Williams Lake, B.C.: the Williams Lake Community Forest (WLCF) is situated in two separate geographic areas around the City of Williams Lake covering a total of 288 square kilometres. As a 50/50 partnership between the Williams Lake Indian Band and the City of Williams Lake, the community forest is a vital resource having contributed both financial support as well as employment opportunities into the communities since 2014. Work to protect this asset from wildfire while enhancing Mule Deer Winter Range attributes through a project funded by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) is ongoing.
“This project is critical to our community forest,” said Kent Watson of C+P Management Ltd., the company that manages the WLCF. “The southwest portion of our project, known as Flatrock or Ne Sextine, is situated west of the City of Williams Lake between Williams Creek Valley and Highway 20. The area is within Mule Deer winter range and a Wildland Urban Interface behind the residential areas on Birch Lane and Woodland Drive. The funding provided us with an opportunity to achieve many positive outcomes such as enhancing habitat for wildlife and reducing wildfire risk to our communities.”
Through the historic harvest history of the area and with current harvest restrictions, much of the project site was occupied by moderate to high density stands, high risks for wildfires. The area is often impacted by snow, ice damage, and Spruce budworm and the stand itself has been suppressed with trees of small diameter which has led to an environment limiting forage opportunities for wildlife.