EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NEWSLETTER Feb. 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.

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Watch the Seeding Innovation in Forestry video on Vimeo.

Faces of Forestry: Erin Robinson

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 Erin Robinson, Forestry Initiatives Manager at The City of Quesnel.

“I remember learning in school that we would eventually face a time of ecological change so drastic that we would no longer be able to ignore it – and then in 2017, it was on our doorstep. During the 2017 wildfires, I remember thinking, ‘Should I move my family away from here?’ and then I realized, there is no longer anywhere we can move to that isn’t facing an ecological crisis. 

The Forestry Innovation Centre is located in the City Hall of Quesnel and from inception in January 2019, I’ve held the position of Forestry Initiatives Manager. The Forestry Innovation Centre is excellent for fuel management and FireSmart. We also support research and innovation in landscape management and forest product manufacturing. I’ve always been interested in land and resource management from a social science perspective for most of my academic and working career. 

I chose this current career because, in my opinion, the pest outbreaks, wildfires and floods we are experiencing, while they have ecological explanations, are inherently social problems with social solutions.  I believe forestry has an integral role in restoring the ecosystems we rely on for continued human survival. I want to thank the Forest Enhancement Society BC for all the work they have enabled in Quesnel, the surrounding region and the province.”

– Erin Robinson, Forestry Initiatives Manager, City of Quesnel

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Erin obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Cultural Anthropology and an interdisciplinary Master’s in Natural Resource Management and Anthropology, focusing on community forestry, from the University of Northern British Columbia. Her thesis The Cross-Cultural Collaboration of the Community Forest used the Likely Xats’ull Community Forest (LXCF) as a case study. For eight years, Erin was part of the LXCF Board of Directors and she has published peer-reviewed articles on the topics of community forestry. 

Executive Director’s Newsletter Jan. 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 BC Forestry Workers are Climate Change Heroes video on Vimeo!

Making Bioenergy from Wood Waste in Golden B.C.

GOLDEN, B.C.The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) has provided $655,000 in funding to LP Building Solutions (LP) to utilize over 30,000 cubic metres of residual fibre to generate power in Golden B.C.—equivalent to about 750 logging truck loads. Much of the residual fibre would normally be left behind on local logging blocks and wildfire risk reduction treatment areas to be burned, as it doesn’t meet sawlog or pulp log requirements. The funding enables an increase in the utilization of this fibre and reduces smoke levels by avoiding pile burning. 

Scott King of LP with logs ready for grinding for power plant

A significant number of logs are pulled out of Kinbasket Lake (a reservoir created by the Mica Dam) every year and normally burned. LP sees an opportunity to explore utilizing these logs from the reservoir and is using some of the FESBC funding to see if the logs can be a viable source of renewable energy to generate power for the mill. This project is a climate change solution to make renewable bioenergy to offset the use of fossil fuels in manufacturing and working with the forest products industry to improve forest utilization and sustainability practices by recovering fibre from the lake and utilizing it at LP’s facility in Golden. 

“One of the biggest challenges of fibre utilization is having somewhere to use it so this is a unique opportunity where the fibre can be used to generate energy,” said Gord Pratt, RPF, Operations Manager, FESBC. “There’s a need and a desire to utilize this fibre and LP is looking at opportunities to utilize fibre recovery around Golden, including the utilization of fibre from Kinbasket Lake, to generate renewable energy to power its mill.” 

Scott King, RPF, Silviculture Forester, LP notes the fibre from the reservoir is free from dirt, making it a cleaner fuel source to be processed into hog fuel. Being able to use this fibre would also result in a guarantee of fibre for the power plant. 

“Like anything, when we try something new, people must come together to work collaboratively,” said King. “I’m very proud of what we’re doing as a company. It’s enjoyable to work on a project everyone is keen to get behind and support.” 

Interestingly, LP Golden’s generator the fibre will power is based on WWII technology. The utilization of the wood fibre is close to 100% because there’s not a piece that goes to waste or gets thrown out. 

Power Generator in power plant.

Gord Ryter, who has worked as a powerhouse engineer at the facility since 1965, was there when the generator was brought in by Kicking Horse Forest Products in 1965 and said it has been running 24/7 at 3600 rpm for close to 70 years. As far as Ryter is aware, only one other generator like it exists. Having it run steadily contributes to its longevity as it avoids heat cycling, which weakens the metal in the turbine over time. 

“The generator is a critical piece of this mill’s operation because it burns waste fuel,” said Ryter. “We have 400 employees here, and its continuous operation has helped guarantee employment for the community. Seeing this machine run that whole time has been amazing.”

Mayor of Golden, Ron Oszust, is also pleased with the project. 

“This is an amazing example of industry working to find better solutions for our communities and our environment—thank you to LP and FESBC,” noted Oszust. “Reducing wildfire risk close to our community is critical and being able to avoid the burning of this fibre, along with other waste fibre to avoid smoke, benefits the community. This plant provides many long-term jobs to our community members, and we support the effort to innovate and explore new ways to power the plant.” 

The project allows for the utilization of fibre normally outside LP’s economic reach and provides feedstock required by the old, reliable power generator while also reducing the greenhouse gases emitted from pile burning. 

“FESBC is proud to support LP’s effort to increase the use of fibre normally burned in slash piles near Golden, and we are also proud to assist B.C. and Canada meet our climate change targets.” said Pratt. 

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

For an interview with FESBC contact: 

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

For an interview with LP contact: 

Breeanna Straessle, Director, Corporate Communications | Media.Relations@lpcorp.com  | 615.986.5886

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. 

BC FireSmart Committee Thanks BCAA

BCAA Employees Team Up for Wildfire Resiliency

BRITISH COLUMBIA: In 2022, citizens in the Province of British Columbia will have more opportunity than ever to take the proactive steps to ‘FireSmart’ their properties thanks to the British Columbia Automobile Association’s (BCAA) employees. In late 2021, BCAA employees made the decision to donate $17,700 through an employee giving initiative to the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to direct funds toward making FireSmart BC materials accessible to more British Columbians.

“Supporting communities is an important part of what we do at BCAA. In 2021, we wanted to give our employees more ways to give back and support causes they care about. We know the devastating impact wildfires have on communities, so when we invited our employees to vote for organizations to which we could donate, it’s no surprise that many of them chose FireSmart BC,” said Shawn Pettipas, Director Community Engagement for BCAA. “We are proud to support FireSmart BC’s work on wildfire prevention – their dedication to education and supporting communities to become more resilient is what makes their work unique and so important to our province.”

With last year’s many wildfires throughout the province, many communities were deeply impacted. Perhaps the best examples of the proactive wildfire risk reduction work done by private property owners and how that work saved important infrastructure was in the community of Logan Lake, located in the Southern Interior of the province, just 60 kilometres southwest of Kamloops. 

“As the Mayor of Logan Lake, B.C.’s first FireSmart community, we have long been aware of the necessary proactive work we can all do to help better protect our properties and communities from the devastating effects of wildfire,” said Robin Smith, Mayor of Logan Lake. “In the summer of 2021, our community was in the pathway of a very large wildfire, and in large part due to the hard work that led to our 2013 Community Protection Achievement through FireSmart, firefighters were able to direct the fire away from homes. To learn that BCAA employees have generously chosen to direct their employee giving initiative to FireSmart BC means so many more British Columbians will have access to FireSmart BC resources to better protect their homes and communities too.”

For their commitment, the BC FireSmart Committee expresses its deepest appreciation to the employees of BCAA.

“On behalf of our entire Committee, we thank BCAA and their employees,” said Gord Pratt, Operations Manager of FESBC and a proud BC FireSmart committee member. “This donation is significant and will allow FireSmart BC to share resources and information with many more people which in turn will help them be better prepared for wildfire with proven steps to help protect their home, and their community, from wildfire.”

For more information or an interview:

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

Executive Director’s Newsletter DEC. 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!