FALKLAND, B.C.: a large area 8 kilometers east of the community of Falkland on Highway 97C, previously burned by a wildfire 14 years ago, was the focus of a local Natural Resource District staff and Tolko Industries Ltd. project funded by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) for forest rehabilitation and to improve the area for Mule deer winter range.
“The Cedar Hills fire of 2005 in the Okanagan Shuswap Forest District burned approximately 1,200 hectares of forest land,” said Dave Conly, Operations Manager for FESBC. “Of the land affected by the fire, 830 hectares was salvage logged and reforested by Tolko Industries Ltd., BC Timber Sales, and local woodlot holders. There remained a significant area of land untreated, and until now, was severely degraded due to the intensity of the fire.”
Difficult growing conditions, including drought, existed for some of the remaining area and previous attempts to reforest for timber productivity had been largely unsuccessful.
“Tolko Industries Ltd., working with the local Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) District staff, assessed the site and concluded there was an opportunity to reforest portions of the burnt area,” said Conly. “14 years since the fire, the area has experienced some deciduous brush growth and recovery of the soil which led the professional foresters to conclude it would be worth another try to regenerate the area. The work is supported by local biologists as the area is part of a critical mule deer winter range.”