Executive Director’s Newsletter May 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.

Faces of Forestry: Kelsey Winter

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 Kelsey Winter, Wildfire Operations Manager with FPInnovations and former FireSmart Program Lead for the BC Wildfire Service and the former Chair of the BC FireSmart Committee (BCFSC).

After working as a Sales Account Manager for an international shipping company in Belgium, Kelsey returned to Canada to make it her forever home. Later, she found the inspiration to join the forestry sector; after spending her summers working with the Kamloops Fire Centre.

“I loved being an initial attack crew member and then leader, and rapidly fell in love with the science behind wildfire, everything from grass curing to Kestrel tuning,” said Kelsey.

Kelsey has a Master’s in Fire Ecology, and a Master’s in Natural Resources, and she is currently pursuing her PhD in Public Administration, focusing on wildfire resiliency for Indigenous communities.

“I stayed in the field long enough to start my first Master’s degree and then moved into a strategic communications role in the office while I finished my second degree. I’ve been with wildfire ever since.”

Recently, Kelsey moved to her new role as the Wildfire Operations Manager with FPInnovations.

“It has been a big change, but one that I’m incredibly excited about. FPInnovations is an R&D organization that specializes in the creation of solutions that accelerate the growth of the Canadian forest sector and its affiliated industries to enhance their global competitiveness. I’m about to get even more forest-y!” said Kelsey.

Before moving to this role, Kelsey was the FireSmart Program Lead for the BC Wildfire Service and the Chair of the BCFSC for seven years. In her role, Kelsey led the development and implementation of the FireSmart strategic goals across the Province.

FireSmart BC is the first point of contact for residents and stakeholders in all things wildfire, from risk mitigation to resident education, to working in collaboration with industry leaders and communities to building community wildfire resiliency.

Kelsey and her team collaborated with BCFSC members, and together they ensured the adequate delivery of FireSmart programs; aimed at enhancing wildfire preparedness, prevention, and mitigation in communities.

“Leading the incredibly talented and dedicated group that makes up the FireSmart BC team was one of the most rewarding parts of my career. They are caring and passionate about their jobs, and they believe in the difference that they’re making,” noted Kelsey.

As the Chair of the BCFSC, Kelsey collaborated with other BCFSC members to ensure that the committee worked in alignment as one governing organization, coordinating resources for the betterment of British Columbians.

Throughout her career in forestry, Kelsey is most proud to work alongside dedicated foresters who share similar values. She encourages young people to take an interest in the forestry industry, as she believes it is essential to B.C.

“I’d encourage all the women out there, that maybe feel like forestry is a male-dominated industry, to push that aside and pursue a career here if that is where their heart is at. In the 15 years that I’ve been in the forest industry, I have had the immense honour of working with some of the most talented and bright women around,” remarked Kelsey.

Thank you, Kelsey, for contributing to the forestry sector and helping communities across B.C. build wildfire resiliency, one step at a time.

Wildfire Risk Reduction Project an Example of Collaboration

Nelson, B.C. – the Selous Creek Wildfire Risk Reduction Project near Nelson, B.C. has demonstrated that it is possible to harvest trees to reduce wildfire risk while maintaining cultural, ecological, recreational, and aesthetic values. With funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) and partnerships among regional, municipal and provincial governments, fire services, and a local timber licensee, a wildfire risk reduction project is a prime example of collaboration to better protect a community.

“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 reduce the risk to people from wildfire.”

In the last few years, wildfires have threatened and significantly impacted many communities due to their higher intensity and increased severity. With the community of Nelson being identified as strategically important by the Community Wildfire Protection Plan for the city, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK), with several stakeholders, took steps to reduce the risk of wildfire in the area.

“The Kootenays are a unique place. The area incubates and attracts people with ‘out-of-the-box’ ideas and our elected officials and staff are the proxy of the residents of the RDCK,” said Angela French, RFT, Wildfire Mitigation Supervisor with the RDCK. “The inspiration for our wildfire risk reduction project was the residents’ concerns about wildfire and the risks associated with the changing climate. RDCK Regional Fire Chief Nora Hannon was instrumental in making this program what it is today, and my predecessor Joel Hamilton, continued that legacy.”

Since 2017, the project has made significant strides in its goal to reduce the risk of wildfire. Operating area tenure holder Kalesnikoff Lumber Company (Kalesnikoff) completed 80 hectares of mechanical harvesting or removing trees using machines. Ground-based mechanical fuel modification, or piling additional debris left after harvest, was completed on 20 hectares. Adjacent to the harvested areas and along the Vein bike trail, an additional 5.5 hectares of understory, or layer of vegetation that grows beneath the trees, was treated by hand to thin and remove some of the fuel load. An additional 7.5 hectares of understory hand treatment was completed along the Great Northern Rail Trail. To prepare for the prescribed burn, the project took proactive measures to protect the outer perimeter of the harvested area and surrounding reserve patches by creating a debris-free guard by utilizing a machine-tethered system in areas with steep terrain.

Gord Pratt, FESBC Senior Manager said, “FESBC was extremely pleased to provide funding to the RDCK so they could lead the delivery of this project by taking on a role that isn’t common with other Regional Districts across the province. The project was successful due to the collaborative work by all involved and led by the RDCK to ensure meaningful input and involvement in the planning and implementation of the project, which included involving local governments, the Ministry of Forests, the local forest licensee, Kalesnikoff, and local public interest groups. The result was a project that reduced the wildfire risk to people in the Nelson area through diverse forest management activities.”

John Cathro of Cathro Consulting played a major role in the project and applauded the initiative taken by RDCK. “The project would never have happened without the vision and commitment of RDCK staff and elected officials. Everyone involved at the RDCK knew they were doing something innovative, and that success would require taking risks, forming new relationships, and trusting in the process,” said Cathro.

Cathro explained that the project had a few challenges: Building trust and commitment among various stakeholders for a long-term wildfire risk reduction project, limited grant cycles, and shorter attention spans made it difficult to build trust and engage community leaders who could promote the project. Overcoming these obstacles required innovative solutions and a willingness to embrace untested initiatives, and all parties involved showed that in abundance, according to Cathro.

“In the case of climate resilience and community wildfire risk reduction, change is necessary but change does not happen by itself. It takes people to get together and make it happen,” said Cathro, adding, “Given the complexity of the project, FESBC was flexible with changing timelines and modifications to the scope. The project would have stopped after the first year if the funding program was too stringent or unbending.”

Gerald Cordeiro, the Forest Development Manager for Kalesnikoff, also highlighted the collaborative aspects of the project, calling it a success. “One of the main takeaways for me was that the collaboration was a success in terms of advancing our collective knowledge of how to work together on a project in order to achieve the desired results,” said Cordeiro.

According to Cordeiro, the collaboration kicked into high gear when Kalesnikoff, the RDCK, BC Wildfire Service, the City of Nelson, and several notable local experts began investigating and planning for what can now be seen as a mostly-complete fuel treatment on the hillside just south of Nelson. “Throughout the planning process, we kept coming back to the idea that this would be a first-of-its-kind project, and the collaborative aspect was as important as the physical results. We learned to work within a multi-jurisdictional shared decision-making environment that will act as an invaluable model for other future projects. The planning process also included seeking input from other local interest groups, Indigenous communities, and the local community, in addition to engaging with Selkirk College and FP Innovations,” explained Cordeiro.

The project has the prescribed burn left to do this year. Kalesnikoff will also be tree planting and placing pheromone deterrents to keep the bark beetles out of the Douglas Fir trees. “We all want to make sure we take the opportunity to get the message out that collaboration works, and we can now demonstrate significant results to benefit society without an untenable set of compromises,” said Cordeiro.

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

A Community Effort to Reduce Wildfire Risk

Whistler, B.C. – The forests surrounding Whistler, B.C. offer a picturesque backdrop for the town’s world-class recreational opportunities. However, the managers of these forests face the dual challenge of preserving their natural beauty while also addressing the risk of wildfires that these forests present.

The Cheakamus Community Forest (CCF), governed by a non-profit society of representatives from the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) and the Líl̓wat and Squamish First Nations, realized the potential impact of a wildfire to the tourists and the critical importance of wildfire risk mitigation. One spark from an ignition source had the potential to start a fire that could spread and put the ski hill recreation area, walking and biking trails, and other important infrastructure like homes and transportation corridors at risk.

Winter operations undertaken by the crew. Credit: David Conly.

To mitigate this risk and to do so in a sustainable way, foresters from the Líl̓wat Forestry Ventures LP, an arm of the Líl̓wat First Nation, with funding from FESBC, set out to create a wildfire risk reduction plan which included consultation with the community and other stakeholders. One of the concerns identified by the community was around smoke from the burning of the debris from the treatments. The wildfire risk reduction treatments were completed by the Lil’wat Nation forestry crews resulting in a reduction of the forest fuels, minimizing smoke emissions and maintaining the forest recreation values. Moreover, the treated stands now have lower levels of fuel. Today, the successes of their efforts serve as a demonstration of the benefits that a tourist town can reap from implementing wildfire risk reduction measures.

“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 reduce the risk to people from wildfire.”

Dean Nelson, the Chief of the Líl̓wat First Nation, spoke about the forests where the work was conducted. He explained that the initiative was in response to the province-wide call for municipal preparedness and was prompted by the threat of wildfires and the impacts of climate change on communities and forests throughout B.C.

“For the residents of Whistler, this work was crucial to help prevent and raise awareness of the potential dangers of forest fires,” Nelson said. “For the people living in Whistler, this work is very important for the prevention and cautionary awareness of potential forest fire danger. The number of trees remaining after the treatment varied from site to site, from a density of 250 stems per hectare, up to 400 stems per hectare. Fibre utilization from the treatments was undertaken, sawlogs were marketed for timber, the lower-valued residue was used for firewood and compost, and burning was minimized.”

The wildfire risk reduction work carried out by Líl̓wat Forestry Ventures LP was focused on larger landscape-level fuel breaks that aimed to prevent fires from spreading from the south of Whistler, according to Klay Tindall, the General Manager of Forest Operations for the Líl̓wat Forestry Ventures LP.

“The plan was to remove approximately 45 per cent of the original stand of second-growth Douglas fir, totalling around 18,000 cubic metres. Where possible the residual fibre was utilized with lowered carbon emissions in mind. For instance, some fibre was chipped and mixed off-site with solid human waste to produce compost material. By avoiding burning the residual material, a reduction in the release of PM2.5 smoke particulate was achieved. ” said Tindall. “This would not have been possible without the funding and support from FESBC as these are rather smaller areas, and the cost of working on these is rather high. The treated area is now being used for new mountain bike trails by the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association and is giving them a great spot to build some more beginner and intermediate trails.

The project also had a significant impact on the Lilwat community members employed by Líl̓wat Forestry Ventures LP, according to Reno Joe, the contract manager. The work provided a unique opportunity for the Nation to empower its youth and enhance their training. Reno stated, “Everything was locally sourced, and we aimed to bring in experienced professionals from neighbouring Nations. The project helped us build our First Nations’ capacity and gain valuable work experience. We are proud to say that we have engaged more young people in the community, and had six Lil’wat and four additional youths who participated in the project. Of these, one Lil’wat youth is already studying Fire Management at the Vancouver Island University, and one other Lil’wat youth is getting his bachelor’s degree in Forest Ecology and Management from UNBC.”

The project also faced several challenges. Chief Nelson acknowledged that the first obstacle was gaining recognition as competent forestry professionals. Despite this difficulty, the First Nations company was able to demonstrate its expertise and completed the project.

Jordon Gabriel, the Cultural and Community Forestry Manager, who works for Lil’wat Forestry Ventures, spoke about additional challenges such as residents’ concerns about declining property values, complaints about smoke from prescribed burns, and difficulties with the public entering active work sites. “Managing public access during the work and gaining support from local residents were challenges at the time, but now, even they can see the positive outcomes of this work,” Gabriel said.

Heather Beresford, CCF’s Executive Director noted that one of the project’s main challenges was helping local residents understand the importance of this forest thinning work in the long term.

“Some Whistler residents think that the thinning work makes the forests look ‘ugly’ and may even increase the risk of wildfire since they believe the forests dry out earlier in the spring. In response, the RMOW and CCF are implementing a monitoring program to measure certain characteristics pre- and post-treatment to see what is actually happening in the forests. This will give us valuable insight and ensure that our actions are having a positive impact,” said Beresford.

Brian Watson, RPF, Operations Manager with FESBC said, “The work that Lil’wat Forestry Ventures LP completed on behalf of the Cheakamus Community Forest is important in that it occurred in a part of the province that has a high profile and where wildfire risk reduction work is just starting to be implemented. It’s important that people see this work so that they can be part of the conversation around wildfires and the risks they pose to our communities. What people will not see is that the project phased out most of the burning of low-value fibre that is usually associated with this work. When you consider the proximity of this work to homes and businesses, the benefits to human health are meaningful, not to mention the positive impact on the atmosphere.”

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Executive Director’s Newsletter April 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.

Transformational Accomplishments Report Wins Gold Hermes Creative Award

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) doesn’t want to be just another funder of projects or a make-work program. They want meaningful and durable transformational shifts to greener economies, healthier ecosystems, reduced risk of mega wildfires in forests, improved wildlife habitat, and more. Therefore, FESBC took a very strategic approach to funding projects, seeking to maximize multiple long-term benefits. The projects are about the local people, communities and organizations who are doing the hard work to create a different future. Their stories needed to be told.

FESBC has just been recognized with a Gold Hermes Creative Award in the Print Media category for their 2022 Accomplishments Report. This prestigious honour not only underscores FESBC’s unwavering commitment to effective communication and high-quality storytelling but also validates their efforts to enhance the province’s forests through funding good forestry management projects. This marks the second time FESBC has won the creative award.

Produced in collaboration with Amplify Consulting Inc. and Signet Studio, the 32-page publication highlights 263 transformational forestry projects throughout British Columbia. The report features striking photography and compelling stories to provide readers with a clear understanding of forestry’s role in taking action on climate change and driving positive long-term economic and social benefits.

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director of FESBC, expressed his gratitude, stating, “This recognition of our Accomplishments Report is a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in the project. We are thrilled to have received this award and continue to work diligently to enhance our forests for the benefit of all British Columbians.”

The Accomplishments Report highlights eight forestry stories of transformation that have benefited communities, workers, and the environment. It celebrates the outstanding work being done with the many millions of dollars allocated by the Province of British Columbia to support forest enhancement initiatives throughout the province.

Kozuki believes that the Accomplishments Report is an important tool for showcasing the work being done by the forest sector across the province.

“Forestry can be an unsung hero because the work is oftentimes not seen or understood. Local people know that forests can be a means to achieve many social, economic and environmental goals. By telling the stories of remarkable people and communities working to enhance our forests through this report, we can shine a spotlight to build understanding for all the good work happening in forestry, and that benefits us all.”

The Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition that recognizes outstanding work in the creative industry. With over 6,500 entries from all over the world, the competition is highly competitive, and a gold award is a significant achievement.

Read the 2022 Accomplishments Report here.

Executive Director’s Newsletter March 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.

Accomplishments Update Highlights Nature-based Forestry Solutions Taking Action on Climate Change

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.”

New growth. Photo credit: Forest Enhancement Society of BC

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.”

Read the Accomplishments Update: Rising to the Climate Change Challenge – Accomplishments Update.

*Calculation from the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

A Model of Success in Wildfire Risk Reduction

Granisle, B.C. – A project to reduce the wildfire risk for the Village of Granisle from future wildfire threats, through innovative and collaborative efforts by the Babine Lake Community Forest (BLCF) and the Village of Granisle, has successfully concluded. In 2020, with $401,450 in funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), BLCF started working toward surrounding the village of Granisle with a mixed stand of deciduous trees less susceptible to forest fires than conifers. The work has been completed, and the BLCF is closing the loop on the work started in 2008 to address the Community Wildfire Protection Plan.

“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 reduce the risk to people from wildfire.”

Gord Pratt, RPF, FESBC Senior Manager, said, “This project was a great opportunity for FESBC to assist the Babine Lake Community Forest in reducing the wildfire risk to the community of Granisle, along with optimizing the use of fibre normally burned and their innovative forestry decision by planting birch into the forest for future stand diversification, meeting multiple objectives.”

While wildfire mitigation was the key objective, BLCF also had several diversified objectives. Peter Tweedie, General Manager, BLCF, and owner of Tyhee Forestry Consultants, noted that the most visible and economically evident objective was the timber resource. However, other objectives were targeted through the project, including consideration of visual resources such as the adjacent high-use recreation area of Babine lake, providing public education opportunities, and firewood for local users, minimizing impacts to existing recreation trails within the project area, managing future silviculture activities to foster food sources and botanic products such as berries and medicinal plants, and making the space available for cultural uses by First Nations and the public at large.

“Diversified forest management objectives respond to the variety of resource elements and resources, both, timber and non-timber, that are considered in the broader forest management process in B.C. We have to always remember that B.C.’s forests are more than just trees; the forested landscape is a mix of resources the public relies on,” said Tweedie.

He further explained that the challenge in this project was an additional objective of creating a long-term, self-perpetuating, low-maintenance wildfire buffer zone between the village of Granisle and the surrounding conifer-dominated landscape.

“The actual scale of the project was a challenge because we cleared such a large area so close to the community,” commented Tweedie. “By planting and establishing a deciduous forest, we were looking to form the nucleus for an element of deciduous forest, in this case birch, for future economical harvest to diversify our community forest’s product stream. We were also challenged in finding a suitable seed source for the birch as it’s not often planted in the local area, but we did and were pleased with the results.”

Birch was chosen to be planted, as this species has proven economic for higher-value products, and it has the benefit of being able to propagate or re-grow itself after cutting.

During the initial discussions for the project, the planning team worked to engage the community to ensure people were aware of the smoke that would be generated as a result of the pile burning.

“At the public meetings we hosted, the local citizens were made aware that there would be smoke, but that we would endeavour to reduce the impact of this smoke as much as possible,” said Tweedie. “The consensus was that although the smoke was not desirable, it was a short-term price to pay for a longer-term gain of the project and its success. In the end, the community in general was supportive and we appreciated their patience.”

Through the challenges, the Mayor and Councillors stood by to steadfastly guide, support and strongly advocate for the community and the forest.

“Mayor and the Council served as not just project initiators, but as guides, offering encouragement and support. This project would never have happened without the support and involvement of the Village of Granisle. In addition, the collaboration and support from the Lake Babine Nation, the Ministry of Forest, Nadina Resource District Manager and staff, and BC Wildfire Service out of Burns Lake as well as significant guidance from the regional wildfire office in Smithers ensured the success of the project,” Tweedie added.

Mayor Linda McGuire applauded the community involvement in the process as well, attributing a portion of the project’s success to their voice and input. “By being involved in this process, it demonstrated the willingness of our community to engage with the decisions from the onset. We would recommend any community considering wildfire mitigation to ensure they are at the table with their community’s voice and input,” said McGuire.

To McGuire’s point, the community was able to observe the entire wildfire mitigation project right from the beginning, including the logging, removal of logs to the mills, pile burning and lastly, the significant benefit to the community as the residual logs were cut and piled for the residents to use as firewood.

In completing the project, BLCF harvested 36,500 cubic metres (approx. 665 truckloads) of conifer sawlog and approximately 8,000 cubic metres (approx.200 truckloads) of roadside debris was moved to Pinnacle Pellet (now Drax) in Burns Lake. Furthermore, this project created employment for local First Nations and a positive perception of the BLCF because the concerns citizens had regarding wildfire were listened to and acted on.

“We, as a Village, want to highlight that such work can be done by others, and it is worth doing. The funding from FESBC was crucial in addressing wildfire mitigation in our community due to the limited budgets small, rural B.C. communities face each day. Without this funding, it would have been extremely challenging for our community to go it alone with only our taxpayers’ dollars,” said McGuire.

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Executive Director’s Newsletter February 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.

Faces of Forestry: Norah White

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 Norah White, RPF, MBA, Director of the Forest Carbon, and Climate Services Branch, Province of British Columbia.

Norah has always been drawn to the diversity of BC’s ecosystems and it was her love of nature that pulled her into working with natural resources. She has spent nearly 20 years in the forestry sector working on traditional forestry topics such as monitoring, planning, and stewardship and what she considers the “new frontier” of forestry, which is the role of forestry practices in mitigating and adapting to climate change risks.

Norah is a Registered Professional Forester and the Director of the Forest Carbon and Climate Services Branch (FCCSB) in the Office of the Chief Forester with the Ministry of Forests. “We are the climate change engine of our Ministry, and it is exciting to be a part of a team of innovative thought leaders who are contributing to work that has a global impact,” said Norah.

In the FCCSB, Norah’s team researches the vital role that forests play in absorbing and storing carbon from the atmosphere and how sustainable forestry practices can ensure our forests are climate resilient. From modifying planting and harvesting practices, to tracking carbon through wood products, rethinking the utilization of slash piles, implementing carbon off-set projects, and more, Norah’s branch is responding to the urgent priority that climate change poses to our natural resource sector and how forests and foresters can be part of the solution. 

“In a landscape as dynamic and diverse as BC, active management gives us the best chance of keeping our forests healthy and doing our part in a changing climate to reduce atmospheric carbon,” said Norah. “Climate change can be daunting to learn about, but as a forester, I believe there is a unique duty to face this learning challenge. If I could share one realization, it is that forest management is climate action.”

Norah’s team collaborates with forestry professionals, Indigenous nations, scientists, and climatologists to facilitate and support the extension of knowledge. “Our research is pushing the bounds of lifecycle analysis to help us see what the optimal carbon and economic management options are,” said Norah. “We are learning more every day about what ecosystems are capable of and how forestry practices can be synonymous with reconciliation.”

Small, Rural Communities in B.C. are Making Big Gains to Mitigate Climate Change

Procter and Harrop, B.C.: A small West Kootenay community forest is implementing an ambitious climate action plan that uses forest thinning to reduce wildfire risks while also reducing carbon emissions. With support from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), uneconomic low-value fibre from mechanical fuel treatment projects is being shipped to a local pulp mill to avoid burning and to reduce the carbon footprint of operations. 

With an annual harvest of only 10,000 cubic metres (equal to approximately 200 truckloads), the Harrop-Procter Community Co-operative (HPCC) is one of the smallest community forests in the province. Despite its small size, HPCC has been a leader in demonstrating how forest management practices can be used to adapt to a changing climate while simultaneously working to reduce carbon emissions. 

“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 reduce the risk to people from wildfire.”

Several FESBC-funded projects in the communities of Harrop and Procter have generated significant carbon benefits. Over the last three years, FESBC has funded portions of the transportation costs required for the Community Forest to ship low-value fibre to the local pulp mill and break even while doing so. With $94,429 of FESBC support, roughly 8,533 cubic metres of pulp logs that would otherwise be burned on-site, were instead hauled and utilized. The reduction in carbon emissions to the environment, as a direct result of this work, is estimated at 4,149 tonnes CO2e, which is equivalent to taking 890 cars off the road for one year.

“Eliminating slash pile burning is a low-hanging fruit for carbon initiatives,” explained Erik Leslie, RPF, HPCC’s Forest Manager. “The benefit is immediate because we’re avoiding emitting carbon, starting on day one. Our fuel treatment operations require the removal of lots of small diameter trees, and we don’t want to just burn them, rather we’re trying to use them instead.”

For the HPCC project, the cost per tonne of avoided emissions was $22.67, which is significantly lower than the costs of other greenhouse gas avoidance programs being offered in B.C. These projects are also aligned with other government priorities, including creating better outcomes that impact human health, in this case by choosing not to burn the 8,523 cubic meters of fibre resulted in the avoidance of approximately 20,000 kg of smoke particulates (P.M. 2.5) into the local airshed. 

The HPCC is a community-owned, not-for-profit with over 200 members and has been managing the 11,300-hectare Community Forest, one of the first community forests awarded in British Columbia, since 2000. 

In 2021, the Office of the Chief Forester partnered with HPCC, and using FESBC funds, planted 200,000 seedlings in the heavily burned area of the 2017 Harrop Creek fire with the goal of establishing tree cover quickly to help protect the long-term hydrology of the impacted watershed. The planted trees are also expected to continue sequestering carbon from the atmosphere over the coming decades.

“The Harrop-Procter Community Co-operative’s desire to reduce burning is shared by many citizens of B.C. We now have the tools to measure the greenhouse gas reductions by utilizing low-value fibre, and when we compare these results to burning fossil fuels or the carbon tax, this knowledge becomes both informative and powerful. Removing the equivalent of 890 vehicles off the road by using fibre we used to burn just makes sense,” said Brian Watson, RPF, Operations Manager with FESBC. “This Community Forest first showed us how small tenure holders can sustain value-added sawmills. Now, they are leading the way on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and it’s a great story.”

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Reducing Wildfire Risk Through a Holistic Approach

Quesnel, B.C. – the City of Quesnel, a municipality situated between the Fraser River and Quesnel River in the Cariboo Regional District of B.C., has been a trailblazer in making forestry more sustainable by undertaking innovative projects with support from Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) funding.

After years of the mountain pine beetle devastating the forests surrounding the city, and the Plateau Fire Complex which consumed 545,150 hectares of forest, the City of Quesnel took the opportunity to learn from the crisis and formed the Forestry Initiatives Program to advocate for the practice of sustainable forestry including proactive wildfire risk reduction.

With FESBC funding, the City has now assessed over 1,000 hectares in the surrounding area near Quesnel as outlined in the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP), prescribed and treated 230 hectares with crews conducting treatments by hand and with machines, and developed 200 hectares of additional “shelf-ready” prescriptions.

“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 work put in by the City of Quesnel in wildfire mitigation has been extensive. The City thinks of wildfire mitigation in three buckets: private property, wildland urban interface, and the approach zone. On private property, it is important to teach citizens how to coexist with wildfire by hardening their homes and making them more defensible to wildfire through programs such as FireSmart. In the wildland urban interface, or the area of transition between unoccupied land and human development, there are 34 areas as identified in the CWPP for fuel reduction treatments. And finally, the approach (or landscape) zone where the focus is on working with project partners such as the Ministry of Forests, the forest industry, and others to scale up fuel management to a landscape-level scale.

This kind of collaboration and holistic approach is what has made the City’s wildfire risk reduction initiatives possible, and successful.

“The collaboration spearheaded by the City of Quesnel with organizations and local residents has been constructive to build relationships between various stakeholders and industry. The importance of this collaboration cannot be underestimated as fuel management projects are expensive and there are significant areas that require fuel reduction treatments,” noted Roland Jarret, RPF, Site Supervisor for the Fuel Management program with the City of Quesnel.

While collaboration is highlighted as one of the many reasons for the City’s success in wildfire risk reduction, another is the City’s primary objective of ecological resilience. The work isn’t easy, nor is it without its challenges. One of the hurdles faced by the City has been to provide up-to-date training for the use of innovative logging equipment. The City shared that the sector faces a lack of trained operators to carry out complex forest operations which is crucial because innovative harvesting equipment, commonly used in Europe and Eastern Canada, allows for lighter touch, zero-waste, and other more diverse silvicultural treatments more effectively than traditional harvesting methods.

Former Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson, who is now on the Forestry Worker Supports and Community Resiliency Council, highlighted how the City has not yet found someone to champion the training program, and that a lack of investment in training is a challenge for other communities throughout the province.

“You can talk about innovation, about making systemic changes, but to enable that to happen, you need to talk as early as you can about the human resource development aspect of any change – the available skilled labour force is small and will need to be grown and retooled through innovative training programs. For example, the necessary shift in forestry toward select harvesting with a lower environmental footprint while still extracting value will require us to have people trained almost to the level of a forestry tech running new, specialized equipment, as the equipment operators will have to decide, in the moment, which trees to cut, how, where, and when. But we don’t have this specialized workforce today,” said Simpson. “Everybody is talking about select harvesting with specialized equipment, but no one seems willing, as of yet, to build the necessary workforce.” 

The City is working diligently to find solutions to transform the industry into one that plans and manages ecosystems for ecological resilience. They are also continuing to work in the local forests to reduce wildfire risks which is where the FESBC funding comes in.

“FESBC funding has been critical for the City to advance the treatments we have done and has allowed us to foster some excellent partnerships,” said Simpson.

With over $1.7 million spent to date, FESBC funds have proven critical for the City of Quesnel to continue its grassroots wildfire risk reduction projects.

“Due to the long-term support from FESBC, the City of Quesnel has carried out extensive fuel management since 2018,” shared Erin Robinson, Forestry Initiatives Manager for the City of Quesnel. “Through our wildfire protection efforts, we have been able to advance innovative and ecologically sensitive logging operations that protect our community, strengthen our economy, and help the ecosystems we live within, get back to health.”

“We look forward to continuing our efforts with FESBC in the years to come,” noted Robinson. “By focusing on ecosystem restoration through innovative harvesting, enhanced fibre utilization, and creating meaningful employment in forestry through targeted local training.”

The City of Quesnel recently received an additional $500,000 in new funding from FESBC and is excited to keep the innovative forestry initiatives moving forward.

“Quesnel’s Forestry Initiatives Program is unique and is aligned with the purposes of FESBC,” said Brian Watson, RPF, Operations Manager with FESBC. “It’s great to see the staff at the City breathing life into the CWPP and we look forward to seeing the next round of treatments that have been supported from our funding commitment.”

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.

Faces of Forestry: Kim Haworth, RPF

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 Kim Haworth, a Registered Professional Forester and General Manager of Terrace Community Forest (TCF), which operates in the areas of Shames/Amesbury, Deep Creek, and Kitimat.

For Kim, forestry runs in the family, and at an early age, he became interested in different tree species. He decided to pursue a Bachelor of Science, majoring in forestry, at the University of Alberta.

“I had American relatives who worked in the forest industry, so I thought that would be a good option. My uncle had a woodlot which contained black walnut tree species which I found of interest because of its value. After I became the Silviculturist in Terrace, I established an outplant trial which included black walnut trees,” explained Kim.  

As a Silviculturist and the General Manager of the TCF, Kim provides high-level direction to the governance and management of the community forest, with the overall goals of securing long-term jobs while improving timber, wildlife, and biodiversity values. 

“I specialized in silviculture, which has been very rewarding. Since the beginning of my career, I have been involved in tree incremental programs for the industry, government, and now TCF,” said Kim. 

Kim and his team at TCF strive to involve the public in every decision of the community forest. A key aspect of this is ensuring relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members remain strong and serve as a way to advocate for forest innovation and community development.

The TCF strives for multiple outcomes that provide social and economic benefits to the City of Terrace while advocating for forest innovation and environmental stewardship. In 2021, the TCF presented a $1 million cheque to the City of Terrace after a significant upswing in profits through its sale of logs. 

Kim is passionate about forestry and plans to continue highlighting the many benefits it brings. “Forestry has provided many things for communities besides employment and revenue for the Crown. It has also provided road infrastructure which allows access to remote areas for excellent recreational opportunities.”

Thank you, Kim, for your education work with local community members to create understanding while also encouraging the community’s participation in the forestry sector in providing input and helping to make decisions that benefit communities, forests, and society as a whole.

Executive Director’s Newsletter December 2022

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.

Faces of Forestry: Rebecca Werner, RFT

Rebecca Werner; FESBC's Faces of Forestry Feature

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 Rebecca Werner, RFT, Project Manager with Pro-Tech Forest Resources Ltd. (Pro-Tech).

Rebecca’s passion for the outdoors and nature motivated her to start a career in forestry. As a Registered Forest Technologist (RFT), Rebecca has a strong background in layout, planning, silviculture, cutting permit acquisition, harvesting, and fuel mitigation.

“Forestry offers an opportunity for me to work outdoors and explore new territories. I have always liked trees and nature, so it seemed like a ‘natural’ fit,” explained Rebecca.

Rebecca’s forestry career has included many management roles with the Government, Canadian Forest Products, and currently as a Project Manager for Pro-Tech where, she oversees a wide range of forest management projects throughout northern B.C.  For 30 years, Pro-Tech has been delivering high-value consulting services to a diverse spectrum of clients. Rebecca and the Pro-Tech team specialize in resource management planning, operational development, forest health, silviculture, GIS services, and wildfire risk reduction planning.

Just recently, Rebecca managed a wildfire fuel mitigation project funded by FESBC on behalf of the District of Houston, B.C. The project involved the cooperation of multiple parties with the overall goal of getting value for what was logged and reducing forest fuels that posed a hazard to the District of Houston.

“Without my co-workers, this project would not have been successful as it was. Without everyone believing in the project and assisting us in various ways, we would never have been able to complete the program. Fuel reduction is a team effort!” added Rebecca.

Whether she is assisting clients with their project needs, collaborating with industry colleagues on strategic planning, or out in the field conducting research, Rebecca’s passion for the outdoors and nature keeps her looking out for opportunities to enhance our forests and support our communities.

“Forestry is not an exact science, and there are many things that people have no control over in forestry as nature plays a major role. You will be far more successful and less frustrated if you accept that you can’t control everything and instead work with nature rather than trying to control it,” noted Rebecca.

Executive Director’s Newsletter Nov. 2022

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!

Click here to read the 2022 HCTF-FESBC Accomplishments Update.

Faces of Forestry: Dan Macmaster

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 Dan Macmaster, RPF, Fibre Manager of Vaagen Fibre Canada (Vaagen).

Since the beginning of his career, Dan has been passionate about the natural environment. As a former high-school teacher, he taught students about outdoor education subjects like biology and ecology.

Dan has a Master’s degree in Sustainable Forest Management from the University of British Columbia. He is active on numerous boards, including the BC First Nations Forestry Council, BC Community Forest Association, Interior Lumber Manufacturing Association, and the Okanagan Nation Alliance’s forestry working group. Just recently, Dan was appointed to the Province of B.C.’s Forestry Worker Supports and Community Resiliency Council, chaired by Doug Routley, Parliamentary Secretary for Forests.

“Working in forestry, I have the opportunity to engage with people, share ideas, learn about community values, and make key decisions that so many people depend on,” noted Dan.

In 2013, he joined Vaagen, a small, family-run mill, located in the rural community of Midway, in the Boundary region of B.C. As the Fibre Manager for Vaagen, Dan and his team process small-diameter logs into high-quality dimensional lumber. Using innovation, technology, and collaboration, the team focuses on safety, utilization, and building strong partnerships with other licenses.

Currently, Vaagen holds a management agreement with the West Boundary Community Forest (WBCF) and the Osoyoos Indian Band’s (OIB) forestry licences. As the Forest Manager for the WBCF, Dan, along with his team carries out all forest management projects in collaboration with OIB.

“As a forestry company, it is important for us to understand the values and traditions of the land. The expertise the surrounding communities bring to the table is critical to our work,” Dan added.

Dan’s involvement in the community is an essential part of Vaagen’s commitment to sustainable forestry, developing new and strong relationships with First Nations, and stabilizing local rural communities with employment and sustainable economic opportunities. Not only does Dan believe in the power of community and educating people in all things forestry, but he believes in inspiring other foresters to take similar actions.

“I like the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, but a visit to the forest is worth a thousand pictures. I encourage my fellow foresters to reach out to their community members to help build awareness for all that happens within our forests,” said Dan.

In his role, Dan manages multiple objectives within the forest, including recreation, wildlife and timber values. Dan is also passionate about providing educational outreach opportunities to young students. He is rooted in the belief that these learning opportunities are critical to the future well-being of community forests and the forest industry.

“As forest professionals, we often manage many different responsibilities and competing demands that leave little room for educational outreach,” noted Dan. I believe if we can reorganize some of our priorities and enlist the help of other forest professionals and educators, then communication and collaboration specific to forestry education will better inform our communities and our next generation.”

FESBC and HCTF Take Habitat Enhancement to the Next Level Through Their Partnership

British Columbia – Since the inception of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), the Society has partnered with the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) to achieve its goal to improve forest wildlife habitat. To date, a total of 105 projects have been co-funded throughout the province.

Today, FESBC, in collaboration with HCTF has released an Accomplishments Update, highlighting nine of the 105 co-funded projects focused on maintaining and enhancing important wildlife and their habitats.

“HCTF and FESBC have worked together with others to enhance wildlife habitats for many, many species across British Columbia and we know that the best enhancement projects are those inspired at the grassroots level,” said Dan Buffett, CEO of HCTF. “Local people and communities are experts in delivering projects, as they know their local wildlife, ecology, landscapes, organizations, and circumstances. That’s why we can rely on them to reflect the priorities of communities while supporting the projects that are important.”

The nine projects highlighted in the Accomplishments Update include increasing Fisher habitat stewardship in the forest sector, invasive plant management on the winter ranges for Bighorn Sheep to increase the quality of grasslands, restoring whitebark pine ecosystems damaged by wildfire to improve habitat for bears, and more.

Minister of Forests Katrine Conroy, acknowledged the good work coming out of the FESBC and HCTF partnership and pointed out why this collaboration is crucial.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC and the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation’s partnership delivers on-the-ground projects improving wildlife stewardship and habitat conservation throughout the province. Through increased collaboration, their work is aligned fully with our Together for Wildlife strategy turning data and knowledge into action and results,” noted the Minister. “Partnerships like this are putting us on our path forward to achieve better outcomes for wildlife.”

As of March 2022, FESBC and HCTF together have doubled the funding to over $8 million toward 105 projects.

Steve Kozuki, executive director of FESBC, is pleased with the collaboration.

“Right from the beginning, we knew that partnering with HCTF was the way to go if we wanted to achieve our goals for wildlife habitat enhancement, and FESBC is proud of this partnership. The many past, present, and future projects like these will help ensure that wildlife in British Columbia will flourish for generations to come,” said Kozuki.

The funding for these co-funded projects comes from the Province of British Columbia and from conservation surcharges on hunting, fishing, and other licenses, court fines from wildlife violations, and public donations.

Minister of Environment & Climate Change Strategy, George Heyman highlighted the importance of the partnership and why the investment in the work done by FESBC and HCTF is important.

“British Columbians are increasingly feeling the impacts of the climate crisis. It’s why we’re taking steps to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and restore sensitive wildlife habitat in forests across B.C. By working together with our Indigenous partners and organizations like the Forest Enhancement Society of BC and Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, we’re investing in solutions that will protect and enhance our forests for a more secure future,” said Heyman.

To read the full 2022 Fall Accomplishments Update, click here.

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 2022, FESBC has supported 263 projects valued at $238 million, in partnership with the 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.

About HCTF: HCTF is a non-profit charitable foundation investing in the future of British Columbia’s fish, wildlife, and their habitats. HCTF came into existence because its major contributors—hunters, anglers, trappers, and guide-outfitters—were willing to pay a license surcharge for conservation work, going above and beyond what was expected by the government for basic management of wildlife and fish resources.

Executive Director’s Newsletter Oct. 2022

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!

Click here to read the 2022 Accomplishments Report.

Faces of Forestry: Ken Nielsen

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 Ken Nielsen, General Manager of the Chinook Community Forest (CCF), the 90,670 hectares of community forest located near the Village of Burns Lake.

Ken started his career in forestry in the early 80s when the forest industry in British Columbia continued to experience noticeable changes. At the time, several mills began to automate many of their intensive labour activities, and many rural communities depended greatly on forestry as their primary source of employment.

“When I entered the forest sector, it was mostly about prioritizing financial objectives. Now, we focus on properly managing our land for future generations, promoting community unity, and increasing wildfire awareness,” Ken noted.

As the General Manager of CCF, Ken oversees forestry and logging operations, wildfire salvage projects, and wildfire mitigation efforts. The work Ken and his team carries out in the community forest ensures environmental sustainability and employment opportunities for economic and social growth.

The community forest agreement includes eight partnerships consisting of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, the Village of Burns Lake, Lake Babine Nation, Skin Tyee First Nation, Nee Tahi Buhn Indian Band, Burns Lake Indian Band (Ts’il Kaz Koh), Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Wet’suwet’en First Nation. The collaboration between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities ensures an equal voice and equity in all forest stewardship operations.

Nielsen believes that managing the forest requires a particular set of qualities. “I am an example that to take good care of a community forest, you need an awareness of the best land management practices, a hands-on approach, a strong work ethic, and a big heart.”

Executive Director’s Newsletter Sep. 2022

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 FESBC’s Executive Director Steve Kozuki talk about the 2022 Accomplishments Report on Vimeo.

Faces of Forestry: Kirsteen Laing

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 Kirsteen Laing, RPF (Registered Professional Forester), Administrator at Seaton Forest Products Ltd.

Born in England, Kirsteen originally moved to Vancouver with her family at the age of 10. Where she later decided to pursue higher education at the University of British Columbia, and after two years of pre-med school, she discovered that her true passion was in the outdoors.

“I decided medicine wasn’t for me, so I went to talk to one of the forestry professors. He was enthusiastic and told me of all the possibilities found in forestry. I entered the program thinking I would do Forest Recreation, but I ended up in Forest Silviculture,” remarked Kirsteen.

In the early stages of her career, Kirsteen joined CUSO International and worked as a forester in Mozambique. During her stay, she first worked for a national logging company and then for a plantation, where she gained experience revitalizing a nursery.

“It was a forester’s dream to have our own little forest to work with. The project was fascinating because it covered beekeeping, fishkeeping, planting orchards, and vegetable gardening,” said Kirsteen.

In 1986, Kirsteen decided to relocate to Smithers, British Columbia, where she started a forestry consulting firm. After many career changes, in 2015, Kirsteen met her partner Andy Thompson and joined Seaton Forest Products Ltd.; as an Administrator in charge of payroll, payables and receivables, log deliveries, product shipping, reporting and various hands-on tasks.

Seaton Forest Products Ltd. is nestled among coastal mountains in the beautiful Bulkley Valley, where the mill sits at the foot of Seaton Mountain. The company has been in business since 2016, employing approximately 25 people, the majority being from local Indigenous communities. The primary business is processing dry balsam, pine, and spruce that cannot be used by traditional mills and historically has been left in the bush or burned, ensuring the 100% utilization of fibre.

During her career, Kirsteen has done it all. From working for industry, volunteering overseas, consulting, working for not-for-profits, and now working at a sawmill. She describes her career as a rewarding journey. In every role Kirsteen excels at, she puts other people and the environment first.

“Forestry is a very diverse field with many different career paths to choose from after graduation,” remarked Kirsteen.

Reducing Wildfire Risk in Kaslo Increases Community Safety

Kaslo, B.C. – When the Kaslo & District Community Forest Society (KDCFS) first applied to obtain funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), they knew of the long-term benefits their projects would bring, but little did they imagine the many additional and immediate benefits the funding would allow for.

Schroeder Creek fuel reduction and stand conversion project with the private residence in the background. Photo Credit – Sabrina Mutterer

FESBC funding of almost $185,000 went toward three projects; a Landscape Level Wildfire Protection Plan, Schroeder Creek Forest fuel reduction and stand conversion from hemlock to more fire and climate change resistant tree species of douglas fir and larch, and the Buchanan East Access hand treatment implementation to reduce a build-up of forest fibre in the area.

Through the Landscape Level Wildfire Protection Plan (LLWP), new roads to provide access for firefighters in the event of an emergency and fuel reduction projects were identified, which helped guide forest operations for almost three years. Through the implementation projects, KDCFS helped reduce the risk of wildfire not only for the community of Kaslo but for the property of a private landowner and the community of Schroeder Creek, all by reducing fuel loading in the forests close to them. Recreation values were also further increased in the Buchanan project, with a happy private landowner benefiting from the reduced fuel loading near their residence and driveway in the Schroeder project.

Gord Pratt, RPF, FESBC Senior Manager, said, “FESBC is very pleased we were able to assist the Kaslo & District Community Forest with their wildfire risk planning and treatments. This work contributed to reducing the wildfire risk to the Village of Kaslo and surrounding areas, plus providing local employment, and enhancing some of the important recreation features in the community forest.”

Of the three projects that KDCFS undertook with FESBC funding, the Schroeder Creek fuel reduction/stand conversion project, which was located next to the private land where the landowner’s house had almost burned down due to wildfire in 2012, made a substantial impact on the community, explained the manager of the community forest, Jeff Reyden, RPF.

“Schroeder Creek, which is 15 kilometres north of Kaslo, is where the private landowners almost lost their house because of a wildfire. Their driveway is one way in, one way out. Most of the area had over-dense, stagnant regen growth and a lot of forest fuel on the ground due to old high-grade logging,” explained Reyden. 

In the area, the forest had been logged in the 1970s and had regrown primarily with thick, immature hemlock. High winds in recent years had blown down many trees making the forest almost impassable on foot. In some areas, dead trees were piled nearly five feet tall.

Doug Drain and Helen Hird, the landowners, watched as the wildfire spread through the cedar stand on the steep slope of their property. While the wildfire was stopped before reaching the home through the efforts of the Kaslo Fire Department and BC Wildfire Services (BCWS), a delay in deployment or a shift in the direction of the wind could have had more devastating impacts. Since the wildfire in 2012, the site had become even more dangerous and susceptible to a potential wildfire.

Post-fire, the area was evaluated and designated as Extreme Fire Risk by BC Wildfire Service (BCWS). It was after this that Sabrina Mutterer and Jeff Reyden of the KDCFS applied for and received funding for fire mitigation in the area, including the Schroeder Creek community, for which Drain and Hird are thankful.

“Fire mitigation work has had a major effect on our lives, especially our peace of mind,” explained Drain. “Over the years we have lived here, we have feared what might happen with a tossed cigarette butt along the highway below us every summer, especially on long weekends. Watching the fire mitigation work, it was apparent that had a fire started, we had absolutely no hope of escaping alive. Fire mitigation does not mean fireproof, but at least now, with preparation, we have a fighting chance or at least a safe means of orderly retreat.”

The community forest divided the area into two treatment units (TU). TU1 was more mature timber with funding for post-harvest cleanup and pile/burn. TU2 was overly dense, skinny hemlock regen which was too small to fit on a logging truck, so the contractor skidded them (a process of pulling cut trees out of a forest using heavy machinery) to a burn pile. 

Connor Robertson, from Timber Ridge Contracting pictured piling debris.
Photo Credit – Kaslo and District Community Forest

“The FESBC funding allowed us to skid these trees and burn them concurrently with harvesting. If we had to do the harvesting first while piling the debris to be burned by another contractor, the piles would have been enormous, a potential fire hazard, and difficult to work around, costing the community forest and the grant funder significantly more time and money,” said Reyden.

The area will now be planted with fire-resistant species, with reduced stocking along the driveway, to provide a more fire-safe route back to the highway.

Drain noted that the project has also enhanced wildlife habitat. “Opening up the forest has made a huge difference to the wildlife that lives here. Spring now brings a huge crop of sweet clover just about when the bears wake up. This year we had seven bears and two cubs contentedly grazing on clover for a few weeks. We have deer and elk that were never here before as there was nothing to eat,” adding that most creatures seem to be thriving post-treatment.

The work also brought employment opportunities to local contractors. Shane McKinnon, owner-operator of Timber Ridge Contracting Ltd., pointed out that the work KDCFS was doing meant a steady stream of work for his company that allowed him to add two full-time employees, as well as hire local logging truck operators. He believes the work done by KDCFS was important for the community.

“Right now, we have options and time to plan our harvesting areas and access, and we need to take advantage of this because when there’s a fire close to our community, the planning has to happen fast. Creating access around our community is important for response times, and the work KDCFS is doing is vital,” said McKinnon.

The need for creating access was highlighted recently when a wildfire broke out near Kaslo just last month. Reyden, who got an opportunity to fly with the BCWS to assess the fire situation, noted that it was a little unnerving to see how fast and far the fire spread in one evening.

“When we see fire close to our community, people want to see bombers and choppers, but due to the terrain and the way the fire was burning these actions wouldn’t have been as effective as hoped. It’s a bit of a wake-up call in that fire can affect any community and can spread rapidly under the right conditions, and the best way to fight forest fires is by having access to enable crews to action the fire,” Reyden noted.

Minister of Forests, Katrine Conroy, understands the importance of this proactive work and is pleased to see the efforts put forth by the KDCFS in collaboration with so many community members.

We have a shared responsibility to help build communities that are resilient to the impact of wildfire and climate change,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “That’s why we invested an additional $25 million through FESBC this year so that local governments, Indigenous communities, and rural communities can deliver projects that lower the risk of wildfires and the damage they can cause. The proactive work they are undertaking is alongside historic investments in Budget 2022 to transform the BC Wildfire Service into a year-round service. Our shared efforts will ensure a safer and more resilient future for all British Columbians.”

“Kaslo residents have lived with fire for over a hundred years, with old pictures of Kaslo from the turn of the century showing barren, treeless hillsides as they had all been burned,” added Reyden. “Having access to fight a forest fire is crucial, as well as a coordinated effort between stakeholders to effectively fight the fire. The funding from FESBC has been essential in getting started on these efforts.”

For an interview with FESBC contact: 

Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison | communications@fesbc.ca | 250.574.0221 

For an interview Kaslo and District Community Forest Society contact: 

Jeff Reyden, RPF, Manager | manager@kaslocommunityforest.org | 250.354.9803

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

Executive Director’s Newsletter Jul. 2022

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 Seeding Innovation in Forestry video on Vimeo.

Faces of Forestry: Frances Swan

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 Frances Swan, RPF, Operations Forester for Nakusp and Area Community Forest.

Frances has deep roots in the Kootenay region and has called Nakusp her home since 1997. Her appreciation for forestry and love for the community have always been fundamental parts of her life.

“Looking back, I can appreciate that my dad was a forester and inherently understood the concept of sustainable management long before it became practice, so it was easy to follow in his footsteps,” said Frances.

Frances then completed a Diploma of Forest Technology from Selkirk College, a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of Northern British Columbia and a Graduate Certificate in Project Management from Royal Roads University.

Frances is the Operations Manager of Nakusp and Area Community Forest (NACFOR). In her role, she manages a broad range of strategic and operational projects and supports PR and communications strategies.

Since 2008, NACFOR has operated successfully as a BC corporation owned by the Village of Nakusp and is part of the BC Community Forest Association (BCCFA). Its operations are contracted, primarily with local contractors, and have delivered numerous benefits to the local community.

As an RFP with more than 20 years of project management experience in the natural resource sector, Frances has worked with FESBC as the recipient lead on several projects in Nakusp. Frances and the team at NACFOR have been able to deliver projects focused on wildfire risk reduction treatments and fibre utilization.

“Working with FESBC has been a very positive experience. Through direct and leveraged funding, FESBC has supported NACFOR to take a collaborative approach to reduce the threat of wildfires, while building local capacity to carry out fuel treatments,” said Frances.

During her career in forestry, Frances has volunteered with many local and regional organizations, from ski coaching to economic development. As the community forest manager, she combines resource stewardship with local land-use decision-making that reflects community priorities and values. Frances currently sits on the BCCFA Board of Directors.

“Forest management is a complex process, with many moving parts. It requires a thoughtful, balanced approach to land and resource use, as decisions made today will have enduring outcomes,” said Frances.

Celebrating 134 B.C. Forestry Projects Taking Action on Climate Change

-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. 

Minister Katrine Conroy on a field trip in Williams Lake.
Pictured are (LtoR) Ken Day, Brian Banfill, Katrine Conroy, and Jim Snetsinger.

“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.”

Provincial Forest Carbon Reforestation Project. Photo: Mike Madill

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.”

To read the full report, follow this link: bit.ly/TakeActiononClimateChange

*with LCELF Funding since 2016 **SOURCE: calculation-greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator (US Environmental Protection Agency)

For an interview with FESBC contact:

Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison | communications@fesbc.ca | 250.574.0221

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.

Boundary’s Wildfire Risk Reduction Project a Model of Collaboration

Greenwood, B.C. – After receiving a grant from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), West Boundary Community Forest (WBCF) led a project to create a fuel-treated area near a popular Boundary recreational area adjacent to Jewel Lake, while also adding recreational value to the community. The project, which was undertaken in an area 20 minutes north of Greenwood, moved forward thanks to a $254,100 grant from FESBC on a 32-hectare area. The project has just wrapped up and has brought to the forefront what successful collaborative efforts can look like in B.C.’s forests. 

Example of completed wildfire risk reduction treatment in the Jewel Lake area.
Pictured are members of the community touring the prescription with RPFs from WBCF. 

“A lot of collaboration from many partners were a hallmark of this project,” said Dan Macmaster, RPF, Forest Manager of the WBCF. “The local residents were involved in the initial planning and the cleanup we are finishing up now. We had great support of BC Parks, Vaagen Fibre Canada (Vaagen), and the Osoyoos Indian Band showing what can be achieved when we work together.” 

Jewel Lake Environmental Protection Society, a local society led by residents of Jewel Lake, supported the WBCF’s vision for the project, recognizing that the Community Forest’s objective was to care for the forest and protect important infrastructure, like homes, recreational trails, and camping sites. 

“Dan, together with the forest professionals at Vaagen, involved the local residents of Jewel Lake in the development of their plans right from the start. They listened to our concerns, implemented many of our ideas, and led field trips when requested,” noted Jewel Lake resident, Randy Trerise. “The partial cutting treatment has reduced the fuel load in the forest, and we expect the treatment will improve the safety of our homes should a wildfire take place in the future.”

The Osoyoos Indian Band provided post-harvest treatment work, which included contributing to parts of the mechanical and manual treatment activities.

“Vaagen and the West Boundary Community Forest involved our Band in all aspects of planning and mitigation work. Our forestry team assisted with the manual treatments needed to ensure the area was protected in the future from a major wildfire,” noted Vern Louie, Forest Manager, Osoyoos Indian Band.

The Band was also involved in the initial work and design of the project itself. 

“It was a very strong effort by the West Boundary Community Forest, to meet the goal to reduce the wildfire risk to the community while collaborating and addressing recreational and other aesthetic values in the forest,” noted Gord Pratt, RPF, FESBC Senior Manager. “From the start, it was all about collaboration and they showed openness and great leadership in realizing the important outcomes of the project.”

For the project itself, fuel mitigation was the key objective. Over the years, the area had seen major accumulation of blowdown and dead standing trees, increasing the risk of a wildfire spreading rapidly through the area. 

“This is in an area that is on the Southern tip of our province and it’s an area of hot dry weather,” said Pratt. “The forest type in the area is very susceptible to wildfire and this project has decreased the likelihood of a devastating impact from a wildfire to the community surrounding Jewel Lake. 

Another major challenge for the area was the fuel accumulation around a single access road for residents and visitors in and out of the area. 

“Because of the ‘one road in, one road out’ predicament, our focus was to prioritize the reduction of wildfire risk immediately closest to the houses and the road,” said Macmaster. “By doing this work, we can buy more time for residents to get out and firefighters to come in if there is a fire. None of this would have been possible without the funding from FESBC.”

The area was also enhanced and made safer for visitors who frequent the area for camping, fishing, hiking, etc. 

“In that entire area, there are all kinds of recreational trails the public cares strongly about. So, we are not only maintaining, but improving that recreational infrastructure with new trails, new signage, and interpretive signs to teach people about the local plants, trees, and wildlife,” added Macmaster. 

In total, the community forest was able to remove 40 loads of small-diameter logs and pulp, which would have otherwise been burned, but instead was sold to local mills. The project also relied heavily on the local workforce with approximately 20 people involved through all stages, a boost to the local economy. And while the initially funded project’s objectives have been met, the WBCF will now continue maintaining the area.

“Just the sheer volume of fuel that had accumulated in the area, was why we needed FESBC to be involved, as we needed the financial support to help us clean up the area,” noted Macmaster. “We are proud that, moving forward, we will continue adding on to the work we were able to do with the FESBC funding.”

For an interview with FESBC contact: Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison | communications@fesbc.ca | 250.574.0221 

For an interview West Boundary Community Forest contact: Dan Macmaster, Forest Manager | dmacmaster@vaagen.ca | 250.528.0344

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 the 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.

FESBC Awarded $25 Million in Funding to Help Protect Communities from Wildfire Risk

British Columbia: With $25 million in new funding from the provincial government, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is launching its FESBC 2022-2023 Funding Program today. FESBC will be accepting applications to fund projects that will assist the Province of British Columbia in reducing wildfire risk and increasing community resiliency to wildfire across B.C.

“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, this new funding for FESBC will help build communities that are safer and more resilient to climate change.”

Steve Kozuki, RPF, FESBC Executive Director, explained what this funding would mean for the work undertaken by FESBC to reduce wildfire risk throughout the province, and said that it was encouraging to see more people realizing the benefits of protecting communities from wildfire risk.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is thrilled with the funding announcement, and we are looking forward to seeing applications for projects focused on reducing wildfire risk throughout the province,” said Kozuki. 

FESBC has previously helped to reduce wildfire risk in 120 communities across the province. 

Many of these projects have also gone above and beyond the primary objective of reducing wildfire risk and have identified additional outcomes that have proven beneficial to communities.

“Our favourite wildfire risk reduction projects not only reduce the risk of wildfire but also improve wildlife habitat, create recreation trails, increase the health of the forest so they are more resilient to climate change, and use the left-over biomass or wood waste to make green energy,” noted Kozuki. “Achieving multiple objectives is good forest management and good value for money.”

When it comes to wildfire risk reduction work, typically, communities will start by creating a wildfire risk reduction plan. The plan identifies infrastructure and priorities that need to be protected such as homes, buildings, water, power, communications towers, safe gathering places, escape routes, etc. Next, areas of risk are identified; oftentimes, these can be thicker or more dense forests near communities that might throw embers into the air if the forest catches on fire during a drought. 

Then, after consulting with the citizens and considering other values such as wildlife habitat, recreational amenities, visual aesthetics, climate change, and so on, treatment prescriptions are written by forest professionals. FESBC funds all of these project activities from start to finish.

“In our five-year history, we have helped Indigenous communities, municipalities, regional districts, woodlots, and community forests take action to protect their communities from wildfire,” said Kozuki. 

This year, successful applicants will receive funding to undertake activities that fall under at least one of the three criteria: 

  • Wildfire Risk Reduction planning and treatment prescription development
  • Wildfire Risk Reduction treatments
  • Recovery and utilization of low-value residual fibre resulting from wildfire risk reduction treatments funded by FESBC

Gord Pratt, RPF, FESBC Senior Manager said, “The primary purpose of our work is to assist the Province in reducing the wildfire risks to the people of B.C.”

A document with details on the application process, eligibility criteria and a step-by-step guide on next steps is available on the FESBC website, titled FESBC 2022-23 Funding Program Guide.

FESBC will host a virtual information session that will guide proponents on the criteria FESBC wants to see in the applications, as well as on the steps that need to be taken to put together an application through the online portal. 

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC wants all good projects to succeed, and the information session will help people get the information they need to enable them to submit excellent proposals for our consideration,” said Pratt. “The information session is there to help them be successful.”

For those who cannot attend the information session, a recording will be available to view on FESBC’s website the following day or by contacting FESBC Communications Liaison, Aleece Laird, at communications@fesbc.ca 

FESBC 2022 – 2023 Funding Program Information Session

When: June 28, 2022 at 2 p.m. (Pacific Time) 

Where: Online, via Zoom

To register for the information session, please visit: bit.ly/FESBCFunding 

Applications will be accepted through the Forest Enhancement Society Information Management System (FESIMS) starting on June 20, 2022. The on-line FESIMS portal will remain open for applications until all the funds have been allocated. Proposal evaluations will begin July 11, 2022. Funding applications will be required to clearly demonstrate that all activities under the proposal will be fully completed and invoiced by March 15, 2024. Interested proponents are encouraged to visit www.fesbc.ca and to click the Applying for Funding tab for details on how to apply through the FESIMS system.

FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

For an interview with FESBC contact: Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison | communications@fesbc.ca | 250.574.0221 

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.

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B.C. Forestry Workers are Climate Change Heroes

~Acknowledging the Women and Men Taking Action on Climate Change~

BRITISH COLUMBIA: Climate change is a concern for many people around the world. In British Columbia, there are local people throughout the province taking action on climate change through their work in forestry. A new video is being released by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) during National Forest Week (Sept 19 – 25). It highlights nature-based forestry solutions that people in B.C.’s forestry sector are implementing to take action on climate change.

“Our goal was to provide an educational video to help British Columbians better understand the important role of forestry to help in the achievement of British Columbia’s and Canada’s climate change targets,” said Steve Kozuki, RPF, Executive Director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC. “We also wanted to acknowledge and recognize people from First Nations, industry, community forests, and others who are doing innovative forestry work which is often unseen.”

When it comes to climate change, the video outlines two main approaches we can make: adapt or take action.

“One approach to tackle climate change is to adapt to increases in drought, wildfires, flooding, and other extreme weather occurrences,” said Kozuki. “We could as a society learn to adapt.”

The second approach is taking action to prevent, or at least limit, further climate change.

“To do that,” noted Kozuki, “We need to improve the management of greenhouse gases. International carbon accounting standards recognize that forestry helps mitigate climate change which makes our forests the biggest nature-based tool we have. The government of British Columbia has climate scientists and expert carbon modellers on staff who evaluate projects for potential greenhouse gas benefits and carbon expenditures to determine how much net benefit there will be.”

The video describes nature-based forestry solutions, including fertilization of trees and reducing the burning of wood waste after harvesting. Another solution is planting trees, a collaborative program with the Office of the Chief Forester which saw a significant number of trees planted throughout the province.

“FESBC was pleased to collaborate to help plant 70 million trees in the span of 5 years,” said Kozuki. “Many of these trees were planted in areas following natural disasters such as insect epidemics or catastrophic wildfires. The science tells us that reforestation is a significant way we can help mitigate climate change, and we have many in the forest industry to thank for that work.”

To see the video, visit https://bit.ly/ClimateChangeHeroes

For an interview with FESBC regarding nature-based forestry solutions to take action on climate change, contact:

Forest Enhancement Society of BC
Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison
Direct: 250 574 0221 | communications@fesbc.ca