.: “Our rural communities rely heavily on the forest industry for its significant contributions to economic stimulus and socio-economic benefits.

As climate change progresses and significant natural disturbances become increasingly likely, these programs enable us to prioritize industry diversification by piloting innovative processes. The aim is to create value-added products from damaged forests, even long after they are traditionally considered economically salvageable.

Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd.(CCR), in partnership with FESBC, has successfully diversified its business practices to enhance the utilization of forest fibre within the traditional territory of its partnered community and beyond. Furthermore, CCR remains committed to supporting government initiatives aimed at reducing our carbon footprint and enhancing our forests for the benefit of future generations.”

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Five Newly Funded Forest Enhancement Projects in the Kootenay Boundary Region

Forestry Projects to Help Utilize Waste Wood or Mitigate Wildfire Risk

Kootenay & Boundary region, B.C. – At a press event in Kamloops, the executive director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), Steve Kozuki, announced 42 newly funded forest enhancement projects. These projects throughout the province of B.C. will either assist with the delivery of uneconomic forest fibre to pulp and pellet mills or green energy facilities or will help communities reduce their wildfire risk. Among these projects, five are located in the Kootenay Boundary region.

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC announces 42 new forest enhancement projects throughout the province of B.C. to utilize uneconomic wood fibre and reduce the risk of wildfires to communities; Photo Credit: Tiffany Christianson Photography.

“The funding provided by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a testament to the Government of British Columbia’s drive to foster environmental sustainability and community wildfire risk reduction. Their support of these transformative projects demonstrates their commitment to helping communities reduce their risk of catastrophic wildfire events and transforming waste wood into green energy and sustainable products. They are taking action on climate change while at the same time promoting job growth and community resiliency throughout our province,” said Kozuki.

These newly funded projects come as a result of the $50 million given to FESBC earlier this year by the Ministry of Forests to boost fibre supply by utilizing uneconomic fibre and reduce wildfire risk while also supporting workers and communities. 

“Our forests have endured some very difficult years of late. Devastating wildfires, pine beetle epidemics and the effects of climate change have stressed the environment more than ever before, with direct impacts felt by rural and First Nations communities,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “By using burned or damaged wood, projects around B.C. are providing the forest industry with fibre and are actively increasing our resilience to future wildfires.”

Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) will be identifing low value logs located outside the economic range of the pulp mill in Castlegar to ship them to the Celgar pulp mill or one of their three satellite yards;
Photo credits: Peter Flett, OIB.

The five projects in the Kootenay Boundary region are:

  • Incremental Pulp Wood Haul project: $1,009,340 in FESBC funding to transport low value pulp logs to the Skookumchuck Pulp mill instead of piling and burning them.
  • Debris Management Town of Golden: $159,400 in FESBC funding in a collaborative project with BC Hydro and the Town of Golden to remove debris from the Kinbasket reservoir to be ground and shipped to an energy facility in Golden.
  • Mt. Buchanan Fire Access Trail project: $127,000 in FESBC funding for the Kaslo and District Community Forest Society to manually thin forested areas adjacent to the community of Kaslo.
  • Harrop and Narrows linear fuel breaks 2023-25 project: $460,950 in FESBC funding for the Harrop Procter Community Co-operative to thin forests adjacent to roads, to pile the post-harvest debris, and to transport low value fibre to Castlegar.
  • Osoyoos Indian Band/Celgar Fibre Recovery Partnership: $1,948,118 in FESBC funding for Nk’Mip Forestry LLP to identify low value logs located outside of the economic range of the pulp mill in Castlegar to ship them to the Celgar pulp mill or one of their three satellite yards.

Many of these initiatives will utilize waste wood to produce green energy and sustainable products, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and plastics that have long dominated our everyday lives. Other newly funded projects in the Kootenay Boundary region will reduce wildfire risks for communities.

“With challenges such as insect epidemics, devastating wildfires, and the need to conserve old growth and wildlife habitat, it is crucial to find innovative solutions,” said Kozuki. “The declining timber supply has amplified the importance of utilizing leftover forest fibre that would have otherwise gone to waste.”

Of the 42 new projects funded throughout the province, 24 projects have direct First Nations involvement, while eight have some First Nations involvement.

ADDITIONAL QUOTE:

Osoyoos Indian Band/Celgar Fibre Recovery Partnership

Dan Macmaster, Osoyoos Indian Band: “Better fibre utilization from harvesting permits is very important to the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB). Our commitment to responsible forestry practices goes beyond limiting brush piles and reducing burning; it extends to ensuring economic viability for logging contractors who are struggling to feasibly haul the low-value pulp logs out of the forest to a chipping facility. Led by the OIB Forestry Department, our project incentivizes licensees to utilize all logging fibre by funding the costs of hauling it to pulp mills or yards. With funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, we can achieve our utilization objectives throughout the OIB’s traditional territory, resulting in better forest stewardship and a significant reduction in burning logging debris. This funding will provide the crucial financial support needed to process and transport pulp fibre, making a tangible impact on climate change and securing a sustainable future for our forests.”

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Six Newly Funded Forest Enhancement Projects in the Omineca Region

Forestry Projects to Help Utilize Waste Wood or Mitigate Wildfire Risk

Omineca Region, B.C. – At a press event in Kamloops, the executive director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), Steve Kozuki, announced 42 newly funded forest enhancement projects. These projects throughout the province of B.C. will either assist with the delivery of uneconomic forest fibre to pulp and pellet mills or green energy facilities or will help communities reduce their wildfire risk. Among these projects, six projects are located in the Omineca region.

Photo: With the Northern Interior Grinding Fibre Utilization project fibre will be transported outside the economic radius to BioNorth Energy LP in Fort St. James.
Photo credits: Greg Kilba, Arrow.

“The funding provided by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a testament to the Government of British Columbia’s drive to foster environmental sustainability and community wildfire risk reduction. Their support of these transformative projects demonstrates their commitment to helping communities reduce their risk of catastrophic wildfire events and transforming waste wood into green energy and sustainable products. They are taking action on climate change while at the same time promoting job growth and community resiliency throughout our province,” said Kozuki.

These newly funded projects come as a result of the $50 million given to FESBC earlier this year by the Ministry of Forests to boost fibre supply by utilizing uneconomic fibre and reduce wildfire risk while also supporting workers and communities. 

“Our forests have endured some very difficult years of late. Devastating wildfires, pine beetle epidemics and the effects of climate change have stressed the environment more than ever before, with direct impacts felt by rural and First Nations communities,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “By using burned or damaged wood, projects around B.C. are providing the forest industry with fibre and are actively increasing our resilience to future wildfires.”

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC announces 42 new forest enhancement projects throughout the province of B.C. to utilize uneconomic wood fibre and reduce the risk of wildfires to communities;
Photo Credit: Tiffany Christianson Photography. 

The six projects in the Omineca region are:

  • Canfor Pulp’s Incremental Haul Program for Pulplog: $3,000,000 in FESBC funding to transport low value logs located outside of the current economic range to the Prince George Pulp and Paper Mill, rather than burned. 
  • Prince George Fibre Recovery 23/24: $281,250 in FESBC funding to clear a stand that was damaged by Mountain Pine Beetle and transport the low value fibre to pulp mills in Prince George. The stand will be replanted afterward.
  • Northern Interior Grinding Fibre Utilization: $1,034,454 in FESBC funding to transport fibre outside the economic radius to BioNorth Energy LP in Fort St. James.
  • Northern Interior Grinding Fiber Utilization #2: $559,856 in FESBC funding to grind wood waste piles to then be shipped to BioNorth Energy LP in Fort St. James.
  • East Fraser Fibre-Increased Utilization of Uneconomical Fibre: $780,997 in FESBC funding to ship low value fibre harvested under a Mountain Pine Beetle Salvage License to the chip plant in Mackenzie and then onto pulp mills in Prince George.
  • SP22DPG-720-YR3: $96,190 in FESBC funding to clear a stand that was damaged by Mountain Pine Beetle and transport the low value fibre to pulp mills in Prince George. The stand will be replanted afterward.

These initiatives will utilize waste wood to produce green energy and sustainable products, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and plastics that have long dominated our everyday lives. Other projects currently funded by FESBC will reduce wildfire risks for communities.

“With challenges such as insect epidemics, devastating wildfires, and the need to conserve old growth and wildlife habitat, it is crucial to find innovative solutions,” said Kozuki. “The declining timber supply has amplified the importance of utilizing leftover forest fibre that would have otherwise gone to waste.”

Of the 42 new projects funded throughout the province, 24 projects have direct First Nations involvement, while eight have some First Nations involvement.

ADDITIONAL QUOTES:

Canfor’s Pulp Incremental Haul Program for Pulplog

Kevin Edgson, President & CEO, Canfor Pulp: “We appreciate the grant funding the Forest Enhancement Society of BC awarded for our Incremental Pulplog Haul Program project. This funding allows Canfor Pulp to access and purchase pulp logs that are outside the economic radius we can normally operate within. It is particularly important at a time when the timber supply and the availability of sawmill residual chips is shrinking. This funding will provide assistance to harvesting and hauling contractors, enabling them to supply pulp facilities in nearby communities. We will be able to transform low-value logs, which would otherwise be burned, into higher value-added products. By doing so, it will help minimize waste, pollution and carbon emissions.”

East Fraser Fibre-Increased Utilization of Uneconomical Fibre

Patrick Glazier, Owner of the East Fraser Fiber Co. Ltd. (EFF) explained that EEF had a long history of utilizing uneconomical residual fibre. In 1990, EFF built a whole log chipper in Mackenzie, B.C. to ensure we could chip small tops and low-value logs that could not be manufactured into lumber. “Maximizing the fibre used from every tree is simply the right thing to do.”

FESBC funding will partially offset the transportation costs of hauling uneconomical residual fibre from harvested mountain beetle-killed stands, that are located outside the viable economic range. This collaborative approach of utilizing fibre will minimize fuel loading in slash piles and decrease open burning used to reduce the fire hazard.  EFF’s pulp program will contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions, increase jobs, and economically benefit the forest-dependent community of Mackenzie.

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Elk Habitat Study on Central Vancouver Island Part of $8M Conservation Funding

Victoria, B.C.: The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation is proud to announce over $8 million in funding for 168 fish and wildlife conservation projects across B.C. this year, with over $1.7 million allocated to projects in the West Coast region.

For over 40 years, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has provided grants to a large network of recipients who undertake conservation projects. With support from the HCTF, a wide range of nonprofit organizations, First Nations and Indigenous communities, Provincial ministries, and community groups implement projects that protect B.C.’s wildlife, freshwater fish, and their habitats. Since 1981, the HCTF has funded over 3,550 projects representing an investment of over $215 million for conservation in B.C.

Collared Roosevelt Elk in Lead – Carl Morrison Photo

“The many different ecosystems in British Columbia, and the wildlife they support, are vital to the quality and way of life for so many in this amazing province,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “From forests to rivers to oceans, better knowledge means better protection for the organisms that call these ecosystems home. The conservation work that FESBC and the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation are doing is crucial to our ongoing understanding of B.C.’s unique, interlocking landscapes.”

Among this year’s projects on the West Coast is a multi-year project to improve the management of Roosevelt Elk. Currently in its fifth and final year and led by B.C.’s Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship, the project will use GPS data to better understand the linkage between changes in habitat and the changes in elk population in central Vancouver Island.

“Roosevelt elk are a blue-listed species and a top management priority in British Columbia. As one of the largest terrestrial herbivore and prey species on B.C.’s coast, they are an important driver of ecosystem function,” says project lead Carl Morrison. Results from the work will inform elk management including if there is adequate winter range for the species.

The project is being supported by the HCTF and the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) with $45,000 in co-funding this year. According to FESBC’s executive director Steve Kozuki, “HCTF has some of the best expertise in wildlife biology and habitat management. That’s why FESBC is so pleased to collaborate with HCTF. Together we have improved wildlife habitat on numerous successful projects all around British Columbia. And we will continue to endeavour to assist wildlife to thrive and flourish for generations to come.”

HCTF CEO Dan Buffett is proud to work with FESBC in this partnership noting, “Through this collaboration, we can fund more work such as this project that will apply the knowledge learned to improve habitat conditions for elk and enable our project partners to deliver more conservation work that benefits wildlife, fish, and their habitats.”

Other HCTF-funded projects taking place in the West Coast region include:

  • $19,420 to improve the survival of Western Toads near Bamfield by reducing three threats: road mortality, habitat fragmentation, and recreational trampling (with FESBC funding).
  • $92,938 to restore the wetland habitat of a former sawmill site in the heart of the salmonid migratory corridor for the watersheds of two major rivers, the Puntledge and the Tsolum.
  • $52,470 to expand on efforts to reintroduce Vancouver Island Marmots to Strathcona Provincial Park and create a self-sustaining population (with FESBC funding).
  • $30,000 to enhance over 1,200 hectares of upland agricultural habitat in the Fraser River estuary for migratory and resident bird species such as waterfowl, owls, and shorebirds.
  • $130,794 to reduce the unknowns of the movement and habitat use of migrating juvenile White Sturgeon in the Lower Fraser River (Pitt River).

Each project funded by HCTF goes through a multi-level, objective and technical review process prior to the 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.

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

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. For over forty years, HCTF has been helping conservation groups and individuals secure funding for conservation projects and providing education to the public about B.C.’s important natural assets. Since 1981, HCTF has provided over $215 million in grants for over 3,550 conservation projects across B.C. 

Faces of Forestry: Peter Flett, RPF, Operations Manager with Nk’Mip Forestry and West Boundary Community Forest

Faces of Forestry is an initiative of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to highlight people doing great work to enhance our forests throughout British Columbia. This month, we feature Peter Flett, Operations Manager with Nk’Mip Forestry and West Boundary Community Forest (WBCF).

Peter’s journey toward forestry had some detours before he found exactly what he was looking for. He started his education by obtaining a Bachelor of Human Kinetics from the University of British Columbia (UBC), hoping to have a career as a physiotherapist. However, Peter realized he was meant to work outdoors and be surrounded by nature.

“I have always loved the outdoors and being active, so it is not surprising that I ended up working in the forest industry. I started researching education programs in natural resources and was admitted to the Natural Resource Science program at Thompson Rivers University, where I completed courses in soils, hydrology, dendrology, and forest ecology, among others – all of which I found incredibly engaging and enjoyable led by exceptional professors and instructors,” noted Peter.

He then joined UBC’s Master’s program in Sustainable Forest Management. After graduation, Peter was offered the opportunity to join the team at Vaagen Fibre Canada (Vaagen) in Midway. With Vaagen, Peter was able to dive into a wide array of forestry roles, from project management, planning, operational supervision and silviculture to building relationships and partnerships with the local community.

Today, Peter is Operations Manager for the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) forestry department, Nk’Mip Forestry and West Boundary Community Forest (WBCF). Peter’s involvement goes beyond the typical forestry field and office work. In this role, he works with First Nation Band members and local citizens before and during project planning to incorporate the values of the area and address potential concerns up front.

“What I like the most about being connected to the community is building relationships with our Indigenous partners and groups such as BC Wildfire Service, stewardship and wildlife organizations, recreationists, hunters, ranchers, the general public, government, funding agencies, forestry companies, among others,” said Peter.

As part of the forest management team for the OIB and WBCF, he makes sure forest practices adhere to a foundation of sustainable forest management by balancing ecological, social, cultural and economic values.

“Each day at ’work’ brings new challenges, successes, and frustrations. After a project has wrapped up, I re-visit the site periodically for years, and it brings a sense of accomplishment and an opportunity to learn from what worked or didn’t work in the past,” explained Peter.

After joining the industry, Peter realized that today’s youth need to be informed of the many career opportunities in forestry. Working with OIB and WBCF, Peter shares his forestry knowledge with the local youth through educational tours.

“I think it is important to educate young people about the career opportunities in forestry. Forestry is not solely cutting down trees or using chainsaws, which is what many people see, but there are so many unique opportunities within the industry. There are an amazing variety of roles available today in fields like wildfire, biology, remote sensing, engineering, mapping, community engagement, silviculture, operations, planning, and project administration,” said Peter.

Thank you, Peter, for involving community members to be part of forestry projects, inviting diverse points of view to every decision, and inspiring youth to take an interest in careers in forestry.

Elk Winter Range Enhancement in the Kootenays Part of $8M Conservation Funding

Nelson, B.C.: The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation is proud to announce over $8 million in funding for 167 fish and wildlife conservation projects across B.C. this year, with over $1.2M allocated to projects in the Kootenay region.

For over 40 years, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has provided grants to a large network of recipients who undertake conservation projects. With support from the HCTF, a wide range of nonprofit organizations, First Nations and Indigenous communities, Provincial ministries, and community groups implement projects that protect B.C.’s wildlife, freshwater fish, and their habitats. Since 1981, the HCTF has funded over 3,550 projects representing an investment of over $215 million for conservation in B.C.

Among this year’s projects in the Kootenays is the enhancement of the elk winter range in the Upper Kicking Horse Canyon. Currently in its second year and led by the Golden District Rod and Gun Club, the project aims to enhance 112 hectares of habitat for ungulate species such as Rocky Mountain Elk, Mule Deer, and White-tailed Deer.

“Enhancement work will involve the thinning of immature forest to promote forage growth, allow for ease of elk movement, increase elk predator detection and improve forest structure for snow interception,” says project lead Brian Gustafson. “The main goal is to increase the amount of usable habitat for elk in this important area on the landscape.”

Work being done in the area, before conducting pellet plots; Credit: Golden Rod & Gun Club.

The project is being supported by the HCTF and the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) with $63,580 in co-funding this year. According to FESBC’s executive director Steve Kozuki, “HCTF has some of the best expertise in wildlife biology and habitat management. That’s why FESBC is so pleased to collaborate with HCTF. Together we have improved wildlife habitat on numerous successful projects all around British Columbia. And we will continue to endeavour to assist wildlife to thrive and flourish for generations to come.”

HCTF CEO Dan Buffett is proud to work with FESBC in this partnership noting, “Through this collaboration, we can fund more projects such as enhancing elk habitat, and enable our project partners to deliver more conservation work that benefits wildlife, fish, and their habitats.”

Other HCTF-funded projects taking place in the Kootenays include:

  • $13,200 to inform policy and create guidelines for recreation and industrial activities near wolverine denning areas (with FESBC funding).
  • $130,000 for a River Guardian program to maintain or improve angling conditions and native sportfish populations in eight Kootenay region watersheds.
  • $95,940 to enhance critical habitat for deer and elk within the Galton Range by removing dense stands of conifers and reducing invasive species (with FESBC funding).
  • $33,184 to restore two wetlands in the ʔakaⱡan̓ qu (Peckham’s) area, that have been severely impacted by resource users and will improve habitat for elk, deer and waterfowl.

Each project funded by HCTF goes through a multi-level, objective and technical review process prior to the 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.

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

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. For over forty years, HCTF has been helping conservation groups and individuals secure funding for conservation projects and providing education to the public about B.C.’s important natural assets. Since 1981, HCTF has provided over $215 million in grants for over 3,550 conservation projects across B.C. 

GSL Group Donates Ticket Proceeds from Two Popular BC Music Festivals to Support Urgent Wildfire Emergency Efforts

Rock the Lake and Ambleside Music Festival will donate ticket proceeds on August 1st and 2nd, 2023 to three local charities and associations

Today, GSL Group announces a new partnership between two of B.C.’s renowned music events, Rock the Lake in Kelowna and Ambleside Music Festival in West Vancouver, with the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C, SenseNet Wildfire detection, and the BC Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund. 

United in their response to the ongoing wildfire crisis, both festivals pledge to donate all proceeds from their August 1 and 2 ticket sales to these three organizations. This crucial move aims to support indigenous groups and local communities to reduce greenhouse gases, protect communities from wildfires, improve wildlife habitat, and support forest rehabilitation efforts for the ongoing wildfires in the province.

The sobering statistics from the BC Wildfire Service underscore the scale and severity of the wildfires in British Columbia. High to extreme fire danger ratings are prevalent, with a shocking 1,498 fires since April, leading to over 1.5 million hectares burned. At present, 391 fires continue to burn, with over half classified as out of control. In response, both Rock the Lake and Ambleside Music Festival are stepping up, committing to donate all proceeds from its August 1 and 2 ticket sales to address critical needs in the province. 

“Both Rock the Lake and Ambleside Music Festival are about more than just great music—they are about community and solidarity. In the face of a record number of wildfires, we are channelling the energy and spirit of our festivals to help protect our beautiful BC backyard,” emphasizes GSL Group President & CEO Graham Lee. “As part of our appreciation to the front-line firefighters dedicated to protecting our province, we are also providing complimentary tickets to local firefighter charitable associations in West Vancouver and Kelowna as a token of our gratitude.”

As community pillars, Rock the Lake and Ambleside Music Festival have a history of using their iconic festivals to rally local community support. In 2022, the festivals donated $500,000 in tickets to frontline healthcare workers. This year, the same spirit of giving continues, GSL Group is also proud to support the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation, BC Cancer Foundation, BC Children’s Hospital, the YMCA, and other local charities, further emphasizing their collective commitment to community building through their festivals. 

To support B.C. wildfire recovery, purchase tickets on August 1 or 2 for Rock the Lake in Kelowna or Ambleside Music Festival in West Vancouver. Each outdoor festival offers a rockstar-studded lineup featuring local and internationally renowned bands, such as Collective Soul, Burton Cummings and his band, Death from Above 1979, Prism, and Finger Eleven at Rock the Lake from August 11-13th, and Weezer, Third Eye Blind, Bahamas, and Said The Whale at Ambleside Music Festival on August 19th and 20th. The festivals provide not only a memorable musical experience, but also a chance for attendees to help protect their beautiful province this August. 

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director, speaking on behalf of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) commends the initiative, saying, “FESBC funds many projects that result in many benefits to our forests including improving the forest health and wildlife habitat, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the utilization of forest fibre normally burnt and reducing  the risk of wildfire to communities all across BC, The support from GSL Group, Rock the Lake, and Ambleside Music Festival will help to revitalize and begin recovery for our forests. The funds collected will strengthen our ability to reduce the risk to our communities from BC wildfires. It’s uplifting to see such high-profile events rally in support, reminding us that we are united in our efforts.”

To support this cause and enjoy unforgettable outdoor festivals this summer, secure your tickets to Rock the Lake or Ambleside Music Festival on August 1st and 2nd at https://rtlkelowna.com and http://amblesidefestival.com.

Learn more about Rock the Lake and Ambleside Music Festival and follow both festivals on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for the latest updates.

Cougar Tracking in the Okanagan Part of $8M Conservation Funding

Kamloops, B.C. –The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation is proud to announce over $8 million in funding for 167 fish and wildlife conservation projects across B.C. this year, with nearly $1 million allocated to projects in the Thompson-Okanagan Natural Resource Region.

For over 40 years, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has provided grants to a large network of recipients who undertake conservation projects. With support from the HCTF, a wide range of nonprofit organizations, First Nations and Indigenous communities, Provincial ministries, and community groups implement projects that protect B.C.’s wildlife, freshwater fish, and their habitats. Since 1981, the HCTF has funded over 3,550 projects representing an investment of over $215 million for conservation in B.C.

Among this year’s projects in the Okanagan is a multi-year cougar study; by fitting GPS collars on forty cougars, the project leaders will better understand their predation rates of deer and other species and their movement behaviour. The project will be “B.C.’s most comprehensive cougar study to date, with a focus on the predation behaviour, habitat use, and impacts of harvest on cougars,” says project leader Adam Ford. “Cougars are one of the most important predators in B.C. for mule deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and caribou. In spite of their high profile in B.C., we have very little information on the effects of cougar predation on prey distribution and survival, and the effects of human (e.g. road density, forestry) and natural (e.g. fire) landscape change on cougar habitat use.”

The project is being supported by the HCTF and the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) with $70,845 in co-funding this year. According to FESBC’s executive director Steve Kozuki, “HCTF has some of the best expertise in wildlife biology and habitat management. That’s why FESBC is so pleased to collaborate with HCTF. Together we have improved wildlife habitat on numerous successful projects all around British Columbia. And we will continue to endeavour to assist wildlife to thrive and flourish for generations to come.”

HCTF CEO Dan Buffett is proud to work with FESBC in this partnership noting, “Through this collaboration, we can fund more projects such as this investment in better understanding cougars in a changing landscape, and enable our project partners to deliver more conservation work that benefits wildlife, fish, and their habitats.”

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

  • $40,400 to restore the riparian Black Cottonwood forests of the Kettle River Watershed, considered one of the rarest ecosystems in the province (with FESBC funding).
  • $83,918 to evaluate how large-scale wildfires affect the distribution of owl species in the Thompson-Okanagan region (with FESBC funding).
  • $78,940 for the re-naturalization of nluxʷluxʷɬcwix (Lower Trout Creek).
  • $108,271 to implement the Lower Mission Creek conservation and restoration plan.

Each project funded by HCTF goes through a multi-level, objective and technical review process prior to the 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.

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Faces of Forestry: Garrett McLaughlin, RPF, MSc, Technical Advisor, Province of B.C.

Faces of Forestry is an initiative of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to highlight people doing great work to enhance our forests throughout British Columbia (BC). This month, we feature Garrett McLaughlin, RPF, MSc, Technical Advisor, with the Province of British Columbia.

Garrett started his career in forestry almost 20 years ago when he took a summer job with the United States Forest Service in northern Pennsylvania. By the end of that summer, Garrett had found his path toward a career in forestry that has led him to working as a timber cruiser in California, a carbon offset project developer in the Great Bear Rain Forest, and as a carbon modeler and technical advisor with the province of BC.

“I have always been drawn to outdoor sports and activities, and I wanted a career where I could go outside and run around in the woods,” said Garrett. “Being a forest carbon advisor and modeler has combined my interests in computer science with my passion for forest ecosystems.”

Garrett has worked in connection with FESBC on research related to the costs and climate benefits of utilizing slash piles instead of burning them. Garrett developed a decision support tool to determine the lifecycle carbon impact associated with producing different types of products from residual fiber.

“It is important to try to get an estimate of the carbon impacts of avoided slash pile burning to better understand the potential climate benefits of improved fiber utilization,” said Garrett. “While there is always more to consider, having an idea of how much carbon is being stored or emitted to the atmosphere is an important piece of the puzzle to understanding how forest practices can impact and mitigate climate change.”

In his role as Technical Advisor with the Office of the Chief Forester, Garrett continues to work on research and policy related to promoting further utilization of harvest residuals in the province. He is also working with other forestry professionals and scientists to develop guidance for incorporating carbon mitigation strategies into forest management, as well as policy to set up and enable the development of carbon offset projects across BC.

Five Wildfire Risk Reduction Projects to Better Protect Communities in the Boundary Region

Photo top: Thinning cover; Photo Credit: Dan Macmaster.

Midway, B.C.: efforts are being made by the West Boundary Community Forest (WBCF) to better safeguard nearby communities from the potential dangers posed by wildfires. With the infusion of new grant funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC’s (FESBC) 2022-2023 Funding Program, the WBCF has made significant progress to reduce the risk of wildfires in the area.

Last year, WBCF received a grant of just over $1.1 million from FESBC. With this funding, the WBCF has taken proactive measures to enhance the safety of the communities of Midway, Greenwood, Grand Forks, Rock Creek, and Westbridge by working to mitigate the risk of wildfires.

“Sustainable community forest management is critical to reducing wildfire risk in our province,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “The collaborative efforts of West Boundary Community Forest and FESBC will not only help build forest health and resiliency but also betterprotect people in surrounding communities from wildfire risks.”

This recent FESBC funding will be used to clean up dead material and ladder fuels in the understory, limit insect infestations by salvaging trees that host beetles, and improve foraging for wildlife. Collaborating with  First Nations and neighbouring communities on how to conduct the work in order to support these values has been essential in delivering this project.

Dan Macmaster, Registered Professional Forester (RPF), Community Forest Manager for WBCF, emphasized the importance of undertaking wildfire risk reduction work close to the communities.

“For far too long, forest stands directly adjacent to residents have been neglected due to various factors, including visual concerns, public pressure to avoid clear cuts,  proximity to local recreational trails, and the perception that logging should be done far away from towns and hidden in the backcountry,” said Macmaster. “As a result, unmanaged forested areas tend to exhibit an abundance of forest fuels such as dead trees and branches that have accumulated on the forest floor over the years.”

The dense canopies of these forested areas can further hinder the growth of shrubs and grasses, limiting the forage opportunities for wildlife. Additionally, the presence of insects like the douglas-fir beetle is becoming a significant concern, as they thrive in environments rich with stressed or blown-down wood.

“The focus on wildfire risk reduction around our communities signifies a fundamental shift in forest management practices, recognizing the critical role good management plays in overall forest health and community safety,” noted Macmaster.

Work is already underway on five projects, and include:

Fiva Creek (Westbridge): the project tackled a dense lodgepole pine stand near homes by thinning out trees to reduce canopy connectivity and for visual appeal. Dead pulp logs were collected and chipped, while collaborative efforts with residents saw FireSmart measures implemented. A post-harvest prescription has now been developed to strategically remove remaining fuels to create an effective fire break.

Rock Creek: areas south of Rock Creek, adjacent to private properties, the Riverside Centre, and the main highway, pose a significant risk of a catastrophic wildfire due to its steep slope and accumulated forest fuels over the years. To address this risk, a local contractor is conducting hand piling and branch pruning operations. The small piles of debris generated from these activities will be burned in the fall, effectively reducing the potential for a devastating wildfire in the Rock Creek area.

Myers Road (Midway): Myers Road in Midway serves as a crucial east-west route parallel to the United States (US) border. Recognizing the risk of a wildfire spreading from the US into B.C., a shaded fuel break has been developed along the road. Within a 75-metre corridor on each side of the road, forest debris removal and the removal of branches, or ladder fuels, is taking place to prevent the upward movement of wildfires into the tops of the trees. The project will also improve road access for fire crews to enable effective fire suppression efforts in the event of a wildfire. While large-diameter trees will be retained within the treatment area, hand piling and pruning activities will be carried out after harvesting to establish the shaded fuel break.

Greenwood: the eastern slope of Greenwood features a dense stand of trees with a significant accumulation of dead forest fuels, posing a high wildfire risk. To address this concern, a fuel break has been designed on both the lower and upper slopes with the aim of slowing down the spread of a wildfire. The treatment has involved cutting small dead trees and piling up fuels, which will be burned in the fall.

Lone Star (Grand Forks): this project, situated west of Grand Forks in the Phoenix area, runs parallel to the US border along a road called the City of Paris. The dense US National Forest to the south raises concerns about the potential spread of wildfires from Washington and Montana. To address this, improvements will be made to the old road to enhance access for fire suppression crews. A fuel break will also be established along the road and will involve the removal of forest fuels, thinning trees, focusing on the retention of the most fire-resistant trees, such as douglas-fir, western larch and ponderosa pine.

Resource Operations Manager for the Selkirk District, Grant Walton, RPF, expressed the importance of the funding received from FESBC for these five projects and the many different projects in the Selkirk Forest District. He also noted that these projects have consistently been in alignment with the Wildfire Risk Reduction program goals to reduce the risk of wildfire around the West Kootenay communities. 

“To date, FESBC has funded projects for fuel management treatments, planning prescriptions for fuel management treatments, and maintenance of stands. These projects are helping inter-agencies such as the Regional District of Central Kootenay and other groups, including the West Boundary Community Forest, complete wildfire risk reduction projects,” remarked Walton. “FESBC has been helping to build important capacity within our communities to complete wildfire risk reduction work with these smaller tenure holders.”

The successful implementation of these projects relies on a collaborative approach. Recognizing this, the WBCF emphasizes strong partnerships and active involvement from First Nations communities. In particular, the WBCF has fostered an excellent relationship with the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB), ensuring that their perspectives and expertise are incorporated throughout the process.

Photos: May Creek thinning; Photo credits: Dan Macmaster.

“The five WBCF projects funded by FESBC serve as a conduit in bringing these relationships together between the OIB and the communities. This collaboration is a testament to the importance of working together to better protect the region from natural disasters, particularly the threat of wildfires,” said Macmaster.

Fibre utilization also is playing a crucial role in wildfire risk reduction work. Two of these projects focus on enhanced fibre utilization efforts. This approach recognizes the value of reducing the amount of waste material after treatments which leads to a reduction is carbon emissions and creates economic benefits at the same time.

“Fibre utilization can be a crucial aspect of our wildfire risk reduction projects, playing a significant role in mitigating the potential temporary risks posed by the accumulations of material created from the treatments,” noted Brian Watson, RPF, Operations Manager with FESBC. “By effectively utilizing harvested materials, we address two key objectives: reducing the accumulation of fuels close to homes before they can be burnt and maximizing the value of our forest resources and promoting sustainable management of the forest resource.”

Photos: Various consultation tours for the projects in the Boundary region;
Photo credits: Peter Flett.

Together, FESBC, the Ministry of Forests, the OIB, and the WBCF are turning potential hazards into valuable assets, ensuring that no part of harvested wood materials goes to waste. Through this approach, good forest management is better-safeguarding communities but also demonstrating the commitment to responsible forestry practices and the long-term health of forests for generations.

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Prescribed Burns and Sheep Habitat Enhancement in the Omineca-Peace Region

Prince George, B.C.: the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) is proud to announce over $8 million in funding for 167 fish and wildlife conservation projects throughout B.C. this year, with over $1 million allocated to projects in the Omineca-Peace region.

Wild sheep habitat burn program. Photo: Ridgeline Wildlife Enhancement Inc.

For over 40 years, the HCTF has provided grants to a large network of recipients who undertake conservation projects. With support from the HCTF, a wide range of nonprofit organizations, First Nations and Indigenous communities, Provincial ministries, and community groups implement projects that protect B.C.’s wildlife, freshwater fish, and their habitats. Since 1981, the HCTF has funded over 3,550 projects representing an investment of over $215 million for conservation in B.C.

Among this year’s projects in Omineca-Peace is a multi-year prescribed burn program which aims to restore wild sheep habitat in current and historical ranges. By treating grasslands with prescribed fire, forage will improve in quantity and quality, and sightlines will increase for better predator detection.

“The overall goal of the Wild Sheep Habitat burn program is to restore and enhance habitat to retain healthy and sustainable sheep populations and to support ecosystem diversity at a landscape scale,” says wildlife biologist and project leader Alicia Woods of Ridgeline Wildlife Enhancement. “The use of prescribed fire is the most ecologically appropriate and natural method of habitat treatment in the Stone’s sheep range.”

The project is being supported by the HCTF and the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) with $123,462 in co-funding this year. According to FESBC’s executive director Steve Kozuki, “In many areas of British Columbia, forest fires are essential for wildlife habitat for many species and for overall ecosystem health. The experts at HCTF are making a big difference in our natural world.”

HCTF CEO Dan Buffett is proud to work alongside FESBC in this partnership noting, “Collectively we can fund more projects such as prescribed fires and enable our project partners to deliver more conservation work that benefits fish, wildlife, and their habitats.” 

Other HCTF-funded projects taking place in the Omineca-Peace region include:

• $84,656 to assess the long-term influence of prescribed fire on forage for Stone’s sheep and elk and make recommendations to current prescribed burning practices (with FESBC funding).

• $254,809 for functional and ecological restoration of approximately 16km of linear corridors in the Clearwater Valley to improve caribou habitat.

• $80,662 to study effects of landscape change on moose health in central B.C. (with FESBC funding).

• $134,910 for restoration of linear features in Sugarbowl-Grizzly Den Provincial Park and Protected Area to reduce predator movement and human disturbance in caribou habitat.

• $15,433 to enhance sightlines and visibility and improve accessibility for the public to enjoy the Tabor Mountain viewing area platform.

Each project funded by the HCTF goes through a multi-level, objective and technical review process prior to the 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 view the 2023-24 Approved Project List, or explore the conservation work being done near you on our Project Map.

Faces of Forestry: Percy Guichon

Faces of Forestry is an initiative of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to highlight people doing great work to enhance our forests throughout British Columbia. This month, we feature Percy Guichon, Executive Director of Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. (CCR) and elected Councillor of Tŝideldel First Nation.

From a young age, Percy enjoyed being an active member of his community and learning about forestry. After raising a family, Percy attended the College of New Caledonia in Prince George and received a Forest Technician Diploma. He was able to merge both of his passions to build a meaningful career that has brought new opportunities to his community.

“I first became interested in forestry when I participated in a work experience program in grade 12th. Also, I was involved in the creation and operations of Tsideldel Enterprises Ltd. These experiences motivated me to learn more about forestry academically. My education was sponsored by Tsideldel Education Trust Fund, an initiative developed by Tsideldel Enterprises Ltd,” said Percy.

Today, Percy is active on numerous boards, including the Eniyud Community Forests, Tsi Del Del Enterprises Ltd., Dandzen Development Corporation and Tl’etinqox Economic Development Corporation.

As the Executive Director of CCR and a Councillor of Tŝideldel First Nation, Percy has played a pivotal role in the company’s growth and success. Reflecting on the journey, Percy acknowledges the challenges faced and attributes the company’s achievements to perseverance, hard work, and the unwavering support of the community. His commitment to making a positive impact on the land and people is evident in CCR’s recognized leadership in the forestry industry.

CCR is a First Nation-owned company located in Williams Lake, B.C. The company is a joint venture between Tsideldel First Nation and Tl’etinqox Government, both Tsilhqotin Nation communities. CCR is set on coordinating and implementing large-scale forestry programs and forest rehabilitation activities within the traditional territories, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the land through traditional Indigenous practices.

“As an Indigenous business partnership, we are proud to represent the successes of Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs,” noted Percy. “Our success demonstrates that First Nations can take the lead in forest management and make significant contributions to the economy, while also being thoughtful stewards of the land.”

Through the continuation of CCR, over time, the local communities can boost economic growth and sustainability by investing in and training a skilled workforce, which results in the creation of new jobs.

“I’m proud to represent my community,” Percy said, adding, “It’s rewarding to collaborate with my community, other First Nation bands, industry leaders, and government; to create meaningful employment and build capacity in the forestry sector. Together, we can build stronger, healthier, and safer First Nation communities.”

Thank you, Percy, for paving the way and inspiring present and future generations to get involved in forestry.  

Reducing Wildfire Risk in Northern B.C.

Houston, B.C. – a project to reduce wildfire risk, establish a defensible fuel-free zone, and modify the amount of forest fuels has been successfully completed south of the District of Houston (the District) through Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) funding. The project took a large-scale effort of the District, BC Wildfire Service (BCWS), Houston’s Fire Chief, the Ministry of Forests, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, and several other stakeholders working together.

Leading the wildfire risk reduction project for the District was Pro-Tech Forest Resources Ltd. (Pro-Tech). The project’s goals were to reduce wildfire risks in areas identified in the 2018 Houston Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) and establish a defensible fuel-free zone for future fire personnel. The project in total covered a 9.7 km long, 1,202.1 hectares interface zone (which is equivalent to 2,247 football fields) along the southwest boundary of the District, collaborating closely with government and industry professionals. Despite delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the project was completed successfully, including planting 330,000 trees in July 2022.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that benefit communities, workers, and the health of our forests,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “We are building on this foundation with an additional investment of $50 million for the Society to expand funding for projects that increase access to fibre, reduce emissions from slash pile burning and reduce the risk to people from wildfire.”

In many ways, the project was in response to the Swiss Wildfire in 1983 that burned over 18,000 hectares of forest in Houston. The fire destroyed seven residences, damaged other important infrastructure, and significant suppression costs. “The Swiss Wildfire made the community aware that a wildfire threat was real and has very real consequences for people and communities. Homes were lost in that fire, and media reports indicated there was a real threat to the community. I believe that the fires in Kelowna in the summer of 2003, and the following provincial report that followed (Firestorm 2003) are what helped initiate the current risk reduction efforts in Houston,” noted Scott Rowsell, President, Pro-Tech Forest Resources.

In 2005, Pro-Tech prepared Houston’s first CWPP, and wildfire risk reduction work began soon after, led by Doug McRae, another local forestry professional. These activities were carried out in many high-risk zones around the community and included thinning and pruning trees, ground cleanup, and overstory removal. The Houston CWPP was updated a few years later using the latest science and research, and further identified the area between Buck Flats Road and the Morice Forest Service Road as a high-risk area for a wildfire due to the high combustibility and density of dead and dry vegetation. This zone to the South of the community became the project area where work occurred with FESBC funding.

Gord Pratt, Senior Manager, FESBC, said, “FESBC also recognized the risk to the community of Houston was pleased to provide funding that enabled this collaborative and innovated wildfire risk reduction project to be completed that will reduce the risk of wildfire to the community for many years to come.” 

Rebecca Werner, project manager with Pro-Tech, managed the project with the overall goals of getting value for what was logged and reducing forest fuels that posed a hazard to the District. “Without collaboration, this project would not have been successful as it was. Without everyone believing in the project and assisting us in various ways, we would never have been able to complete the program. Fuel reduction is a team effort!” said Werner.

BCWS played a vital role with their extensive knowledge of fire behavior and specific training related to risk reduction and provided guidance on fuel modification plans and strategies to reduce risks. They also assisted in developing stocking standards, burn plans, and providing the professionals needed for large broadcast burns. BC Timber Sales and Canadian Forest Products prepared the ground for fuel modification activities and the Ministry of Forests provided guidance for special treatment recommendations for sensitive riparian zones.

In total, six prescribed burn plans were prepared by Derek Smith, project manager with Pro-Tech, then peer-reviewed by several layers of industry professionals. These plans allowed the effective use of large-scale broadcast burns during the project treatments and will assist in maintenance burns going forward. “Broadcast burning is by far the most impactful and cost-effective tool for wildfire risk reduction,” said Smith.

The project team also included Houston Fire Chief Jim Daigneault. “Chief Daigneault’s involvement throughout the project was very important,” noted Rowsell. “He was able to steer the project planning to fit with the overall goals for the community and provided us with open communication with the District throughout the project.”

Adaptation was as critical to the project as collaboration was, and flexibility was required. The original plan to reduce fire risk by promoting deciduous trees was revised mid-project due to new research showing an increased risk of ground fires. The project pivoted to a new wildfire stocking standard, and 380,000 pine and birch seedlings were planted. Treatment options balanced fuel reduction with the integrity of riparian zones, and economic interests were integrated into the fuel-free fire guard. “These large wildfire risk reduction projects are complicated with many moving parts, but ultimately they are well worth the efforts in the end,” noted Rowsell specifically for other Districts contemplating wildfire risk reduction projects in the future.

The project provided contract opportunities and employment, even through COVID-19 mandates for manual fuel modification crews, wildfire contract crews, project supervision, and mechanical fuel modification. It allowed a variety of training opportunities for the local provincial wildfire crews such as prescribed broadcast burning ignition, and hand ignition techniques, and new firefighters were exposed to water systems and mop-up, helicopter ignition, etc. The result is a significant area along the southern part of the community of Houston that has undergone wildfire risk reduction treatments.  

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Going Above and Beyond in Wildfire Risk Reduction Work

Slocan Valley, B.C. – in a world increasingly threatened by wildfires and climate change, a forest cooperative has taken proactive measures to safeguard its community and surrounding natural resources. The Slocan Integral Forestry Cooperative (SIFCo) embarked on the journey of wildfire risk reduction long before this work came on the general public’s radar, emphasizing the urgency of addressing this pressing issue proactively. Today, with the invaluable financial support of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), the forestry cooperative has made significant strides toward reducing wildfire risk, climate change adaptation and setting a remarkable example for others.

SIFCo was formed from the local community’s long-standing aspiration for local control of area forests. In response to the availability of Community Forest Licenses, SIFCo seized the opportunity and has been guided by the principles of embracing diverse perspectives and value systems of residents in relation to forestry. After obtaining approval for its Forest Stewardship Plan in January 2009, SIFCo solidified its commitment by signing a 25-year Community Forest Agreement with the Province of British Columbia in December 2011.

“As we increasingly face the impacts of a changing climate, we must take a proactive approach to managing wildfire risk,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “Supporting the organizations who are leading this work like the Slocan Integral Forestry Cooperative is crucial in making the fight against wildfires a year-round, dedicated activity. The Slocan Integral Forestry Cooperative has committed years to mitigating wildfire risk. With this support, they can continue to ensure our forests are resilient and our communities, homes and businesses are protected.”

SIFCo type 1 treatment – Wildland Urban Interface hand treatment crew for wildfire risk reduction

Early on, SIFCo realized the importance of landscape-level planning, which in SIFCo’s words is ‘the art and science of developing land management plans’ for tenured areas or areas the provincial government grants the rights to for harvesting timber, which included developing a first-of-its-kind Strategic Wildfire Protection Plan (SWPP) among tenure holders in B.C.  In 2017, SIFCo looked to FESBC for funding support to implement their Landscape-Level SWPP and since then, a total of $2.25 million has been granted from FESBC to SIFCo for wildfire mitigation work. 

According to Stephan Martineau, Manager of SIFCo, “We have made significant progress toward completing our ground-breaking plan which aims to mitigate wildfire risks and better protect the region’s cherished natural resources. FESBC’s support has been instrumental in our progress toward landscape-level wildfire mitigation, ecosystem enhancement, and climate change adaptation. Their commitment to our vision has eliminated obstacles and paved the way for a resilient future.”

The work undertaken by SIFCo through FESBC funding has essentially created and/or been part of creating over 1,000 hectares of fuel-managed areas, leaving behind a more resilient forest landscape and helping better safeguard both the community and the environment.

Part of the planning involved designating 12 specific areas called Fuel Management Zones in strategic locations along potential paths where fires could spread. These areas were identified using a tool called FlamMap, a desktop application also used by the US Forest Service.  FlamMap allowed SIFCo to input data and virtually simulate fires, providing a realistic understanding of fire dynamics based on specified conditions such as aspect, slope, moisture content, temperature, and wind speed. By harnessing this technology, SIFCo was able to strategically focus its treatment zones in areas where wildfires were more likely to travel and where treatments could reduce wildfire behaviours, ensuring effective wildfire mitigation and protection for the community and its surroundings.

These Fuel Management Zones act as anchor spaces that separate potential fuel sources from infrastructure and can cover hundreds of hectares, the zones are invaluable in the event of a wildfire. Within these zones, SIFCo uses four different approaches to manage the vegetation, including restoring the natural balance of the ecosystem through prescribed burns.

According to Martineau, landscape-level planning integrates fire risks into resource management decisions, acknowledging the role of wildfires in the ecosystem. Drawing from landscape ecology, which examines the flow of life, materials, and energy in landscapes, strategic options like fuel reduction, strategic fuel breaks, and resilient forest types are considered.

“Understanding how human actions shape landscapes and recognizing the significance of wildfires in managing forests is also vital for creating communities resilient to fire,” stressed Martineau. “With climate change predictions pointing to a rise in wildfires, it’s crucial that we change the way fire spreads through the forest by reducing fuel loads now. This is the key to preserving the beautiful forests we cherish for generations to come. As a forestry cooperative, we believe it’s our duty to care for the land in a way that benefits us now and ensures a better future for all.”

A key part of the work undertaken by SIFCo is focused on climate change adaptation which SIFCo has wholeheartedly embraced, resulting in a comprehensive transformation of its forestry operations. Its unwavering commitment to this cause has made climate change adaptation the guiding principle in every aspect of its forestry endeavours. “We have been proactive in applying a holistic response to rapidly changing climate conditions in our bioregion. We try to foresee where we will need to be 10 to 20 years from now, and then we implement — both as an organization and in our relationship with the land base we steward — actions in the present that will prepare the ground for a resilient future,” explained Martineau.

SIFCo’s foresight has meant they are already implementing advanced forestry management practices including strategic Wildland Urban Interface re-treatment. “Now that we have created these 12 strategic Fuel Mitigation Zones, we need to maintain them,” says Martineau. This approach involves SIFCo setting aside a budget to implement maintenance re-treatments 7 to 10 years after the initial treatment, effectively managing small coniferous regeneration, and ensuring cost-effective fuel management while preserving previous investments. The good news is that re-treatment so far has cost an average of 15% of what the initial investment was.

“The lesson here is that the initial investment is critical, but once you have made it, the cost of maintaining the work is dramatically reduced. Very few companies have been at this for 15 years, so our data is very encouraging in terms of both industry and government investments in fuel mitigation,” concluded Martineau.

“It is impressive that SIFCo is already at this stage where they are proactively funding and implementing their own re-treatment program,” said Brian Watson, RPF, Operations Manager with FESBC. “Their efforts not only demonstrate a cost-effective strategy for community protection but also serve as an impressive demonstration of how a region can approach landscape-scale climate change adaptation and wildfire preparedness. The evolution of SIFCo’s exemplary work sets a valuable precedent for others implementing wildfire risk reduction programs throughout the province.”

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Meet FESBC Executive Assistant: Kathy Dupuis

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) has recently welcomed a familiar face back to its team, adding a dynamic member who is no stranger to the Kamloops office. Meet Kathy Dupuis, returning in a new part-time role as the Executive Assistant.

Kathy’s journey with FESBC began years ago when she served as the organization’s first Office Manager. Now, she is ecstatic to rejoin the team and collaborate with the fresh faces and dedicated board of directors. Fondly reminiscing about the early days of setting up the Kamloops office, Kathy recalls the excitement of their inaugural funding intake.

“We had our very first funding intake the day after I started with FESBC in August of 2016,” she recalls, “Although the intake was small, when I read through the application materials, I realized how important this forest enhancement work would be. Seven years later – that hasn’t changed.”

Prior to her time at FESBC, Kathy accumulated invaluable experience in both government and industry offices, providing unwavering support to staff and senior management in diverse capacities. Graduating from Thompson Rivers University in 2007, Kathy has continuously expanded her skillset, with a particular passion for writing and editing. She eagerly anticipates contributing to the FESBC communications team by assisting with website postings.

In fact, you’ll often find Kathy comfortably nestled at home, diligently working on various projects. However, she also relishes quality time with her two grown children and her daughter-in-law, often hosting delightful dinner and movie nights. Currently, the family has embarked on an adventurous endeavor to watch all 28 James Bond movies. And when she’s not immersed in cinematic espionage, Kathy can be found belting out karaoke tunes with her friends or embarking on exciting hiking trips. This year, their plans include a week-long exploration of the breathtaking Fernie region.

One thing that remains unchanged is Kathy’s commitment to helping people and working to ensure both staff and board have what they need in order to be able to do their work. “I feel so lucky to be able to contribute to a team where my values align so closely with the work we do here at FESBC.”

Faces of Forestry: Kelsey Winter

Faces of Forestry is an initiative of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to highlight people doing great work to enhance our forests throughout British Columbia. This month, we feature Kelsey Winter, Wildfire Operations Manager with FPInnovations and former FireSmart Program Lead for the BC Wildfire Service and the former Chair of the BC FireSmart Committee (BCFSC).

After working as a Sales Account Manager for an international shipping company in Belgium, Kelsey returned to Canada to make it her forever home. Later, she found the inspiration to join the forestry sector; after spending her summers working with the Kamloops Fire Centre.

“I loved being an initial attack crew member and then leader, and rapidly fell in love with the science behind wildfire, everything from grass curing to Kestrel tuning,” said Kelsey.

Kelsey has a Master’s in Fire Ecology, and a Master’s in Natural Resources, and she is currently pursuing her PhD in Public Administration, focusing on wildfire resiliency for Indigenous communities.

“I stayed in the field long enough to start my first Master’s degree and then moved into a strategic communications role in the office while I finished my second degree. I’ve been with wildfire ever since.”

Recently, Kelsey moved to her new role as the Wildfire Operations Manager with FPInnovations.

“It has been a big change, but one that I’m incredibly excited about. FPInnovations is an R&D organization that specializes in the creation of solutions that accelerate the growth of the Canadian forest sector and its affiliated industries to enhance their global competitiveness. I’m about to get even more forest-y!” said Kelsey.

Before moving to this role, Kelsey was the FireSmart Program Lead for the BC Wildfire Service and the Chair of the BCFSC for seven years. In her role, Kelsey led the development and implementation of the FireSmart strategic goals across the Province.

FireSmart BC is the first point of contact for residents and stakeholders in all things wildfire, from risk mitigation to resident education, to working in collaboration with industry leaders and communities to building community wildfire resiliency.

Kelsey and her team collaborated with BCFSC members, and together they ensured the adequate delivery of FireSmart programs; aimed at enhancing wildfire preparedness, prevention, and mitigation in communities.

“Leading the incredibly talented and dedicated group that makes up the FireSmart BC team was one of the most rewarding parts of my career. They are caring and passionate about their jobs, and they believe in the difference that they’re making,” noted Kelsey.

As the Chair of the BCFSC, Kelsey collaborated with other BCFSC members to ensure that the committee worked in alignment as one governing organization, coordinating resources for the betterment of British Columbians.

Throughout her career in forestry, Kelsey is most proud to work alongside dedicated foresters who share similar values. She encourages young people to take an interest in the forestry industry, as she believes it is essential to B.C.

“I’d encourage all the women out there, that maybe feel like forestry is a male-dominated industry, to push that aside and pursue a career here if that is where their heart is at. In the 15 years that I’ve been in the forest industry, I have had the immense honour of working with some of the most talented and bright women around,” remarked Kelsey.

Thank you, Kelsey, for contributing to the forestry sector and helping communities across B.C. build wildfire resiliency, one step at a time.

“Everyday Chores Make Everyday Heroes”: FESBC Supports FireSmart BC’s Spring Campaign

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is proud to support FireSmart BC’s 2023 spring campaign, “Everyday Chores Make Everyday Heroes.” As spring brings forth new life and rejuvenation, it also serves as a timely reminder of the need for heightened wildfire prevention efforts in British Columbia. It’s time to turn everyday tasks into opportunities to make a difference and reduce wildfire risks.

The campaign revolves around the idea that by dedicating a few moments each day to tasks like cleaning gutters, clearing yard debris, and creating defensible spaces around our homes, we become everyday heroes. These seemingly mundane chores transform into acts of bravery that can save lives and protect our properties. Each small step contributes to a collective effort that builds resilience and ensures the safety of our beloved province.

For the next month, FireSmart BC’s “Everyday Chores Make Everyday Heroes” campaign calls upon all British Columbia residents to seize the beginning of spring as the ideal time to address potential wildfire risks. The recent sight of smoke billowing from wildfires reminds us of the urgency to take proactive measures. It’s time to unleash our inner heroes and make a lasting impact on our safety and communities.

At FESBC, we are proud supporters of FireSmart BC’s mission to promote wildfire prevention and enhance forest resiliency. Through funding, partnerships, and the promotion of best practices, we enable the implementation of FireSmart initiatives throughout the province. As a member of the BC FireSmart Committee, established  in 2017, we actively contribute to the direction and coordination of wildfire prevention activities.

The “Everyday Chores Make Everyday Heroes” campaign is a call to action for all British Columbians to become active participants in wildfire prevention. By joining this movement, we can transform ordinary tasks into extraordinary acts of heroism, protecting our homes and communities. Let’s spread awareness, participate in community events, and share our experiences to inspire others to take action in helping B.C. be a wildfire-resilient province where everyone works, plays and lives FireSmart.

Find out more about the campaign and how you can participate, here: https://firesmartbc.ca/

Recognizing the Outstanding Contributions of an FESBC Director

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is recognizing Brian Banfill, a remarkable individual whose term on the FESBC Board of Directors is coming to an end. We would like to take a moment to express our most sincere gratitude for Brian’s invaluable contributions and unwavering commitment to advancing the vital work of FESBC. With over 30 years of distinguished forest-sector experience, he has played an instrumental role in shaping the organization’s vision and fostering sustainable forest management practices throughout British Columbia.

As one of the early board members, Brian joined the board in 2017, shortly after FESBC’s inception in February 2016. He has since been a devoted member, serving on the board until June 2023. 

Board Chair Dave Peterson shared that, “Brian’s tenure on the FESBC Board of Directors has been nothing short of exceptional. His six years of dedicated service to the public, including two consecutive three-year terms, have had a profound impact on our organization’s success.”

A visionary presence since FESBC’s inception, Brian Banfill has completed his maximum term as a Director on the Board, leaving a lasting impact on forest enhancement practices in British Columbia.

Brian’s rich experience and expertise have thoughtfully influenced the organization’s direction, policies, and funding decisions. His deep understanding of forestry coupled with his financial acumen have proven invaluable in optimizing resource allocation and driving positive change within British Columbia’s forestry sector.

“Brian’s senior-level financial expertise gained from leading forest sector firms has been a tremendous asset to FESBC. His contributions as the FESBC Chair of the Finance Committee for six years have greatly influenced our financial strategies and systems, ensuring the responsible allocation of resources for the enhancement of British Columbia’s forests,” added Peterson.

During his tenure, Brian Banfill played an instrumental role in shaping FESBC’s programs and initiatives, contributing to the successful implementation of projects focused on wildfire risk reduction, reforestation, and improving ecosystem resilience. His unwavering commitment to sustainable forest management has left an indelible mark on the organization, inspiring future generations to preserve and protect British Columbia’s precious forest resources.

FESBC’s Executive Director, Steve Kozuki, remarked, “While Brian’s time on the board is coming to a close, his legacy of strong accounting, investment, risk management, and financial systems will endure. FESBC will continue to benefit from the foundation he has helped build, enabling us to further our mission of enhancing forest resilience to wildfires and climate change. Brian’s impact will be felt for years to come, and I would like to extend my appreciation for his invaluable contributions to our Society and the forest sector as a whole.”

Thank you, Brian, for your remarkable service. Your vision, expertise, and unwavering commitment have shaped FESBC’s journey and will continue to inspire its ongoing mission.

Wildfire Risk Reduction Project an Example of Collaboration

Nelson, B.C. – the Selous Creek Wildfire Risk Reduction Project near Nelson, B.C. has demonstrated that it is possible to harvest trees to reduce wildfire risk while maintaining cultural, ecological, recreational, and aesthetic values. With funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) and partnerships among regional, municipal and provincial governments, fire services, and a local timber licensee, a wildfire risk reduction project is a prime example of collaboration to better protect a community.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that benefit communities, workers, and the health of our forests,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “We are building on this foundation with an additional investment of $50 million for the Society to expand funding for projects that increase access to fibre, reduce emissions from slash pile burning and reduce the risk to people from wildfire.”

In the last few years, wildfires have threatened and significantly impacted many communities due to their higher intensity and increased severity. With the community of Nelson being identified as strategically important by the Community Wildfire Protection Plan for the city, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK), with several stakeholders, took steps to reduce the risk of wildfire in the area.

“The Kootenays are a unique place. The area incubates and attracts people with ‘out-of-the-box’ ideas and our elected officials and staff are the proxy of the residents of the RDCK,” said Angela French, RFT, Wildfire Mitigation Supervisor with the RDCK. “The inspiration for our wildfire risk reduction project was the residents’ concerns about wildfire and the risks associated with the changing climate. RDCK Regional Fire Chief Nora Hannon was instrumental in making this program what it is today, and my predecessor Joel Hamilton, continued that legacy.”

Since 2017, the project has made significant strides in its goal to reduce the risk of wildfire. Operating area tenure holder Kalesnikoff Lumber Company (Kalesnikoff) completed 80 hectares of mechanical harvesting or removing trees using machines. Ground-based mechanical fuel modification, or piling additional debris left after harvest, was completed on 20 hectares. Adjacent to the harvested areas and along the Vein bike trail, an additional 5.5 hectares of understory, or layer of vegetation that grows beneath the trees, was treated by hand to thin and remove some of the fuel load. An additional 7.5 hectares of understory hand treatment was completed along the Great Northern Rail Trail. To prepare for the prescribed burn, the project took proactive measures to protect the outer perimeter of the harvested area and surrounding reserve patches by creating a debris-free guard by utilizing a machine-tethered system in areas with steep terrain.

Gord Pratt, FESBC Senior Manager said, “FESBC was extremely pleased to provide funding to the RDCK so they could lead the delivery of this project by taking on a role that isn’t common with other Regional Districts across the province. The project was successful due to the collaborative work by all involved and led by the RDCK to ensure meaningful input and involvement in the planning and implementation of the project, which included involving local governments, the Ministry of Forests, the local forest licensee, Kalesnikoff, and local public interest groups. The result was a project that reduced the wildfire risk to people in the Nelson area through diverse forest management activities.”

John Cathro of Cathro Consulting played a major role in the project and applauded the initiative taken by RDCK. “The project would never have happened without the vision and commitment of RDCK staff and elected officials. Everyone involved at the RDCK knew they were doing something innovative, and that success would require taking risks, forming new relationships, and trusting in the process,” said Cathro.

Cathro explained that the project had a few challenges: Building trust and commitment among various stakeholders for a long-term wildfire risk reduction project, limited grant cycles, and shorter attention spans made it difficult to build trust and engage community leaders who could promote the project. Overcoming these obstacles required innovative solutions and a willingness to embrace untested initiatives, and all parties involved showed that in abundance, according to Cathro.

“In the case of climate resilience and community wildfire risk reduction, change is necessary but change does not happen by itself. It takes people to get together and make it happen,” said Cathro, adding, “Given the complexity of the project, FESBC was flexible with changing timelines and modifications to the scope. The project would have stopped after the first year if the funding program was too stringent or unbending.”

Gerald Cordeiro, the Forest Development Manager for Kalesnikoff, also highlighted the collaborative aspects of the project, calling it a success. “One of the main takeaways for me was that the collaboration was a success in terms of advancing our collective knowledge of how to work together on a project in order to achieve the desired results,” said Cordeiro.

According to Cordeiro, the collaboration kicked into high gear when Kalesnikoff, the RDCK, BC Wildfire Service, the City of Nelson, and several notable local experts began investigating and planning for what can now be seen as a mostly-complete fuel treatment on the hillside just south of Nelson. “Throughout the planning process, we kept coming back to the idea that this would be a first-of-its-kind project, and the collaborative aspect was as important as the physical results. We learned to work within a multi-jurisdictional shared decision-making environment that will act as an invaluable model for other future projects. The planning process also included seeking input from other local interest groups, Indigenous communities, and the local community, in addition to engaging with Selkirk College and FP Innovations,” explained Cordeiro.

The project has the prescribed burn left to do this year. Kalesnikoff will also be tree planting and placing pheromone deterrents to keep the bark beetles out of the Douglas Fir trees. “We all want to make sure we take the opportunity to get the message out that collaboration works, and we can now demonstrate significant results to benefit society without an untenable set of compromises,” said Cordeiro.

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

CFI Magazine Features the Incredible Story of how Community Efforts have Set Out to Reduce Wildfire Risk in and around Whistler, B.C.

Canadian Forest Industries (CFI) magazine, which is one of Canada’s important national logging and solid wood products magazine since 1881, has featured the fantastic collaborative story of how the Whistler community set out to reduce wildfire risk with support from FESBC funding.

The story talks about how the managers of these forests face the dual challenge of preserving their natural beauty while also addressing the risk of wildfires that these forests present. To read the full story, click here: https://www.fesbc.ca/a-community-effort-to-reduce-wildfire-risk/

A Community Effort to Reduce Wildfire Risk

Whistler, B.C. – The forests surrounding Whistler, B.C. offer a picturesque backdrop for the town’s world-class recreational opportunities. However, the managers of these forests face the dual challenge of preserving their natural beauty while also addressing the risk of wildfires that these forests present.

The Cheakamus Community Forest (CCF), governed by a non-profit society of representatives from the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) and the Líl̓wat and Squamish First Nations, realized the potential impact of a wildfire to the tourists and the critical importance of wildfire risk mitigation. One spark from an ignition source had the potential to start a fire that could spread and put the ski hill recreation area, walking and biking trails, and other important infrastructure like homes and transportation corridors at risk.

Winter operations undertaken by the crew. Credit: David Conly.

To mitigate this risk and to do so in a sustainable way, foresters from the Líl̓wat Forestry Ventures LP, an arm of the Líl̓wat First Nation, with funding from FESBC, set out to create a wildfire risk reduction plan which included consultation with the community and other stakeholders. One of the concerns identified by the community was around smoke from the burning of the debris from the treatments. The wildfire risk reduction treatments were completed by the Lil’wat Nation forestry crews resulting in a reduction of the forest fuels, minimizing smoke emissions and maintaining the forest recreation values. Moreover, the treated stands now have lower levels of fuel. Today, the successes of their efforts serve as a demonstration of the benefits that a tourist town can reap from implementing wildfire risk reduction measures.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that benefit communities, workers, and the health of our forests,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “We are building on this foundation with an additional investment of $50 million for the Society to expand funding for projects that increase access to fibre, reduce emissions from slash pile burning and reduce the risk to people from wildfire.”

Dean Nelson, the Chief of the Líl̓wat First Nation, spoke about the forests where the work was conducted. He explained that the initiative was in response to the province-wide call for municipal preparedness and was prompted by the threat of wildfires and the impacts of climate change on communities and forests throughout B.C.

“For the residents of Whistler, this work was crucial to help prevent and raise awareness of the potential dangers of forest fires,” Nelson said. “For the people living in Whistler, this work is very important for the prevention and cautionary awareness of potential forest fire danger. The number of trees remaining after the treatment varied from site to site, from a density of 250 stems per hectare, up to 400 stems per hectare. Fibre utilization from the treatments was undertaken, sawlogs were marketed for timber, the lower-valued residue was used for firewood and compost, and burning was minimized.”

The wildfire risk reduction work carried out by Líl̓wat Forestry Ventures LP was focused on larger landscape-level fuel breaks that aimed to prevent fires from spreading from the south of Whistler, according to Klay Tindall, the General Manager of Forest Operations for the Líl̓wat Forestry Ventures LP.

“The plan was to remove approximately 45 per cent of the original stand of second-growth Douglas fir, totalling around 18,000 cubic metres. Where possible the residual fibre was utilized with lowered carbon emissions in mind. For instance, some fibre was chipped and mixed off-site with solid human waste to produce compost material. By avoiding burning the residual material, a reduction in the release of PM2.5 smoke particulate was achieved. ” said Tindall. “This would not have been possible without the funding and support from FESBC as these are rather smaller areas, and the cost of working on these is rather high. The treated area is now being used for new mountain bike trails by the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association and is giving them a great spot to build some more beginner and intermediate trails.

The project also had a significant impact on the Lilwat community members employed by Líl̓wat Forestry Ventures LP, according to Reno Joe, the contract manager. The work provided a unique opportunity for the Nation to empower its youth and enhance their training. Reno stated, “Everything was locally sourced, and we aimed to bring in experienced professionals from neighbouring Nations. The project helped us build our First Nations’ capacity and gain valuable work experience. We are proud to say that we have engaged more young people in the community, and had six Lil’wat and four additional youths who participated in the project. Of these, one Lil’wat youth is already studying Fire Management at the Vancouver Island University, and one other Lil’wat youth is getting his bachelor’s degree in Forest Ecology and Management from UNBC.”

The project also faced several challenges. Chief Nelson acknowledged that the first obstacle was gaining recognition as competent forestry professionals. Despite this difficulty, the First Nations company was able to demonstrate its expertise and completed the project.

Jordon Gabriel, the Cultural and Community Forestry Manager, who works for Lil’wat Forestry Ventures, spoke about additional challenges such as residents’ concerns about declining property values, complaints about smoke from prescribed burns, and difficulties with the public entering active work sites. “Managing public access during the work and gaining support from local residents were challenges at the time, but now, even they can see the positive outcomes of this work,” Gabriel said.

Heather Beresford, CCF’s Executive Director noted that one of the project’s main challenges was helping local residents understand the importance of this forest thinning work in the long term.

“Some Whistler residents think that the thinning work makes the forests look ‘ugly’ and may even increase the risk of wildfire since they believe the forests dry out earlier in the spring. In response, the RMOW and CCF are implementing a monitoring program to measure certain characteristics pre- and post-treatment to see what is actually happening in the forests. This will give us valuable insight and ensure that our actions are having a positive impact,” said Beresford.

Brian Watson, RPF, Operations Manager with FESBC said, “The work that Lil’wat Forestry Ventures LP completed on behalf of the Cheakamus Community Forest is important in that it occurred in a part of the province that has a high profile and where wildfire risk reduction work is just starting to be implemented. It’s important that people see this work so that they can be part of the conversation around wildfires and the risks they pose to our communities. What people will not see is that the project phased out most of the burning of low-value fibre that is usually associated with this work. When you consider the proximity of this work to homes and businesses, the benefits to human health are meaningful, not to mention the positive impact on the atmosphere.”

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Faces of Forestry: Dr. Caren Dymond, PhD, P.Ag, Forest Carbon and Climate Change Researcher, Province of British Columbia

Faces of Forestry is an initiative of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to highlight people doing great work to enhance our forests throughout British Columbia. This month, we feature Dr. Caren Dymond, PhD, P.Ag, Forest Carbon and Climate Change Researcher with the Province of British Columbia.

Caren grew up in the Canadian Rockies hiking and cross-country skiing which led to a love of nature and the outdoors. Besides her passion for “green and growing things” that she attributes to her mother, Caren had two mentors in university who worked on forests and forest management which led her to pursue a career in forestry.

Currently, Caren is a Forest Carbon and Climate Change Researcher with the Ministry of Forests in BC and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Calgary and the University of Northern BC. In her role, Caren conducts field research, modelling, and collaborates with economists, silviculture specialists, and other forestry professionals to assess forestry management practices for climate action – this includes studying everything from how forests are growing and what their natural disturbances are, to reducing harvest residues.

“When forests are green and growing, they can play a vital role in mitigation and adaptation to climate change,” said Caren. “We have found that the diversification of species provides the best outcomes for tree productivity and for capturing carbon – essentially we are hedging our bets,” explains Caren.

Caren was one of the first to study integrating climate change adaptation and mitigation actions into the management of our forests.  Her research program has led to several papers assessing planting seedlings to enhance diversity and aiding assisted migration projects. She also co-leads projects related to assessing partial harvesting and the conservation of old-growth forests.

“Partial harvesting is key to reducing harvest residues and to ensuring that healthy trees remain carbon sinks in the right ecosystems. Also, changing our planting to reduce risks and take advantage of different growing conditions can also help to make our forests more resilient for future climate conditions,” said Caren.

Through sustainable forest management practices, forests can be an integral part of the solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and Caren is proud to collaborate with researchers and forestry professionals to enhance the resilience of BC’s forests.

Transformational Accomplishments Report Wins Gold Hermes Creative Award

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) doesn’t want to be just another funder of projects or a make-work program. They want meaningful and durable transformational shifts to greener economies, healthier ecosystems, reduced risk of mega wildfires in forests, improved wildlife habitat, and more. Therefore, FESBC took a very strategic approach to funding projects, seeking to maximize multiple long-term benefits. The projects are about the local people, communities and organizations who are doing the hard work to create a different future. Their stories needed to be told.

FESBC has just been recognized with a Gold Hermes Creative Award in the Print Media category for their 2022 Accomplishments Report. This prestigious honour not only underscores FESBC’s unwavering commitment to effective communication and high-quality storytelling but also validates their efforts to enhance the province’s forests through funding good forestry management projects. This marks the second time FESBC has won the creative award.

Produced in collaboration with Amplify Consulting Inc. and Signet Studio, the 32-page publication highlights 263 transformational forestry projects throughout British Columbia. The report features striking photography and compelling stories to provide readers with a clear understanding of forestry’s role in taking action on climate change and driving positive long-term economic and social benefits.

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director of FESBC, expressed his gratitude, stating, “This recognition of our Accomplishments Report is a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in the project. We are thrilled to have received this award and continue to work diligently to enhance our forests for the benefit of all British Columbians.”

The Accomplishments Report highlights eight forestry stories of transformation that have benefited communities, workers, and the environment. It celebrates the outstanding work being done with the many millions of dollars allocated by the Province of British Columbia to support forest enhancement initiatives throughout the province.

Kozuki believes that the Accomplishments Report is an important tool for showcasing the work being done by the forest sector across the province.

“Forestry can be an unsung hero because the work is oftentimes not seen or understood. Local people know that forests can be a means to achieve many social, economic and environmental goals. By telling the stories of remarkable people and communities working to enhance our forests through this report, we can shine a spotlight to build understanding for all the good work happening in forestry, and that benefits us all.”

The Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition that recognizes outstanding work in the creative industry. With over 6,500 entries from all over the world, the competition is highly competitive, and a gold award is a significant achievement.

Read the 2022 Accomplishments Report here.

$8 Million in Funding Approved for Conservation Projects Across B.C.

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation today announced over $8 million that will fund 167 fish and wildlife conservation projects across B.C.

2023-24 HCTF PROJECT LIST

For over 40 years, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has provided grants to a large network of recipients who undertake conservation projects each year. With support from HCTF, a wide range of nonprofit organizations, First Nations and Indigenous communities, Provincial ministries, and community groups implement projects that protect B.C.’s wildlife, freshwater fish, and their habitats. Since 1981, the HCTF has funded over 3,550 projects representing an investment of over $215 million for conservation in B.C.

CEO Dan Buffett is pleased with the diversity of projects as “each project undergoes a multi-step technical review process to direct funding to the best projects for fish, wildlife and their habitats.”

Project 5-310: Invasive Mussel Monitoring for the Cariboo Regional District

A significant source of funding for projects is the conservation surcharge paid by B.C.’s anglers, hunters, trappers, and guide outfitters when they purchase their respective licenses. HCTF also receives substantial funding from partner organizations like the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC), provincial government contributions, court awards, and endowments.

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.”

This year’s approved projects include:

  • $254,809 for functional and ecological restoration of approximately 16 km of linear corridors in the Clearwater Valley, led by the Nîkanêse Wah tzee Stewardship Society.
  • $146,747 to enhance 200 km2 of moose habitat in Nazko First Nation territory including rehabilitation of 100 km of forest resource roads.
  • $130,794 to determine the migration behaviour and habitat use of juvenile white sturgeon in the Pitt River watershed of the Lower Fraser River to develop habitat protections and restoration prescriptions.
  • $92,938 for the restoration of a former sawmill site in the heart of the salmonid migratory corridor of the Puntledge and Tsolum Rivers watersheds in the Comox Valley; this will restore the forested tidal wetland and reconnect the site to the floodplain of the Courtenay River, benefiting salmon, trout, and many other wildlife species.
  • $95,940 for the enhancement of critical habitat for mule deer, white-tailed deer, and Rocky Mountain elk between Raymond and Red Canyon Creeks in the Galton Range. Efforts will focus on slashing treatments and invasive plant management.
Project 2-349: Enhancing Upland Farmland for Wildlife in the Fraser River Delta

The B.C. Wildlife Federation also received funding this year: “Funding from HCTF will help the B.C. Wildlife Federation to train a new generation of habitat stewards through our Wetlands Institute,” said Neil Fletcher, BCWF Director of Conservation Stewardship. “With the support of HCTF, we offer a seven-day boot camp to qualified British Columbians who are pursuing projects in their communities. The grant for the Water, Water, Everywhere project will enable the BCWF to strategically place wetlands designed to mimic beaver dams with ability to restore and enhance wildlife habitat and riparian areas all over B.C.,” Fletcher added. “Installing beaver dam analogues with local partners will allow us to share our skills and expand our network of conservation stewards.”

To see the complete list of HCTF funded projects or explore the conservation work being done near you, view the 2023-24 Approved Project List.

FESBC Awarded $50M for Fibre Supply Boost, Wildfire Risk Mitigation, and Job Support – Funding Applications Now Being Accepted

FESBC Awarded $50M for Fibre Supply Boost, Wildfire Risk Mitigation, and Job Support – Funding Applications Now Being Accepted

British Columbia – The Government of BC is providing $50 million in new funding to the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to assist with the delivery of uneconomic forest fibre and to assist communities to reduce their wildfire risk. FESBC is now accepting funding applications. 

“Receiving $50 million in funding from the Province of British Columbia is a significant boost for reducing smoke and greenhouse gas emissions, and will also better protect communities from the devastating impacts of extreme wildfires. This investment will also create and maintain jobs for workers, provide stability in communities, and accelerate Indigenous participation in the forest bioeconomy,” said Steve Kozuki, Executive Director, FESBC.

Williams Lake Band grinding fibre for hauling; Photo Credit: Forest Enhancement Society of BC

This year, the eligible parties for this funding opportunity are:

  • First Nations (Bands, Treaty First Nations and Indigenous Governments with authority for lands and resources) in B.C.
  • Companies and forest tenure holders owned by First Nation governments or Indigenous entrepreneurs.
  • Small area-based tenures such as community forest agreement holders and woodlot licensees.
  • Forest tenure holders, log suppliers, or purchasers of non-sawlog fibre that don’t own or control a primary forest product manufacturing facility.
  • Ministry of Forests and other provincial agencies.
  • Local governments such as Municipalities or Regional Districts.

A document with details on the application process, eligibility criteria and a step-by-step guide on the next steps is now available on the FESBC website, titled FESBC 2023-25 Fibre Utilization Funding Program Guide.

Similar to last year, FESBC will be hosting a virtual information session, aimed at guiding potential applicants on the application criteria and the necessary steps to successfully submit a proposal through the online portal.

Gord Pratt, Senior Manager, FESBC, emphasized the importance of hosting an information session, stating, “Our goal is to ensure that potential applicants have all the information they need to apply for funding and submit successful applications. Based on the success of our last year’s information session, we recognize the value of offering face-to-face interaction with potential proponents. This upcoming information session will allow us to offer guidance and address any inquiries applicants may have, ultimately increasing the likelihood of success for both, the project and the applicant.”

FESBC 2023 – 2025 Fibre Utilization Funding Program Information Session

When: April 18, 2023 at 9 a.m. (Pacific Time)

Where: Online, via Zoom

Register: to register for the information session, please visit: https://bit.ly/3m3WlFz

For those who cannot attend the information session, a recording will be available to view on FESBC’s website the following day or by contacting FESBC Communications Liaison, Aleece Laird, at communications@fesbc.ca.

Proponents seeking funds to implement Wildfire Risk Reduction (WRR) activities may still apply through FESIMS. Refer to the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) 2022-23 Funding Program Application Guide for more information.

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the

Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

FESBC Finalist for 2023 BC Cleantech Awards

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is pleased to announce that it was named a finalist for the 2023 BC Cleantech Funder of the Year award by Foresight Canada.

“We are thrilled to be nominated for the Funder of the Year award,” said Dave Peterson, Board Chair of FESBC. “This recognition is a testament to the hard work of forest workers and communities from all across British Columbia who are helping to implement real-world climate change solutions on the ground.”

The BC Cleantech Awards recognize organizations and thought leaders throughout the province’s cleantech ecosystem who are making an impact in everything cleantech. The Funder of the Year category recognizes organizations that have provided the most support to the BC cleantech ecosystem through financial investments, mentorship, and/or resources.

“We feel honored to be named a finalist for the Funder of the Year category alongside an impressive line up of other organizations,” Peterson added. “Our commitment to the province’s climate change goals is unwavering, and we are proud to be part of such an innovative community.”

FESBC is a not-for-profit society that funds forest enhancement projects ranging from wildfire risk reduction and wildlife habitat enhancement, to enhanced utilization of waste wood fibre and replanting trees after devastating natural disasters. FESBC has supported 305 projects across the province with an investment of $261 million in funding to date. Through these projects, FESBC funding has been able to make significant contributions toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing wildlife habitats, utilizing fibre from damaged and low-value forests, and supporting the development of the bioenergy sector. The portfolio of projects is very strategic in that they accelerate the expansion of the bioeconomy and bequeath a legacy of healthy and resilient forests to future generations of British Columbians. The province’s most recent funding announcement of $50 million will enable forest workers and communities to continue this important work.

For more information about FESBC, please visit: https://www.fesbc.ca/.

Faces of Forestry: Stephan Martineau

Faces of Forestry is an initiative of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to highlight people doing great work to enhance our forests throughout British Columbia. This month, we feature Stephan Martineau, the Founding Director and Manager of Slocan Integral Forestry Cooperative (SIFCo).

Stephan’s passion for ecosystems and community development inspired him to pursue a career in forestry, dedicating his life to creating systems that bring communities and forests together through education and collaboration.

“In B.C., forest ecosystems represent most of the land base we interact with as humans. Finding and implementing a more balanced relationship between humans and ecosystems is a lifelong passion of mine, and forestry is the field that gets me closest to working on that,” noted Stephan.

For Stephan, the future brings rapid changes in the landscape; where developing balanced systems centred on climate change adaptation and community resiliency is critical to ensuring long-term economic, social, and environmental stability.

He believes community forests are a great platform to promote community integrity, where residents share knowledge and values that are part of the decisions made to manage local resources.

In 2003, Stephan and various sectors of the Slocan Valley community came together to bring to life their vision to develop a community forest plan to care for and protect the land and resources. The collective then became Slocan Integral Forestry Cooperative (SIFCo) and met with local woodlot owners, First Nations, and other interested parties to gather community input and support letters.

In 2007, SIFCo’s application was approved, and a 25-year Community Forest Agreement (CFA) was signed with the Province of British Columbia.

“A lot of people truly care in the field, and a lot of changes are happening,” said Stephan, adding, “What I enjoy most in my career is the process of going from concept to implementation, in other words, the experience of looking back after something is completed and going, ‘Wow, this was just a thought a few years back!’”

SIFCo is located at the heart of the Slocan Valley, consisting of approximately 840,000 acres of land and water. As a non-profit, SIFCo aims to be a leader in climate change adaptation, community resiliency, ecosystem-based management, and economic diversification by providing the opportunity for the community to manage, sustain, and enjoy the benefits of the local forest.

“At SIFCo, we have been proactive in approaching a holistic response to rapidly changing climate conditions in our bioregion. I try to foresee where we will need to be 10-20 years from now — both as an organization and in our relationship with the land base we steward — and implement actions now that will prepare the ground for a resilient future,” explained Stephan.

Thank you, Stephan, and the team at SIFCo, for your commendable efforts toward community resiliency and climate change action, both integral components to ensuring future healthy forests.

Accomplishments Update Highlights Nature-based Forestry Solutions Taking Action on Climate Change

British Columbia: The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), together with the Office of the Chief Forester, the BC Ministry of Forests, and many project partners across the province of British Columbia, has released an accomplishments update highlighting the innovative nature-based forestry solutions taking real action on climate change.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC supports First Nations, community forests, rural communities, and many others who take on projects to contribute to the Province’s key commitments to strengthen forest health and ecosystems, while creating good jobs in communities across the province,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “FESBC, along with their project partners, are making significant progress to enhance forest resiliency to wildfire and climate change for the lasting benefit of British Columbians. We are building on this foundation through a new investment of $50 million so FESBC can deliver projects that get fibre to pulp and value-added mills, while also reducing emissions and safeguarding communities from wildfire.”

New growth. Photo credit: Forest Enhancement Society of BC

The accomplishments update titled “Rising to the Climate Change Challenge,” shares details about the collaboration of provincial, national, and international partners to harness the power of forestry as a part of the global solution.

“We are fortunate in British Columbia to have people with skills, expertise and world-class forest management experience turning their full attention to addressing the challenges of climate change,” noted Shane Berg, RPF, Chief Forester. “Recognizing the urgency, and embracing a leadership role, over the past year the Province of BC has invested in growing internal expertise and capacity and putting climatic ecosystem data into the hands of forest practitioners and managers. Our team is constantly promoting innovative solutions and supporting new partnerships to ensure that BC’s forests are healthy and resilient.”

Since inception, FESBC has approved $261 million in funding for 305 projects through all eight regions of the province.

“Forests are recognized by BC, Canada, and the United Nations as an important part of the climate change solution,” noted Steve Kozuki, RPF, Executive Director FESBC. “Healthy trees and ecosystems absorb greenhouse gases, provide cooling shade, provide habitat, mitigate flood risk, and in some cases can be a source of climatically-beneficial bioenergy. This work to take action against climate change is a big job, but we can be optimistic because there are creative and talented people throughout BC working together to take meaningful action.”

In the Coastal region, approximately 11,000 hectares of second-growth forests were aerially fertilized. The coastal forests are productive, and 10 years after treatment, up to 55 tonnes CO2e can be sequestered, which is equivalent to 6,690,346 smartphones charged for one year*).

On Northern Vancouver Island, investments to transport low-value fibre to a chipping facility created a measurable greenhouse gas benefit and addressed a feedstock scarcity issue for coastal pulp mills.

In BC’s Interior region, approximately 54 million trees were planted in burned forests. Planting these forests accelerated the time in which they would regenerate, sequestering more carbon over the next 30 years than if they were left to naturally regenerate.

In the Northern region, silviculture workers planted Whitebark pine, an endangered species of tree that were grown from FESBC-funded cone collection projects, plus projects to utilize fibre that would have normally been burned in slash piles were delivered to local secondary manufacturing facilities.

In the South Okanagan region, Spruce and Lodgepole pine were planted, providing the new plantation with long-lasting protection while also maximizing future carbon sequestration benefits.  

With funding assistance from FESBC, small mills such as Seaton Forest Products managed to make use of low-value fibre that was isolated and costly to ship. Forest carbon modellers from the Office of Chief Forester developed tools to help quantify the benefit of all this work being carried out on the land, explaining in simple terms how the atmosphere benefits from it over time. The models tell us the efforts of Seaton Forest Products to ship a single logging truck full of low value wood, rather than burning it, saved 41 tonnes CO2e from entering the atmosphere – equivalent to taking nine cars off the road for an entire year.

Throughout the province, 4.8 million cubic metres of wood has been put to efficient use in secondary forest products facilities instead of burning that wood in a cutblock. This is the equivalent to 96,000 logging truckloads of fibre, this achievement is meaningful in that significant greenhouse gas emissions were avoided and valuable rural jobs were created.

“There aren’t too many ways to remove the equivalent of 303,694 vehicles off the road for a year this efficiently, which is what 4.8 million cubic metres translates to,” remarked Kozuki. “By always being innovative and forward-thinking, we can utilize nature-based forestry solutions to benefit not only the environment, but we see those economic and social benefits as well.”

Read the Accomplishments Update: Rising to the Climate Change Challenge – Accomplishments Update.

*Calculation from the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

A Model of Success in Wildfire Risk Reduction

Granisle, B.C. – A project to reduce the wildfire risk for the Village of Granisle from future wildfire threats, through innovative and collaborative efforts by the Babine Lake Community Forest (BLCF) and the Village of Granisle, has successfully concluded. In 2020, with $401,450 in funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), BLCF started working toward surrounding the village of Granisle with a mixed stand of deciduous trees less susceptible to forest fires than conifers. The work has been completed, and the BLCF is closing the loop on the work started in 2008 to address the Community Wildfire Protection Plan.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that benefit communities, workers, and the health of our forests,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “We are building on this foundation with an additional investment of $50 million for the Society to expand funding for projects that increase access to fibre, reduce emissions from slash pile burning and reduce the risk to people from wildfire.”

Gord Pratt, RPF, FESBC Senior Manager, said, “This project was a great opportunity for FESBC to assist the Babine Lake Community Forest in reducing the wildfire risk to the community of Granisle, along with optimizing the use of fibre normally burned and their innovative forestry decision by planting birch into the forest for future stand diversification, meeting multiple objectives.”

While wildfire mitigation was the key objective, BLCF also had several diversified objectives. Peter Tweedie, General Manager, BLCF, and owner of Tyhee Forestry Consultants, noted that the most visible and economically evident objective was the timber resource. However, other objectives were targeted through the project, including consideration of visual resources such as the adjacent high-use recreation area of Babine lake, providing public education opportunities, and firewood for local users, minimizing impacts to existing recreation trails within the project area, managing future silviculture activities to foster food sources and botanic products such as berries and medicinal plants, and making the space available for cultural uses by First Nations and the public at large.

“Diversified forest management objectives respond to the variety of resource elements and resources, both, timber and non-timber, that are considered in the broader forest management process in B.C. We have to always remember that B.C.’s forests are more than just trees; the forested landscape is a mix of resources the public relies on,” said Tweedie.

He further explained that the challenge in this project was an additional objective of creating a long-term, self-perpetuating, low-maintenance wildfire buffer zone between the village of Granisle and the surrounding conifer-dominated landscape.

“The actual scale of the project was a challenge because we cleared such a large area so close to the community,” commented Tweedie. “By planting and establishing a deciduous forest, we were looking to form the nucleus for an element of deciduous forest, in this case birch, for future economical harvest to diversify our community forest’s product stream. We were also challenged in finding a suitable seed source for the birch as it’s not often planted in the local area, but we did and were pleased with the results.”

Birch was chosen to be planted, as this species has proven economic for higher-value products, and it has the benefit of being able to propagate or re-grow itself after cutting.

During the initial discussions for the project, the planning team worked to engage the community to ensure people were aware of the smoke that would be generated as a result of the pile burning.

“At the public meetings we hosted, the local citizens were made aware that there would be smoke, but that we would endeavour to reduce the impact of this smoke as much as possible,” said Tweedie. “The consensus was that although the smoke was not desirable, it was a short-term price to pay for a longer-term gain of the project and its success. In the end, the community in general was supportive and we appreciated their patience.”

Through the challenges, the Mayor and Councillors stood by to steadfastly guide, support and strongly advocate for the community and the forest.

“Mayor and the Council served as not just project initiators, but as guides, offering encouragement and support. This project would never have happened without the support and involvement of the Village of Granisle. In addition, the collaboration and support from the Lake Babine Nation, the Ministry of Forest, Nadina Resource District Manager and staff, and BC Wildfire Service out of Burns Lake as well as significant guidance from the regional wildfire office in Smithers ensured the success of the project,” Tweedie added.

Mayor Linda McGuire applauded the community involvement in the process as well, attributing a portion of the project’s success to their voice and input. “By being involved in this process, it demonstrated the willingness of our community to engage with the decisions from the onset. We would recommend any community considering wildfire mitigation to ensure they are at the table with their community’s voice and input,” said McGuire.

To McGuire’s point, the community was able to observe the entire wildfire mitigation project right from the beginning, including the logging, removal of logs to the mills, pile burning and lastly, the significant benefit to the community as the residual logs were cut and piled for the residents to use as firewood.

In completing the project, BLCF harvested 36,500 cubic metres (approx. 665 truckloads) of conifer sawlog and approximately 8,000 cubic metres (approx.200 truckloads) of roadside debris was moved to Pinnacle Pellet (now Drax) in Burns Lake. Furthermore, this project created employment for local First Nations and a positive perception of the BLCF because the concerns citizens had regarding wildfire were listened to and acted on.

“We, as a Village, want to highlight that such work can be done by others, and it is worth doing. The funding from FESBC was crucial in addressing wildfire mitigation in our community due to the limited budgets small, rural B.C. communities face each day. Without this funding, it would have been extremely challenging for our community to go it alone with only our taxpayers’ dollars,” said McGuire.

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Faces of Forestry: Norah White

Faces of Forestry is an initiative of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to highlight people doing great work to enhance our forests throughout British Columbia. This month, we feature Norah White, RPF, MBA, Director of the Forest Carbon, and Climate Services Branch, Province of British Columbia.

Norah has always been drawn to the diversity of BC’s ecosystems and it was her love of nature that pulled her into working with natural resources. She has spent nearly 20 years in the forestry sector working on traditional forestry topics such as monitoring, planning, and stewardship and what she considers the “new frontier” of forestry, which is the role of forestry practices in mitigating and adapting to climate change risks.

Norah is a Registered Professional Forester and the Director of the Forest Carbon and Climate Services Branch (FCCSB) in the Office of the Chief Forester with the Ministry of Forests. “We are the climate change engine of our Ministry, and it is exciting to be a part of a team of innovative thought leaders who are contributing to work that has a global impact,” said Norah.

In the FCCSB, Norah’s team researches the vital role that forests play in absorbing and storing carbon from the atmosphere and how sustainable forestry practices can ensure our forests are climate resilient. From modifying planting and harvesting practices, to tracking carbon through wood products, rethinking the utilization of slash piles, implementing carbon off-set projects, and more, Norah’s branch is responding to the urgent priority that climate change poses to our natural resource sector and how forests and foresters can be part of the solution. 

“In a landscape as dynamic and diverse as BC, active management gives us the best chance of keeping our forests healthy and doing our part in a changing climate to reduce atmospheric carbon,” said Norah. “Climate change can be daunting to learn about, but as a forester, I believe there is a unique duty to face this learning challenge. If I could share one realization, it is that forest management is climate action.”

Norah’s team collaborates with forestry professionals, Indigenous nations, scientists, and climatologists to facilitate and support the extension of knowledge. “Our research is pushing the bounds of lifecycle analysis to help us see what the optimal carbon and economic management options are,” said Norah. “We are learning more every day about what ecosystems are capable of and how forestry practices can be synonymous with reconciliation.”

Small, Rural Communities in B.C. are Making Big Gains to Mitigate Climate Change

Procter and Harrop, B.C.: A small West Kootenay community forest is implementing an ambitious climate action plan that uses forest thinning to reduce wildfire risks while also reducing carbon emissions. With support from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), uneconomic low-value fibre from mechanical fuel treatment projects is being shipped to a local pulp mill to avoid burning and to reduce the carbon footprint of operations. 

With an annual harvest of only 10,000 cubic metres (equal to approximately 200 truckloads), the Harrop-Procter Community Co-operative (HPCC) is one of the smallest community forests in the province. Despite its small size, HPCC has been a leader in demonstrating how forest management practices can be used to adapt to a changing climate while simultaneously working to reduce carbon emissions. 

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that benefit communities, workers, and the health of our forests,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “We are building on this foundation with an additional investment of $50 million for the Society to expand funding for projects that increase access to fibre, reduce emissions from slash pile burning and reduce the risk to people from wildfire.”

Several FESBC-funded projects in the communities of Harrop and Procter have generated significant carbon benefits. Over the last three years, FESBC has funded portions of the transportation costs required for the Community Forest to ship low-value fibre to the local pulp mill and break even while doing so. With $94,429 of FESBC support, roughly 8,533 cubic metres of pulp logs that would otherwise be burned on-site, were instead hauled and utilized. The reduction in carbon emissions to the environment, as a direct result of this work, is estimated at 4,149 tonnes CO2e, which is equivalent to taking 890 cars off the road for one year.

“Eliminating slash pile burning is a low-hanging fruit for carbon initiatives,” explained Erik Leslie, RPF, HPCC’s Forest Manager. “The benefit is immediate because we’re avoiding emitting carbon, starting on day one. Our fuel treatment operations require the removal of lots of small diameter trees, and we don’t want to just burn them, rather we’re trying to use them instead.”

For the HPCC project, the cost per tonne of avoided emissions was $22.67, which is significantly lower than the costs of other greenhouse gas avoidance programs being offered in B.C. These projects are also aligned with other government priorities, including creating better outcomes that impact human health, in this case by choosing not to burn the 8,523 cubic meters of fibre resulted in the avoidance of approximately 20,000 kg of smoke particulates (P.M. 2.5) into the local airshed. 

The HPCC is a community-owned, not-for-profit with over 200 members and has been managing the 11,300-hectare Community Forest, one of the first community forests awarded in British Columbia, since 2000. 

In 2021, the Office of the Chief Forester partnered with HPCC, and using FESBC funds, planted 200,000 seedlings in the heavily burned area of the 2017 Harrop Creek fire with the goal of establishing tree cover quickly to help protect the long-term hydrology of the impacted watershed. The planted trees are also expected to continue sequestering carbon from the atmosphere over the coming decades.

“The Harrop-Procter Community Co-operative’s desire to reduce burning is shared by many citizens of B.C. We now have the tools to measure the greenhouse gas reductions by utilizing low-value fibre, and when we compare these results to burning fossil fuels or the carbon tax, this knowledge becomes both informative and powerful. Removing the equivalent of 890 vehicles off the road by using fibre we used to burn just makes sense,” said Brian Watson, RPF, Operations Manager with FESBC. “This Community Forest first showed us how small tenure holders can sustain value-added sawmills. Now, they are leading the way on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and it’s a great story.”

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Reducing Wildfire Risk Through a Holistic Approach

Quesnel, B.C. – the City of Quesnel, a municipality situated between the Fraser River and Quesnel River in the Cariboo Regional District of B.C., has been a trailblazer in making forestry more sustainable by undertaking innovative projects with support from Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) funding.

After years of the mountain pine beetle devastating the forests surrounding the city, and the Plateau Fire Complex which consumed 545,150 hectares of forest, the City of Quesnel took the opportunity to learn from the crisis and formed the Forestry Initiatives Program to advocate for the practice of sustainable forestry including proactive wildfire risk reduction.

With FESBC funding, the City has now assessed over 1,000 hectares in the surrounding area near Quesnel as outlined in the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP), prescribed and treated 230 hectares with crews conducting treatments by hand and with machines, and developed 200 hectares of additional “shelf-ready” prescriptions.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that benefit communities, workers, and the health of our forests,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “We are building on this foundation with an additional investment of $50 million for the Society to expand funding for projects that increase access to fibre, reduce emissions from slash pile burning and protect people from wildfire risk.”

The work put in by the City of Quesnel in wildfire mitigation has been extensive. The City thinks of wildfire mitigation in three buckets: private property, wildland urban interface, and the approach zone. On private property, it is important to teach citizens how to coexist with wildfire by hardening their homes and making them more defensible to wildfire through programs such as FireSmart. In the wildland urban interface, or the area of transition between unoccupied land and human development, there are 34 areas as identified in the CWPP for fuel reduction treatments. And finally, the approach (or landscape) zone where the focus is on working with project partners such as the Ministry of Forests, the forest industry, and others to scale up fuel management to a landscape-level scale.

This kind of collaboration and holistic approach is what has made the City’s wildfire risk reduction initiatives possible, and successful.

“The collaboration spearheaded by the City of Quesnel with organizations and local residents has been constructive to build relationships between various stakeholders and industry. The importance of this collaboration cannot be underestimated as fuel management projects are expensive and there are significant areas that require fuel reduction treatments,” noted Roland Jarret, RPF, Site Supervisor for the Fuel Management program with the City of Quesnel.

While collaboration is highlighted as one of the many reasons for the City’s success in wildfire risk reduction, another is the City’s primary objective of ecological resilience. The work isn’t easy, nor is it without its challenges. One of the hurdles faced by the City has been to provide up-to-date training for the use of innovative logging equipment. The City shared that the sector faces a lack of trained operators to carry out complex forest operations which is crucial because innovative harvesting equipment, commonly used in Europe and Eastern Canada, allows for lighter touch, zero-waste, and other more diverse silvicultural treatments more effectively than traditional harvesting methods.

Former Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson, who is now on the Forestry Worker Supports and Community Resiliency Council, highlighted how the City has not yet found someone to champion the training program, and that a lack of investment in training is a challenge for other communities throughout the province.

“You can talk about innovation, about making systemic changes, but to enable that to happen, you need to talk as early as you can about the human resource development aspect of any change – the available skilled labour force is small and will need to be grown and retooled through innovative training programs. For example, the necessary shift in forestry toward select harvesting with a lower environmental footprint while still extracting value will require us to have people trained almost to the level of a forestry tech running new, specialized equipment, as the equipment operators will have to decide, in the moment, which trees to cut, how, where, and when. But we don’t have this specialized workforce today,” said Simpson. “Everybody is talking about select harvesting with specialized equipment, but no one seems willing, as of yet, to build the necessary workforce.” 

The City is working diligently to find solutions to transform the industry into one that plans and manages ecosystems for ecological resilience. They are also continuing to work in the local forests to reduce wildfire risks which is where the FESBC funding comes in.

“FESBC funding has been critical for the City to advance the treatments we have done and has allowed us to foster some excellent partnerships,” said Simpson.

With over $1.7 million spent to date, FESBC funds have proven critical for the City of Quesnel to continue its grassroots wildfire risk reduction projects.

“Due to the long-term support from FESBC, the City of Quesnel has carried out extensive fuel management since 2018,” shared Erin Robinson, Forestry Initiatives Manager for the City of Quesnel. “Through our wildfire protection efforts, we have been able to advance innovative and ecologically sensitive logging operations that protect our community, strengthen our economy, and help the ecosystems we live within, get back to health.”

“We look forward to continuing our efforts with FESBC in the years to come,” noted Robinson. “By focusing on ecosystem restoration through innovative harvesting, enhanced fibre utilization, and creating meaningful employment in forestry through targeted local training.”

The City of Quesnel recently received an additional $500,000 in new funding from FESBC and is excited to keep the innovative forestry initiatives moving forward.

“Quesnel’s Forestry Initiatives Program is unique and is aligned with the purposes of FESBC,” said Brian Watson, RPF, Operations Manager with FESBC. “It’s great to see the staff at the City breathing life into the CWPP and we look forward to seeing the next round of treatments that have been supported from our funding commitment.”

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

A B.C. Community Co-operative Takes on Wildfire Prevention and Climate Change

East Harrop ridge fuel break. Photo Credit: Erik Leslie.

Procter, B.C. – A blazing wildfire in 2003 that prompted an evacuation alert, and grew to nearly 8,000 hectares, was a wake-up call for many Harrop-Procter residents. The community, located in the West Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia, was clearly at risk and there was much work to be done to protect homes and watersheds. However, focusing narrowly on wildfire risk reduction work was not sufficient for the residents. With climate change conversations moving to the forefront of public consciousness, the Harrop Procter Community Co-operative (HPCC) developed an approach that is present-mindful, and future-focused, not only with its wildfire risk reduction activities but in how it manages and sustains the forested landbase. 

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) has funded a handful of projects in the community forest that have a climate adaptation theme. For over ten years, HPCC has been conducting fuel treatments in areas adjacent to the communities of Harrop and Procter. The Community Co-operative is developing a 12 km east-west network of low-elevation fuel breaks as well as two high-elevation landscape-level fuel breaks between watersheds.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that benefit communities, workers, and the health of our forests,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “We are building on this foundation with an additional investment of $50 million for the Society to expand funding for projects that increase access to fibre, reduce emissions from slash pile burning and protect people from wildfire risk.”

The FESBC-funded components of HPCC’s work are integral to the fuel break between Harrop and Procter, as they connect to fuel breaks on the east and west sides. One project is in a 140-hectare forest stand that had been high-graded in the 1970s – meaning that previous harvesting activities removed only the most valuable timber and left the rest in the woods. The old high-grading removed Douglas-fir and larch, leaving small diameter, low-quality hemlock and damaged cedar, creating a very high fuel hazard and a forest maladapted to climate change.  Informed by the 2016 Community Wildfire Protection Plan for the Regional District of Central Kootenay Area E, fuel prescriptions were developed, and multiple treatments have been completed in priority areas. 

Selkirk College students at Kosma fuel treatment with Galen discussing fuel treatment activities in Harrop. Photo credit: Erik Leslie.

Using both manual and mechanical treatment techniques, these dense forests have been thinned, and fuel loads have been abated. Deciduous growth is being encouraged, and Ponderosa pine has been planted at low densities to diversify the forest and help adapt to a changing climate. 

“HPCC has been an excellent FESBC partner, delivering excellent value and achieving all of the FESBC goals by removing fuels from the forest in critical areas and going the extra mile to reduce burning from these operations. We could not be happier for the community and the people who work hard to manage the forest,” said Brian Watson, RPF, Operations Manager with FESBC.

The HPCC is a community-owned not-for-profit with over 200 members and has a long history of managing local watersheds to address community concerns and values. HPCC has now been managing the 11,300-hectare Community Forest since 2000.

Jennifer Gunter, Executive Director of the BC Community Forest Association applauded the contributions the HPCC has been making since its inception.

“As one of the original community forest pilots in B.C., Harrop-Procter is a leader in the community forest movement. Their dynamic and innovative work in climate change adaptive management with a focus on reducing wildfire hazard over the past 10+ years provides an important and practical example of how to integrate climate science and risk assessment into tangible forest management decision-making. Their willingness to engage and share their experiences are a motivation to the community forest network provincially, nationally, and internationally,” said Gunter.

Forest management in Harrop-Procter is focused on watershed protection as well as wildfire risk reduction and climate change adaptation. What started as a collective effort in the early 1990s to protect the watersheds from logging has evolved into a community organization taking responsibility for active forest management. Harrop-Procter’s ecosystem-based approach makes extensive use of partial cutting techniques and complex reserve designs to maintain natural ecosystem functions while diversifying forest composition and structure. 

The majority of the forests in Harrop-Procter are approximately 100 years old, having originated from large fires in the early 20th century.  After many subsequent decades of fire suppression, wildfire has returned to the landscape.  A 2003 wildfire burned several valleys south and west of the community forest. Then in 2017, another lightning-caused wildfire started in Harrop Creek, and the community was again put on evacuation alert. Half of the headwaters of Harrop Creek were burned in 2017 and water quality has since been impacted. 

Pretty results fall ’21 – Mechanical fuel treatment results in Harrop. Photo credit: Erik Leslie.

“Our forests are complex and dynamic ecosystems. We manage simultaneously for many values. We are extracting timber, and that is a primary economic factor in our work, but the starting point in our community forest is to protect the watersheds that everyone in Harrop and Procter drinks out of. Our focus is protecting our watersheds,” said Erik Leslie, RPF, HPCC’s Forest Manager. “Our ecosystem-based approach integrates wildfire risk reduction, protection of sensitive sites, and climate change adaptation.”   

HPCC has developed an applied climate change adaptation project designed to use the community forest as a case study of how to integrate climate science into tangible forest management decision-making. The project includes a detailed assessment of the risks of wildfire and drought to homes, water, biodiversity, and timber. It also includes an operations strategy that describes specific climate resilience and realignment practices, including identification of priority reserve areas, location of strategic landscape-level fuel breaks, descriptions of partial cutting techniques, and the development of fire- and climate-adapted stocking standards. 

As part of its community outreach activities, HPCC has developed a series of educational videos about wildfire risk reduction and climate change. The videos provide insights and perspectives from ecologists, forest managers, BC Wildfire Service personnel, and local residents: Climate Change and New Approaches to Wildfire Risk Reduction – YouTube.

HPCC has been a leader in the West Kootenays as it manages a wildfire risk reduction program year after year aimed at completing the risk reduction goals from HPCC’s landscape-level plans. 

“The work we are doing in Harrop-Procter is not a simple point-in-time intervention” explains Erik Leslie. “The fuel treatments are part of a larger strategy and a broader community conversation about climate change and ecosystem resilience. We, as a community forest, are trying to do our part and FESBC funding is helping us move the needle in the right direction.”

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Faces of Forestry: Kim Haworth, RPF

Faces of Forestry is an initiative of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to highlight people doing great work to enhance our forests throughout British Columbia. This month, we feature Kim Haworth, a Registered Professional Forester and General Manager of Terrace Community Forest (TCF), which operates in the areas of Shames/Amesbury, Deep Creek, and Kitimat.

For Kim, forestry runs in the family, and at an early age, he became interested in different tree species. He decided to pursue a Bachelor of Science, majoring in forestry, at the University of Alberta.

“I had American relatives who worked in the forest industry, so I thought that would be a good option. My uncle had a woodlot which contained black walnut tree species which I found of interest because of its value. After I became the Silviculturist in Terrace, I established an outplant trial which included black walnut trees,” explained Kim.  

As a Silviculturist and the General Manager of the TCF, Kim provides high-level direction to the governance and management of the community forest, with the overall goals of securing long-term jobs while improving timber, wildlife, and biodiversity values. 

“I specialized in silviculture, which has been very rewarding. Since the beginning of my career, I have been involved in tree incremental programs for the industry, government, and now TCF,” said Kim. 

Kim and his team at TCF strive to involve the public in every decision of the community forest. A key aspect of this is ensuring relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members remain strong and serve as a way to advocate for forest innovation and community development.

The TCF strives for multiple outcomes that provide social and economic benefits to the City of Terrace while advocating for forest innovation and environmental stewardship. In 2021, the TCF presented a $1 million cheque to the City of Terrace after a significant upswing in profits through its sale of logs. 

Kim is passionate about forestry and plans to continue highlighting the many benefits it brings. “Forestry has provided many things for communities besides employment and revenue for the Crown. It has also provided road infrastructure which allows access to remote areas for excellent recreational opportunities.”

Thank you, Kim, for your education work with local community members to create understanding while also encouraging the community’s participation in the forestry sector in providing input and helping to make decisions that benefit communities, forests, and society as a whole.

B.C. provides funding to expand use of fibre and support forestry workers

Forestry workers and communities throughout the province will benefit from new funding for the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to increase fibre supply aimed at keeping people working and local mills running, while also mitigating wildfire risks and reducing climate emissions.  

“We know that access to fibre is one of the most critical challenges facing the industry and we’re working hard to find new sources,” said Premier David Eby. “The projects funded through the Forest Enhancement Society of BC will help us get more fire-damaged wood and logging waste to the mills that need it. At the same time, forestry contractors will have more work hauling fibre that would otherwise be too remote or costly to access. This also supports our CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 and our continued focus on getting more well-paying jobs from our forests.” 

With an investment of $50 million from the Province, FESBC will expand funding for projects and programs that increase the use of low-value or residual fibre, including trees damaged by recent wildfires and waste left over from logging that would otherwise be burned in slash piles.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that benefit communities, workers, and the health of our forests,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “Forestry is – and will remain – a foundation of B.C.’s economy. As market prices have declined, forestry workers should know that government has their backs. That’s why we are taking action today and providing increased funding to get more fibre to the mills that need it.”

Renewed and increased funding for FESBC meets a key recommendation of the Pulp and Paper Coalition to keep mills operating and protect forestry jobs. It builds on recent action by the Province to increase the flow of fibre to the sector, including: 

  • re-instating the Fibre Recovery Zone on the coast;
  • creating new Wildfire Salvage Opportunity Agreements; and
  • establishing a pulp fibre supply task force with industry.

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.

FESBC has supported 263 projects throughout B.C.; 43 of these projects have been in partnership with First Nations. These projects have benefited 120 communities and, among other outcomes, have created approximately 2,200 full-time-equivalent jobs. 

As part of the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, the Province will work toward the near elimination of slash pile burning by 2030 and will increasingly divert materials away from slash piles, reducing both air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions while creating new economic opportunities.

Quotes: 

Dave Peterson, board chair, Forest Enhancement Society of BC – 

“With renewed funding from the Government of British Columbia, FESBC is pleased to further support Indigenous Peoples, workers and communities to reduce their risk of wildfires, improve forest utilization to reduce slash burning and greenhouse gases, restore healthy and resilient forests, foster innovative forest economies, and sustain local forestry jobs.” 

Joe Nemeth, manager, Pulp and Paper Coalition –

“This is a major positive step towards resolving the single biggest issue the B.C. forest sector is currently facing: lack of economic fibre. It is supported by work that government and industry have completed since the fall of last year through the Pulp Fibre Supply Task Force. Salvaging fire damaged stands and logging waste will result in significant environmental and social benefits for the Province. As well, it will help current mills remain running, and paves the way for major investment in B.C. that the pulp and paper sector wishes to pursue, to ensure it remains cost competitive and accelerates the shift into new value-added products.”

Bob Brash, executive director, B.C. Truck Loggers Association –

“Programs to assist in short-term mitigation for our workers and communities is welcomed. Our desire is that this leads to part of the reforms needed to ensure longer-term sustainability of our members.” 

Link to the story on the BC Government New Site

Faces of Forestry: Rebecca Werner, RFT

Rebecca Werner; FESBC's Faces of Forestry Feature

Faces of Forestry is an initiative of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to highlight people doing great work to enhance our forests throughout British Columbia. This month, we feature Rebecca Werner, RFT, Project Manager with Pro-Tech Forest Resources Ltd. (Pro-Tech).

Rebecca’s passion for the outdoors and nature motivated her to start a career in forestry. As a Registered Forest Technologist (RFT), Rebecca has a strong background in layout, planning, silviculture, cutting permit acquisition, harvesting, and fuel mitigation.

“Forestry offers an opportunity for me to work outdoors and explore new territories. I have always liked trees and nature, so it seemed like a ‘natural’ fit,” explained Rebecca.

Rebecca’s forestry career has included many management roles with the Government, Canadian Forest Products, and currently as a Project Manager for Pro-Tech where, she oversees a wide range of forest management projects throughout northern B.C.  For 30 years, Pro-Tech has been delivering high-value consulting services to a diverse spectrum of clients. Rebecca and the Pro-Tech team specialize in resource management planning, operational development, forest health, silviculture, GIS services, and wildfire risk reduction planning.

Just recently, Rebecca managed a wildfire fuel mitigation project funded by FESBC on behalf of the District of Houston, B.C. The project involved the cooperation of multiple parties with the overall goal of getting value for what was logged and reducing forest fuels that posed a hazard to the District of Houston.

“Without my co-workers, this project would not have been successful as it was. Without everyone believing in the project and assisting us in various ways, we would never have been able to complete the program. Fuel reduction is a team effort!” added Rebecca.

Whether she is assisting clients with their project needs, collaborating with industry colleagues on strategic planning, or out in the field conducting research, Rebecca’s passion for the outdoors and nature keeps her looking out for opportunities to enhance our forests and support our communities.

“Forestry is not an exact science, and there are many things that people have no control over in forestry as nature plays a major role. You will be far more successful and less frustrated if you accept that you can’t control everything and instead work with nature rather than trying to control it,” noted Rebecca.

Minister of Forests Announces 12 New Projects Funded by FESBC

Work is underway to enhance forest resilience to protect against the impacts of wildfire and climate change in British Columbia.

Through a provincial investment of $25 million, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) has funded 12 additional community projects. This includes work to reduce wildfire risk, while enhancing wildlife habitat, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from slash pile burning, and support forest recreation and ecological resiliency.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that protect people from wildfire risks and reduce emissions from slash pile burning,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “Along with the historic investments in Budget 2022 to transform the BC Wildfire Service into a year-round service and double funding for proactive wildfire prevention, these new projects funded by FESBC will help build communities that are safer and more resilient to climate change.”

The 12 FESBC-funded projects are:

Projects in the Northeast Region:

Fort Nelson Community Forest, $257,250 – This funding is for a wildfire-mitigation project to create a fuel break by thinning a stand adjacent to both the community of Fort Nelson and the Alaska Highway.

Projects in the Cariboo Region:

Williams Lake First Nations, $1,573,110 – Preparing plans and implementing treatments in a landscape level fuel breaks that was identified through a local planning process.

Williams Lake Community Forest, $561,278 – Implementing thinning treatments to reduce wildfire risk while improving Mule deer habitat.

Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd., $2,000,000 – Creating landscape level fuel breaks and maximizing the utilization of fibre generated from the work.

Projects in the Kootenay-Boundary Region:

Nk’Mip Forestry LLP, $622,125 – Developing plans and implementing thinning treatments along the Mount Baldy access road.

The City of Kimberley, $400,000 – Understory thinning treatments in a sensitive wildlife area, which will create a landscape level fire break for Kimberley.

Nakusp and Area Community Forest, $356,207 – planning for and implementation of wildfire risk reduction treatments in the Wensley Creek recreation area near Nakusp.

Projects in the Thompson-Okanagan Region:

Ntityix Resources LP., $613,512 – Conducting hand thinning and pruning treatments in the Glenrosa area. This work builds on thinning treatments recently completed by the Westbank First Nation (WFN) crews within the WFN Community Forest.

Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society, $124,830 – Pile logging slash left created by logging to reduce the risk and spread of wildfire.

District of Summerland, $391,619 – Create plans for future fuel reduction treatments and manually thin stands in strategic locations within the district.

Projects in the South Coast Region:

The Cheakamus Community Forest., $635,095 – Hand treatments will be conducted on land adjacent to a subdivision in Whistler. This is a continuation of previously completed projects.

The Spel’kúmtn Community Forest, $183,456 – Local silviculture crews will be conducting understory hand thinning treatments in and around One Mile Park.

“FESBC is pleased to further support communities in reducing their risk of wildfires,” said Steve Kozuki, executive director, FESBC. “Their thoughtful and collaborative approaches result in numerous additional objectives also being achieved at the same time with the same funding: improved wildlife habitat; greater forest recreation opportunities; local employment; community economic benefits; forests that are more resilient to fire, insects, disease and future climate change; and sometimes reduce greenhouse gases and improve Indigenous participation in the forest economy in British Columbia. We would love to see more communities and local organizations step forward with their ideas on how they can enhance their local forests.”

FESBC has approved 263 projects over the past five years throughout B.C. Sixty-three of the projects have been led by First Nations and another 23 have significant First Nations’ involvement. FESBC projects have reduced wildfire risk in 120 communities and have created more than 2,100 full-time jobs.

As part of the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, the Province will work toward near elimination of slash pile burning by 2030 and will divert materials away from slash piles and into bioproduct development, which will reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions while creating new opportunities in British Columbia’s green economy. The projects funded through FESBC will help achieve these goals.

The $25 million provided to FESBC is part of $359 million announced in Budget 2022 to protect British Columbians from wildfires, including $145 million to strengthen the BC Wildfire Service and Emergency Management BC.

FESBC is a Crown agency established to advance the environmental and resource stewardship of the province’s forests by preventing wildfires and mitigating the effects of wildfire, 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.

Contacts:

Ministry of Forests, Media Relations | 250 896-4320
Aleece Laird, Forest Enhancement Society of BC | 250 574-0221

Projects Underway in Cariboo Will Reduce Community Wildfire Risk, Enhance Forest Health

WILLIAMS LAKE – Work is underway to enhance forest resilience to protect against the effects of wildfire and climate change in the Cariboo region.

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is investing in 12 new wildfire risk reduction projects, including three in the Cariboo Region. The FESBC has approved a total of 34 new wildfire risk reduction projects to be completed by March 2024. These projects are reducing wildfire risk, while enhancing wildlife habitat, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from slash pile burning, and supporting forest recreation and ecological resiliency.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that protect people from wildfire risks and reduce emissions from slash pile burning,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “Along with the historic investments in Budget 2022 to transform the BC Wildfire Service into a year-round service and double funding for proactive
wildfire prevention, these new projects funded by FESBC will help build communities that are safer and more resilient to climate change.”

Understory Burn at Bond Lake Sept 2022.
Photo Credit: John Walker, RPF, Stewardship Forester

Wildfire-mitigation projects funded in the Cariboo include:

  • Williams Lake First Nation, $1,573,110 – preparing plans and implementing treatments in a landscape-level fuel break that was identified through a local planning process.
  • Williams Lake Community Forest, $561,278 – implementing thinning treatments to reduce wildfire risk, while improving mule deer habitat.
  • Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd., $2 million – creating landscape-level fuel breaks and maximizing the utilization of fibre generated from the treatments.

“FESBC is pleased to further support communities in reducing their risk of wildfires,” said Steve Kozuki, executive director, FESBC. “Their thoughtful and collaborative approaches result in numerous additional objectives also being achieved at the same time with the same funding: improved wildlife habitat; greater forest recreation opportunities; local employment; community economic benefits; forests that are more resilient to fire, insects, disease and future climate change; and sometimes reduce greenhouse gases and improve Indigenous participation in the forest economy in British Columbia.”

FESBC has approved 263 projects over the past five years throughout B.C. Sixty-three of the projects have been led by First Nations and another 23 have significant First Nations involvement. FESBC projects have reduced wildfire risk in 120 communities and have created more than 2,100 full-time jobs.

As part of the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, the Province will work toward near elimination of slash pile burning by 2030 and will divert materials away from slash piles and into bioproduct development, which will reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions while creating new opportunities in British Columbia’s green economy. The projects funded through FESBC will help achieve these goals.

The $25 million provided to FESBC is part of the $359 million announced in Budget 2022 to protect British Columbians from wildfires, including $145 million to strengthen the BC Wildfire Service and Emergency Management BC.

FESBC is a Crown agency established to advance the environmental and resource stewardship of the province’s forests by preventing wildfires and mitigating the effects of wildfires, 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.

Quote:

Chief Willie Sellars, Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN)
“Williams Lake First Nation is extremely pleased that the Forest Enhancement Society of BC has decided to support the WLFN Brunson Fuel Break project. This project will help protect Williams Lake First Nation and the City of Williams Lake from wildfire, allow us to enhance ecosystems and provide opportunities for employment and capacity development. We are grateful to deliver this project in partnership with FESBC and look forward to further collaborations in the future.”

Contacts:

Ministry of Forests, Media Relations | 250 896-4320
Aleece Laird, Forest Enhancement Society of BC | 250 574-0221

Read the press release issued by the Minister of Forests, here.

Projects Underway in Northeastern B.C. Will Reduce Community Wildfire Risk, Enhance Forest Health

FORT NELSON – Work is underway to enhance forest resilience to protect against the effects of wildfire and climate change in northeastern B.C.

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is investing in 12 new wildfire risk reduction projects, including one in northeastern B.C. The FESBC has approved a total of 34 new wildfire risk reduction projects to be completed by March 2024. These projects are reducing wildfire risk, while enhancing wildlife habitat, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from slash pile burning, and supporting forest recreation and ecological resiliency.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that protect people from wildfire risks and reduce emissions from slash pile burning,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “Along with the historic investments in Budget 2022 to transform the BC Wildfire Service into a year-round service and double funding for proactive
wildfire prevention, these new projects funded by FESBC will help build communities that are safer and more resilient to climate change.”

Fuel Treatment work undertaken by the Fort Nelson Community Forest.
Photo credit: Lorence Forsberg

The $257,250 wildfire-mitigation project is for the Fort Nelson Community Forest (FNCF) to create a fuel break by thinning a tree stand adjacent to both the community of Fort Nelson and the Alaska Highway.

“FESBC is pleased to further support communities in reducing their risk of wildfires,” said Steve Kozuki, executive director, FESBC. “Their thoughtful and collaborative approaches result in numerous additional objectives also being achieved at the same time with the same funding: improved wildlife habitat; greater forest recreation opportunities; local employment; community economic benefits; forests that are more resilient to fire, insects, disease and future climate change; and sometimes reduce greenhouse gases and improve Indigenous participation in the forest economy in British Columbia.”

FESBC has approved 263 projects over the past five years throughout B.C. Sixty-three of the projects have been led by First Nations and another 23 have significant First Nations involvement. FESBC projects have reduced wildfire risk in 120 communities and have created more than 2,100 full-time jobs.

As part of the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, the Province will work toward near elimination of slash pile burning by 2030 and will divert materials away from slash piles and into bioproduct development, which will reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions while creating new opportunities in British Columbia’s green economy. The projects funded through FESBC will help achieve these goals.

The $25 million provided to FESBC is part of the $359 million announced in Budget 2022 to protect British Columbians from wildfires, including $145 million to strengthen the BC Wildfire Service and Emergency Management BC.

FESBC is a Crown agency established to advance the environmental and resource stewardship of the province’s forests by preventing wildfires and mitigating the effects of wildfires, 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.

Quote:
Lorence Forsberg, board chair, Fort Nelson First Nation and Northern Rockies Regional Municipality (FNFM/NRRM) Community Forest General Partner Corporation
“FNFM/NRRM Community Forest Limited Partnership is pleased to receive this funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC to conduct fuel-mitigation projects within the community forest. With this funding, the Fort Nelson Community Forest will support and invest in community wildfire prevention initiatives. This funding will allow the FNCF to implement its
mission of practising and modelling excellence in forestry stewardship relative to the protection of its partner communities from wildfire.”

Contacts:

Ministry of Forests, Media Relations | 250 896-4320
Aleece Laird, Forest Enhancement Society of BC | 250 574-0221

Read the press release issued by the Minister of Forests, here.

Projects Underway in South Coast Will Reduce Community Wildfire Risk, Enhance Forest Health

WHISTLER– Work is underway to enhance forest resilience to protect against the effects of wildfire and climate change on the South Coast.

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is investing in 12 new wildfire risk reduction projects, including two in the South Coast Region. The FESBC has approved a total of 34 new wildfire risk reduction projects to be completed by March 2024. These projects are reducing wildfire risk, while enhancing wildlife habitat, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from slash pile burning, and supporting forest recreation and ecological resiliency.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that protect people from wildfire risks and reduce emissions from slash pile burning,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “Along with the historic investments in Budget 2022 to transform the BC Wildfire Service into a year-round service and double funding for proactive
wildfire prevention, these new projects funded by FESBC will help build communities that are safer and more resilient to climate change.”

Photo of the area around One Mile Lake where the Wildfire Risk Reduction work will happen;
Photo Credit: Spel’kúmtn Community Forest

Wildfire-mitigation projects funded on the South Coast are:

  • Cheakamus Community Forest, $635,095 – manual and mechanical treatments will be conducted on land adjacent to Wedgewoods subdivision north of Whistler.
  • Spel’kúmtn Community Forest, $183,456 – local silviculture crews will conduct understory hand-thinning treatments in and around One Mile Park near Pemberton.

“FESBC is pleased to further support communities in reducing their risk of wildfires,” said Steve Kozuki, executive director, FESBC. “Their thoughtful and collaborative approaches result in numerous additional objectives also being achieved at the same time with the same funding: improved wildlife habitat; greater forest recreation opportunities; local employment; community economic benefits; forests that are more resilient to fire, insects, disease and future climate change; and sometimes reduce greenhouse gases and improve Indigenous participation in the forest economy in British Columbia.”

FESBC has approved 263 projects over the past five years throughout B.C. Sixty-three of the projects have been led by First Nations and another 23 have significant First Nations involvement. FESBC projects have reduced wildfire risk in 120 communities and have created more than 2,100 full-time jobs.

As part of the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, the Province will work toward near elimination of slash pile burning by 2030 and will divert materials away from slash piles and into bioproduct development, which will reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions while creating new opportunities in British Columbia’s green economy. The projects funded through FESBC will help achieve these goals.

The $25 million provided to FESBC is part of the $359 million announced in Budget 2022 to protect British Columbians from wildfires, including $145 million to strengthen the BC Wildfire Service and Emergency Management BC.

FESBC is a Crown agency established to advance the environmental and resource stewardship of the province’s forests by preventing wildfires and mitigating the effects of wildfires, 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.

Quote:
Klay Tindall, forest manager, Lil’wat Forestry Ventures LP –
“The Spel’kúmtn Community Forest is a partnership between the Lil’wat Nation and the Village of Pemberton to promote reconciliation, increase community benefits from local resources and to be a local voice in the management of the forest, which encompasses 17,727 hectares of land around Pemberton and Mount Currie communities. We applied to the Forest Enhancement Society of BC for wildfire risk reduction funding to assist our community forest in conducting understory hand-thinning treatments in and around the One Mile Park area, a site frequented by members of the Lil’wat Nation, as well as many others for recreational purposes. Keeping people and important infrastructure safe, while being good stewards of the land to protect wildlife habitat, high cultural value areas and the traditional territory of the Lil’wat Nation, are our key focuses, and we are grateful for the funding to start the work.”

Contacts:

Ministry of Forests, Media Relations | 250 896-4320
Aleece Laird, Forest Enhancement Society of BC | 250 574-0221

Read the press release issued by the Minister of Forests, here.

Projects Underway in Thompson Okanagan Will Reduce Community Wildfire Risk, Enhance Forest Health

KELOWNA – Work is underway to enhance forest resilience to protect against the effects of wildfire and climate change in the Thompson Okanagan region.

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is investing in 12 new wildfire risk reduction projects, including three in the Thompson Okanagan Region. The FESBC has approved a total of 34 new wildfire risk reduction projects to be completed by March 2024. These projects are reducing wildfire risk, while enhancing wildlife habitat, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from slash pile burning, and supporting forest recreation and ecological resiliency.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that protect people from wildfire risks and reduce emissions from slash pile burning,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “Along with the historic investments in Budget 2022 to transform the BC Wildfire Service into a year-round service and double funding for proactive
wildfire prevention, these new projects funded by FESBC will help build communities that are safer and more resilient to climate change.”

Ken Beck, a forestry worker, is pictured igniting the debris piles using propane and a tiger torch; Photo credit: Mike Francis

The wildfire-mitigation projects funded in the Thompson Okanagan region are:

  • Ntityix Resources LP, $613,512 – conducting hand thinning and pruning treatments in the Glenrosa area. This work builds on thinning treatments recently completed by the Westbank First Nation (WFN) crews within the WFN Community Forest.
  • Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society, $124,830 – post-harvest piling and debris removal to enhance wildfire risk reduction treatments to improve wildfire resiliency for the area.
  • District of Summerland, $391,619 – create plans for future fuel reduction treatments and manually thin stands in strategic locations near the community.

“FESBC is pleased to further support communities in reducing their risk of wildfires,” said Steve Kozuki, executive director, FESBC. “Their thoughtful and collaborative approaches result in numerous additional objectives also being achieved at the same time with the same funding: improved wildlife habitat; greater forest recreation opportunities; local employment; community economic benefits; forests that are more resilient to fire, insects, disease and future climate change; and sometimes reduce greenhouse gases and improve Indigenous participation in the forest economy in British Columbia.”

FESBC has approved 263 projects over the past five years throughout B.C. Sixty-three of the projects have been led by First Nations and another 23 have significant First Nations involvement. FESBC projects have reduced wildfire risk in 120 communities and have created more than 2,100 full-time jobs.

As part of the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, the Province will work toward near elimination of slash pile burning by 2030 and will divert materials away from slash piles and into bioproduct development, which will reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions while creating new opportunities in British Columbia’s green economy. The projects funded through FESBC will help achieve these goals.

The $25 million provided to FESBC is part of the $359 million announced in Budget 2022 to protect British Columbians from wildfires, including $145 million to strengthen the BC Wildfire Service and Emergency Management BC.

FESBC is a Crown agency established to advance the environmental and resource stewardship of the province’s forests by preventing wildfires and mitigating the effects of wildfires, 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.

Quote:
Mike Francis, registered professional forester, Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society
“We are so pleased that the Forest Enhancement Society of BC has approved our project for funding. This funding will help us reduce fuel loading on areas following harvest to create a more fire resilient landscape that should reduce the risk of fire spread in the event of a future wildfire. In the past, funding from FESBC allowed us to assess our community forest’s land base and develop a plan and prescriptions for the management of our forest resources. Wildfire risk reduction treatments can get very costly, and the funding from FESBC is critical in ensuring that we are able to reduce the risk of devastation from wildfires for our community forest and our communities.”

Contacts:

Ministry of Forests, Media Relations | 250 896-4320
Aleece Laird, Forest Enhancement Society of BC | 250 574-0221

Read the press release issued by the Minister of Forests, here.

Projects Underway in Kootenay-Boundary Will Reduce Community Wildfire Risk, Enhance Forest Health

NELSON – Work is underway to enhance forest resilience to protect against the effects of wildfire and climate change in the Kootenay-Boundary region.

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is investing in 12 new wildfire risk reduction projects, including three in the Kootenay-Boundary Region. The FESBC has approved a total of 34 new wildfire risk reduction projects to be completed by March 2024. These projects are reducing wildfire risk, while enhancing wildlife habitat, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from slash pile burning, and supporting forest recreation and ecological resiliency.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that protect people from wildfire risks and reduce emissions from slash pile burning,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “Along with the historic investments in Budget 2022 to transform the BC Wildfire Service into a year-round service and double funding for proactive wildfire prevention, these new projects funded by FESBC will help build communities that are safer and more resilient to climate change.”

Picture from Beaverdell fuel mitigation project that had similiar objectives to the Baldy Road project. The Baldy Project is anticipated to look like the above photos after completion of the treatment. 
Photo Credit: Peter Flett

The wildfire-mitigation projects funded in the Kootenay-Boundary region are:

  • Nk’Mip Forestry LLP, $622,125 – developing plans and implementing thinning treatments along the Mount Baldy access road.
  • City of Kimberley, $400,000 – understory thinning treatments in a sensitive wildlife area, which will create a landscape level fire break for Kimberley.
  • Nakusp and Area Community Forest, $356,207 – planning for and implementation of wildfire risk reduction treatments in the Wensley Creek recreation area near Nakusp.

“FESBC is pleased to further support communities in reducing their risk of wildfires,” said Steve Kozuki, executive director, FESBC. “Their thoughtful and collaborative approaches result in numerous additional objectives also being achieved at the same time with the same funding: improved wildlife habitat; greater forest recreation opportunities; local employment; community economic benefits; forests that are more resilient to fire, insects, disease and future climate change; and sometimes reduce greenhouse gases and improve Indigenous participation in the forest economy in British Columbia.”

FESBC has approved 263 projects over the past five years throughout B.C. Sixty-three of the projects have been led by First Nations and another 23 have significant First Nations involvement. FESBC projects have reduced wildfire risk in 120 communities and have created more than 2,100 full-time jobs.

As part of the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, the Province will work toward near elimination of slash pile burning by 2030 and will divert materials away from slash piles and into bioproduct development, which will reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions while creating new opportunities in British Columbia’s green economy. The projects funded through FESBC will help achieve these goals.

The $25 million provided to FESBC is part of the $359 million announced in Budget 2022 to protect British Columbians from wildfires, including $145 million to strengthen the BC Wildfire Service and Emergency Management BC.

FESBC is a Crown agency established to advance the environmental and resource stewardship of the province’s forests by preventing wildfires and mitigating the effects of wildfires, 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.

Quotes:
Roly Russell, MLA for Boundary-Similkameen
“Our vision for forestry in B.C. revolves around managing for community values, rather than simply fibre volumes. After visiting the work that Nk’Mip Forestry is doing in partnership with Vaagen, it’s evident this area is a great example of just that. Sustainable forest practices protect biodiversity, promote climate resiliency, support sustainable good employment in our communities and are vital for protecting our communities from wildfires. These projects will focus on local wildfire risk reduction and creation of economic returns for the communities, and do this while improving wildlife habitat, promoting Indigenous values and supporting safe, resilient forest recreation.”

Peter Flett, registered professional forester, Vaagen Fibre Canada
“A huge thanks to FESBC for providing this funding to Nk’Mip Forestry for the fuel-mitigation project along Baldy Road. It is an essential travel and emergency evacuation corridor between the Boundary region and South Okanagan, which was highlighted during last year’s Nk’Mip Creek wildfire. This funding will be utilized to reduce fuel loading on both sides of the road, while providing employment and training opportunities to Osoyoos Indian Band and local contractors.”

Dan Macmaster, fibre manager, Vaagen Fibre Canada, and community forest manager, West Boundary Community Forest
“Collaboration with Osoyoos Indian Band and traditional knowledge keepers is at the heart of this project. While fuel reduction is a primary objective along the corridor, we are also sharing the landscape with at-risk wildlife, such as Williamson’s sapsucker and ungulates. Taking direction from key personnel at the Band office and community members is imperative to ensure the protection of wildlife habitat, water and other cultural values is incorporated appropriately into the prescription and operational plans.”

Contacts:

Ministry of Forests, Media Relations | 250 896-4320
Aleece Laird, Forest Enhancement Society of BC | 250 574-0221

Read the press release issued by the Minister of Forests, here.

Faces of Forestry: Dan Macmaster

Faces of Forestry is an initiative of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to highlight people doing great work to enhance our forests throughout British Columbia. This month, we feature Dan Macmaster, RPF, Fibre Manager of Vaagen Fibre Canada (Vaagen).

Since the beginning of his career, Dan has been passionate about the natural environment. As a former high-school teacher, he taught students about outdoor education subjects like biology and ecology.

Dan has a Master’s degree in Sustainable Forest Management from the University of British Columbia. He is active on numerous boards, including the BC First Nations Forestry Council, BC Community Forest Association, Interior Lumber Manufacturing Association, and the Okanagan Nation Alliance’s forestry working group. Just recently, Dan was appointed to the Province of B.C.’s Forestry Worker Supports and Community Resiliency Council, chaired by Doug Routley, Parliamentary Secretary for Forests.

“Working in forestry, I have the opportunity to engage with people, share ideas, learn about community values, and make key decisions that so many people depend on,” noted Dan.

In 2013, he joined Vaagen, a small, family-run mill, located in the rural community of Midway, in the Boundary region of B.C. As the Fibre Manager for Vaagen, Dan and his team process small-diameter logs into high-quality dimensional lumber. Using innovation, technology, and collaboration, the team focuses on safety, utilization, and building strong partnerships with other licenses.

Currently, Vaagen holds a management agreement with the West Boundary Community Forest (WBCF) and the Osoyoos Indian Band’s (OIB) forestry licences. As the Forest Manager for the WBCF, Dan, along with his team carries out all forest management projects in collaboration with OIB.

“As a forestry company, it is important for us to understand the values and traditions of the land. The expertise the surrounding communities bring to the table is critical to our work,” Dan added.

Dan’s involvement in the community is an essential part of Vaagen’s commitment to sustainable forestry, developing new and strong relationships with First Nations, and stabilizing local rural communities with employment and sustainable economic opportunities. Not only does Dan believe in the power of community and educating people in all things forestry, but he believes in inspiring other foresters to take similar actions.

“I like the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, but a visit to the forest is worth a thousand pictures. I encourage my fellow foresters to reach out to their community members to help build awareness for all that happens within our forests,” said Dan.

In his role, Dan manages multiple objectives within the forest, including recreation, wildlife and timber values. Dan is also passionate about providing educational outreach opportunities to young students. He is rooted in the belief that these learning opportunities are critical to the future well-being of community forests and the forest industry.

“As forest professionals, we often manage many different responsibilities and competing demands that leave little room for educational outreach,” noted Dan. I believe if we can reorganize some of our priorities and enlist the help of other forest professionals and educators, then communication and collaboration specific to forestry education will better inform our communities and our next generation.”

West Boundary Community Forest Takes on Five Wildfire Risk Reduction Projects

Midway, B.C. – With the infusion of new grant funding of $1,137,375 from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC’s (FESBC) 2022-2023 Funding Program, the West Boundary Community Forest (WBCF) has already started working toward proactively making the communities of Midway, Greenwood, Grand Forks, Rock Creek, and Westbridge safer from the threat of wildfires.

LP Martin and Nick Kleiner at Jewel Lake. Photo credit: FESBC

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that protect people from wildfire risks and reduce emissions from slash pile burning,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “Along with the historic investments in Budget 2022 to transform the BC Wildfire Service into a year-round service and double funding for proactive wildfire prevention, the critical work of FESBC is helping build communities that are safer and more resilient to climate change.”

Dan Macmaster, RPF, Forest Manager with WBCF expressed what funding from FESBC means to the community forest.

“We are humbled and honoured that FESBC accepted our proposals; in the past, we received funding for fuel mitigation projects on the southern slopes of Midway, in May Creek outside of Grand Forks, and on the western shores of Jewel Lake. This funding allowed us to complete thorough and well-organized consultations with First Nations as well as local residents. We conducted fuel measurements and data collection to develop a prescription that focused on wildfire risk reduction in our treatments,” said Macmaster, adding, “The incremental costs of removing dead fuels in the adjacent forests can be costly, and FESBC has given us the ability to get the job done properly.”

The five new projects that have received funding are Myers Creek Road, Fiva Creek, Greenwood East, Lone Star Border, and Rock Creek South.

The Myers Creek Road project is on a road that runs parallel to the US border behind Midway, B.C. WBCF will be developing a shaded fuel break on each side of the road to protect the community from wildfires that could spread from the south.

The Fiva Creek project will involve fuel mitigation on a dense hillside north of Westbridge and adjacent to many homes. After WBCF’s selective cut, they plan to utilize local contractors to mechanically and manually rake and pile the remaining debris to ensure the fuels left in the forest are reduced.

The Greenwood East project is slated for the east slopes of Greenwood that have a buildup of fuel and requires understory thinning, slashing, hand piling and pruning to reduce the potential impact of future wildfires.

The Lone Star Border project will be located along the US Border, just west of Grand Forks, B.C., and this project will create a fuel break to help reduce the spread of fire and improve access for suppression crews.

The Rock Creek South project involves a small area in southern Rock Creek that contains dense fuels and dead beetle-killed trees. By removing the fuels and treating the green trees retained in the area, WBCF is hoping to protect the southern boundary of Rock Creek from future wildfires.

“Certain forested areas around many of our rural communities have been neglected over the years. This has allowed fuels in the forest, such as very high-density stands, ladder fuels, and woody debris to build up and for Douglas-fir beetles to run rampant. Once our Community Forest tenure was established, we realized these areas need to be better managed in order to protect our communities from wildfires as well as protect our tenure from forest health concerns. Local employment in the phases of layout, fuels treatments, and harvesting will benefit from this funding and allow us to keep local contractors working,” explained Macmaster.

FESBC Operations Manager Brian Watson, RPF, noted how great it is to see the community forest incorporating innovation into their harvesting activities.

“In these cases, they will be fully utilizing low-value fibre that would have been otherwise burned. These projects will achieve two of our funding priorities, to lower the wildfire risk while reducing greenhouse gases through better utilization,” said Watson.

Peter Flett, RPF with the WBCF, who has been actively involved in developing long-term relationships with First Nations noted that while the work for the projects is straightforward, it will involve the Osoyoos Indian Band through all stages to ensure they are comfortable with all the prescriptions recommended by the WBCF.

“Full participation and direction from the Osoyoos Indian Band will help to ensure our treatment efforts are in line with the values of our local First Nations on their traditional territory,” said Flett.

WBCF’s partnership with First Nations and its efforts to ensure their involvement in forest management is appreciated by FESBC.

“Putting people first, partnering with the Osoyoos Indian Band, and investing back in forestry-dependant communities in the Boundary Region are key reasons why working with the West Boundary Community Forest is so rewarding for FESBC,” added Watson. “We look forward to working with the team to complete these five new projects.”

Work has already begun and all of this work is being done not just to protect communities from impending wildfires, but also for several additional reasons according to Macmaster.

“We anticipate that this work will bring greater protection to our communities, while at the same time improving forest health, helping us employ local contractors, and working in collaboration with the Osoyoos Indian Band. These projects are a win economically, environmentally, and socially, and we’re so grateful for the funding.”

For an interview with FESBC contact:

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

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the

Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

B.C. Community Forests Take Action to Reduce Wildfire Risk

British Columbia – In the past few years, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) has funded various project partners throughout the province with the primary objective to reduce wildfire risk. Many of these project partners, 25 in fact, have been community forests. This partnership has accounted for 53 projects valued at over $18 million of which $12.3 million was for wildfire risk reduction and $5.9 million for projects to reduce greenhouse gases, which have included enhanced fibre utilization and rehabilitating damaged forest stands.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that protect people from wildfire risks and reduce emissions from slash pile burning,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “Along with the historic investments in Budget 2022 to transform the BC Wildfire Service into a year-round service and double funding for proactive wildfire prevention, the critical work of FESBC is helping build communities that are safer and more resilient to climate change.”

(R-L) Minister Conroy, MLA for Nelson-Creston Brittny Anderson, and FESBC Chair Jim Snetsinger inspect a FESBC-funded wildfire risk reduction treatment in the Harrop-Proctor Community Forest, where some of the biomass was used to make green energy. Photo Credit: FESBC

A community forest is a forestry operation owned and managed by a local government, community group, or First Nation for the benefit of the entire community. FESBC Executive Director, Steve Kozuki, pointed out why FESBC and community forests work well together. “We both want to create as many values as we can in our projects. We not only achieve the main objective of reducing wildfire risk, but we often create numerous additional co-benefits such as enhancing recreation opportunities and wildlife habitat, reducing greenhouse gases, and generating employment for local people.”

The BC Community Forest Association (BCCFA), which represents many of these community forests, has seen the good work from FESBC’s collaboration with community forests. Jennifer Gunter, Executive Director of the BCCFA, highlights the importance of the partnership between FESBC and community forests.

“Support from FESBC has been instrumental in the success of wildfire risk reduction projects. With funding from FESBC, many community forests have been able to take meaningful action to make their communities safer, and their forests more resilient,” said Gunter.

Last month, during the BCCFA’s 2022 Conference & AGM, the Association celebrated its 20th anniversary and the work being done by community forests. “We were able to celebrate community forestry and the outstanding work of our members throughout the province. Community forests are effective tools for ecosystem resilience and community economic development, and our members constantly raise the bar. Community forestry, however, is not without its challenges. We are grateful for the support of organizations like FESBC that join us in working on solutions together,” Gunter remarked.

During the conference, Kozuki joined Jennifer Gunter, UBC’s Dr. Lori Daniels, Kelsey Copes-Gerbitz, and Kea Rutherford in discussing the important work of wildfire risk reduction and its efficacy in a session moderated by Logan Lake Community Forest Manager, Randy Spyksma.

Lori and her team spoke about the large amount of backlog of wildfire risk reduction treatments that remains to be done in B.C. Despite the significant efforts in the last number of years, only about 20 per cent of the work has been done so far. Lori noted that while $18 billion has been spent on seismic building upgrades in B.C., only a small fraction of that amount has been spent on wildfire risk reduction. Kozuki thanked the many community forests that have stepped up to reduce wildfire risk and for doing it in a way that achieves not only a multitude of additional benefits but also earns social license from local citizens.

Nakusp and Area Community Forest (NACFOR), is an example of a community forest that has undertaken wildfire risk reduction work that has provided an added layer of protection to the community while also generating numerous co-benefits. With funding from FESBC, NACFOR took on a project with the goals of improving public safety and reducing the risk of catastrophic loss of infrastructure from future wildfires in areas with high-to-moderate wildfire risk. The project created a series of strategically placed fuel breaks surrounding the community of Nakusp to act as the last line of defence against an approaching wildfire. The FESBC-funded project provided increased opportunities for local contractors with local dollars staying within the community, giving a boost to the local economy.

“The benefits of such wildfire risk reduction work in community forests are widespread,” noted Gunter. “Community forests are often situated in the wildland-urban interface and are increasingly becoming leaders in protecting rural communities from the risk of high-severity fires. Not only has this work contributed to keeping communities safe but, in many cases, it strengthens relationships between Indigenous and rural communities and has resulted in local employment, ecosystem restoration, and wildlife habitat enhancement.”

A community forest in Creston undertook wildfire risk reduction work which also gave a boost to the local economy through increased employment opportunities, providing work to at least 15 Creston locals who were involved in the development, planning, and implementation phases of the project. The project itself treated over 120 hectares on Arrow Mountain and approximately 10,400 cubic metres (approximately 230 truckloads) were harvested from seven areas, removing mistletoe, infected larch, and unhealthy Douglas-fir. The resulting state of the forest, according to Daniel Gratton, Forest Manager of the Creston Community Forest, is now similar to what would have existed when wildfires frequented the area prior to the introduction of the fire suppression programs in the early 1900s.

Fire suppression efforts of the last 100 years have resulted in some forests near communities across B.C. becoming overmature and/or very dense, making them more susceptible to wildfire. Many times, these types of stands have less value to wildlife and are less desirable for recreation activities. FESBC-funded projects in community forests have not only reduced the wildfire risk to communities, but they have also improved wildlife habitat, created local employment opportunities, and increased recreation values like camping, hiking, and biking.

One such project to reduce wildfire risk to the community which was undertaken by the Kaslo & District Community Forest Society (KDCFS), led to additional wildlife benefits that some people didn’t expect. An area resident, Doug Drain, whose house was adjacent to the forest area that was being treated, almost lost his house to a wildfire in 2012. This wildfire risk reduction treatment not only gave him peace of mind, but he said that opening up the forest had made a huge difference to the wildlife that live there. He has seen seven bears and two cubs as well as deer and elk that are back grazing in the area for the first time in many years.

This work was informed by a Landscape Level Wildfire Protection (LLWP) plan which KDCFS received a $50,000 grant from FESBC while Sabrina Mutterer and Jeff Reyden were co-managers of the community forest. According to Reyden, even though they both are from Kaslo, they hadn’t thought about the multi-level impacts of wildfires on the community or stakeholders involved until they started work on the LLWP.

The team started to plan for priorities focused on achieving immediate benefits in forest fire suppression and crew safety while outlining future fuel treatment projects and collaborating with the Regional District and BC Wildfire Service (BCWS). Engagement sessions involved discussions with BCWS and the local fire department to understand their needs in the event of a fire close to Kaslo, outlining what resources they had, what could be shared, what KDCFS could purchase, communications protocols, jurisdictional areas of who would respond where, etc. Not only did the plan inform the work done near Drain’s property but KDCFS ended up purchasing three fire pumps, hoses, and an inflatable bladder to fight a fire if need be.

“Community forest agreements are unique forest tenures that give communities, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, the ability to manage local forests for local benefit. They are in it for the long term with a mandate to manage environmental, economic, social, and cultural values. Partnering with FESBC on projects that reduce the risk of wildfire while supporting community values and advancing climate action is a win-win for communities and the province. We have been building a network of practitioners across the province who understand how to integrate these concepts and the experts with FESBC are integral to this process,” noted Gunter, pointing to the expertise FESBC operations managers bring to projects.

According to Gunter, as forest policy in B.C. shifts to support an increase in Indigenous and community-led forestry with a focus on value rather than volume, the active role of community forests in the movement toward reconciliation and innovating to integrate multiple values on the landscape, becomes clearer.

“Throughout the province, community forests demonstrate their leadership in implementing an inspiring vision for forestry that allows local communities to manage local forests in ways that generate many benefits,” said Gunter. “Our hope is that the partnership between the BCCFA and FESBC will continue to provide ongoing support and opportunities for community forests in our province. Together we are making our forests and communities more resilient ecologically, economically, and socially.”

For an interview with FESBC contact:

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

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the

Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

FESBC and HCTF Take Habitat Enhancement to the Next Level Through Their Partnership

British Columbia – Since the inception of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), the Society has partnered with the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) to achieve its goal to improve forest wildlife habitat. To date, a total of 105 projects have been co-funded throughout the province.

Today, FESBC, in collaboration with HCTF has released an Accomplishments Update, highlighting nine of the 105 co-funded projects focused on maintaining and enhancing important wildlife and their habitats.

“HCTF and FESBC have worked together with others to enhance wildlife habitats for many, many species across British Columbia and we know that the best enhancement projects are those inspired at the grassroots level,” said Dan Buffett, CEO of HCTF. “Local people and communities are experts in delivering projects, as they know their local wildlife, ecology, landscapes, organizations, and circumstances. That’s why we can rely on them to reflect the priorities of communities while supporting the projects that are important.”

The nine projects highlighted in the Accomplishments Update include increasing Fisher habitat stewardship in the forest sector, invasive plant management on the winter ranges for Bighorn Sheep to increase the quality of grasslands, restoring whitebark pine ecosystems damaged by wildfire to improve habitat for bears, and more.

Minister of Forests Katrine Conroy, acknowledged the good work coming out of the FESBC and HCTF partnership and pointed out why this collaboration is crucial.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC and the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation’s partnership delivers on-the-ground projects improving wildlife stewardship and habitat conservation throughout the province. Through increased collaboration, their work is aligned fully with our Together for Wildlife strategy turning data and knowledge into action and results,” noted the Minister. “Partnerships like this are putting us on our path forward to achieve better outcomes for wildlife.”

As of March 2022, FESBC and HCTF together have doubled the funding to over $8 million toward 105 projects.

Steve Kozuki, executive director of FESBC, is pleased with the collaboration.

“Right from the beginning, we knew that partnering with HCTF was the way to go if we wanted to achieve our goals for wildlife habitat enhancement, and FESBC is proud of this partnership. The many past, present, and future projects like these will help ensure that wildlife in British Columbia will flourish for generations to come,” said Kozuki.

The funding for these co-funded projects comes from the Province of British Columbia and from conservation surcharges on hunting, fishing, and other licenses, court fines from wildlife violations, and public donations.

Minister of Environment & Climate Change Strategy, George Heyman highlighted the importance of the partnership and why the investment in the work done by FESBC and HCTF is important.

“British Columbians are increasingly feeling the impacts of the climate crisis. It’s why we’re taking steps to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and restore sensitive wildlife habitat in forests across B.C. By working together with our Indigenous partners and organizations like the Forest Enhancement Society of BC and Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, we’re investing in solutions that will protect and enhance our forests for a more secure future,” said Heyman.

To read the full 2022 Fall Accomplishments Update, click here.

About FESBC: the purposes of FESBC are to advance environmental and resource stewardship of B.C.’s forests by: preventing and mitigating the impact of wildfires; improving damaged or low-value forests; improving habitat for wildlife; supporting the use of fibre from damaged and low-value forests; and treating forests to improve the management of greenhouse gases. As of March 2022, FESBC has supported 263 projects valued at $238 million, in partnership with the governments of B.C. and Canada. FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

About HCTF: HCTF is a non-profit charitable foundation investing in the future of British Columbia’s fish, wildlife, and their habitats. HCTF came into existence because its major contributors—hunters, anglers, trappers, and guide-outfitters—were willing to pay a license surcharge for conservation work, going above and beyond what was expected by the government for basic management of wildlife and fish resources.

Faces of Forestry: Ken Nielsen

Faces of Forestry is an initiative of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to highlight people doing great work to enhance our forests throughout British Columbia. This month, we feature Ken Nielsen, General Manager of the Chinook Community Forest (CCF), the 90,670 hectares of community forest located near the Village of Burns Lake.

Ken started his career in forestry in the early 80s when the forest industry in British Columbia continued to experience noticeable changes. At the time, several mills began to automate many of their intensive labour activities, and many rural communities depended greatly on forestry as their primary source of employment.

“When I entered the forest sector, it was mostly about prioritizing financial objectives. Now, we focus on properly managing our land for future generations, promoting community unity, and increasing wildfire awareness,” Ken noted.

As the General Manager of CCF, Ken oversees forestry and logging operations, wildfire salvage projects, and wildfire mitigation efforts. The work Ken and his team carries out in the community forest ensures environmental sustainability and employment opportunities for economic and social growth.

The community forest agreement includes eight partnerships consisting of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, the Village of Burns Lake, Lake Babine Nation, Skin Tyee First Nation, Nee Tahi Buhn Indian Band, Burns Lake Indian Band (Ts’il Kaz Koh), Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Wet’suwet’en First Nation. The collaboration between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities ensures an equal voice and equity in all forest stewardship operations.

Nielsen believes that managing the forest requires a particular set of qualities. “I am an example that to take good care of a community forest, you need an awareness of the best land management practices, a hands-on approach, a strong work ethic, and a big heart.”

One Year Later: Logan Lake Community Forest Continues to Reduce Wildfire Risk to the Communities

LOGAN LAKE, B.C. – When Logan Lake became the first FireSmart community in B.C. in 2013 –a result of efforts starting back in the early 2000s– the community was preparing for any future wildfires through their wildfire risk reduction projects. Furthermore, the Tremont Creek Wildfire in August 2021 actually proved that the 18-year-long undertaking by the District of Logan Lake, the Logan Lake Community Forest (LLCF), and the residents of the town, to prepare for the wildfire event in advance, was effective.

This outcome has spurred the LLCF, in collaboration with the communities of Logan Lake and the Face and Paska Lakes area, into further action to step up the wildfire mitigation efforts through Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) funding.

Gord Pratt, RPF, FESBC Senior Manager said, “Logan Lake Community Forest started working on wildfire risk reduction treatments before anyone else in B.C. It has been a pleasure to support the Community Forest to complete such important work and see the FESBC funding reduce the wildfire risk not only to Logan Lake but to the nearby communities.”

One such project is the fuel management treatment project around the community at Face and Paska Lakes, located 15 km northeast of Logan Lake and within the LLCF. The area has unique wildfire-related risks with an isolated community of permanent year-round residents and seasonal tourists, many of whom come during the summer, the peak of a traditional wildfire season. Limited evacuation routes and the proximity of homes to forest fuels have increased the overall risk of a wildfire in this area.

“The area was identified in the Logan Lake Community Forest Wildfire Risk Management Plan (WRMP) as requiring attention and action, for which LLCF received $512,000 in follow-up funding from FESBC. The treatments will help reduce wildfire hazards through fuel reduction in areas directly adjacent to residential developments,” said Randy Spyksma, a Planner with Forsite, Manager of the Logan Lake Community Forest and Board Member with the BC Community Forest Association.

“This fuel work, being completed by Skeetchestn Natural Resources Corp., has the crews removing dead and downed woody debris in the area which can pose a significant wildfire threat to the community.  Recently, FESBC has also funded the development of a fuel management prescription in order to improve the resiliency of the main evacuation route, further investing in risk reduction efforts to help make these areas safer for people!” added Spyksma.

The priority fuel treatment work around the Face/Paska community is nearing completion and the fibre that couldn’t be utilized is being made available for firewood for the local community members. The planning work is now starting in order to reduce the wildfire risk along the evacuation route from the communities.

“FESBC’s support for fuel management treatments in the resort areas of Face and Paska Lakes will be key to reducing wildfire risks in this area,” said Garnet Mierau, RPF, planner with Forsite, part of the LLCF management team and the 75th council president for the Association of BC Forest Professionals.

Beyond timber and wildfire risk reduction, the projects undertaken by LLCF have been a good example of community engagement and collaborative work.  From the completion of the original WRMP and development of fuel management prescriptions to the implementation of the work, LLCF has engaged Indigenous communities, local groups, and the general public to ensure interests are balanced and there is a collaborative approach overall.

“Mile High Resort was invited to be a part of the original wildfire planning work and is appreciative of the Community Forest, funding from FESBC, and the support of BC Wildfire Service in the Face/Paska area. We now look forward to ongoing collaboration and actions to support wildfire resilience for the community,” said Bob van Tongeren, Owner Operator of Mile High Resort and Logan Lake Community Forest Corporation board member.

The work with van Tongeren is just one example of the collaborative efforts that have taken place as a part of work undertaken by the Community Forest.

“The scale of our engagement of the efforts was unique to British Columbia when we started work on the original strategic landscape-level WRMP followed by a fuel management program,” noted Mierau, “The engagement helped to proactively support a range of wildfire risk reduction activities.”

The Community Forest has also been instrumental in engaging with the education sector to support awareness and collaboration regarding the activities of the Community Forest in general, and specific to wildfire risk reduction. Over the years, LLCF has collaborated with Thompson Rivers University, the BC Institute of Technology, the University of British Columbia (UBC) Tree Ring Lab, and the local high school in Logan Lake. This approach supports collaboration to better understand wildfire risk and how to design and maintain risk mitigation. 

“We are collaborating with academic organizations and investing in students, who are the future of forest management in community forests and across the province,” said Mierau.

LLCF is one of the 10 community forests with whom UBC has been collaborating to measure the efficacy of treatments that aim to mitigate hazardous fuels and reduce wildfire risk, confirmed professor, Dr. Lori D. Daniels.

“LLCF has demonstrated great initiative to connect with the local public and education through collaboration with other community forests and with us at UBC. Involving youth through paid summer positions is a great way to provide local job opportunities while mitigating fuels and generating a grassroots connection for public education. Leadership with the LLCF has engaged with multiple research projects at UBC, allowing us to document the barriers communities face when attempting to address wildfire risk and solutions for overcoming those barriers, which have now been shared with other Community Forests, municipalities, and First Nations communities throughout B.C.,” said Dr. Daniels. “We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with them!”

The LLCF recently applied to the FESBC 2022-23 Funding Program and has received funding for three new projects.

“There is definitely follow-up involved in these wildfire risk reduction activities; it is not a one-and-done deal and so, we will continue our work in reducing the risk of wildfires to our communities,” Mierau said. “It is great to have re-occurring funding, as we have thankfully experienced with FESBC, to support our work.”

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that protect people from wildfire risks and reduce emissions from slash pile burning,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “Along with the historic investments in Budget 2022 to transform the BC Wildfire Service into a year-round service and double funding for proactive wildfire prevention, the critical work of FESBC is helping build communities that are safer and more resilient to climate change.”

The three projects which LLCF will be undertaking through the FESBC funding are: 1) a project to develop prescriptions and treat areas near Logan Lake, creating a large landscape-level fuel break, 2) a project to complete the planning and preparation required to complete treatments along a corridor along the Coquihalla Highway to reduce the risk of human-caused ignitions from the highway, and 3) a project to finish the planning work required to complete a fuel-reduction treatment to support safer evacuation for the community at Face and Paska Lakes.

“FESBC has supported the Logan Lake Community Forest and the communities at Face, Paska, and Logan Lake since the beginning of our work, from supporting innovative and collaborative wildfire risk management planning work to the implementation of priority prescriptions and treatments. This new round of funding demonstrates that continued support,” said Spyksma.

For an interview with FESBC contact:

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

For an interview with Logan Lake Community Forest contact:

Randy Spyksma, RPF, Manager, Logan Lake Community Forest | rspyksma@forsite.ca| 250.804.6305

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the

Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Faces of Forestry: Kirsteen Laing

Faces of Forestry is an initiative of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to highlight people doing great work to enhance our forests throughout British Columbia. This month, we feature Kirsteen Laing, RPF (Registered Professional Forester), Administrator at Seaton Forest Products Ltd.

Born in England, Kirsteen originally moved to Vancouver with her family at the age of 10. Where she later decided to pursue higher education at the University of British Columbia, and after two years of pre-med school, she discovered that her true passion was in the outdoors.

“I decided medicine wasn’t for me, so I went to talk to one of the forestry professors. He was enthusiastic and told me of all the possibilities found in forestry. I entered the program thinking I would do Forest Recreation, but I ended up in Forest Silviculture,” remarked Kirsteen.

In the early stages of her career, Kirsteen joined CUSO International and worked as a forester in Mozambique. During her stay, she first worked for a national logging company and then for a plantation, where she gained experience revitalizing a nursery.

“It was a forester’s dream to have our own little forest to work with. The project was fascinating because it covered beekeeping, fishkeeping, planting orchards, and vegetable gardening,” said Kirsteen.

In 1986, Kirsteen decided to relocate to Smithers, British Columbia, where she started a forestry consulting firm. After many career changes, in 2015, Kirsteen met her partner Andy Thompson and joined Seaton Forest Products Ltd.; as an Administrator in charge of payroll, payables and receivables, log deliveries, product shipping, reporting and various hands-on tasks.

Seaton Forest Products Ltd. is nestled among coastal mountains in the beautiful Bulkley Valley, where the mill sits at the foot of Seaton Mountain. The company has been in business since 2016, employing approximately 25 people, the majority being from local Indigenous communities. The primary business is processing dry balsam, pine, and spruce that cannot be used by traditional mills and historically has been left in the bush or burned, ensuring the 100% utilization of fibre.

During her career, Kirsteen has done it all. From working for industry, volunteering overseas, consulting, working for not-for-profits, and now working at a sawmill. She describes her career as a rewarding journey. In every role Kirsteen excels at, she puts other people and the environment first.

“Forestry is a very diverse field with many different career paths to choose from after graduation,” remarked Kirsteen.

Wildfire Risk Reduction Work Amplifies Local Contractors and Opportunities

NAKUSP, B.C. – It is becoming more and more evident with every passing project that not only can a wildfire risk reduction project bring peace of mind to a community, but also has the potential for many additional benefits ranging from improving wildlife habitat to the generation of local employment. The Nakusp and Area Community Forest’s (NACFOR) wildfire risk reduction work, funded through a grant of $417,585 from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), is an example of this.

Wildfire Risk Reduction field review. Credit – Frances Swan

The goal of the project was to improve public safety and reduce the risk of catastrophic loss of infrastructure due to any future wildfires in areas with high to moderate wildfire risk, as identified in the Regional District of Central Kootenay’s (RDCK) Area ‘K’ and Nakusp 2018 Community Wildfire Protection Plans. The intention of the plan was to create a series of strategically placed fuel breaks surrounding the community of Nakusp to act as the last line of defence against an approaching wildfire.

The project, although not within the community forest tenure area but on Crown land just outside the village boundary, saw NACFOR take the lead to take on the work, with community safety at the forefront.

Gord Pratt, RPF, FESBC Senior Manager, said, “Nakusp and Area Community Forest has done an excellent job with the provided funding. NACFOR has taken their forest management role in this community to another level by delivering this project to reduce the wildfire risk for the residents of Nakusp.”

The FESBC-funded part of the project included two treatment areas – 30 hectares were completed in June 2022 and the remaining 2.2-hectare treatment unit will be completed next month, explained Frances Swan, RPF, Project Manager with NACFOR.

“There has been a very positive response to the completed treatment work and this area serves as a great example of wildfire risk reduction for Nakusp and area,” said Swan. “The project would not have happened without the FESBC funding.”

The treatments have reduced the ground and surface fuels that if ignited could lead to a crown fire, where the flames reach the top of the trees and fire can then spread rapidly. This work will reduce the fire intensity and rate of spread by reducing surface fuel loading which means decreasing stand density or thinning out the trees, plus also removing dead and dying ones. Access roads will allow for continued maintenance of the forest and improve suppression opportunities for firefighters needing to access the area along the highway.

“It complements the ongoing FireSmart initiatives as the areas are adjacent to the community and will be part of a series of strategically located treatment sites designed to defend the Village from wildfires,” explained Swan. “Our goal is to continue collaborating with the Village of Nakusp, RDCK, forest licensees and the Ministry of Forests to reduce the risk of wildfire in the Nakusp interface and surrounding communities.”

Another important outcome of the FESBC-funded project was to increase opportunities for local contractors.

“NACFOR is grateful that FESBC gave us room for flexibility on contractor selection and empowered us to do what was best for the environment and our communities. This meant we could amplify local contractors, create new opportunities and jobs, and contribute to the local economics of the community of Nakusp,” remarked Swan.

Given the flexibility in contractor selection, NACFOR expanded its pool of local contractors, allowing them to gain valuable experience in fuel management implementation, and provided several jobs locally.

“Being able to work on this project meant that local contractors were able to invest in specialized equipment and they are now prepared for any future wildfire risk reduction work,” Swan noted.

Gord Matchett, owner of Arrow Valley Excavating was one such contractor whose company saw tremendous growth because of the project. Matchett’s company was brought on to look after the work to thin the forest and help with wood fibre recovery, along with another contractor from Greenpeaks Resource Management.

“Getting the opportunity to be a part of this project was a good thing as it grew my business. I employed four people during this project; before, it was just me and now, I have a crew. I have been able to invest in specialized equipment which will come in handy in the future,” said Matchett.

For Matchett, it was important to be a part of the project as he believes in utilizing as much of waste wood and fibre as possible, instead of burning it in slash piles.

“People are starting to realize the need for wildfire risk reduction projects, and they see the value in thinning forests and cleaning the forest floor,” Matchett added.

In terms of numbers, Swan estimates a total of 480 person days worked for all projects under the FESBC funding (prescriptions and treatments) between June 2019 and June 2022. Nearly 90 per cent of the work was done with local contractors and consultants and prescriptions were developed for three treatment areas covering 200 hectares –approximately 374 football fields.

“It has been a great project, and feels good to be at the finish line,” remarked Swan.

Minister of Forests, Katrine Conroy, noted the importance of wildfire risk reduction work in supporting communities like Nakusp.

“We all play a role in building communities that are more resilient and adaptable to a changing climate,” said Minister Conroy. “The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that protect people from wildfire risks. Their proactive work supports our vision of building a safer, more resilient future for generations to come.”

For an interview with FESBC contact: 

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

For an interview about Nakusp & Area Community Forest:

Frances Swan, RPF, Project Manager | fswan@truenorthforestry.com | 250.265.3656

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Kamloops This Week – 2022 National Forest Week Publication Features FESBC Projects

This year’s National Forest Week, from Sep 18 to 24, was all about celebrating Canada’s Forests and their ability to contribute to climate change.

Kamloops This Week featured several stories in their 2022 National Forest Week publication featuring FESBC projects to help celebrate National Forestry Week. These projects are an embodiment of this year’s

National Forest Week theme: Canada’s Forests: Solutions for a Changing Climate.

The FESBC stories include:

 62 Indigenous-led forestry projects in B.C. (Page 2)

Reducing fire risk, enhancing forest health (Page 3)

Technology used to restore traditional land (Page 4)

Protecting a village and creating bioenergy (Page 10)

Forestry projects aim to reduce emissions (featuring FESBC’s Executive Director, Steve Kozuki on page 12)

Partnering up to create community safety (page 14)

 Steve Kozuki, Executive Director FESBC, on site of a wildfire risk reduction project funded by FESBC where the land has been treated to be more fire resistant and has kept communities safer

For more information and media enquiries, please contact:

Forest Enhancement Society of BC

Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison | 250 574 0221 | communications@fesbc.ca

Reducing Wildfire Risk in Kaslo Increases Community Safety

Kaslo, B.C. – When the Kaslo & District Community Forest Society (KDCFS) first applied to obtain funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), they knew of the long-term benefits their projects would bring, but little did they imagine the many additional and immediate benefits the funding would allow for.

Schroeder Creek fuel reduction and stand conversion project with the private residence in the background. Photo Credit – Sabrina Mutterer

FESBC funding of almost $185,000 went toward three projects; a Landscape Level Wildfire Protection Plan, Schroeder Creek Forest fuel reduction and stand conversion from hemlock to more fire and climate change resistant tree species of douglas fir and larch, and the Buchanan East Access hand treatment implementation to reduce a build-up of forest fibre in the area.

Through the Landscape Level Wildfire Protection Plan (LLWP), new roads to provide access for firefighters in the event of an emergency and fuel reduction projects were identified, which helped guide forest operations for almost three years. Through the implementation projects, KDCFS helped reduce the risk of wildfire not only for the community of Kaslo but for the property of a private landowner and the community of Schroeder Creek, all by reducing fuel loading in the forests close to them. Recreation values were also further increased in the Buchanan project, with a happy private landowner benefiting from the reduced fuel loading near their residence and driveway in the Schroeder project.

Gord Pratt, RPF, FESBC Senior Manager, said, “FESBC is very pleased we were able to assist the Kaslo & District Community Forest with their wildfire risk planning and treatments. This work contributed to reducing the wildfire risk to the Village of Kaslo and surrounding areas, plus providing local employment, and enhancing some of the important recreation features in the community forest.”

Of the three projects that KDCFS undertook with FESBC funding, the Schroeder Creek fuel reduction/stand conversion project, which was located next to the private land where the landowner’s house had almost burned down due to wildfire in 2012, made a substantial impact on the community, explained the manager of the community forest, Jeff Reyden, RPF.

“Schroeder Creek, which is 15 kilometres north of Kaslo, is where the private landowners almost lost their house because of a wildfire. Their driveway is one way in, one way out. Most of the area had over-dense, stagnant regen growth and a lot of forest fuel on the ground due to old high-grade logging,” explained Reyden. 

In the area, the forest had been logged in the 1970s and had regrown primarily with thick, immature hemlock. High winds in recent years had blown down many trees making the forest almost impassable on foot. In some areas, dead trees were piled nearly five feet tall.

Doug Drain and Helen Hird, the landowners, watched as the wildfire spread through the cedar stand on the steep slope of their property. While the wildfire was stopped before reaching the home through the efforts of the Kaslo Fire Department and BC Wildfire Services (BCWS), a delay in deployment or a shift in the direction of the wind could have had more devastating impacts. Since the wildfire in 2012, the site had become even more dangerous and susceptible to a potential wildfire.

Post-fire, the area was evaluated and designated as Extreme Fire Risk by BC Wildfire Service (BCWS). It was after this that Sabrina Mutterer and Jeff Reyden of the KDCFS applied for and received funding for fire mitigation in the area, including the Schroeder Creek community, for which Drain and Hird are thankful.

“Fire mitigation work has had a major effect on our lives, especially our peace of mind,” explained Drain. “Over the years we have lived here, we have feared what might happen with a tossed cigarette butt along the highway below us every summer, especially on long weekends. Watching the fire mitigation work, it was apparent that had a fire started, we had absolutely no hope of escaping alive. Fire mitigation does not mean fireproof, but at least now, with preparation, we have a fighting chance or at least a safe means of orderly retreat.”

The community forest divided the area into two treatment units (TU). TU1 was more mature timber with funding for post-harvest cleanup and pile/burn. TU2 was overly dense, skinny hemlock regen which was too small to fit on a logging truck, so the contractor skidded them (a process of pulling cut trees out of a forest using heavy machinery) to a burn pile. 

Connor Robertson, from Timber Ridge Contracting pictured piling debris.
Photo Credit – Kaslo and District Community Forest

“The FESBC funding allowed us to skid these trees and burn them concurrently with harvesting. If we had to do the harvesting first while piling the debris to be burned by another contractor, the piles would have been enormous, a potential fire hazard, and difficult to work around, costing the community forest and the grant funder significantly more time and money,” said Reyden.

The area will now be planted with fire-resistant species, with reduced stocking along the driveway, to provide a more fire-safe route back to the highway.

Drain noted that the project has also enhanced wildlife habitat. “Opening up the forest has made a huge difference to the wildlife that lives here. Spring now brings a huge crop of sweet clover just about when the bears wake up. This year we had seven bears and two cubs contentedly grazing on clover for a few weeks. We have deer and elk that were never here before as there was nothing to eat,” adding that most creatures seem to be thriving post-treatment.

The work also brought employment opportunities to local contractors. Shane McKinnon, owner-operator of Timber Ridge Contracting Ltd., pointed out that the work KDCFS was doing meant a steady stream of work for his company that allowed him to add two full-time employees, as well as hire local logging truck operators. He believes the work done by KDCFS was important for the community.

“Right now, we have options and time to plan our harvesting areas and access, and we need to take advantage of this because when there’s a fire close to our community, the planning has to happen fast. Creating access around our community is important for response times, and the work KDCFS is doing is vital,” said McKinnon.

The need for creating access was highlighted recently when a wildfire broke out near Kaslo just last month. Reyden, who got an opportunity to fly with the BCWS to assess the fire situation, noted that it was a little unnerving to see how fast and far the fire spread in one evening.

“When we see fire close to our community, people want to see bombers and choppers, but due to the terrain and the way the fire was burning these actions wouldn’t have been as effective as hoped. It’s a bit of a wake-up call in that fire can affect any community and can spread rapidly under the right conditions, and the best way to fight forest fires is by having access to enable crews to action the fire,” Reyden noted.

Minister of Forests, Katrine Conroy, understands the importance of this proactive work and is pleased to see the efforts put forth by the KDCFS in collaboration with so many community members.

We have a shared responsibility to help build communities that are resilient to the impact of wildfire and climate change,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “That’s why we invested an additional $25 million through FESBC this year so that local governments, Indigenous communities, and rural communities can deliver projects that lower the risk of wildfires and the damage they can cause. The proactive work they are undertaking is alongside historic investments in Budget 2022 to transform the BC Wildfire Service into a year-round service. Our shared efforts will ensure a safer and more resilient future for all British Columbians.”

“Kaslo residents have lived with fire for over a hundred years, with old pictures of Kaslo from the turn of the century showing barren, treeless hillsides as they had all been burned,” added Reyden. “Having access to fight a forest fire is crucial, as well as a coordinated effort between stakeholders to effectively fight the fire. The funding from FESBC has been essential in getting started on these efforts.”

For an interview with FESBC contact: 

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

For an interview Kaslo and District Community Forest Society contact: 

Jeff Reyden, RPF, Manager | manager@kaslocommunityforest.org | 250.354.9803

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Faces of Forestry: Steve Law

Faces of Forestry is an initiative of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to highlight people doing great work to enhance our forests throughout British Columbia. This month, we feature Steve Law, RPF (Registered Professional Forester), General Manager of the Clinton Community Forest (CCF).

Steve’s profound passion for the outdoors, mountain biking and his “outside the box” mindset led him to start a career in forestry. He has completed a Diploma of Forestry Resource Technology from the College of New Caledonia, graduated from the Association of BC Forest Professionals Pupil Program and became a Registered Professional Forester in 1997. 

Currently, Steve is the General Manager of the Clinton Community Forest and manages ten woodlots in the Cariboo Region. In his role, he works with the volunteer Board of Directors and the Village of Clinton to carry out safe and sustainable management practices for timber production, recreation, and natural preservation. 

“Forestry is much more complex than just logging and milling. There is equal consideration of other factors such as wildlife, riparian, visual quality, social and First Nations values, etc. I especially enjoy the operations part of forestry, which includes increased utilization of poor quality, low-value timber or biomass which minimizes or eliminates the need to burn slash piles. I am involved from start to finish in planning, operations, and silviculture, and through my work at CCF, I get to see the proceeds go back to the community,” explains Steve. 

After meeting operational costs, surplus funds are invested into the community and surrounding area. As residents of the Village of Clinton, the volunteer Board of Directors seeks to benefit the local area through programs, events, and bursaries. 

“Community forestry with the direction of a Board of Directors, allows us more freedom to manage social and economic community values,” said Steve.

To balance the economic and ecological concerns, the CCF has applied for funding with the FESBC for fuel break and wildfire risk reduction treatments. The projects will help reduce the wildfire hazard in high-priority areas within the community forest and surrounding rural developments. The wildfire risk activities include standard fuel management practices such as thinning, pruning, removal of unhealthy trees, understory burning, and encouragement of deciduous tree growth.

“This has only been possible with FESBC support and funding, and the FESBC management and staff have been extremely encouraging in making these goals happen,” noted Steve. 

Minister of Forests Announces New Projects Funded by FESBC

Projects underway in B.C. will reduce community wildfire risk, enhance forest health

A previously funded project by FESBC with the City of Quesnel > Dragon Towers.

Work is underway to enhance forest resilience to protect against the impacts of wildfire and climate change in British Columbia.

Through a provincial investment of $25 million, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) has funded 22 new community projects. This includes work to reduce wildfire risk, while enhancing wildlife habitat, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from slash pile burning, and support forest recreation and ecological resiliency.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that protect people from wildfire risks and reduce emissions from slash pile burning,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “Along with the historic investments in Budget 2022 to transform the BC Wildfire Service into a year-round service and double funding for proactive wildfire prevention, these new projects funded by FESBC will help build communities that are safer and more resilient to climate change.”

Wildfire-mitigation projects funded include:

  • Clinton District Community Forest of BC Ltd., $450,870 – Treatment of 300-metre-wide fuel break adjacent to the transmission line west of Clinton. Low-grade fibre will also be recovered.
  • Elhdaqox Developments Ltd., $500,000 – Wildfire risk reduction planning and treatments to reduce the wildfire risk to the Yunesit’in Community and rehabilitate burned and beetle-affected stands that will create local employment opportunities.
  • Eniyud Community Forest Ltd., $1,500,000 – Fuel management treatments to reduce the wildfire risk from forests affected by mountain pine beetle near Horn Lake and along Tatlayoko Lake, which is a vital main access/egress route for the local residences.
  • The City of Quesnel, $529,000 – Prescriptions and treatments will be conducted on specific sites identified for wildfire risk reduction in the Community Wildfire Protection Plan. Treatments will include thinning, pruning and debris cleanup while promoting fibre removal and utilization
  • Chinook Community Forest, $3,000,000 – Reducing fuel loading in areas heavily impacted by mountain pine beetle, which has created a considerable fire risk to communities on the south side of Francois Lake and near Rose Lake.
  • McLeod Lake Mackenzie Community Forest, $1,401,666 – Wildfire risk-reduction treatments along Highway 39, to create a safer egress corridor on the main road to and from Mackenzie.
  • Harrop-Procter Community Co-operative, $223,125 – Planning and treatment work on priority areas identified in a community wildfire protection plan. When finished, the work will create landscape-level fuel breaks around Harrop and Procter. 
  • Kaslo and District Community Forest Society, $89,980 – Fuel treatments conducted after a harvest will fireproof a stand close to Kaslo. Low-value fibre will be fully used.
  • Kaslo and District Community Forest Society, $98,150 – A manual thinning and pruning treatment will reduce fuel loading in a well-used recreation area close to Kaslo. 
  • Kaslo and District Community Forest Society, $41,520 – Work will be planned for an area that has been identified as a fuel break in a landscape-level wildfire plan.
  • Creston Valley Forest Corporation, $1,249,825 – The goal of the project is to develop plans and treat areas within community watersheds in and around the town of Creston.
  • Shuswap Indian Band, $664,724 – The project includes planning and treatment work in an area north of the Shuswap community. Fibre from the project will be fully used.
  • Slocan Integral Forestry Cooperative, $500,000 – This project will focus on completing treatments on areas identified as high priority in the Community Wildfire Protection Plan. This work will build on recently completed projects.
  • West Boundary Community Forest, $1,137,375 – This funding is for five projects focusing on treatment to reduce wildfire risk including: two addressing forest-fuel buildup using both mechanical and hand treatments; two to treat forest stands after they’ve been harvested to prevent catastrophic wildfires; and one to create a safer evacuation route for locals and those visiting the community forest.
  • Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society, $60,323 – Wildfire risk reduction treatments on areas identified as priority treatment areas in their Wildfire Fire Risk Management Plan with the goal to enhance wildfire resiliency.
  • Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society, $129,381 – Manual treatments on area identified in its Wildfire Risk Management Plan that will enhance the wildfire resiliency of the community forest.
  • Silver Star Property Owners Association, $474,600 – Completing a combination of hand and mechanical wildfire risk-reduction treatment to reducing the wildfire risk along the main road in and out of SilverStar Mountain Resort.
  • Lower Nicola Indian Band Development Corporation, $544,425 – Complete wildfire risk reduction treatments to reduce the wildfire risk to Steffens Estates subdivision located north of Lower Nicola Indian Band’s Mameet IR #1, approximately 17 kilometres north of Merritt on Highway 97C.
  • Logan Lake Community Forest Corporation, $746,550 – This project aims to develop prescriptions and treat areas near Logan Lake, creating a large landscape-level fuel break.
  • Logan Lake Community Forest Corporation, $127,050 – Complete planning and preparation required to complete treatments along a corridor along the Coquihalla Highway, leading to the reduction in risk to the highway, reducing the risk of human-caused ignitions from the highway spreading into surrounding forest.
  • Logan Lake Community Forest Corporation, $105,000 – Complete the planning work required to complete a fuel-reduction treatment to allow for a safer evacuation route for the community at Paska Lake.
  • Vermilion Forks Community Forest, $814,078 – A steep area close to the community of Coalmont will be thinned to create a fuel break.

“FESBC is thrilled that communities will be able to continue this important work to reduce their wildfire risk to better protect their residents and important infrastructure,” said Steve Kozuki, executive director, FESBC. “These newly funded projects take a proactive approach to reduce the risks of wildfire and many will also improve wildlife habitat, increase the health of forests so they are more resilient to climate change and use the left-over wood waste to make green energy. Achieving multiple objectives is good forest management and good value for money.”

Work has already begun and all projects are expected to be complete by March 2024. To date, approved funding from the FESBC 2022-23 Funding Program totals $14 million. Additional applications through the FESBC portal are welcome and will be accepted until the $25-million fund has been allocated.

Since 2016, FESBC has supported more than 260 projects throughout B.C. Sixty-three of these projects have been led by First Nations and another 23 have significant First Nations’ involvement. FESBC projects have reduced wildfire risk in 120 communities and have created more than 2,100 full-time jobs.

As part of the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, the Province will work toward near elimination of slash pile burning by 2030 and will divert materials away from slash piles and into bioproduct development. This will reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, while creating new opportunities in British Columbia’s expanding forest bioeconomy.

The $25 million provided to FESBC is a component of $359 million announced in Budget 2022 to protect British Columbians from wildfires, including $145 million to strengthen the BC Wildfire Service and Emergency Management BC.

“Through provincial investments, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC has funded critical projects to help reduce wildfire risk and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Doug Routley, Parliamentary Secretary for Forests. “Diverting materials away from slash piles not only reduces fire risk but creates new opportunities in our province’s forest economy. These projects accomplish multiple objectives to help communities be more resilient to climate change.”

Canadian Biomass Magazine: Using Residual Wood Fibre to Bring Clean Energy to Local Community

“There was an opportunity and a demand that we could assist with , and we were happy to assist them with getting this material to their facility,” Gord Pratt, Senior Manager, FESBC. “At the end of the day, they can learn some efficiencies to expand their economic radium, so this can continue without funding going forward.”

Read more about the use of wood waste to power generators with Louisiana-Pacific Building Solution’s facility in Golden, B.C. with support from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC in the Spring 2022 edition of Canadian Biomass Magazine.

A Community Forest Reduces Wildfire Risk, Increases Employment

-A local project to protect communities led by locals-

Creston, B.C. – When the heat of summer hits, the focus of many people turns to the forests and the potential threat of wildfire to communities, important infrastructure, and transportation corridors.  Taking proactive steps to mitigate the risk of wildfire can help better protect communities and bring a higher level of comfort to many, which is exactly what the Creston Community Forest (CCF) has done.

With a grant of $670,000 from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), the CCF was able to target an area on Arrow Mountain, three kilometres north of Creston B.C., to reduce the risk of wildfire to the neighbouring communities of Creston and Wynndel. The project site at Arrow Mountain, also known to locals as Goat Mountain, is popular for hiking, off roading, and hunting, and accessed by a Forest Service Road.

“We were very thoughtful in our planning and in the treatment of the area,” noted Daniel Gratton, Forest Manager of the CCF. “We opened the forested area up by taking out some of the unhealthy trees and we left a good number of trees behind. Then we had a crew come in and do the cleanup work of gathering up some of the small bushes and shrubs – called the understory – to be piled and burned.”

The project treated over 120 hectares on Arrow Mountain. Approximately 10,400 cubic metres was harvested from all seven blocks and mistletoe, infected larch, and unhealthy Douglas-fir were removed. The resulting state of the forest is now more like what would have existed when wildfires frequented the area prior to the introduction of the fire suppression programs in the early 1900s. 

Forest Manager, Daniel Gratton in completed treatment area. Photo Credit: Creston Community Forest

“A lot of people don’t know it, but wildfires used to go through the Creston Valley and through the forests every 30 to 40 years,” said Gratton. “Many of the forests we see in our area today are not what they would have been 200 years ago because we’ve removed the occurrence of wildfires. What we are trying to do now is mimic what a wildfire would do; clean up the understory, take out some of the ladder fuels, and restore the ecology of the area.”

Since completion of this project, the community forest has now identified several other blocks that need this mitigation work.

“The Creston Community Forest has taken on a leadership role in their community, taking action, reducing the risk of wildfire to the community, and doing good forest management at the same time,” said Gord Pratt, RPF, FESBC Senior Manager. “They are finding the balance between forest management and wildfire risk reduction activities to meet the many needs of the public in the area.”

The project also saw outstanding economic benefits to the community extending beyond wildfire protection and created a steady source of income for many locals.

“The funding from FESBC helped provide employment to at least 15 locals who were involved in the development and planning phase, and the implementation to facilitate the piling, chipping, slashing, and burning,” said Gratton.

Jim Macaulay of Macaulay Forestry Ltd. has worked in the Creston area for 27 years and was thrilled with the opportunity the project brought to his company.

“It is very good working with local licensees to be able to complete this type of work. It’s beneficial to the surrounding community as we are trying to minimize the impact if we were to have a wildfire, so it won’t be so severe,” said Macaulay, adding, “We have nine employees on the payroll right now and the project supplied us with nine to 10 months of full-time employment.”

Macaulay’s crew was involved in completing the slashing, piling, and burning on the majority of the project site and they even assisted the BC Wildfire Service, the Creston Fire Department, and the community forest on two broadcast burns, which are controlled burns that take place under specific conditions.

“We all worked very well together,” said Macaulay. “The project got different parties working together and it was fantastic!”

Another contractor working on the project was Lance Huscroft of Northspar Holdings Ltd, who also echoed the sentiments shared by Macaulay.

“It has been very enjoyable working so close to home on these projects with the community forest,” said Huscroft, who has been logging in the area for 28 years. “We’ve all appreciated being able to work so close to our homes to be close to our families, to get to town quickly for parts, and then back to the job site should something break-down. In the process, we supported local businesses for our service/parts needs and hired a local mechanic and trucking contractor. The majority of the timber was also shipped to the J.H. Huscroft sawmill in Creston.”

Summer Student, Erich Endersby standing on fully treated area.
Photo Credit: D. Gratton

For Gratton, the success of this project is defined by the areas treated and the employment of locals.

“It was extremely important to have received funding from FESBC,” concluded Gratton. “We wouldn’t have done this amount of work and in such a short period of time without it. Quite honestly, it is something that was very important to us, but economically, I don’t think we would have been able to carry out this work in these areas, so we are grateful.”

For an interview with FESBC contact: 

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

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Faces of Forestry: Frances Swan

Faces of Forestry is an initiative of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to highlight people doing great work to enhance our forests throughout British Columbia. This month, we feature Frances Swan, RPF, Operations Forester for Nakusp and Area Community Forest.

Frances has deep roots in the Kootenay region and has called Nakusp her home since 1997. Her appreciation for forestry and love for the community have always been fundamental parts of her life.

“Looking back, I can appreciate that my dad was a forester and inherently understood the concept of sustainable management long before it became practice, so it was easy to follow in his footsteps,” said Frances.

Frances then completed a Diploma of Forest Technology from Selkirk College, a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of Northern British Columbia and a Graduate Certificate in Project Management from Royal Roads University.

Frances is the Operations Manager of Nakusp and Area Community Forest (NACFOR). In her role, she manages a broad range of strategic and operational projects and supports PR and communications strategies.

Since 2008, NACFOR has operated successfully as a BC corporation owned by the Village of Nakusp and is part of the BC Community Forest Association (BCCFA). Its operations are contracted, primarily with local contractors, and have delivered numerous benefits to the local community.

As an RFP with more than 20 years of project management experience in the natural resource sector, Frances has worked with FESBC as the recipient lead on several projects in Nakusp. Frances and the team at NACFOR have been able to deliver projects focused on wildfire risk reduction treatments and fibre utilization.

“Working with FESBC has been a very positive experience. Through direct and leveraged funding, FESBC has supported NACFOR to take a collaborative approach to reduce the threat of wildfires, while building local capacity to carry out fuel treatments,” said Frances.

During her career in forestry, Frances has volunteered with many local and regional organizations, from ski coaching to economic development. As the community forest manager, she combines resource stewardship with local land-use decision-making that reflects community priorities and values. Frances currently sits on the BCCFA Board of Directors.

“Forest management is a complex process, with many moving parts. It requires a thoughtful, balanced approach to land and resource use, as decisions made today will have enduring outcomes,” said Frances.

Celebrating 134 B.C. Forestry Projects Taking Action on Climate Change

-A Review of Projects Supported by the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund-

British Columbia – In a report released today, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) has published information on the stunning outcomes of the Province’s $150 million investment under the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund (LCELF), showcasing the tremendous progress made through this fund toward the Government of Canada’s targets under the Paris Agreement.

In 2017, the Provincial government deployed $150 million of its $290 million in funding from the federal government to FESBC, as a part of the federal government’s made-in-Canada climate plan. The LCELF is an important part of the plan and leveraged investments in projects that generated clean growth and reduced carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. 

Minister Katrine Conroy on a field trip in Williams Lake.
Pictured are (LtoR) Ken Day, Brian Banfill, Katrine Conroy, and Jim Snetsinger.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner that delivers on-the-ground forestry projects that protect people and communities from wildfires,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “Our investment in sustainable and innovative forestry projects strengthens our ability to prepare and adapt to the impacts of climate change that put our forests and communities at risk. I recently visited Williams Lake and saw firsthand how the Forest Enhancement Society of BC is working with its partners to improve forest health, reduce carbon emissions, and protect BC communities.”

Provincial Forest Carbon Reforestation Project. Photo: Mike Madill

Through the LCELF funding, FESBC provided grants to 134 projects throughout the province to create 1,300+ full time-equivalent jobs*, plant 66 million trees*, and sequester approximately 4.2 million tonnes of CO2e by 2050*, which is equivalent to 904,000** gasoline-powered vehicles off the road for one year. Through these projects, FESBC met the target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the forest sector and increase the capture of carbon through the restoration of forests damaged by disease, insects, and wildfire, under B.C.’s Climate Leadership Plan.

The report highlights nine of the projects, examples of tree planting, fertilization, and increased utilization of wood waste.

“We are in alignment with the Province of BC, the Government of Canada, and the United Nations in recognizing that forestry is a significant nature-based tool we can use to take meaningful action against climate change,” said Steve Kozuki, Executive Director, FESBC. “This report showcases the impactful work undertaken by our project partners and the long-term benefits that these projects will bring to the province.”

To read the full report, follow this link: bit.ly/TakeActiononClimateChange

*with LCELF Funding since 2016 **SOURCE: calculation-greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator (US Environmental Protection Agency)

For an interview with FESBC contact:

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

About FESBC: the purposes of FESBC are to advance environmental and resource stewardship of B.C.’s forests by: preventing and mitigating the impact of wildfires; improving damaged or low-value forests; improving habitat for wildlife; supporting the use of fibre from damaged and low-value forests; and treating forests to improve the management of greenhouse gases. As of March 2021, FESBC has supported 269 projects valued at $238 million, in partnership with governments of B.C. and Canada.

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Boundary’s Wildfire Risk Reduction Project a Model of Collaboration

Greenwood, B.C. – After receiving a grant from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), West Boundary Community Forest (WBCF) led a project to create a fuel-treated area near a popular Boundary recreational area adjacent to Jewel Lake, while also adding recreational value to the community. The project, which was undertaken in an area 20 minutes north of Greenwood, moved forward thanks to a $254,100 grant from FESBC on a 32-hectare area. The project has just wrapped up and has brought to the forefront what successful collaborative efforts can look like in B.C.’s forests. 

Example of completed wildfire risk reduction treatment in the Jewel Lake area.
Pictured are members of the community touring the prescription with RPFs from WBCF. 

“A lot of collaboration from many partners were a hallmark of this project,” said Dan Macmaster, RPF, Forest Manager of the WBCF. “The local residents were involved in the initial planning and the cleanup we are finishing up now. We had great support of BC Parks, Vaagen Fibre Canada (Vaagen), and the Osoyoos Indian Band showing what can be achieved when we work together.” 

Jewel Lake Environmental Protection Society, a local society led by residents of Jewel Lake, supported the WBCF’s vision for the project, recognizing that the Community Forest’s objective was to care for the forest and protect important infrastructure, like homes, recreational trails, and camping sites. 

“Dan, together with the forest professionals at Vaagen, involved the local residents of Jewel Lake in the development of their plans right from the start. They listened to our concerns, implemented many of our ideas, and led field trips when requested,” noted Jewel Lake resident, Randy Trerise. “The partial cutting treatment has reduced the fuel load in the forest, and we expect the treatment will improve the safety of our homes should a wildfire take place in the future.”

The Osoyoos Indian Band provided post-harvest treatment work, which included contributing to parts of the mechanical and manual treatment activities.

“Vaagen and the West Boundary Community Forest involved our Band in all aspects of planning and mitigation work. Our forestry team assisted with the manual treatments needed to ensure the area was protected in the future from a major wildfire,” noted Vern Louie, Forest Manager, Osoyoos Indian Band.

The Band was also involved in the initial work and design of the project itself. 

“It was a very strong effort by the West Boundary Community Forest, to meet the goal to reduce the wildfire risk to the community while collaborating and addressing recreational and other aesthetic values in the forest,” noted Gord Pratt, RPF, FESBC Senior Manager. “From the start, it was all about collaboration and they showed openness and great leadership in realizing the important outcomes of the project.”

For the project itself, fuel mitigation was the key objective. Over the years, the area had seen major accumulation of blowdown and dead standing trees, increasing the risk of a wildfire spreading rapidly through the area. 

“This is in an area that is on the Southern tip of our province and it’s an area of hot dry weather,” said Pratt. “The forest type in the area is very susceptible to wildfire and this project has decreased the likelihood of a devastating impact from a wildfire to the community surrounding Jewel Lake. 

Another major challenge for the area was the fuel accumulation around a single access road for residents and visitors in and out of the area. 

“Because of the ‘one road in, one road out’ predicament, our focus was to prioritize the reduction of wildfire risk immediately closest to the houses and the road,” said Macmaster. “By doing this work, we can buy more time for residents to get out and firefighters to come in if there is a fire. None of this would have been possible without the funding from FESBC.”

The area was also enhanced and made safer for visitors who frequent the area for camping, fishing, hiking, etc. 

“In that entire area, there are all kinds of recreational trails the public cares strongly about. So, we are not only maintaining, but improving that recreational infrastructure with new trails, new signage, and interpretive signs to teach people about the local plants, trees, and wildlife,” added Macmaster. 

In total, the community forest was able to remove 40 loads of small-diameter logs and pulp, which would have otherwise been burned, but instead was sold to local mills. The project also relied heavily on the local workforce with approximately 20 people involved through all stages, a boost to the local economy. And while the initially funded project’s objectives have been met, the WBCF will now continue maintaining the area.

“Just the sheer volume of fuel that had accumulated in the area, was why we needed FESBC to be involved, as we needed the financial support to help us clean up the area,” noted Macmaster. “We are proud that, moving forward, we will continue adding on to the work we were able to do with the FESBC funding.”

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

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

About FESBC: the purposes of FESBC are to advance environmental and resource stewardship of B.C.’s forests by: preventing and mitigating the impact of wildfires; improving damaged or low-value forests; improving habitat for wildlife; supporting the use of fibre from damaged and low-value forests; and treating forests to improve the management of greenhouse gases. As of March 2021, FESBC has supported 269 projects valued at $238 million, in partnership with the governments of B.C. and Canada.

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Climate Change Heroes “Golden” in the 2022 MUSE Creative Awards

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is the proud recipient of an award for its video titled B.C. Forestry Workers are Climate Change Heroes. A list of winners for the 2022 MUSE Creative and Design Awards has been officially released by the International Awards Associate (IAA) and FESBC took home gold for its educational video.

Watch the Climate Change Heroes Video

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director of FESBC, was elated by the win over the video the organization released several months ago to highlight the work of the many women and men who work in forestry and are doing their part to take action against climate change.

“Climate change is a concern for many people around the world,” said Kozuki. “Throughout British Columbia, there are locals who have channeled that concern into taking action on climate change using the natural power of our forests. Climate change heroes can often be found in B.C.’s forests wearing hard hats and they deserve to be recognized. To win this award for our video is a great acknowledgement of our collective efforts.”

The work that landed this decisive victory was created for FESBC in collaboration with Amplify Consulting Inc. and Gravity Fair Productions, both Kamloops-based companies.

Josef Perszon, cinematographer and editor at Gravity Fair Productions noted, “To tell the story of Climate Change Heroes, the production team focused on capturing in-depth interviews and impactful supporting imagery. In post-production, we chose to edit segments down to only include simple, easy to understand concepts.”

Perszon added that FESBC and all its partners are doing great things.

“I hope that my role in this project helps to inspire others to take action against climate change,” he said.

Echoing Perszon is Aleece Laird, CEO and communications specialist at Amplify Consulting Inc.

“This project was a lot of fun to work on, and we believe it teaches people what a tremendous tool forestry is for taking steps to mitigate climate change,” said Laird. “It was also meaningful to show the work of First Nations, scientists, tree planters, and those in the industry who are working hard to be innovative and collaborative. To showcase their work, which is often unseen because it doesn’t happen right in front of us, was a remarkable opportunity to pull back the curtain and shine a light on this important work.”

Having received over 6,000 entries from all over the globe, the MUSE Creative Awards and MUSE Design Awards are two leading award programs created to honour creative and design professionals for their excellence. The MUSE Awards is made up of a series of competitions, which are open for participation by the world at large. Each entry is evaluated with standards relevant to their respective sectors. The jury’s sole mission is to seek out companies and individuals whose excellence and talents are capable of serving as new benchmarks in their respective sectors.

“The team here at IAA is taken aback by the works we received for the 2022 MUSE Awards. The level of refinement and the depth of completion truly represent the best of the creative and design industries,” noted Thomas Brandt, the spokesperson of IAA. 

The B.C Forestry Workers are Climate Change Heroes video highlighted several local British Columbia, Canada climate change heroes working on FESBC-funded projects throughout the province including wildfire risk reduction, wildlife habitat enhancement, tree planting, enhanced use of wood biomass, and the fertilization of trees to help them grow faster.

“FESBC has been so pleased to support, and now highlight in this video, many outstanding forest enhancement projects throughout British Columbia,” said Kozuki. “We empower local communities to do this important work to help enhance our forests and our environment now, and for future generations.”

Province provides update on wildfire season, latest seasonal outlook

Minister Katrine Conroy hosts the BC wildfire outlook and preparedness update

British Columbians can expect a transition to warmer and dryer conditions in July, signalling an increase in overall wildfire risk and fire danger ratings as the season progresses.

As shown in the BC Wildfire Service’s latest seasonal outlook, current wildfire activity is minimal and concentrated in the northern half of the province, where recent rainfall has been minimal. Cool and wet conditions through June in the southern half of the province have tempered overall fire activity.

Watch the BC wildfire outlook and preparedness update with Minister Katrine Conroy

To help protect British Columbians from wildfires, applications are open for $25 million for community projects that reduce the risk of wildfires. The Province is providing the funding to the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC).

“Last year, we saw just how devastating fire season can be to communities and how critical it is to invest in wildfire prevention,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “Cultural and prescribed burning and forest thinning are proven approaches to reduce wildfire risks. I recently visited Williams Lake and saw firsthand how the Forest Enhancement Society of BC is working with its partners to deliver projects like these and help build more resilient communities.”

The Province’s investment in FESBC supports community projects that reduce wildfire risk and enhance wildlife habitat, greenhouse gas reduction, forest recreation and ecological resiliency.

Projects include:

  • harvesting and removing beetle- or fire-damaged trees to reduce wildfire risk and rehabilitate the land base;
  • thinning trees, removing underbrush, pruning trees and other fuel management techniques; and
  • the creation of emergency wildfire escape routes for communities.

FESBC has supported 263 projects throughout B.C., and 43 of these projects have been in partnership with First Nations. These projects have reduced wildfire risk in 120 communities and have created approximately 2,200 jobs.

“Working with local communities to reduce their wildfire risks makes a lot of sense, because they know how to manage their forests to achieve numerous co-benefits to create win-win projects,” said Steve Kozuki, executive director, FESBC. “They are not only protecting their communities, but at the same time with the same funding, they also enhance wildlife habitat, create recreation opportunities, increase ecological resiliency of forests, use the biomass to make green energy, and more.”

The $25 million provided to FESBC is a component of $359 million announced in Budget 2022 to protect British Columbians from wildfires, including $145 million to strengthen the BC Wildfire Service and Emergency Management BC.

This is the largest investment in the history of the wildfire service and is helping to transform the BC Wildfire Service into a year-round service, shifting from its reactive mode to a more proactive approach. It will enable the BC Wildfire Service to focus on all four pillars of wildfire management: prevention and mitigation; preparedness; response; and recovery.

Quick Facts:

  • FESBC is a Crown agency 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.

Learn More:

Read more about the July Wildfire Seasonal Outlook: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status/wildfire-situation/fire-weather  

BC Wildfire Service mobile app:

Apple (iOS), download directly from the App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/bc-wildfire-service/id1477675008?ls=1

Android, download directly from the Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ca.bc.gov.WildfireInformation&hl=en

Read more about the FireSmart program and the seven FireSmart disciplines at: https://firesmartbc.ca/

Forest Enhancement Society of BC: https://www.fesbc.ca/

Lower Nicola Indian Band Creating Community Safety through Partnerships

MERRITT, B.C.— With the support of close to $250,000 in funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), the Lower Nicola Indian Band (LNIB) removed dangerous trees and reduced wildfire risk in two areas close to the city of Merritt, BC.

The two locations border the edge of both Merritt and the Lower Nicola Indian Band Reserve Lands. Lindley Creek is located south of the Nicola River, south of Lower Nicola; and Fox Farm is located on the north side of the Coquihalla highway just east of Merritt on Fox Farm Road.

Crews from Shulus Forest Enterprises Inc., a company owned 100 per cent by the LNIB, did all the manual treatments of these sites including tree pruning, spacing, falling, bucking, piling, and burning, covering about 20 hectares at Lindley Creek and 11 hectares at Fox Farm.

Bruce Morrow, RPF, Bruce Morrow Forest Consulting Ltd., who submitted the application for funding to FESBC on behalf of LNIB, noted that the project was important because forest fuel treatments will make the area safer for wildfire suppression crews accessing the area in the event of a wildfire.

“Spacing of trees to reduce crown closure, pruning to remove ladder fuels to reduce the risk of crown fires, and reducing the amount and continuity of ground fuels will all contribute to reducing wildfire risk, and allow wildfire crews to respond faster,” said Morrow.

The Fox Farm community is located halfway up a steep hillside. The forested area below has been subject to wildfire suppression for over 60 years, resulting in a significant accumulation of dead and downed fuels.

“About 40 per cent of the trees were dead standing or lying on the ground ready to burn, creating a high fire hazard for a one-way in, one-way out community,” said Morrow. “We created a situation where hopefully a fire in the area will now move along the ground instead of through the crown. This will make it easier to fight and reduce the risk of structure loss from ember spotting onto the nearby houses from a crown fire.” 

Don Gossoo, General Manager, Lower Nicola Indian Band Development Corporation (LNIBDC) said the crews employed an average of six people from the community who are trained in the use of hand tools for this type of forestry work.

“The work at the Fox Farm area was done downslope of several large properties adjacent to the Coquihalla Hwy. where someone could toss out a lit cigarette etc. The residents there were happy to see the work done,” said Gossoo.

“Lindley Creek is a corridor from the forest down to the valley where there are more houses,” noted Morrow. “The local winds and topography create a funnel in the Lindley Creek drainage, which can push wildfires downslope toward the homes at the bottom of the treatment area.”

Similar work being done in the area on reserve land and adjacent Crown land is being funded through the Community Resiliency Investment Program and the Cascades Resource District. Morrow noted the project is a great example of collaboration and cooperation in recognizing an issue and working together to protect the community.

“We are leaving behind a much happier forest ecosystem. Dry belt trees compete for moisture and nutrients and the trees there were competing for these and weakening each other. The trees left behind are healthier and more resilient to drought, pests, and weather because there’s less competition.”

Gossoo described it as taking a stagnant coniferous jungle and turning it into parkland, adding nutrients, sunlight, and moisture to the stand.

“This type of project provides socioeconomic benefits to the community through employment opportunities, and an environmental benefit in improving overall forest health.”

Stu Jackson, Chief of the Lower Nicola Indian Band said projects like this one have multiple benefits to the community.

“They provide employment opportunities, improve safety, and help support healthy forests. We look forward to more partnership opportunities like this which enhance communities overall.”

Gord Pratt, FESBC Operations Manager, highlighted the importance of completing this work in support of addressing high-risk areas identified by Merritt’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan and the BC Wildfire Service.

“This is a multi-benefit proposal to the community, the forest, and the area as a whole,” said Pratt. “This project aligns with FESBC purposes, provides employment, and is exactly what we want to support in terms of rural communities working to implement wildfire risk reduction projects.”

The project also had the full support of the local Resource District and BC Wildfire Service. FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

For an interview with FESBC contact: 

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

For an interview with the Lower Nicola Indian Band Development Corporation contact:  Don Gossoo, General Manager | don.gossoo@lnibdc.com | 250.315.9277

Executive Director’s Newsletter Jun. 2022

We have developed this monthly newsletter to curate the good news stories we share throughout the province featuring FESBC-funded projects which are generating excellent economic, social, and environmental benefits.

Stories are shared in collaboration with our project partners to highlight the exceptional work happening in our forests to reduce wildfire riskenhance wildlife habitattake action on climate change, and more.

Read this month’s Executive Director’s Newsletter

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

Watch the Seeding Innovation in Forestry video on Vimeo.

Meet FESBC Operations Manager: Brian Watson

The Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia (FESBC), recently added to its team a new Operations Manager, Brian Watson, who brings 28 years of forestry experience in Silviculture, Operations, Project Management, and Policy. His main motivation in coming to FESBC has been to combine all of his past experiences with his out-of-the-box thinking and his desire to bring about more connections between foresters and First Nations.

Before coming to FESBC, and early in his career Brian worked for MacMillan Bloedel, then Weyerhaeuser, and was most recently employed with the Office of the Chief Forester, working in the Forest Carbon and Climate Services Branch. Through that work, he was fortunate to collaborate with talented researchers, scientists, administrators, carbon modellers and other foresters, to breathe life into the Forest Carbon Initiative.

But Brian’s love for forestry can be traced all the way back to his childhood.

“When I was young, forestry was always in the news with lots of debates around forestry and logging. My dad actually had aspirations of being a forester when he was young. Although he never did become a forester, I was taken by his desire and became curious about the sector,” added Brian, who grew up in Ladner, B.C., a farming and fishing community.

Brian received his diploma from BCIT in Renewable Resources and a degree from UBC – a Bachelor of Science in Forestry.

“For me Forestry was, and is a great opportunity to work outdoors; it is a super relevant industry to B.C., and what we do really matters,” noted Brian. “It’s dynamic –where we are trying to create an economy for the province, we are trying to manage the forests sustainably with climate change related uncertainty, and we are trying to do this while thinking differently about the social implication of it all. Reconciliation with Indigenous people is bound to land management, and as we start to look at ourselves as caretakers more and more, as we work together as communities, forestry is becoming more and more of a compelling industry to be a part of.”

Brian has also worked with the Ktunaxa Nation, and that experience has provided him with some very important teaching moments he is looking to bring into his work with FESBC.

“I am hoping to apply my learnings from working with the Ktunaxa, to try and open up opportunities to enhance the exposure of other First Nations to forestry,” he noted.

With FESBC, Brian is looking forward to practicing forestry in an operational setting.

“It is an opportunity to be involved in implementing really cool forest management projects. And I’d like people to know that we are here to provide support and to do work that is complementary to what the government is already doing,” he said.

When not at work, Brian, who lives with his family on a farm outside of Cranbrook, ranches. In his free time, he is hoping to spend time lounging along Tribune Bay with family, and escape to Fruita, Colorado to ride PBR (Pumps Bumps Rollers), the famous mountain biking trail, with his buddies.

In addition to his love for forestry and ranching, Brian is passionate about playing hockey, coaching minor sports, mountain biking, sawmilling and walking the countryside with his Aussie Shepherd, Blue.

“With my work at FESBC, I am hoping to get out in the field more often, talk with more people, do good work that is meaningful and close to communities, and make a significant impact!”

FESBC Awarded $25 Million in Funding to Help Protect Communities from Wildfire Risk

British Columbia: With $25 million in new funding from the provincial government, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is launching its FESBC 2022-2023 Funding Program today. FESBC will be accepting applications to fund projects that will assist the Province of British Columbia in reducing wildfire risk and increasing community resiliency to wildfire across B.C.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that protect people from wildfire risks and reduce emissions from slash pile burning,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “Along with the historic investments in Budget 2022 to transform the BC Wildfire Service into a year-round service and double funding for proactive wildfire prevention, this new funding for FESBC will help build communities that are safer and more resilient to climate change.”

Steve Kozuki, RPF, FESBC Executive Director, explained what this funding would mean for the work undertaken by FESBC to reduce wildfire risk throughout the province, and said that it was encouraging to see more people realizing the benefits of protecting communities from wildfire risk.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is thrilled with the funding announcement, and we are looking forward to seeing applications for projects focused on reducing wildfire risk throughout the province,” said Kozuki. 

FESBC has previously helped to reduce wildfire risk in 120 communities across the province. 

Many of these projects have also gone above and beyond the primary objective of reducing wildfire risk and have identified additional outcomes that have proven beneficial to communities.

“Our favourite wildfire risk reduction projects not only reduce the risk of wildfire but also improve wildlife habitat, create recreation trails, increase the health of the forest so they are more resilient to climate change, and use the left-over biomass or wood waste to make green energy,” noted Kozuki. “Achieving multiple objectives is good forest management and good value for money.”

When it comes to wildfire risk reduction work, typically, communities will start by creating a wildfire risk reduction plan. The plan identifies infrastructure and priorities that need to be protected such as homes, buildings, water, power, communications towers, safe gathering places, escape routes, etc. Next, areas of risk are identified; oftentimes, these can be thicker or more dense forests near communities that might throw embers into the air if the forest catches on fire during a drought. 

Then, after consulting with the citizens and considering other values such as wildlife habitat, recreational amenities, visual aesthetics, climate change, and so on, treatment prescriptions are written by forest professionals. FESBC funds all of these project activities from start to finish.

“In our five-year history, we have helped Indigenous communities, municipalities, regional districts, woodlots, and community forests take action to protect their communities from wildfire,” said Kozuki. 

This year, successful applicants will receive funding to undertake activities that fall under at least one of the three criteria: 

  • Wildfire Risk Reduction planning and treatment prescription development
  • Wildfire Risk Reduction treatments
  • Recovery and utilization of low-value residual fibre resulting from wildfire risk reduction treatments funded by FESBC

Gord Pratt, RPF, FESBC Senior Manager said, “The primary purpose of our work is to assist the Province in reducing the wildfire risks to the people of B.C.”

A document with details on the application process, eligibility criteria and a step-by-step guide on next steps is available on the FESBC website, titled FESBC 2022-23 Funding Program Guide.

FESBC will host a virtual information session that will guide proponents on the criteria FESBC wants to see in the applications, as well as on the steps that need to be taken to put together an application through the online portal. 

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC wants all good projects to succeed, and the information session will help people get the information they need to enable them to submit excellent proposals for our consideration,” said Pratt. “The information session is there to help them be successful.”

For those who cannot attend the information session, a recording will be available to view on FESBC’s website the following day or by contacting FESBC Communications Liaison, Aleece Laird, at communications@fesbc.ca 

FESBC 2022 – 2023 Funding Program Information Session

When: June 28, 2022 at 2 p.m. (Pacific Time) 

Where: Online, via Zoom

To register for the information session, please visit: bit.ly/FESBCFunding 

Applications will be accepted through the Forest Enhancement Society Information Management System (FESIMS) starting on June 20, 2022. The on-line FESIMS portal will remain open for applications until all the funds have been allocated. Proposal evaluations will begin July 11, 2022. Funding applications will be required to clearly demonstrate that all activities under the proposal will be fully completed and invoiced by March 15, 2024. Interested proponents are encouraged to visit www.fesbc.ca and to click the Applying for Funding tab for details on how to apply through the FESIMS system.

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

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

About FESBC: the purposes of FESBC are to advance environmental and resource stewardship of B.C.’s forests by: preventing and mitigating the impact of wildfires; improving damaged or low-value forests; improving habitat for wildlife; supporting the use of fibre from damaged and low-value forests; and treating forests to improve the management of greenhouse gases. As of March 2021, FESBC has supported 269 projects valued at $238 million, in partnership with governments of B.C. and Canada.

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Province provides funding to reduce community wildfire risks, enhance forest health

To reduce wildfires in higher-risk communities, the B.C. government is providing $25 million in new funding to the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC).

This investment will support community projects that reduce wildfire risk and enhance wildlife habitat, greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, forest recreation and ecological resiliency. Applications for this funding will open on Monday, June 20, 2022.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that protect people from wildfire risks and reduce emissions from slash pile burning,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “Along with the historic investments in Budget 2022 to transform the BC Wildfire Service into a year-round service and double funding for proactive wildfire prevention, this new funding for FESBC will help build communities that are safer and more resilient to climate change.”

FESBC has supported 263 projects throughout B.C., and 43 of these projects have been in partnership with First Nations. These projects have reduced wildfire risk in 120 communities and have created about 2,200 full-time-equivalent jobs, among other outcomes.

“Our government is working together with First Nations and local communities to reduce the risk of wildfires so we’re better prepared for climate change,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “This investment is an important part of our upcoming Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy to support more resilient communities, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide job opportunities for people. By increasing actions, such as cultural and prescribed burning, we’re using powerful tools that can help reduce wildfire risk and improve ecosystem health.”

Since 2017, FESBC has funded the use of 4.8 million cubic metres of wood fibre that otherwise would have been burned in slash piles or abandoned. The combined GHG benefits of FESBC fibre use, tree planting and fertilization projects is 5.3 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent sequestered or avoided, which has the same GHG benefit as taking 1.1 million cars off the road for a year.

“Many Indigenous communities, municipalities, regional districts, woodlots and community forests have taken action in the last few years to protect their communities from wildfire,” said Steve Kozuki, executive director, FESBC. “They reduced the risk of extreme wildfire near buildings, communications infrastructure, water supply, power, safe place, and emergency escape routes. This funding will enable more communities to do this important work.”

As part of the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, the Province will work toward near elimination of slash-pile burning by 2030 and will increasingly divert materials away from slash piles and into bioproduct development. This will reduce air pollution and GHG emissions, while creating new economic opportunities.

The $25 million provided to FESBC is a component of $359 million announced in Budget 2022 to protect British Columbians from wildfires, including $145 million to strengthen the BC Wildfire Service and Emergency Management BC. This is the largest investment in the history of the wildfire service and is helping to transform the BC Wildfire Service into a year-round service, shifting from its reactive mode to a more proactive approach. This will enable the BC Wildfire Service to focus on all four pillars of wildfire management: prevention and mitigation; preparedness; response; and recovery.

Learn More: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022FOR0038-000957

Faces of Forestry: John Davies

Faces of Forestry is a new initiative of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to highlight people doing great work to enhance our forests throughout British Columbia. This month, we feature John Davies, RPF, Frontline Operations Group, Principal.

Registered Professional Forester (RPF) John Davies’ forestry career germinated during his time working in a seedling nursery, which was owned by his future sponsoring forester. From there, he went timber cruising on the coast over 35 years ago. Since then, he’s worked in every corner of the province timber cruising, tree planting, fighting forest fires and practicing wildfire management.

Davies, who completed a BSc in Resource Management at the University of British Columbia, has covered a significant geographic area since 1988.

“I’ve worked everywhere from the Arctic to Montana—firefighting and forestry takes you everywhere.”

Davies was drawn to forestry through a combination of positive experiences working with other RPFs early in his career and the desire to work outside.

After ten seasons fighting wildfires, Davies established his own wildfire management consultancy in 2004, one of the first RPFs to start consulting in wildfire management after the Filmon report in 2003. Since then, he has contributed to millions of dollars in community protection projects. His career highlights are when two of his fuel management projects successfully protected homes during the 2020 and 2021 wildfire seasons in the Okanagan.  

“The landscape-level fuel breaks we planned, developed, designed, and implemented around Heritage Hills, Penticton, and Westshore Estates, North Okanagan, successfully protected those communities from the Thomas Creek fire in 2020 and White Rock Lake fire in 2021 respectively. These fuel breaks successfully reduced wildfire behaviour near the homes and allowed structural fire fighters to safely deploy suppression tactics before the approaching wildfires.

Regarding his career in wildfire management focused forestry, Davies said, “having the opportunity to practice and promote value-based management and make sound and integral decisions while protecting communities is a rewarding experience.”

“Being a forester allows you to work and live almost anywhere in BC and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else for a career.”

Seeding Innovation in Forestry

Tŝilhqot’in Using Technology to Restore Traditional Land in the Chilcotin

WILLIAMS LAKE, B.C.—With support from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation (CCR) is using drones to reforest areas of the Chilcotin plateau devastated by the 2017 wildfires. Watch the video.

Paul Grinder (Councillor, Tl’etinqox Government), Dave Conly (Operations Manager, FESBC), Grant Canary (CEO, Drone Seed), Percy Guichon (Director, CCR) on site for the Drone Seed planting.

The project is a trial using drones and hand deployment to direct seed close to 52 hectares – roughly the area of 128 football fields – with thousands of both Lodgepole pine and Douglas fir. The seeds are embedded in a small vessel which contains a mix of soil and nutrients to give the seeds the best chance at germination. If successful, large fire-impacted areas can be restored much faster than by hand planting alone. 

“Generations and generations relying on the land, and having the fire come through was very devastating for a lot of people,” said Paul Grinder, Councillor, Tl’etinqox Government. “This is just another way to improve and help the forest regenerate as fast as possible.”

In some areas, safety hazards, steep slopes or remoteness make traditional tree planting by humans difficult, expensive, and time consuming. Drone technology has the potential to complement more standard methods to lessen the overall time to restoration across the vast landscapes damaged by the megafires.

Aerial seeding services for the Chilcotin plateau project were provided by DroneSeed, a Seattle-based reforestation company. The DroneSeed team worked with FESBC and CCR on the project by providing aerial seeding with heavy-lift drones. Additionally, DroneSeed is currently growing approximately 50,000 seedlings–from seed supplied by CCR–for interplanting within the pilot area of other CCR burned areas in spring of 2023. By combining new, innovative methods of reforestation with traditional ones, CCR and DroneSeed aim to use this hybrid approach of seed vessels and seedlings, both of which have distinct advantages in post-wildfire restoration. As part of the collaboration, DroneSeed’s experts will regularly revisit planting sites to track the seeds’ and seedlings’ growth and report progress back to FESBC and CCR. 

“We’re here to try and figure out other ways to reforest, so we can do it more rapidly, with better success,” said Danny Strobbe, RFT, Forestry Superintendent, Tsi Del Del Enterprises Ltd. “There are danger trees, steep slopes, and places logging equipment can’t get to that you can’t salvage—there’s places you can’t send tree planters into.” 

“We don’t have the resources to plant all the trees lost in the fires or the resources to grow all the seedlings in a short amount of time. This is a tool to help in our current efforts in reforestation and to increase our capacity.”

FESBC sees the potential of this program to address climate change concerns. Operations Manager Dave Conly, RPF, says planting trees is an important action in addressing climate change because growing forests absorb carbon. Reforestation of damaged areas supports healthy watersheds, wildlife habitat and re-establishes a forest ecosystem left barren by wildfire.

“We have granted over $29 million of funding toward projects with Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation—they are our second-largest recipient of funds,” said Conly. “They are a fantastic group of Indigenous people that have depended on the lands, waters, and forests in their traditional territories for thousands of years.” 

“We’re doing this important work through CCR rehabilitating forest stands that have been devastated by wildfire,” remarked Percy Guichon, Director, CCR. “Proving CCR has the capability and capacity to help manage our resources and our territories goes a long way towards supporting our future.” 

The use of drones and technology to re-establish forests could be transformational if it’s confirmed that it can be safer, faster, and cheaper. CCR and FESBC will share the results of the operational trial upon completion. 

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

Paul Grinder (Councillor, Tl’etinqox Government), Dave Conly (Operations Manager, FESBC), Grant Canary (CEO, Drone Seed), Percy Guichon (Director, CCR) discuss the drone seeding project on the Chilcotin plateau

For an interview with FESBC or CCR contact: 

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

For an interview with Drone Seed contact: 

Matt Matyjek, Communications Liaison | press@droneseed.co | 202.999.9455

About CCR 

CCR is a joint venture company between Tŝideldel First Nation and Tl’etinqox Government focused on forest initiatives within their traditional territories, with the purpose of providing sustained economic opportunity within their communities and ensuring the long-term sustainability of their traditional forest land-base.

About FESBC

In February 2016, the Government of British Columbia 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 March 2021, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC has supported 269 projects valued at $237.6 million, generating $357 million dollars in economic activity in partnership with the Province of BC and the Government of Canada.  

About DroneSeed

DroneSeed is scaling reforestation to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. After its recent acquisition of Silvaseed, a 130 year old forestry company, DroneSeed serves as a one-stop-shop for reforestation, offering seed supplies, nursery-grown seedlings, aerial seeding using drones, hand planting, and high-quality, forward-looking carbon offsets. DroneSeed is combining new technologies and market mechanisms with traditional forestry practices to reforest after wildfires and help save our planet.

Proactive Work Reduces Wildfire Risk in Sicamous

Learning Lessons from the 2021 Wildfires

SICAMOUS, B.C.: A wildfire risk reduction project, valued at almost $1 million, has been steadily making progress to provide greater protection from wildfires around the perimeter of Sicamous, and is close to wrapping up. The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) has funded the project which is helping to protect high risk areas as outlined in the District of Sicamous’ (DOS) Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). The work is providing greater comfort to not only forestry professionals and District staff who recognize the need for proactive action to reduce wildfire risk, but for citizens of Sicamous as well.

“The 2021 wildfires throughout the province and in our area were an eye opener for many in the community,” said Steve Giesbrecht, RPF, Natural Resources Manager at Landmark Solutions, one of the companies involved in the project. “We had started work back in the fall of 2020 by thinning trees and cleaning up ladder fuels and thought this summer’s Two Mile Road fire may enter our treatment areas. In the end it didn’t but confirmed the importance of the work we’re doing to reduce the risk of a catastrophic wildfire because we know that if we can keep fires lower to the ground and out of the tops or the crown, we give firefighters a better chance to control a wildfire.”

The work will better protect important infrastructure like a water reservoir owned by the DOS, as well as vital transportation corridors.

“The fuel management work we’re doing with the FESBC funding is very selective,” said Giesbrecht. “The prescription focuses on reducing ground fuels and understory trees, plus pruning and selective thinning of mature conifers resulting in a more open forest with a park-like aesthetic.”

The first area where work started was on the community’s eastern boundary, an area with dense second growth Douglas Fir, Larch, Cedar, and Hemlock stands that extend from mountain tops to valley bottoms. These forests include high risk wildfire threats because of the density of the trees and the steep slopes in the area. It has meant Nadine Overwater, owner of Nakimu Venture Inc., and her crews have had to do a lot of the work by hand and with smaller, more maneuverable machines.

“Our crews have been on the ground thinning the understory by pruning and brushing to remove ladder and ground fuels, and it’s been hard work due to the steep terrain,” said Overwater. “The locals in the area have shared how ecstatic they are with the work we’ve been doing to create nicer, safer forests, and in the event of a fire, better conditions for workers to put fires out faster. The spin off benefits for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy the forests is huge and will be great for Sicamous to invite tourists to get out and explore. We’re very happy to be a part of this work and will be wrapping up what we can in the next few weeks before the snow is too deep to work, and plan to do some final work next spring.”

Another benefit for the DOS is the opportunity to utilize the forest fibre Overwater and her crew are generating from their work. Some debris, or biomass, is being chipped and hauled to River City Fibre in Kamloops to be utilized for bioenergy conversion which will significantly reduce the amount of carbon being released into the atmosphere compared to burning debris piles, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“From the start, the District’s Fire Chief Brett Ogino has been keen on the idea of ‘waste not, want not’ when it came to the work,” said Giesbrecht. “Maximizing the utilization of the wood fibre is an innovative way to be good stewards of the land.”

Closely collaborating on this project is Dave Conly, RPF, Operations Manager with FESBC.

“There were many lessons those in the forestry sector learned not just this year but for some time now,” said Conly. “We know that with good planning and taking action to do the proper fuel management treatments, wildfire hazards can be reduced. From the beginning, our team has been impressed with how coordinated and collaborative the project has been with many groups and agencies to ultimately reduce wildfire risk in critical areas.”

The funding FESBC provided has enabled the DOS to seek out partnerships with First Nations, explore opportunities on how to keep locals and tourists safe, and protect infrastructure. The project also compliments areas adjacent to the treatment which are managed by B.C. Timber Sales, providing an even bigger wildfire risk reduction area.

Giesbrecht said, “without this funding, we would not be in as good of a position as we are today. We thank FESBC and the provincial government for their financial support of this project to make it a reality.”

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

For more information or an interview with the Forest Enhancement Society of BC and other partners:

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

62 Forestry Projects Throughout B.C. Led by Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous Peoples Sharing Perspectives

BRITISH COLUMBIA: With a deep connection to the land and a multi-generational perspective on sustainability, it is natural that Indigenous peoples throughout British Columbia have stepped up to lead so many projects that protect communities from wildfire, enhance wildlife habitat, reduce greenhouse gases, and more. A new Accomplishments Update released by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) highlights 62 FESBC-funded projects led by Indigenous peoples.

“The projects highlighted in the Accomplishments Update have facilitated the participation of Indigenous peoples in the forest economy and, through their leadership in these projects, they have a larger voice in the stewardship of the land for future generations,” said Jim Snetsinger, RPF, FESBC Board Chair. 

Snetsinger notes FESBC is seeing Indigenous values and interests increasingly reflected in project outcomes.

“These 62 projects, plus 23 others funded by FESBC that involve First Nations, are demonstrating approaches that harmonize traditional and modern forestry practices in community wildfire risk management, ensuring the wise utilization of wood fibre, increasing the opportunity to enhance the production of food sources from forests, and more.”

Projects range from wildfire risk reduction and wildlife habitat enhancement to the increased utilization of wood fibre and rehabilitating forests, with each producing an array of environmental, economic, and social benefits. Steve Kozuki, RPF, FESBC Executive Director points to a social benefit emerging that was perhaps unexpected.

Chief Joe Alphonse and FESBC Executive Director discuss forestry projects funded by FESBC and led by Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation

“Indigenous people are sharing their perspectives about the inter-connectedness of everything in our world,” said Kozuki. “Traditional cost/benefit analyses tend to emphasize things that can be measured such as job creation, economic activity, animal populations, etc.  Although social benefits may be difficult to quantify, they may be just as important.”

To learn more about the forest enhancement projects led by Indigenous peoples, FESBC has uploaded a digital copy of the Accomplishments Report at https://bit.ly/FESBCWinter2021Update.

For an interview with FESBC regarding FESBC-funded projects led by Indigenous peoples contact:

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

Taking Action on Climate Change

Turning Forest Waste Wood into Sustainable Materials

BEAVER COVE, B.C.—Salvaging fibre isn’t a new activity on Northern Vancouver Island, but the economics of this activity are difficult. Most wood waste is not close to chipping facilities, therefore access and transportation can be challenging and often uneconomic.

In 2019, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) provided close to $375,000 in funding to Kurt Leroy Trucking to develop fibre salvage and recovery projects in partnership with Western Forest Products Ltd. and Atli Chip Limited Partnership (LP). 

Leroy said the funding “enabled us to salvage waste wood volumes that would normally be outside the economic range from the chip plant and to recover wood that would normally have to be burned.” 

He notes the funding also supported his trucking company to maintain employment over a much broader range throughout northern Vancouver Island.

The focus of these projects was to extend the economic range to recover more fibre and deliver it to Atli Chip for processing. Without this partnership, the fibre would normally be burned in piles, thereby contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. 

The current project is planning to produce approximately 23,000 cubic metres of salvage wood from two local tree farm licences. This is approximately 500 logging truck loads of fibre that would otherwise be uneconomic to transport and be burned on site to reduce wildfire risk. 500 logging truck loads equates to removing 830 vehicles from the roads for a year in terms of greenhouse gas reduction.  

The Atli Chip facility at Beaver Cove is a limited partnership between Atli Resources LP, Paper Excellence Canada and Wahkash Contracting Ltd. Atli Resources LP is the forestry arm of the ‘Namgis First Nation.

“We are very excited about the opportunity for Atli Chip to meet the growing needs of the industry and to acquire a business that we believe will have long-term employment, economic and environmental benefits for the ‘Namgis people and the North Island as a whole,” said Don Svanvik, ‘Namgis Chief Councillor. “The chip plant has hired some ‘Namgis members and is looking to hire more, as well as train some of our youth. The FESBC funding has assisted in the creation of the second shift at the chip plant—increasing employment.”

Quinton Hayward, Chief Forester, Paper Excellence notes that Atli chips are made from logging waste produced by local logging operations and dryland sorts and includes treetops, broken logs, and wood chunks.

“Turning this material into chips reduces the amount of fibre left behind after primary forest harvesting. This results in better utilization of the forest resources and a net carbon reduction,” said Hayward.

Atli Chip produces a high-quality chip product from multiple lengths of low-quality wood waste. 

“This means we can serve a key role in reducing the amount of residual fibre often left behind after primary forest harvesting,” said Doug Mosher, RFP, Chief Executive Officer, Atli Chip. 

“The FESBC funding has been critical in expanding the salvage range, helping to avoid burning of the waste wood piles which results in less smoke and carbon emissions. We have also expanded employment options at the chip plant, for salvagers and related services.”

Atli Chip loaded and delivered the first barge of chips to Paper Excellence in May 2021. The chips are used to produce a variety of valuable consumer goods—many of which we use in our daily lives. 

“These types of collaborative partnerships benefit all British Columbians,” said Dave Conly, RPF, Operations Manager, FESBC. “We are supporting local jobs on Vancouver Island while supporting environmentally sustainable consumer products and taking strong action on climate change.”

“One of the key aspects of this project is we are now utilizing wood that would otherwise be burnt in residual slash piles. This leads to an overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and is an important part of our work to address climate change.”

For an interview with FESBC or Atli Chip contact:

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

Executive Director’s Newsletter NOV. 2021

We have developed this monthly newsletter to curate the good news stories we share throughout the province featuring FESBC-funded projects which are generating excellent economic, social, and environmental benefits. Stories are shared in collaboration with our project partners to highlight the exceptional work happening in our forests to reduce wildfire riskenhance wildlife habitattake action on climate change, and more.

Read this month’s Executive Director’s Newsletter

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

Watch the BC Forestry Workers are Climate Change Heroes video on Vimeo!

Protecting a Village and Creating Bioenergy

The Clinton Community Forest Approach

Clinton, B.C.: After wildfire burns through a forest, a lot of debris and charred trees are left behind—which is true of the Elephant Hill fire in 2017. Often this charred woody fibre can burn again but is left and not salvaged as the economic cost of doing so outweighs the market value. The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) actively seeks innovative solutions to these sorts of challenges. The Clinton Community Forest (CCF) applied for funding to protect the community by recovering burned fibre, an opportunity to pilot a solution to this challenge.

In partnership with Ledcor Group and Arrow Transportation Systems Inc., FESBC and CCF aimed to recover as much burned and waste fibre as possible. $512,000 in funding was provided to recover and utilize 32,000 cubic metres of low-quality residual fibre, approximately 580 truckloads.

“Usable and viable timber can still be salvaged after wildfire—but only for so long afterwards,” said Steve Law, RPF, General Manager, CCF. “Normally, we’d selectively log Douglas Fir and have about 50 per cent remaining. After a large fire, most of the work involves replanting without offsetting the cost through selling the logs. Without funding from FESBC, this work would not have been economical, and the fibre likely would have been burned. The financial support allowed us to recover the fibre instead.”

A portion of the recovered fibre from the community forest didn’t have far to go.

“Some of the fibre recovered was ground and trucked by Arrow and Ledcor to Kamloops,” said Ian Brown, Vice President, Woodlands & Fibre Procurement, Ledcor Group. “This fibre was used as biofuel to make electricity and thermal power, and in some instances, the fire effected biomass logs were trucked to and sorted at River City Fibre to make pulp products and biofuel.”

Greg Kilba, Division Manager of Portable Wood Processing and Log Buyer with Arrow, also noted that, “there’s still good pulp and bio wood out there left over from the 2017 wildfires but the costs are higher than the market value.”

The project also included funding of $128,000 to create a 100-metre-wide fuel break southeast of the Village of Clinton to help reduce future wildfire risk to the community.  The fuel break is a zone where trees are spaced farther apart, and the amount of flammable wood is reduced in order to slow down a wildfire.

“What started as a wildfire risk reduction project turned into an opportunity to also recover fibre,” said Ray Raatz, RPF, Operations Manager, FESBC. “This project showed not only what we can do to mitigate the risk of wildfire but also what can be done to recover and salvage fibre after a fire.”

Raatz notes one of the reasons FESBC wants to fund these innovative projects is to facilitate these types of learnings.

“There’s also another big reason,” said Raatz. “By using the wood instead of burning it in piles, greenhouse gas emissions are avoided. Therefore, the people of Clinton through their community forest are doing their part to take to action on climate change.”

Steve Law of the Clinton Community Forest

Law agreed noting that reducing the burning of wood waste is a win-win and there was good support from the municipality. After being heavily impacted by wildfires, the community is interested in seeing as much of the burned wood be chipped and trucked away instead of burned in piles.”

Jennifer Gunter, Executive Director of the BC Community Forest Association, highlights the important role of community forests in good forest stewardship.   

“This story of the Clinton Community Forest is a great example of how community forests can explore forest management practices and try something new, which has resulted in a long-term investment in the land base. Community forests are important, regionally and provincially, to provide a base for ingenuity and innovation.”

For information or an interview regarding this project, contact:

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

Watch the video on the project: bit.ly/ClintonCommunityForest

More burning needed to protect forests

Proper fuel mitigation will require a substantial investment from all levels of government

Kelly Sinoski, 100 Mile Free Press – November 12, 2021

The public will have to change their mindset around burning and logging in their “backyard” forests to prevent wildfires in the future, according to the 100 Mile District land manager.

Pat Byrne, 100 Mile district manager for B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development, said wildfire suppression and outdated forestry management practices over the past 150 years have made local forests “unnatural,” increasing the risk of interface fires with excessive fuel on the ground and thickly wooded canopies resulting in hot, intense and prolonged fires.

Pat Byrne, 100 Mile district manager for BC Ministry of FLNRORD

In the past, Indigenous or regular burning of the landscape every 15 -20 years meant forests were more open and there was less flammable fuel, including live or dead plants on the ground, making it harder for fires to get into the tree tops.

“We’ve got to get these ecosystems back to their natural functioning conditions, we’ve taken them away from that,” Byrne told attendees on a field trip to the 100 Mile District Community Forest last Thursday, Nov. 4. “We’ve changed conditions to make it unconducive to human habitation and wildlife.”

Byrne noted the fuel mitigation treatments at the Community Forest – a 20,000-hectare swath behind Imperial Ranchettes off Horse Lake Road – is a start to “kind of bring the (forests) back.”

Over the past three years, about $1.3 million, funded by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FES), has been spent at the community forest and the 100 Mile District woodlot near the 99 Mile ski trail and railroad to remove fuels and thin trees to open up the landscape. FES was created by the province five years ago with a mandate that includes reducing wildfire risk to communities.

Byrne said the 2017 wildfires, which led to countless evacuations in the South Cariboo and cost the BC Wildfire $649 million to fight, demonstrated the need for fuel treatments in B.C. forests. “In the three or four days after the fires got ripping, we had a conversation about ‘holy crap we’ve gotta do something now,’” he said.

100 Mile District Mayor Mitch Campsall agreed “2017 woke us up and 2021 gave us another big wake-up call.”

This past summer, 263 fires burned in the Cariboo Fire Centre, covering 129,591 hectares in the region. The fires, following a prolonged heatwave, resulted in evacuation alerts and across the region. The Build-Up Index (BUI) in 2017 showed the total amount of fuel available for combustion in the Cariboo was above 90, reaching up to 200 in the Chilcotin, indicating the fuels were “dry enough to sustain a persistent, deep-burning wildfire,” according to BC Wildfire Service. The BUI was 90 and up to 160 in 2021.

Forester Dan Bedford, of DWB Consulting which is contracted to do the work in the community forest, noted the local forest around 100 Mile was not like this 50 years ago, with so much flammable fuel on the ground and tiny “ladder trees” that carry intense flames to the top of the crowns. When that happens, crews can’t fight the fires, he said. “It’s absolutely scary the amount of energy coming off it.

Keith Bleeker lights a pile of fuel at the 100 Mile District Community Forest

“These are not sticks, these are fine fuel. These are the fuels that dry out in a long hot summer and are available to burst,” Bedford said, referring to varying pieces of wood. “We get this stuff off the ground as much as possible. We put them in piles and get rid of it.”

Bedford credited the late Steve Capling, a professional forester, for setting up the treatments in the community forest and helping to pioneer a treatment where a buncher weed-eats the tiny ladder trees and bunches them, while an excavator piles the fuel in the treatment area. The idea is to space out the trees, while also making it safer for crews to get in and fight the fires.

Much of the pulp and fibre, as well as a significant portion of the residual waste fibre from the forest was taken to the Williams Lake Cogeneration Plant to be used as biomass for electricity, while other fuels are either logged or stacked to be burned.

Joanne Doddridge, Mayor Mitch Campsall, Bill Hadden, Pat Byrne and Dave Bedford

Bedford noted there are about 2,000 piles in the area, The community forest will also require maintenance in the next 10 to 15 years, as more tiny trees grow up. He agreed there has to be a return to the old ways when “we’d have fires and fires and fires and still have forests when they were done.” If worse came to worst, he said, a backburn could now be lit in the community forest to protect local homes.

FES executive directive Steve Kozuki noted the recent situation in Logan Lake, where the Tremont Creek wildfire raged toward town, showed the importance of fuel mitigation. The town created a fuel break – spacing out crowns and removing ladder and ground fuel – to reduce the fire’s intensity. They also lit a backburn to allow the fire to creep along the ground and burn out.

Byrne said he has received “messaging” that “we can’t put all the investments in suppression efforts. We’ve got to put efforts into the prevention work. That’s why this was successful. The collaboration from all of the people here is the only thing that made it successful.”

However, Bill Hadden, Community Forest manager for the 100 Mile Development Corp., noted it will take money and political will to treat the local landscape. Although close to 400 hectares of the Community Forest was treated in the past three years, this is only 10 per cent of what should be done, and doesn’t include the local Timber Supply Area (TSA) in 100 Mile House.

Bill Hadden, Community Forest Manager, 100 Mile Development Corp.

“Across the 100 Mile TSA, the numbers are staggering and it’s going to take a huge commitment from senior levels of government to make it work.”

Bill Hadden, Community Forest Manager, 100 Mile Development Corp.

Byrne agreed there are “thousands and thousands of hectares” that require treatment and maintains the forest must be managed for the ecosystem – ensuring it’s resilient to pests and drought to provide habitat for wildfire – and extract the fibre from that, rather than the other way around.

“This kind of wildfire-resistant barrier has to be expanded and we have to carry that on for the rest of our forest management across the land base,” he said. “It has to be targeted at protecting those ecosystems so they can have natural function and not our version of what a pristine forest looks like.

“I hope we really run down that path hard now.”

Cariboo Regional District Chair Margo Wagner said the community forest has tremendous benefits.

“When you manage to fire smart in areas after the fires we’ve had go through in 2017, 2018 and now this past summer, it makes it more important,” she said. “The fires are scary as we all know. Any work that can be done in conjunction with the community or the municipality makes it a real bonus exercise.”

Read Kelly Sinoski’s full article in the 100 Mile Free Press, here:

https://www.100milefreepress.net/news/more-burning-needed-to-protect-forests/

For more stories on FESBC funding partners near 100 Mile House contact:
Aleece Laird, FESBC Communications Liaison | communications@fesbc.ca | 250.574.0221

Low Grade Wood = High Grade Benefits

The Logging & Sawmilling Journal is featuring one of the Forest Enhancement Society’s project partners, Seaton Forest Products, in its September / October 2021 edition.

From the article: “Seaton Forest Products has a focus on utilizing low grade wood at its mill operation in the B.C. Interior, and it’s generating some high grade benefits from fibre that no one else wants – dry, decadent balsam.”

“Seaton Forest Products’ ability to turn ‘wasted’ wood into viable products, reduce carbon emissions and create jobs mostly for aboriginal workers attracted the interest of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC). FESBC, with the support of the…government, invested $2.5 million in Seaton Forest Products in 2018 to support a three-and-a-half-year long project.”

Logging & Sawmilling Journal September / October 2021

Read the full story in the Logging & Sawmilling Journal here, beginning on Page 24: www.forestnet.com

Executive Director’s Newsletter Oct. 2021

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!

Watch the BC Forestry Workers are Climate Change Heroes video on Vimeo!

B.C. Forestry Workers Are Climate Change Heroes Brochure

BRITISH COLUMBIA— Climate change is a concern for many people around the world. In British Columbia, there are local people taking action on climate change right here in our forests.

One approach to tackle climate change is to adapt to increases in drought, wildfires, flooding, and other extreme weather occurrences. As a society, we could learn to adapt.

The second approach is to take action to prevent or at least limit further climate change. To do that, 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.

Trees will absorb carbon dioxide once they start growing and will continue to absorb carbon for many years. Planting trees that otherwise would not be planted, usually following natural disasters such as insect epidemics or catastrophic wildfires, is a significant way to help mitigate climate change. We can also fertilize trees to help them grow faster and therefore absorb carbon dioxide faster. And finally, we can reduce the burning of wood waste so there are less greenhouse gas emissions. The emissions profile from the open burning of wood contains not only carbon dioxide but also very potent greenhouse gases including methane and nitrous oxide. Using the wood instead of burning it helps reduce these greenhouse gases.

Our B.C. Forestry Workers Are Climate Change Heroes brochure highlights several local climate change heroes working on projects funded by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC. We also invite you to watch our newly released B.C. Forestry Workers Are Climate Change Heroes Video so that you can support the action being taken on climate change by sharing it with the people in your networks.

Together, we can all be Climate Change Heroes.

Watch the Climate Change Heroes Video

Read more about Climate Change Heroes

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

Taan People Create Spaces for Wildlife in Haida Gwaii

HAIDA GWAII, B.C.— over the last two years, Taan Forest Limited Partnership (Taan Forest) has utilized over $1.6 million in funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to support two projects focused on ecological restoration of close to 300 hectares of riparian and habitat area in Haida Gwaii.

The first project focused on restoring close to 185 hectares of riparian area along the Yakoun River, which is close to 60 km long and the largest river on Haida Gwaii.

These riparian areas along the river, also referred to as benches, are identified as red and blue-listed ecosystems under the Haida Gwaii Land Use Objectives Order (HGLUOO) and contain protected areas for fish habitat and a 100-year flood plain. Activity included spacing trees farther apart, the creation of snags (standing dead trees), and the initial introduction of coarse woody debris (large pieces of wood) to begin mimicking the natural processes of riparian areas.

Planting Western red cedar along Yakoun River where heavy equipment and past logging practices scoured the bank so badly only alder came back as a pioneer

“That river system was historically logged right up to the water and used to transport logs,” said Jeff Mosher, RPF, Chief Forester, Taan Forest. “These big rivers need biomass input to create small log jams to keep the pools stable in the river ecosystem and along the banks. Right now, the river is missing these big trees that support the bank, wildlife, and trees that would eventually fall into the river and provide structure and create habitat in the river.”

The goal is to manage second growth spruce and cedar trees to create large root and branching structures using these long-lived tree species. This management helps trees grow larger faster than they would naturally, strengthening the stream bank and providing large organic debris input to the edges of the river.

These over-dense conifer stands are less diverse than old growth stands. Opening the stand, creating snags, and stressing trees are some of the tools used to mimic an old growth stand in a shorter time frame. Snags created in riparian areas attract wood-boring insects which attract birds, and stressed trees produce seeds which attracts birds and squirrels. These prey species then draw predators like the Haida Gwaii goshawk (Stads k’un), the National Bird of Haida Gwaii and a sub-species in danger of extinction.

“FESBC has a deep respect for the Haida people, the connection they have with the land and waters, and their strong desire to improve wildlife habitat,” said Dave Conly, RFP, Operations Manager, FESBC. “FESBC is delighted to assist the Haida’s company Taan Forest in completing these important habitat restoration projects and to learn more about how important these Taan Forest projects are to the Haida people in achieving their goals.”

This project created about six months of full-time employment including employment of a crew of 10 Old Massett people hired by Old Massett Village Council who completed the riparian work—supervised by riparian specialists.

“The crew from Old Massett did fantastic work and Taan Forest aims to continue to build restoration opportunities for Old Massett and other Haida Gwaii communities to replace jobs lost from a reduced logging industry on Haida Gwaii,” said Mosher.

Taan Forest Crew (Left to Right): Clarence Thompson, Ed Davis, Sophie Simons (Riparian Specialist), Charlie Thompson, Dustin Edgars, Vernon White, Todd Russ, Eri Foster (Riparian Specialist), Ron Hamilton. Taan Forest would like to acknowledge the passing of crew member Charlie Thompson and express our heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends.

The second FESBC-funded project focused on spacing trees and pruning the lower branches in overly dense conifer stands to create and enhance the northern goshawk forage habitat.

“The northern goshawk has a forage [feeding] range with a 5.2 km radius so we’re targeting the spacing in those areas to allows the trees to grow faster,” said Mosher.

Reducing the number of trees creates open flight paths between trees for goshawk, bats, migratory and resident birds, and allows sunlight to reach the plants on the ground which increases brush and berry development. This results in increased food for the small animals which the goshawk depends on as a food source.

Spacing and pruning was completed by additional crews from local communities on Haida Gwaii including Old Massett and Skidegate.

A small diameter over dense conifer stand – post treatment

The overall goal of both projects is to create structure for key species of wildlife on Haida Gwaii.

“The hope is this will create more forage and canopy structure for goshawk and snags for saw-whet owls while also benefiting many other wildlife species,” said Mosher.

“Without the FESBC funding we wouldn’t have been able to do the work we’ve done so far and start an initiative for more restoration work.”

Jeff Mosher, RPF, Chief Forester, Taan Forest

“Without the FESBC funding we wouldn’t have been able to do the work we’ve done so far and start an initiative for more restoration work. It’s significant towards reconciliation with the Nation and to restoring areas impacted by war-effort and pre-Forest Practices code logging.”

For an interview with Taan Forest, send requests to:
Sonia Rice, HaiCo Senior Executive Assistant | Sonia.rice@haico.ca

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

About Taan Forest Limited Partnership: Taan Forest is a forest management company, a subsidiary of HaiCo (Haida Enterprise Corporation), a company wholly owned by the Council of the Haida Nation and the Secretariat of the Haida Nation. The Haida Nation saw the necessity to have a direct voice and management authority in managing the forest practices on Xaayda Gwaay.yaay/Xaadáa Gwáay Haida Gwaii. Shortly after HaiCo was incorporated in 2009, Taan Forest was born in 2010 as an enterprise through which the stewardship of these forests could be managed with Haida values.

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

Executive Director’s Newsletter SEPT. 2021

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)

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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 sig