John Massier, FESBC Board Director

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. In this month’s Faces of Forestry, we are featuring a Face of FESBC to highlight one of the exceptional individuals on our Board of Directors who helps guide our organization toward impactful change.

This month, we feature John Massier, one of FESBC’s Board Directors and a leader in the industry with five decades of operational forestry experience.

John’s journey began fifty years ago when he was employed as a tree planter by the Ministry of Forests, setting the stage for a lifelong commitment to sustainable forestry practices.

“Since then, I have worked at a variety of jobs in the forest industry, including tree planter, mill worker, cone picker, faller/bucker and machine operator,” he explained.

In 1978, he founded Cottonwood Reforestation, a small business that contracted a range of bush work, from tree planting to juvenile spacing and other land-based work. Under his leadership, he employed hundreds of people and completed reforestation projects totalling over 40 million trees on more than 300 square kilometres of land in the Cariboo/Chilcotin region of British Columbia. Later, in 1993, John and his wife Hazel were awarded Woodlot 1406 that surrounds their rural home along the Cottonwood River.

Currently, he is the Director for Electoral Area C in the Cariboo Regional District (CRD), as well as the CRD Treaty representative to the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council Treaty Main Table.

Additionally, John’s deep engagement in local governance has solidified his commitment to community and environmental stewardship, leading him to serve on numerous boards over the years, including the Federation of BC Woodlot Associations, the Wells-Barkerville Community Forest, the Woodlot Product Development Council, and the Fraser Basin Council Board.

In 2022, John joined FESBC as a board director and brought his wealth of operational forestry experience and governance expertise.

“I was familiar with FESBC through my forestry work and given my varied experience in the industry and connections to local government, I thought I might offer some value to the organization,” he recalled.

Recognizing the importance of sustainable funding models for forestry initiatives, John advocates for the long-term viability of FESBC’s projects, striving to support the rural and remote communities that serve as the backbone of the industry.

“In my decades in the industry, I have witnessed and been involved in various Provincial and Federal funding programs aimed at enhancing the forest land base, yet the common theme across them was the lack of sustained funding and loss of momentum once each program ran its course,” he said. “I have always believed that any industry as important as forestry is to British Columbia needs a sustainable funding model to enhance the land base that both industry and communities rely on.”

With the recent announcement in the 2024 budget of sixty million dollars for FESBC over the next three years, John is looking forward to continuing supporting communities through wildfire risk reduction work, low-value fiber recovery, habitat enhancement, and Indigenous peoples’ participation in the forest economy.

“Being a rural resident and having lived through the devastating wildfires of the past several years I see and especially value the work FESBC has done and continues to do on community wildfire protection,” he added. “The work is costly to do, and the amount left to be done is enormous, but we are already seeing the positive results.”

Beyond his professional endeavours, John’s love for wildlife drives his volunteerism with the Northern Lights Wildlife Society as one of their capture/transport teams spread around the province.

“Those who have met me know of my love for the wildlife that we get to share our remote rural property and woodlot with. I never miss an opportunity to show the most recent fruits of my motion-sensing wildlife cameras to anyone that’s interested,” he shared.

Thank you, John, for your dedication to environmental conservation and community well-being that deeply exemplifies FESBC’s mission.

Ntityix Resources LP Enhances Wildfire Mitigation Work in West Kelowna

West Kelowna, B.C. – Given the increasing number and severity of wildfires around the Interior of British Columbia over the last couple of years,Ntityix Resources LP (Ntityix), fully owned by Westbank First Nation (WFN), has been busy working to proactively reduce wildfire risk in the West Kelowna area. With funding support from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), Ntityix has successfully undertaken various initiatives around the community, specific to this wildfire mitigation work. The work itself contributes to a long-term mitigation strategy being undertaken to enhance the fuel modification zone, which will help slow down and, ideally, prevent the spread of wildfires in the area.

“The continued revitalization of cultural and prescribed fire helps to create healthy, safe and resilient forests, and I applaud Ntityix and the Westbank First Nation for continuing to take on wildfire risk reduction projects year after year, including working with the Province last year on prescribed burns,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “With support from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, Ntityix’s fire prevention initiatives are better protecting the homes, businesses, and communities of West Kelowna, all while creating good, local job opportunities.”

The funding has helped Ntityix complete wildfire risk reduction projects, treating around 300 hectares around the communities of West Kelowna and Peachland in the Okanagan Region over the past ten or so years. This work has far-reaching impacts on not just reducing the risk of wildfire to these communities but by way of employment opportunities, building capacity within Ntityix with both fire mitigation and suppression activities, and developing confidence to re-introduce fire to the ecosystem through prescribed burns.

“Ntityix Resources LP and the Westbank First Nation believe the residents within the communities of West Kelowna and Peachland are supremely grateful for the funding provided by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC to carry out this work in the past and now into the future,” expressed Jordan Coble, Councillor with WFN and President of Ntityix.

Some of the wildfire risk reduction projects have included various approaches incorporating hand treatments, especially in delicate areas near residential backyards, as well as selective harvesting practices, which involve forest workers removing smaller trees while preserving larger ones.

“FESBC appreciates the leadership shown by Ntityix and the Westbank First Nation in reducing the wildfire risk to the residents located in and near West Kelowna and Peachland,” said Gord Pratt, senior manager with FESBC. “We are glad our funding can assist Ntityix in completing this important work in collaboration with all the other FireSmart activities being done by these communities.”

Last year, with the help of BC Wildfire Services (BCWS), Ntityix conducted their first cultural prescribed burn in an area just east of Kelowna. The burn was focused on grasslands and some open forests that had not had a fire go through the area in several decades. The prescribed burn helped to reinvigorate the grassland area and reduce the amount of surface fuels, or excess wood and debris, in the open forest area.

“In Fall 2024, with the help of BC Wildfire Service, we are planning a post-harvest controlled burn on areas where we have recently completed some harvesting work,” explained Dave Gill, RPF and general manager of forestry at Ntityix. “This will be a more ‘surgical’ burn versus the broadcast, or more widespread, burning of the past. This work will reduce surface fuels in areas that are within 5 kilometres of the community.”

Ntityix has also started to conduct fuel mitigation at the landscape level by identifying fuel management corridors across the landscape within WFN forest tenures to conduct fuel modification treatments.

“West Kelowna Fire Rescue, the City of West Kelowna, and Westbank First Nation are grateful for the ongoing funding provided by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC. I look forward to continuing to be involved and offer the ongoing support of our Fire Rescue team to participate in future projects,” added West Kelowna Fire Chief, Jason Brolund.

This proactive mitigation work provides local contractors and WFN members employment opportunities within the forest industry to help with good forest management. Ntityix has been able to build a permanent work crew based out of West Kelowna who work year-round on fuel mitigation, pre-commercial thinning, pruning, and wildfire suppression projects.

“Our forestry crew consists of permanent positions with full benefits, vacation time, and personal days. They have career goals, undergo cross-training with other aspects of our business, and some are considering furthering their education in forestry or taking on new roles within our company,” said Gill. “The funding also enables us to recruit Westbank First Nation community members who may be curious about entering a career in forestry, exposing them to other aspects of our work, and providing them with a full-time income as they start their career.”

Last summer, the MacDougall Creek wildfire tested the effectiveness of some of the wildfire risk reduction work undertaken by Ntityix in 2015. The extensive 13,500-hectare wildfire, with 8,000 hectares falling within WFN’s Community Forest, underscored the invaluable benefits of prior fire mitigation work in the area. While it is challenging to precisely measure the impact of these efforts on the fire’s size, it is evident that they played a crucial role in safeguarding residential areas, highlighting the collective responsibility in mitigating wildfire risks.

“Last summer’s wildfires showed that fuel mitigation on Crown land adjacent to communities is only one piece of the puzzle. Crews shared that because of this work, they could fight the fire on the ground and didn’t have to leave when the fire approached. They also noted a need for FireSmart work where homeowners take precautionary steps to reduce wildfire risk to their homes and properties and use appropriate fire-resistant landscaping,” expressed Gill. “Wildfire risk reduction requires the involvement of all levels of government, First Nations, affected stakeholders, and home/property owners have a very important role to play in this as well.”

Through FireSmart, private landowners who live in proximity to forested land can take ownership of preparing and maintaining their homes and properties to decrease the risk of damage due to wildfire. Additionally, when the public is out in forested areas for recreation, they need to be aware of fire hazards, campfire bans, and participating in activities such as motorized recreation or cutting firewood.

“West Kelowna sits at the centre of wildfire risk and response in the province of British Columbia. Over the past number of years, we have learned we can reduce the damage from wildfires through wildfire mitigation work we can do and the adoption of the FireSmart principles by the public,” emphasized Brolund. “We are fortunate to have great partners at Westbank First Nation and Ntityix Resources LP who are committed to taking care of their community forest which surrounds our community of West Kelowna.”

In the long term, Gill shared that more emphasis must be placed on good forest management practices in fire-dominated ecosystems at the landscape level to address the buildup of surface fuels and the density of forests.

“The work we are doing is time-consuming and expensive, and without ongoing funding from FESBC, much of this work would not have been done, and likely many more homes would have been lost to wildfires,” said Gill. “We intend to expand the areas we’ve treated outwards and away from the communities to provide for a wider buffer between the community and the untreated forest. Ongoing and future funding from FESBC will be critical to allow for this ring of protection to be expanded, maintained, and re-enforced in the longer term.”

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

Executive Director’s Newsletter July 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: Garrett McLaughlin, RPF, MSc, Technical Advisor, Province of B.C.

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 (BC). This month, we feature Garrett McLaughlin, RPF, MSc, Technical Advisor, with the Province of British Columbia.

Garrett started his career in forestry almost 20 years ago when he took a summer job with the United States Forest Service in northern Pennsylvania. By the end of that summer, Garrett had found his path toward a career in forestry that has led him to working as a timber cruiser in California, a carbon offset project developer in the Great Bear Rain Forest, and as a carbon modeler and technical advisor with the province of BC.

“I have always been drawn to outdoor sports and activities, and I wanted a career where I could go outside and run around in the woods,” said Garrett. “Being a forest carbon advisor and modeler has combined my interests in computer science with my passion for forest ecosystems.”

Garrett has worked in connection with FESBC on research related to the costs and climate benefits of utilizing slash piles instead of burning them. Garrett developed a decision support tool to determine the lifecycle carbon impact associated with producing different types of products from residual fiber.

“It is important to try to get an estimate of the carbon impacts of avoided slash pile burning to better understand the potential climate benefits of improved fiber utilization,” said Garrett. “While there is always more to consider, having an idea of how much carbon is being stored or emitted to the atmosphere is an important piece of the puzzle to understanding how forest practices can impact and mitigate climate change.”

In his role as Technical Advisor with the Office of the Chief Forester, Garrett continues to work on research and policy related to promoting further utilization of harvest residuals in the province. He is also working with other forestry professionals and scientists to develop guidance for incorporating carbon mitigation strategies into forest management, as well as policy to set up and enable the development of carbon offset projects across BC.

Executive Director’s Newsletter June 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: Percy Guichon

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 Percy Guichon, Executive Director of Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. (CCR) and elected Councillor of Tŝideldel First Nation.

From a young age, Percy enjoyed being an active member of his community and learning about forestry. After raising a family, Percy attended the College of New Caledonia in Prince George and received a Forest Technician Diploma. He was able to merge both of his passions to build a meaningful career that has brought new opportunities to his community.

“I first became interested in forestry when I participated in a work experience program in grade 12th. Also, I was involved in the creation and operations of Tsideldel Enterprises Ltd. These experiences motivated me to learn more about forestry academically. My education was sponsored by Tsideldel Education Trust Fund, an initiative developed by Tsideldel Enterprises Ltd,” said Percy.

Today, Percy is active on numerous boards, including the Eniyud Community Forests, Tsi Del Del Enterprises Ltd., Dandzen Development Corporation and Tl’etinqox Economic Development Corporation.

As the Executive Director of CCR and a Councillor of Tŝideldel First Nation, Percy has played a pivotal role in the company’s growth and success. Reflecting on the journey, Percy acknowledges the challenges faced and attributes the company’s achievements to perseverance, hard work, and the unwavering support of the community. His commitment to making a positive impact on the land and people is evident in CCR’s recognized leadership in the forestry industry.

CCR is a First Nation-owned company located in Williams Lake, B.C. The company is a joint venture between Tsideldel First Nation and Tl’etinqox Government, both Tsilhqotin Nation communities. CCR is set on coordinating and implementing large-scale forestry programs and forest rehabilitation activities within the traditional territories, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the land through traditional Indigenous practices.

“As an Indigenous business partnership, we are proud to represent the successes of Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs,” noted Percy. “Our success demonstrates that First Nations can take the lead in forest management and make significant contributions to the economy, while also being thoughtful stewards of the land.”

Through the continuation of CCR, over time, the local communities can boost economic growth and sustainability by investing in and training a skilled workforce, which results in the creation of new jobs.

“I’m proud to represent my community,” Percy said, adding, “It’s rewarding to collaborate with my community, other First Nation bands, industry leaders, and government; to create meaningful employment and build capacity in the forestry sector. Together, we can build stronger, healthier, and safer First Nation communities.”

Thank you, Percy, for paving the way and inspiring present and future generations to get involved in forestry.  

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.

Faces of Forestry: Dr. Caren Dymond, PhD, P.Ag, Forest Carbon and Climate Change Researcher, Province of British Columbia

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 Dr. Caren Dymond, PhD, P.Ag, Forest Carbon and Climate Change Researcher with the Province of British Columbia.

Caren grew up in the Canadian Rockies hiking and cross-country skiing which led to a love of nature and the outdoors. Besides her passion for “green and growing things” that she attributes to her mother, Caren had two mentors in university who worked on forests and forest management which led her to pursue a career in forestry.

Currently, Caren is a Forest Carbon and Climate Change Researcher with the Ministry of Forests in BC and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Calgary and the University of Northern BC. In her role, Caren conducts field research, modelling, and collaborates with economists, silviculture specialists, and other forestry professionals to assess forestry management practices for climate action – this includes studying everything from how forests are growing and what their natural disturbances are, to reducing harvest residues.

“When forests are green and growing, they can play a vital role in mitigation and adaptation to climate change,” said Caren. “We have found that the diversification of species provides the best outcomes for tree productivity and for capturing carbon – essentially we are hedging our bets,” explains Caren.

Caren was one of the first to study integrating climate change adaptation and mitigation actions into the management of our forests.  Her research program has led to several papers assessing planting seedlings to enhance diversity and aiding assisted migration projects. She also co-leads projects related to assessing partial harvesting and the conservation of old-growth forests.

“Partial harvesting is key to reducing harvest residues and to ensuring that healthy trees remain carbon sinks in the right ecosystems. Also, changing our planting to reduce risks and take advantage of different growing conditions can also help to make our forests more resilient for future climate conditions,” said Caren.

Through sustainable forest management practices, forests can be an integral part of the solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and Caren is proud to collaborate with researchers and forestry professionals to enhance the resilience of BC’s forests.

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.

Faces of Forestry: Stephan Martineau

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 Stephan Martineau, the Founding Director and Manager of Slocan Integral Forestry Cooperative (SIFCo).

Stephan’s passion for ecosystems and community development inspired him to pursue a career in forestry, dedicating his life to creating systems that bring communities and forests together through education and collaboration.

“In B.C., forest ecosystems represent most of the land base we interact with as humans. Finding and implementing a more balanced relationship between humans and ecosystems is a lifelong passion of mine, and forestry is the field that gets me closest to working on that,” noted Stephan.

For Stephan, the future brings rapid changes in the landscape; where developing balanced systems centred on climate change adaptation and community resiliency is critical to ensuring long-term economic, social, and environmental stability.

He believes community forests are a great platform to promote community integrity, where residents share knowledge and values that are part of the decisions made to manage local resources.

In 2003, Stephan and various sectors of the Slocan Valley community came together to bring to life their vision to develop a community forest plan to care for and protect the land and resources. The collective then became Slocan Integral Forestry Cooperative (SIFCo) and met with local woodlot owners, First Nations, and other interested parties to gather community input and support letters.

In 2007, SIFCo’s application was approved, and a 25-year Community Forest Agreement (CFA) was signed with the Province of British Columbia.

“A lot of people truly care in the field, and a lot of changes are happening,” said Stephan, adding, “What I enjoy most in my career is the process of going from concept to implementation, in other words, the experience of looking back after something is completed and going, ‘Wow, this was just a thought a few years back!’”

SIFCo is located at the heart of the Slocan Valley, consisting of approximately 840,000 acres of land and water. As a non-profit, SIFCo aims to be a leader in climate change adaptation, community resiliency, ecosystem-based management, and economic diversification by providing the opportunity for the community to manage, sustain, and enjoy the benefits of the local forest.

“At SIFCo, we have been proactive in approaching a holistic response to rapidly changing climate conditions in our bioregion. I try to foresee where we will need to be 10-20 years from now — both as an organization and in our relationship with the land base we steward — and implement actions now that will prepare the ground for a resilient future,” explained Stephan.

Thank you, Stephan, and the team at SIFCo, for your commendable efforts toward community resiliency and climate change action, both integral components to ensuring future healthy forests.

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.