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.
An article by Brian Watson, Operations Manager, FESBChas 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.
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)
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
“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.
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)
-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.
“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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.”