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.

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.

Executive Director’s Newsletter January 2023

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!

Find out more about the FESBC 2022 Accomplishments Report through this video.

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. 

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!