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.
Ministry of Forests, Media Relations | 250 896-4320
Aleece Laird, Forest Enhancement Society of BC | 250 574-0221