Lower Mainland Conservation Projects Receive Part of $9.3 Million in Funding

Townsend’s Big-eared Bat
Photo Neil Boyle

Vancouver, BC: For 40 years, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has helped fund conservation groups, government, Indigenous Nations, and local communities to implement projects that protect B.C.’s wildlife, freshwater fish, and the habitats they need to survive and thrive. This year, HCTF awarded $9.3 million in funding for 175 individual conservation projects throughout British Columbia.

HCTF’s CEO Dan Buffett is pleased to report that the 2021/22 grant season represents the Foundation’s highest record annual investment and reflects the financial contributions and hard work of many British Columbians that fund and implement these projects. To date, HCTF has funded 3,230 conservation projects and granted over $195 million in funds across the length and breadth of this ecologically diverse province.

One such project lead by the British Columbia Conservation Foundation is Got Bats? BC Community Bat Program. The program, which received $77,237 in funding from HCTF and the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), encourages B.C. residents to value, protect, and monitor bats. Bats play an integral part in many environments, keep down the number of biting insects, and strengthen and improve overall ecosystem health. The B.C. wide network of programs aim to raise awareness of threats to bats, protect, monitor and install bat roosting sites and provide guidance and support for developing a local Bat-friendly Community approach to bat conservation.

Richmond and Delta are recognized as two of the four certified “Bat-friendly” communities in B.C. By engaging and educating the public about bats, Got Bats? strives to secure these important species for generations to come.

“The program is particularly important in the face of white-nose syndrome, a fatal bat disease that is spreading across North America and is currently less than 150 km from the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island,” said Got Bats? Provincial Coordinator, Mandy Kellner. “Our goal is to promote conservation of bats on private land through education and outreach, landowner contact, and promoting citizen science involvement in disease surveillance and the B.C. Annual Bat Count.”

Other HCTF funded projects taking place in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland include:

  • $80,000 to support urgent work to re-establish a fish passage in the face of a Rockslide along the Seymour River before salmon return in access their spawning grounds.
  • $22,000 for native plant landscaping and bird habitat restoration in Vancouver with the Environmental Youth Alliance and 50 local community organizations and schools.
  • $65,000 to evaluate Northern Goshawk breeding success in coastal and transitional forests.
  • $79,000 for research to identify and confirm critical habitat for juvenile White Sturgeon along the Pitt River.
  • $30,000 to enhance 1,295 hectares (3,200 acres) of upland agricultural habitat in the Fraser River estuary for bird species, in partnership with farmers in the cities of Delta and Richmond.

Funding and support for these projects and others across the province come from a wide variety of sources including public groups such as the British Columbia Wildlife Federation (BCWF), partner organizations like the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, provincial government contributions, court fines, and endowments. A significant source of funding comes from the conservation surcharge paid by B.C.’s anglers, hunters, trappers, and guide outfitters.

“Over 40 years ago, a group of concerned hunters and anglers, now represented by B.C. Wildlife Federation, lobbied for a surcharge on hunting and fishing licenses to fund wildlife and fish habitat improvement projects throughout the province,” said BCWF president Chuck Zuckerman. “The result of this impassioned call from B.C.’s hunters, anglers, trappers and sport shooters formed a new fund in 1981 that subsequently evolved into the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.”

Steve Kozuki, executive director of FESBC, has been pleased to be a partner with HCTF.

“We are proud to partner with HCTF and local experts on the ground throughout British Columbia to improve wildlife habitat,” said Kozuki. “HCTF combines wildlife biology expertise with their excellent management of funds to deliver outstanding benefits for wildlife. With all the pressures on the land base, the good work HCTF does is more important than ever.”

Each project funded by HCTF goes through a multi-level, objective and technical review process prior to final Board review and decision. HCTF’s Board of Directors ensure that species important to B.C. anglers and hunters are supported but also place a great deal of importance on conserving whole ecosystems, species-at-risk, and investing in environmental education across the province.

To see the complete list of HCTF funded projects or explore the conservation work being done near you, view the 2021-22 Approved Project List.

For interviews:

Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation
Craig Doucette, Communications Officer |
Direct: 250 940 3012 | Toll-free: 1 800 387 9853 ext. 212 | Craig.Doucette@hctf.ca

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

HCTF Quick Facts

It is the mission of HCTF to improve the conservation outcomes of B.C.’s fish and wildlife, and the habitats in which they live. We make a difference by funding conservation projects and by educating and engaging the public about B.C.’s natural assets. 2021 marks HCTF’s 40th anniversary of helping conservation groups and individuals secure funding for conservation projects and providing education to the general public about B.C.’s important natural assets. Since 1981, HCTF has provided over $195 million in grants for 3,230 conservation projects across B.C. HCTF began as an initiative by B.C. anglers, hunters, trappers, and guide outfitters.

39 Forestry Projects Protect and Enhance B.C.’s Recreational Values

-Campsites, Hiking Trails, Ski Resorts and Heritage Sites-

British Columbia: in the midst of wildfire season, many British Columbians understandably become focused on fires burning throughout the province and close to their communities, threatening treasured hiking and biking trails, recreational sites, and more.  The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is releasing a 2021 Summer Accomplishments Update featuring 39 forest enhancement projects which are protecting and enhancing important recreational values from campsites and hiking trails to ski resorts and heritage sites.

“Earlier this spring, our team was reviewing the 269 projects FESBC has funded since inception, and we noted a number of the projects throughout the province had a secondary benefit to them – protecting and enhancing recreational values,” said Steve Kozuki, RPF, executive director FESBC. “The primary purposes of FESBC projects range from mitigating wildfire risk and enhancing wildlife habitat to improving the recovery of wood fibre and replanting forests. At the same time, FESBC projects often deliver additional co-benefits such as climate change mitigation, job creation, Indigenous peoples’ participation in the forest economy, as well as protecting and enhancing forest recreation.”

Of FESBC’s 269 projects, 39 were identified to protect or enhance one or more recreational values. Project examples include:

Project partners are thankful for the funding and what the forest enhancement work means to their communities.

“When you live in a community where there’s only one road in and out, you can see the devastation a fire can have on a community, it’s nerve racking.”

Michael J. Ballingall, Senior VP, Big White Ski Resort Ltd.

“We are proud of the work that was done, the results, and the safety assurances it brings. This action speaks for itself. We feel protected,” said Michael J. Ballingall, senior vice president of Big White Ski Resort Ltd.

Echoing Ballingall is Ed Coleman, former CEO of Barkerville Historic Town & Park.

“We look forward to the future as we care for the past. One where the historic town and park are safe from damaging wildfires so we can continue to welcome thousands of tourists each year and provide both employment and enjoyment because of the proactive work we did now.”

Since inception, FESBC has empowered local people who want to do local projects that contribute to the achievement of our climate change goals and enhance B.C.’s forests through wildfire risk mitigation, accelerated ecological recovery after wildfires, wildlife habitat enhancement, and increased utilization of forest fibre.

FESBC Board Chair Jim Snetsinger is proud of the efforts of the FESBC team and the many First Nations, community forest leaders, local governments, and industry partners who carried out this exceptional work.

“With support from the governments of B.C. and Canada, FESBC has enabled others to do this remarkable work to enhance our forests, generating immense social, economic, and environmental benefits,” said Snetsinger. “When British Columbians enhance our forests, we are bequeathing an inheritance to our children and grandchildren: cleaner air, fewer greenhouse gases, better timber supply, higher quality wildlife habitat, safer communities, and protecting important recreational assets we all value and enjoy.”

View the 2021 FESBC Summer Accomplishments Update.

For information or an interview regarding these projects, contact:

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

Mackenzie Mill Maximizes Wood Fibre with Grant: “It’s the Right Thing To Do”

MACKENZIE, B.C.: close to $615,000 in funding awarded to East Fraser Fiber Co. Ltd. (EFF) by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is helping to support jobs in Mackenzie and in the recovery of close to 30,000 cubic metres of low-quality fibre that otherwise would not have been used. Extracting as much useable fibre from a block, and not burning it at roadside, allows for significant greenhouse gas emissions to be avoided, contributing to meeting British Columbia’s and Canada’s climate change targets.

“Increased utilization is good for the environment and the economy”

Jo-Anne Lang, RPF, East Fraser Fiber Forester

“Increased utilization is good for the environment and the economy,” said Jo-Anne Lang, RPF, EFF forester. “To be able to do this successfully in remaining mountain pine beetle-killed and significantly deteriorated stands, support such as that provided by FESBC is necessary.”

EFF mill owners Pat and Richard Glazier have always believed that the full utilization of sawlogs and residual material is the right thing to do, which is why 30 years ago the company built a whole log chip plant equipped with the first drum de-barker in B.C. This allowed for efficient debarking of small diameter logs and debris that would otherwise have been left at roadside to be piled and burnt.

“In 2005 and 2006,” said Pat, “We logged a mountain pine beetle-attacked block, and by bringing it in tree length and processing in the yard, we were able to realize 98,000 cubic metres of sawlogs and 35,000 cubic metres of pulp from a block that originally cruised out at 92,000 cubic metres.”

Although it has not always been profitable, EFF has continued to hold on to their vision of enhanced utilization of fibre because they strongly believed in the long-term benefits this approach would bring to revitalizing forests for future generations. “We worked together to make it work,” said Pat.

One of the ways EFF has been working together with partners was through a log purchase agreement with Three Feathers Limited Partnership, a consortium of the Kwadacha First Nation, Tsay Keh Dene First Nation, and the McLeod Lake Indian Band. Three Feathers holds a Non-Replaceable Forest Licence with requirements to harvest significantly damaged leading pine stands of which EFF is currently harvesting and managing volume under this agreement.

“We’re still harvesting mountain pine beetle-impacted stands, which are well past their prime,” said Lang. “Harvesting is more costly, and blocks are further and further away from the mill. FESBC funding made it possible to substantially increase the utilization of residual fibre from damaged and low value stands that our company may otherwise have had to leave or burn at roadside because of the costs to transport it. Being able to harvest and deliver the fibre to those who can utilize it will benefit the community, contractors, employees, and the environment.”

Also, EFF now has a business relationship with Sasuchan Development Corporation (SDC) to do similar work.

“Similar to Three Feathers, SDC holds a non-replaceable forest licences (NRFL) with conditions to harvest significantly damaged leading pine stands,” said Lang. “EFF is currently managing and harvesting a portion of this volume under our agreement with SDC, and some of pulp will be extracted from the SDC NRFL utilizing the FESBC funds.”

In providing the grant to EFF through its 7th Intake, FESBC recognized the proposal’s many benefits.

“A project like this generates so many benefits,” said Steve Kozuki, executive director of FESBC. “Healthy forests for future generations of British Columbians, improved wildlife habitat, better water quality, reduced greenhouse gases, reduced wildfire risk, jobs in the Port of Vancouver and beyond, and the enhanced utilization of pulp products which can displace fossil fuels such as plastic straws. Hard-working people in the Mackenzie area are doing their part to make life better for all of us.”

Robert MacCarthy, EFF’s regional manager commented on the good work. “On any given block, we can extract up to 50 per cent additional volume in the form of pulp logs. There is immense overall benefit to the public in making sure the fibre is brought in and utilized.”

Robert MacCarthy, regional manager, East Fraser Fiber

EFF’s operations in Mackenzie include a chip plant, logging side, and a finger joint mill. The finger joint mill is a value-added plant that utilizes residual fibre from sawmills to produce finger joint studs. Residual material from the finger joint and chip plant is sold to others to generate power or produce pulp. Providing employment through every phase, Mackenzie Mayor Joan Atkinson notes the diversity of operations and the economic stability it brings to the community.

“Mackenzie exists to support the forest industry, that’s why the town is here. It’s nice to see a local business like East Fraser Fiber so focused on community and supporting their employees. And kudos to FESBC for raising the bar in terms of forest management and practices. I think companies should be looking at what FESBC is trying to achieve to support sustainable forest management practices especially with so much of our forests having been lost to fire and insects.”

For information or an interview regarding this project, contact:
Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison | communications@fesbc.ca | 250.574.0221

$9.3 Million for Wildlife, Fish and Habitat Including Projects in the Kootenays

Cranbrook, BC: For 40 years, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has helped fund conservation groups, government, Indigenous Nations, and local communities to implement projects that protect B.C.’s wildlife, freshwater fish, and the habitats they need to survive and thrive. This year, HCTF awarded $9.3 million in funding for 175 individual conservation projects across British Columbia.

HCTF’s CEO Dan Buffett is pleased to report that the 2021/22 grant season represents the Foundation’s highest record annual investment and reflects the financial contributions and hard work of many British Columbians that fund and implement these projects. To date, HCTF has funded 3,230 conservation projects and granted over $195 million in funds across the length and breadth of this ecologically diverse province.

One such project is the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Developments’ Boundary Restoration and Enhancement Program. The program, which received $67,380 in funding, aims to improve habitat quality, ecosystem resiliency and forage availability for ungulates and other native species by restoring or enhancing habitats and ecosystems. Often the final phase of treatment is the implementation of closely monitored prescribed burns. Not only does the application of controlled burns revitalize habitat conditions for wildlife species such as mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, Williamson’s sapsucker and Lewis’s woodpecker, but it also decreases the risk and intensity of future wildfire events in the area by reducing the continuity and availability of forest fuels. Additionally, the program continues to grow the collaborations with the Okanagan Nation Alliance, Penticton Indian Band and Osoyoos Indian Band on project planning and implementation; and is partnering with all of the areas major forest licensees. The program is working with local communities in generating employment with highly skilled local contractors and improving the knowledge of controlled prescribed fire.

Prescribed Burn – Lisa Tedesco Photo

“The ongoing funding from HCTF has been critical in the programs longevity and success” says Lisa Tedesco, Project Lead with FLNRORD. “We have restored over 600 ha (1483 acres) of low elevation open forest ecosystems with selective harvest, understory slashing, prescribed burn and invasive plant treatments and have an additional 450 ha (1112 acres), including high elevation and mixed forest stands, under prescription and ready for implementation.”

Bubar Ignitions – HCTF

Other HCTF funded projects taking place in the Kootenay region include:
• $130,500 to support the Kootenay Region River Guardian Program which provides a compliance presence, collects angler survey data, and educates the public about sportfish populations.
• $93,500 to evaluate 15 years of conservation activities applied toward recovering a threatened grizzly bear population in the South Selkirks, co-funded by FESBC.
• $50,000 to improve wildlife connectivity and human safety along Highway 3 in the southern Canadian Rockies.
• $45,000 for invasive plant management on critical bighorn sheep winter ranges in Wigwam Flats, Bull River and Columbia Lake East, co-funded by FESBC.
• $52,150 to assists with recovery of Kootenay Lake kokanee by encouraging increased angler participation in the public fishery.

Funding and support for these projects and others across the province come from a wide variety of sources including public groups such as the British Columbia Wildlife Federation (BCWF), partner organizations like the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), provincial government contributions, court fines, and endowments. A significant source of funding comes from the conservation surcharge paid by B.C.’s anglers, hunters, trappers, and guide outfitters.

“Over 40 years ago, the B.C. Wildlife Federation lobbied for a surcharge on hunting and fishing licenses to fund wildlife and fish habitat improvement projects throughout the province,” said BCWF president Chuck Zuckerman. “The result of this impassioned call from B.C.’s hunters, anglers, trappers and sport shooters formed a new fund in 1981 that subsequently evolved into the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.”

Steve Kozuki, executive director of FESBC, has been pleased to be a partner with HCTF.

“FESBC is proud to partner with HCTF and local experts on the ground throughout British Columbia to improve wildlife habitat,” said Kozuki. “HCTF combines wildlife biology expertise with their excellent management of funds to deliver outstanding benefits for wildlife. With all the pressures on the land base, the good work HCTF does is more important than ever.”

Each project funded by HCTF goes through a multi-level, objective and technical review process prior to final Board review and decision. HCTF’s Board of Directors ensure that species important to B.C. anglers and hunters are supported but also place a great deal of importance on conserving whole ecosystems, species-at-risk, and investing in environmental education across the province.

To see the complete list of HCTF funded projects or explore the conservation work being done near you, view the 2021-22 Approved Project List.

For Interviews:

Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation

Craig Doucette, Communications Officer | Direct: 250 940 3012 | Toll-free: 1 800 387 9853 ext. 212 | Craig.Doucette@hctf.ca

Forest Enhancement Society of BC

Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison | Direct: 250 574 0221 | communications@fesbc.ca

HCTF Quick Facts:
It is the mission of HCTF to improve the conservation outcomes of B.C.’s fish and wildlife, and the habitats in which they live. We make a difference by funding conservation projects and by educating and engaging the public about B.C.’s natural assets. 2021 marks HCTF’s 40th anniversary of helping conservation groups and individuals secure funding for conservation projects and providing education to the general public about B.C.’s important natural assets. Since 1981, HCTF has provided over $195 million in grants for 3,230 conservation projects across B.C. HCTF began as an initiative by B.C. anglers, hunters, trappers, and guide outfitters.

Taking Action on Climate Change: a First Nations + Industry Collaboration

CHETWYND, B.C.: a forest enhancement project to utilize wood waste in Northeast B.C. is wrapping up, but the social, economic, and environmental benefits will endure for the community of Chetwynd and many members of the McLeod Lake Indian Band. The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) provided $299,759 in funding to a partnership project led by Duz Cho Logging of the McLeod Lake Indian Band and Canfor Energy North.

“FESBC was allocated $3 million from the provincial government as a part of its StrongerBC For Everyone: B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan to deploy to projects that would increase the utilization of wood fibre throughout the province,” said Ray Raatz, RPF, Operations Manager, FESBC. “The submission from Duz Cho Logging and Canfor Energy North was well thought out and we collectively could envision how it might be a catalyst for more of this kind of work in the Northeast region of B.C.”

The project resulted in the utilization of low-grade residual wood fibre left over from harvesting operations in the Chetwynd area.  The current economics for recovery of this fibre is limiting. Funding from FESBC extends the economic reach by enabling recovery and utilization of the low-grade fibre from areas a greater distance from the facility using the fibre. Typically, without funding like this from FESBC, leftover wood fibre is piled and burned, but in this case the residual fibre was hauled to the Canfor Energy North Pellet plant in Chetwynd where it was chipped and used for pellet and energy production.

“We were very pleased with the opportunity to help take the lead in this project,” said Chris Hayward, Logging Manager, Duz Cho Logging. “One of our core principles at Duz Cho is we ensure the footprints we leave behind are the ones our children will be proud to walk in, and this project was definitely in alignment. The environmental benefits were significant because by avoiding pile burning, the result is fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The economic benefits were also significant in that we were able to provide employment for McLeod Lake Indian Band members. Not only are these good paying jobs to benefit our members and their families, but people have the opportunity to learn new skills while doing this hands-on work which is important.”

Don Rosen of Canfor Energy North agrees.

“This was an important project for many reasons, including the economic and environmental benefits Chris referred to,” said Rosen. “Not only was it an exceptional partnership with McLeod Lake Indian Band’s Duz Cho Logging Partnership, but the FESBC funding was the impetus for our company to do more of this work as this was our first residuals utilization project in the bush. The project helped to expand our capacity for what we can do as a company in the future to better utilize fibre from our operations and create additional revenue streams for our partners like Duz Cho. We also know there are downstream benefits of these projects for logging contractors and haulers/truckers. We look forward to doing more!”

The project helped to expand our capacity for what we can do as a company in the future to better utilize fibre from our operations and create additional revenue streams for our partners like Duz Cho.

Don Rosen, Canfor Energy North

In total, the project utilized 14,742 cubic metres of residual waste fibre, equivalent to 295 truckloads. Duz Cho Logging and Canfor Energy North employees were able to contribute to the Chetwynd economy through fuel, accommodation, and food purchases, as well as hiring local tradespeople to provide maintenance on equipment.

Chip pile and chipper one week after chipper start up – D. Rosen Photo

“This project was a great opportunity for members of the McLeod Lake Indian Band to participate in a project that helps utilize more of the wood fibre being harvested within the traditional territories. We are creating a greener, more sustainable environment.”

Chris Hayward, Logging Manager, Duz Cho Logging

As a part of the StrongerBC funding allocation, FESBC provided funding to 14 fibre utilization projects, including the Duz Cho/Canfor Energy project, in many parts of the province.

“Our project showed true partnership,” said Hayward. “So much happened behind the scenes in the planning and implementation and from start to finish it was truly a collaboration – a project in support of each other for the benefit of many.”

For information or an interview regarding this project, contact:

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

Project Partners

Valley Carriers Story Featured in Canadian Forest Industries Wood Business Magazine

An FESBC funded project with Valley Carriers out of Merritt, B.C. was featured in Canadian Forest Industry’s Wood Business Magazine.

Excerpt from Editor, Ellen Cools: “In 2019, during the height of the forest industry’s downturn, many sawmills were permanently shut down and logging contractors were faced with a dilemma; move their logging fleet to a different location, or sell their equipment and lay off people? For Merritt, B.C.-based Valley Carriers Ltd., the answer was a mix of both.”

Read the Full Story:  https://tinyurl.com/cjarmm8

About Canadian Forest Industries Wood Business:

Helping A Community Forest Rebuild for the Future

BURNS LAKE, B.C.— Over 10,000 hectares of the Chinook Community Forest (CCF) was lost in the 2018 wildfires and the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) has provided $800,000 toward revitalizing approximately 300 hectares of the hardest hit stands.

“As a shareholder in the Chinook Community Forest, we are grateful to FESBC for the funding to salvage burned fibre from the devastating wildfires of 2018,” said Dolores Funk, Mayor, Burns Lake. “This project benefits our local economy through job creation and allowing the utilization of fibre that is no longer economically viable.”

The fire reduced the value of the remaining fibre significantly and it was unlikely it was ever going to be economically viable to salvage the fibre and regenerate the site with a new forest. FESBC funding allows for the rehabilitation of this area resulting in the quicker regeneration of a healthy forest.

“The Chinook Community Forest, a partnership between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, is committed to good forest stewardship and seeing this forest thriving for future generations,” said Ken Nielsen, General Manager, CCF. “This is a long-term investment by all parties to get to regeneration.”

A high level of utilization means there is a long-term carbon benefit by avoiding the fibre being burned in slash piles. The removal of fuel also results in wildfire risk mitigation as there is less available to burn if there is ever another fire in the area.

“We are happy to support this project and bring some hope and opportunity back to the community after the wildfires,” said Gord Pratt, RPF, Operations Manager, FESBC. “It is important to assist with the heavy lifting due to the economic challenges and bring this area back to a green, healthy forest.”

Nielsen agrees. “We were hit heavily. Through this project, CCF, FESBC and other partners pulled together to rebuild from that devastating loss.”

Jennifer Gunter, Executive Director of the BC Community Forest Association, is pleased to see the collaborative efforts as well.

“Community forest tenures give communities the opportunity to steward the land,” said Gunter. “Among the multiple benefits of this project is the fact that it is making the community forest land base more resilient and reducing the risk of more catastrophic fire in the future. Community forest tenure holders are proving to be important leaders in this work. The tenure is a significant asset that helps to make this possible.”

Community forests are “an integral way to manage forests for the long-term sustainability of our region and projects such as these ensure communities are stronger, healthier and safer.”

Dolores Funk, Mayor, Burns Lake

CCF has salvaged approximately 100 hectares of the burned fibre last year and plans to salvage anther 200 hectares this year. It was bunch skidded to the roadside where it was then recovered and the sawlog was trucked to various secondary fibre users like a local fence post operation and Pinnacle Pellet, depending on the condition and size of the fibre. This approach meant that all the burned fibre removed from the community forest was utilized.

Tree planting is slated to begin in the spring of 2022 with a company associated with one of the local Indigenous communities.

“It’s really important to fund the reforestation of these areas,” said Clint Lambert, Director of Electoral Area E. “The trees originally growing there were not big enough to produce cones yet, which means the area didn’t naturally reforest itself after the fire. We have lost a lot of fibre and therefore jobs, so it’s nice to support local companies and help a community get back on its feet again.”

Project Partner

For information on/or an interview with Chinook Community Forest regarding this project, contact:

Ken Nielsen, General Manager, Chinook Community Forest, 250.692.0630, Ken.Nielsen@chinookcomfor.ca.

For information on/or an interview with FESBC regarding this project, contact:

Gord Pratt, Operations Manager| gpratt@fesbc.ca | 250.319.1119

Mercer Celgar and Forest Workers Reduce Greenhouse Emissions in the Kootenays

CASTLEGAR, B.C.— Mercer Celgar is actively working to facilitate and increase fibre utilization in the Kootenay-Boundary Forest Region thanks to $3M in funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC).

The funding facilitates the recovery of fibre that would otherwise be burned on site, resulting in less burning which avoids the immediate release of carbon into the atmosphere.

Across the company’s operational area, significant volumes of usable fibre have continued to be burned as a result of the harvesting activities by forest licensees or from wildfire risk reduction projects near communities or in parks. Meanwhile, Mercer Celgar has been exploring many ways to have their fibre supply increased by improving utilization of non-sawlog fibre to their pulp mill in Castlegar. FESBC and Mercer both saw the opportunity in the convergence of these two issues.

“The FESBC funding has provided the economic support required for logging contractors to innovate new methods of increasing utilization of fibre from the areas they were harvesting,” said Gord Pratt, Operations Manager, FESBC. “For this project to be successful it took many partners to adjust their operations and policies to allow fibre to make its way to the pulp mill.” 

Pratt said these adjustments included how logs were loaded onto the logging trucks and the support of residents to allow logging trucks to use roads on private land to recover fibre from a wildfire risk reduction treatment in the neighbouring West Arm Park near Nelson. If not recovered, this fibre would have been burned on site. 

“Mercer Celgar’s program with FESBC has strongly influenced the company’s decision to proceed with the woodroom modernization announced last week that incorporates full forest utilization and sustainable resource management as a key requirement of the project,” said Stan Hadikin, RPF, Manager, Fibre Procurement, Mercer Celgar. “Strong collaborative efforts from industry, government, and stakeholders demonstrate a multitude of benefits including reduced wildfire risk, enhanced public safety, increased employment, improved wildlife habitat, ecosystem resilience, and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.”

Utilization can minimize the overall residual (left over) fibre on site by factors of 10 to 90 per cent. This project involves working with forest operators to increase the use of wood fibre and support the transportation of up to 200,000 cubic metres (one cubic metre is about the size of a telephone pole) of residual fibre for use at Mercer Celgar facilities.

The goal of fibre recovery and carbon benefits are intertwined. Through this project, Mercer Celgar will reduce the amount of carbon and other greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by avoiding the burning of wood waste, along with the negative health effects associated with the activity.

“Initiatives like this are critical to optimize the use of the existing wood fibre supply as much as possible,”

Gord Pratt, Operations Manager, FESBC

“FESBC is excited to hear that Mercer Celgar was able to take what they learned from their FESBC fibre utilization project and make the decision to invest in a significant improvement to their facility which will result in the long-term increase of forest fibre utilization well into the future,” Gord Pratt, Operations Manager, FESBC

West Arm Park Interface Treatment with Follow Up Discussion: Erik Leslie – Manager, Harrop Proctor Community Forest; Amanda Weber-Roy – Conservation Specialist, BC Parks; Amber Cooke – Wildfire Risk Reduction Specialist, FLNRORD; Charlene Strelaeff – Fibre Forester, Mercer Celgar; Len MacCharles – Fire Chief, City of Nelson; Gord Pratt – FESBC; John Dooley – Mayor, City of Nelson; Grant Walton, Resource Operations Manager, FLNRORD; Eric Wahn, Land & Resource Coordinator FLNRORD

Project Partner

For information on/or an interview with Mercer Celgar regarding this project, contact:

Rose Leslie, Communications Advisor | publicrelations.mc@mercerint.com | 250.365.7211 Ext. 3347 

For information on/or an interview with FESBC regarding this project, contact:

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

Print Version: FESBC Mercer Celgar Press Release June-22-2021

Accomplishments Update Highlights – 14 New FESBC Projects Throughout B.C.

Kamloops, B.C.: From the Province’s $1.5 billion StrongerBC For Everyone: B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) received $3 million and funded 14 forestry projects throughout the province to increase the utilization of wood fibre creating many positive benefits.

“Projects funded by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC address a number of environmental, social, and economic priorities of British Columbians,” said Jim Snetsinger, RPF, FESBC board chair. “Forest enhancement projects achieve social, environmental, and economic aspirations of British Columbians. Investing in forests reduces our carbon footprint, reduces wildfire risks, enhances wildlife habitat, and creates jobs. It’s a win-win-win on all fronts.”

Moe MacLean is the scaler for All West Trading Ltd. where NorthPac is taking their logs.

The $3 million in funding helped to sustain approximately 100 forestry jobs this past winter to utilize wood fibre that is normally left behind after logging and burned in slash piles.

“Upon receiving word of the allocation, our team moved quickly to prepare and announce its seventh intake for funding applications,” said Snetsinger. “We were delighted with the quality and innovation shown in the proposals. It demonstrates the significant role the forestry sector plays in our province’s broader economic recovery, while at the same time helping to achieve B.C.’s and Canada’s climate change targets.”

Codie Long, 3rd generation owner of Longs Logging Terrace, B.C. and Rich-Seymour, Operations Manager, Kitselas Forestry LP

In total, FESBC approved funding for 14 projects which have just been completed as of March 31, 2021.

LocationProject PartnerFESBC-Funding*
Boston BarInterwest Timber Ltd$13,000
ChetwyndDuz Cho Logging Ltd.$300,000
ClintonArrow Transportation Systems Inc$720,748
Fraser LakeThe Corporation of the Village of Fraser Lake$100,818
HazeltonNorthPac Forestry Group Ltd.$279,749
MassetHusby Forest Products$61,750
MackenzieEast Fraser Fiber$294,000
MerrittValley Carriers Ltd.$416,029
NazkoCariboo Pulp & Paper$134,897
PrincetonWestwood Fibre Resources Ltd.$6,000
SmithersPinnacle Renewable Energy Inc.$133,745
TerraceWestland Resources Limited$256,561
Williams LakeAtlantic Power (Williams Lake) Ltd.$199,603
Williams LakeElhdaqox Developments Ltd.$83,100
*approved FESBC-funding as of March 2021

The 14 projects sustained an estimated 100 forestry jobs to utilize about 233,000 cubic metres of wood fibre (approximately 4,600 truckloads) this past winter and the projects are estimated to help avoid 65,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, equivalent to taking 13,000 cars off the road for a year.

Maverick Mueller, long-time Mackenzie resident and second generation logger, member of the Tsilqot’in First Nation

“Our Accomplishments Update report highlights these projects and the good work happening in B.C. forests,” said Steve Kozuki, RPF, FESBC executive director. “Our report also features the people behind the projects. It is our opportunity to broadly share with British Columbians the good work not often seen or understood by non-foresters. As we like to say, in B.C. climate change heroes can often be found in the forest wearing hard hats.” 

Read the full FESBC Accomplishments Update

For more information or to arrange an interview with FESBC:

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

Three generations working in the grinding industry. From left to right: Mike Kilba, Benton Kilba, and Greg Kilba
Grinding work of residual wood fibre from harvesting operations in the Wells Gray Community Forest – G. Brcko photo

Wells Gray Community Forest Enhancement Project Achieved Through Collaboration & Innovation

Clearwater, B.C.: Many areas of B.C. are facing the challenge of a shortage of wood fibre that was more plentiful just a few years ago. Today, with many of the damaged mountain pine beetle stands harvested, wildfires and other factors, the scarcity of wood fibre supply has led the forestry sector to find innovative and collaborative ways to utilize the fibre that was previously piled and burned.

A project in the Wells Gray Community Forest (WGCF) in Clearwater, funded by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), has meant a homecoming for Greg Kilba, Division Manager Portable Wood Processing and Log Buying of Arrow Transportation Systems Inc. (Arrow), who grew up in the community and spent time raising his family there, too.

“Clearwater is a pristine and beautiful area I have many fond memories of and the Wells Gray Community Forest is a gem for the community,” said Kilba, now based in Kamloops. “When our team at Arrow first looked at a fibre utilization project in the Community Forest, there were many challenges – wet ground and large road ditches. There was a lot of fibre that could not be utilized by sawmills because of the amount of rotten wood typical of this type of stand. The Community Forest group’s goal was to log four cut blocks to help get a healthy stand of trees growing again. Together, we figured we could make economic sense of the project if we applied to FESBC for a grant. With the good news of an approval of a grant for $720,748, we developed a project plan for approximately $307,000 for the Wells Gray Community Forest, then got to work.”

Greg, his son Benton, his father Mike, and the rest of the Arrow team went back to the blocks in mid-October, taking the residual wood left over from earlier logging operations and ground it into hog fuel. Because of the planning of the project prior to harvesting, the WGCF was able to work with the logging contractors to build more accessible road systems to ensure Arrow’s grinder and trucks could access the slash piles.

“It was amazing to see trucks in the forest hauling out fibre,” said Kilba. “Early in my forestry career, I had contracts to burn slash piles like this. We would light up the piles and there was an amazing amount of energy coming from them. I had always wondered how we could harness that energy instead of wasting it. With the introduction of boilers that use this wood fibre, we now take this fibre we once burned and use it to create electricity. The grant from FESBC made it economically feasible to haul the material. Without this funding, piles of fibre would have otherwise been burned on site.”

Three Generations: Mike Kilba, Benton Kilba, and Greg Kilba

In total, Arrow ground 18,992 cubic metres of wood fibre, translating roughly to 350 logging trucks worth of wood fibre. The ground-up fibre was then transported to Domtar in Kamloops to generate electricity to run operations, with additional green energy being put back to the grid. The grinding project not only created an estimated 600 person days of work, or close to 5,000 employable hours, but by avoiding the burning of slash piles, the Clearwater airshed was spared smoke from fires, something George Brcko, WGCF General Manager, and many Clearwater residents appreciate.

“As a Community Forest, we can be nimble and innovative in finding ways to be collaborative and get work done,” said Brcko. “The grinding and hauling of these residuals meant that we didn’t have smoke hanging in our valleys from burning slash. Additionally, by removing the leftover wood fibre, this means we lessen the opportunity for a catastrophic wildfire in these areas.”

“Without FESBC filling the gap financially, this project would not have happened. This kind of collaboration and support of community forests is the way of the future and I believe just the tip of the iceberg in forest stewardship as we all work to do things better.”

George Brcko, Wells Gray Community Forest, General Manager

The WGCF has been an asset to the citizens of Clearwater as revenues generated from operations flow directly back into the community. Since 2004, almost $3 million has gone back into community projects like seniors housing, summer camps for kids, and accessibility projects like multi-use pathways, a boon to the community that BC Community Forest Association’s (BCCFA) Executive Director Jennifer Gunter applauds.

“As we work to grow the bioeconomy and make our communities and forests more resilient, FESBC is providing the missing link by enabling community forests and local entrepreneurs to partner on innovative projects like this,” said Jennifer Gunter, Executive Director of the BC Community Forest Association. “By supporting the utilization of residual fibre, multiple benefits are created for the communities, the forests and the province as a whole.”

Helping to fund and oversee the project on behalf of FESBC is Operations Manager Dave Conly.

“Arrow, in partnership with Domtar, has been able to develop great solutions with our local community forests, and by using fibre that would otherwise be wasted, they are creating well-paying jobs and assisting the Province in achieving climate goals,” said Conly. “Overall, FESBC projects will have generated 5.3 million tonnes of net carbon benefits which is equivalent to removing 1.1 million cars off the road for a year. Forestry is a great way to achieve B.C.’s and Canada’s climate change targets, while at the same time create more jobs in the bioeconomy.”

“I absolutely love that Arrow found a way, in partnership with FESBC and our Community Forest, to utilize residual wood fibre or slash. Our local Forestry Working Group – a group comprised of City councilors, local government representatives and industry stakeholders – has long advocated for this kind of work to be done because of the countless benefits: the economic benefits of good paying jobs for people, the social benefits when steady employment is available and smoke is removed from our airshed, and the environmental benefits when wood fibre is optimally used to reduce our carbon footprint.”

– Merlin Blackwell, Mayor of Clearwater

This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada.

To arrange an interview with FESBC, Wells Gray Community Forest or Arrow contact:
Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison | communications@fesbc.ca | 250.574.0221

Slashing Wood Waste and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Nicola Valley

Merritt, B.C.: A grant from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is helping Valley Carriers take a new approach to bring 24,000 cubic metres of wood fibre into Merritt to be used to generate electricity instead of burning it in slash piles. With the FESBC grant, Valley Carriers initially explored an opportunity to use a forest slash bundler to see what they could recover in waste residual forest fibre piled along forestry roads in the area. The pilot hoped to prepare biomass bundles that could be transported by regular logging trucks.  Valley Carriers modified their approach after a full evaluation of the bundler and approached the remaining utilization opportunities with a more conventional grinding operation.

“The project trial had some initial challenges, but what we appreciate about working with the team at Valley Carriers is their approach and innovative style,” said Dave Conly, Operations Manager, FESBC. “They have been able to pivot and get into the grinding business to assist the local economy in improving forest fibre utilization. By all accounts, it has been a great success so far and a benefit to B.C.’s environment and economy.” 

With a funding grant of $416,029 from FESBC, the recovered fibre will be delivered to Merritt Green Energy and used to generate electricity. When the residual fibre is utilized instead of burned in slash piles, there are fewer greenhouse gas emissions contributing to help achieve B.C.’s and Canada’s climate change targets. Additionally, the electricity generated can displace electricity otherwise generated by fossil fuels.

“The FESBC funding is allowing us to provide a solution for fibre removal that was previously burned because of high hauling and transport costs,” said Derek Mobbs, Interior Operations Manager, Valley Carriers. “It is great to see the wood fibre in the brush piles being utilized instead of burned and to see extra value being created out of our local timber resources.”

Valley Carriers’ Merritt-based division specializes in forest product transportation, sawmill residual service, supply, and grinding residual forest fibre. The FESBC funding made it possible for the company to extend their grinding operations and keep up to 10 people employed with 5,750-person hours generated from this project. Employment included the full-time operations of a grinder, loader, four 53-foot trucks and the part-time employment of a dozer, excavator, and a spare truck. The fibre produced from this project is anticipated to provide Merritt Green Energy with 37 days of run time.

“Our small community has been hard hit by the mountain pine beetle and mill closures. Being able to keep our people working and producing fibre for our customers is critical.”

Ben Klassen, CEO, Valley Carriers

Klassen notes the FESBC grant is projected to generate $1.75 million in revenue that helps to sustain members of the community who have endured multiple sawmill curtailments and closures over the last decade. “We have been able to support our community with good paying jobs from a resource that otherwise would have gone unrecovered. At times, we have had to juggle our operations to address customer needs, and without the flexibility of this FESBC support, this would not have been possible.”

The project has also led to collaborative working relationships with Stuwix Resources, Tolko, and Aspen Planers to recover forest fibre in other parts of the Southern Interior.

For information on/or an interview with FESBC regarding this project, contact:

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

Fire Followers Exhibit at Beaty Biodiversity Museum

Vancouver, B.C.: A new online exhibit is on display with the Beaty Biodiversity Museum called Fire Followers. In the exhibit, artist Megan Majewski and writer Sharon Roberts give voice to forests impacted by B.C. wildfires. While preparing for the exhibit, Sharon interviewed the Forest Enhancement Society of BC’s (FESBC) Executive Director, Steve Kozuki.

“We were approached by Sharon back in 2018 when she was first working on the Fire Followers project,” said Kozuki. “The idea of taking an artistic approach to telling the story about the impacts of B.C. wildfires intrigued me because of the work I do with FESBC. It is abundantly clear that there are many, many passionate people who want to improve B.C.’s forests, including First Nations, community forests, woodlots and many others.

“FESBC has been empowering local people who want to do local projects that enhance our forests through wildfire risk mitigation, accelerated ecological recovery after wildfires, wildlife habitat enhancement, and increased utilization of forest fibre to contribute to the achievement of our climate change goals. The work we do now means people today, and for generations to come, will benefit from our forests. We thank Sharon and Megan for their work to bring the voice of our forests to all British Columbian’s through this unique exhibit.”

The artists’ greatest hopes for the project are to help shape the public perception of what a healthy forest looks like.

“We view this exhibit as a living and breathing thing, just as the forests are – it’s just a sapling now, it’s soil freshly tilled,” said Sharon and Megan. “With the care and nurturing by all who contribute it will take on a life of its own and grow into something beautiful that we can’t yet imagine. Something as rich and diverse as the forests themselves.”

To view the exhibit online:

Fire Followers Online Exhibit

Community Impact featuring FESBC’s Steve Kozuki

Collaboration in the Okanagan is Reducing Wildfire Risk to Water Supply

Okanagan, B.C.:

In the summer of 2019, four water utility providers in the Okanagan were awarded close to $680,000 in grants from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC). The grants supported a collaborative approach to wildfire risk reduction in four major Okanagan watersheds that border one another and are managed by the District of Lake Country, Black Mountain Irrigation District, Glenmore Ellison Improvement District, and the Regional District of North Okanagan.

Work is now underway on the ground to protect several high-priority interface areas of the individual watersheds. Wildfire risk reduction will help better protect the Okanagan basin’s water quality, important wildlife habitat and infrastructure, and create opportunities to enhance the utilization of woody debris left behind after fuel management treatments.

“The funding provided by FESBC was fundamental in bringing together all four water purveyors on the Aberdeen plateau, in collaboration with the Okanagan Shuswap Natural Resource District and Gorman Brothers, to guide the watersheds towards a more fire resilient condition through wildfire risk mitigation planning,” said John Davies, RPF, Frontline Operations Group Ltd.

This analysis started over the summer of 2019, including the completion of mapping of potential fuel breaks – an area where flammable woody material is removed to slow or stop a wildfire – in all watersheds and identifying the highest priority interface fuel breaks.

Pre-treatment shows a high stand density with heavy surface fuel loading

FESBC funding approval enabled the partners to collaborate on overview planning, leading to efficiencies in key components such as GIS (Geographic Information System) analysis. This overview planning then identified critical priority areas for detailed planning. This planning included developing a wildfire risk reduction prescription, obtaining support from BC Wildfire Services and local Forest Lands & Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development representatives, and groundwork including identifying and confirming the treatment boundaries and unique values to be protected.

Professional fuel management prescriptions were completed for a high-risk interface area in each watershed. Once the planning was complete, the contracts were put out to bid and were awarded to Sage Forestry Ltd. and Loki Tree Service. 

“These projects are an opportunity for good-paying jobs allowing companies like mine to keep people working and to reinvest in the industry, while providing much-needed wildfire risk reduction to communities in B.C. at the same time.”

Burke Nesjan, RPF, Sage Forestry

Each area has unique features requiring different approaches. Here is a status update on each project:

District of Lake Country: completed treatment operations adjacent to Beaver Lake Lodge and district water intake of Beaver Lake involving the removal of surface woody debris from approximately 2.5 hectares.

Black Mountain Irrigation District: provided operational treatment recommendations for Gorman Brothers’ operations on Schram Creek slope and completed field survey of proposed fuel break locations above Schram Creek slope.

Glenmore Ellison Improvement District: completed treatment operations within the interface above Postill Lake Road.

Regional District of North Okanagan: completed interface treatment operations adjacent to Blue Nose trail and are currently implementing prescriptions adjacent to private property on Blue Nose Road.

“FESBC is pleased to see the high level of collaboration between Frontline Operations Group and each of the local water purveyors,” said Dave Conly, RPF, Operations Manager, FESBC. “These four significant watersheds provide both drinking water and irrigation water for local communities. We deployed funding to do our best to protect the watersheds from extensive damage which could potentially result from wildfires. We’re pleased to see the overview plans, which set the stage for longer-term work, while addressing some of the highest priority areas with the funding available.”

Work is expected to be completed by the end of summer of 2021 and further updates to media and the community will follow.

“The FESBC funding program has been instrumental in addressing wildfire risk mitigation on Crown land in B.C. at a meaningful scale,” said Davies. “We have gained in leaps and bounds with this important endeavour in the Okanagan Valley through FESBC support.”

Post-treatment illustrates a lower density and significantly less surface fuel loading resulting in a lower potential fire behaviour than the pre-treatment stand

For an interview with Frontline Operations Group Ltd.

John Davies, RPF, Wildfire Management Specialist | john@frontlineops.ca | 250.540.3473

For information on/or an interview with FESBC

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

New grants to help use more wood fibre

VICTORIA – The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) has allocated $3 million in new grants throughout the province to support jobs in the forestry sector and increase the use of wood fibre that otherwise would be burned as slash.

“This new funding is part of the government’s $1.5 billion economic recovery plan, which reflects our ongoing commitment to help British Columbians deal with challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

“The grants will support local jobs and help make better use of wood debris left behind after timber harvesting.”

Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development

The latest round of funding supports 15 different projects in different regions of the province, with individual grant amounts ranging from $6,000 to $663,748 (see backgrounder for details about each project). The projects will allow about 250,000 cubic metres of post-harvest waste wood to be used in the production of pulp, wood pellets, electricity and compost for soil remediation. This work will also provide environmental, economic and social benefits to B.C. communities, including a reduction in greenhouse gases.

“One of the aims of our StrongerBC economic recovery plan is to build stronger, more resilient communities in every corner of the province,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “This program does just that, while also advancing the forest sector’s transition to high-value production, which is essential for B.C.’s long-term economic wellbeing.”

Eight of the approved applications were from new proponents that will receive FESBC project funding for the first time.

“We were very pleased to receive this additional funding to support incremental fibre use and forest rehabilitation projects,” said Jim Snetsinger, board chair, FESBC. “Upon receiving word of the $3 million allocation, our team moved quickly to prepare and announce its seventh intake for funding applications.”

“We were delighted with the quality and innovation shown in the proposals that we received. This work will help support families and communities in a time of need. It demonstrates the significant role that the forestry sector plays in our province’s broader economic recovery, while at the same time helping to achieve B.C.’s and Canada’s climate change targets.”

Contacts:

Aleece Laird
Communications Liaison
Forest Enhancement Society of BC
communications@fesbc.ca
250 574-0221

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Media Relations
250 213-8172

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: http://news.gov.bc.ca/connect

Facts about FESBC

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is a Crown agency. It was established in 2016 to advance the environmental and resource stewardship of the province’s forests by:

  • preventing wildfires and mitigating wildfire impacts;
  • improving damaged or low-value forests;
  • improving wildlife habitat;
  • supporting the use of fibre from damaged or low-value forests; and
  • treating forests to improve the management of greenhouse gases.

As of Jan. 28, 2021, the B.C. government has invested $238 million in FESBC, with about $237 million allocated to 270 projects since the society’s inception. Funded projects have helped minimize wildfire risks, enhance wildlife habitat, improve low-value and damaged forests, replant damaged forests and use fibre for green-energy production.

FESBC is a partner in the Forest Carbon Initiative, which is funded in part through the federal government’s Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund. This initiative assists with B.C. government priorities, such as:

  • revitalizing the forest sector;
  • partnering with First Nations;
  • supporting the Province’s CleanBC commitment to transition to a low-carbon economy; and
  • providing economic benefits for rural communities.

$3 million in grants support fibre use projects

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC has allocated another $3 million in grants to support 15 projects that will increase the use of wood fibre that otherwise would have been burned as slash.

Funding for these projects has been distributed as follows:

October 2020 project approvals (Intake #7):

  • $20,000 to Interwest Timber Ltd. to take uneconomical pulp fibre to a plant for chipping and future delivery to coastal pulp mills (about 1,537 cubic metres in the south coast region)
  • $101,562 to the Village of Fraser Lake for the Fraser Lake Community Forest, to transport uneconomic residual waste fibre to the Pinnacle Pellet plant in Burns Lake (about 13,488 cubic metres in the Omineca region)
  • $135,000 to Cariboo Pulp & Paper to transport low-value pulp fibre, which otherwise would be uneconomical to move, to manufacture pulp (about 9,122 cubic metres in the Cariboo region)
  • $200,000 to Atlantic Power (Williams Lake) Ltd. to help local First Nations companies deliver fibre to Atlantic Power for electricity generation (about 15,385 cubic metres in the Cariboo region)
  • $663,748 to Arrow Transportation Systems Inc. to transport uneconomic fibre to secondary users (about 44,250 cubic metres in the Thompson-Okanagan region)
  • $216,158 to Westland Resources Limited to enhance use of uneconomic pulp logs from two licensees (about 22,125 cubic metres in the Skeena region)
  • $279,749 to NorthPac Forestry Group Ltd. to increase fibre use by sending residual waste to coastal pulp mills (about 18,355 cubic metres in the Skeena region)
  • $6,000 to Westwood Fibre Resources Ltd. to increase use of residual waste fibre for distribution to secondary fibre users in the southern Interior (about 660 cubic metres in the Thompson-Okanagan region)
  • $133,745 to Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. to increase fibre use by manufacturing wood pellets (about 45,803 cubic metres at various locations across the province)
  • $336,252 to East Fraser Fiber to distribute waste fibre to a local chipping plant and other secondary fibre users in the north-central Interior (about 15,913 cubic metres in the Omineca region)
  • $300,000 to Duz Cho Logging Limited Partnership to increase fibre use by manufacturing wood pellets (about 15,625 cubic metres in the northeast region)
  • $61,750 to Husby Forest Products to recover otherwise uneconomic fibre from timber harvesting operations and support coastal pulp mills (about 4,060 cubic metres in the West Coast region)
  • $326,533 to Valley Carriers Ltd. to increase use of wood waste, which will be ground up for use in energy production (about 30,432 cubic metres in the Okanagan Shuswap District)
  • $83,100 to ?Elhdaqox Developments Ltd. to use waste fibre from a tree stand rehabilitation project for energy or wood pellet production (about 10,000 cubic metres in the Cariboo Chilcotin District)
  • $136,403 to Tk͛emlupsemc Forestry Development Corporation to convert woody biomass into a growth medium that expedites plant growth and soil stabilization (about 5,940 cubic metres in the Thompson-Okanagan Region)

See the FESBC Projects page for a map of all projects: https://www.fesbc.ca/projects/

Cariboo Wildfire Risk Reduction Project Nears Completion

Big Bar Lake, B.C. – Zanzibar Holdings Ltd. and the community of Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation (St-wet-lem hight-lem) (SXFN) have partnered to reduce wildfire risk to the rural communities of Big Bar Lake with funding support from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC).

FESBC provided close to $625,000 toward two projects in the Cariboo region, both of which are nearing completion and are focused on reducing wildfire risk in forested areas near Big Bar Lake, which is located approximately 40 kilometres west of Clinton, B.C. The areas were identified as priorities for wildfire risk mitigation by the 100 Mile House Resource District.

The joint project with SXFN (formerly Dog Creek Indian Band & Canoe Creek Indian Band) has provided employment for local crews for the last two years. Crews have been creating a series of landscape-level fuel breaks to help reduce the intensity and rate of spread of any approaching wildfire and provide a safer point of attack for firefighters if a wildfire occurs. The treatments include:

  • removing accumulations of forest fuels (e.g. wood waste, vegetation and other flammable material)
  • decreasing the number of trees
  • pruning other trees, from the ground up to shoulder height, to remove “ladder fuels” (e.g. low branches that could allow a fire to spread into treetops)
  • clearing away ground fuels by gathering them into piles and burning them

“There is tremendous potential for a significant wildfire to come through the area close to the community of Big Bar Lake,” said Bill Layton, RPF, senior forester with Zanzibar Holdings Ltd. “Depending on a fire’s behaviour and the site conditions, the fuel breaks that we’re working on would do a lot to stop a fire’s progress from the northwest and southeast.”

The width of the fuel breaks ranges from 100 to 300 metres in strategic areas around Big Bar Lake, and they total more than three kilometres in length.

“Wildfire risk mitigation treatments are quite intensive and can be very costly. FESBC funding is critical to being able to complete this work.”

BILL LAYTON, RPF, SENIOR FORESTER, ZANZIBAR HOLDINGS LTD.

The Big Bar Lake area is a relatively dry and cool ecosystem with stands ranging from even-aged juvenile pine to multi-layered Douglas-fir dominated forest with dense understory. Future treatments such as low-intensity prescribed burns or cutting of new growth will be required in the area to ensure the objectives of the fuel break are maintained.

“These projects are a great example of proponents working with their partners and staff from the 100 Mile House Natural Resource District to help protect a rural community from the threat of a wildfire, to support the District in achieving its wildfire risk mitigation priorities, and to provide employment opportunities to local forestry workers,” said Ray Raatz, RPF, Operations Manager, FESBC. “This project is a triple win for British Columbians as it has helped create positive social impacts, employment, and greater resiliency in one of our most significant natural resources: our forests.”

To Arrange an Interview with FESBC or Zanzibar Holdings Ltd.:

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

Sarah Fraser Appointed to FESBC Board

KAMLOOPS, B.C.: The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Sarah Fraser to the Board of Directors.

Sarah is currently the A/Assistant Deputy Minister, Rural Opportunities, Tenures and Engineering Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. She is responsible for a diverse portfolio including strategic and operational policies that relate to authorizing disposition of Crown land and forest tenures, sale of high value Crown land, and remediation of Crown contaminated sites.

The FESBC Board is responsible for the strategic direction and performance of the Society, and reviews and approves annual operating plans and budgets, including the proposed forest enhancement projects.

“Sarah’s extensive background and experience in economic development and community transition support programs will be a benefit to the important strategic decisions we make as Board members for the benefit of British Columbians. Her background in public service working to further rural policy and programs will certainly strengthen our organization and our FESBC Board and staff are pleased to welcome Sarah to the team.”

-Jim Snetsinger, RFP, FESBC Board Chair

Fraser is equally enthused to join the Board:

“I am excited to join FESBC to further the important work of the Society,” said Fraser. “FESBC has been a leader and an agent of action, funding projects which help fight climate change, reduce wildfire risk, and build future timber supply. The innovative work is done in consideration of social, environmental, and economic benefits for Indigenous peoples and communities and am pleased to lend my knowledge and experience.”

-Sarah Fraser

For More Information:

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