FESBC Celebrates Senior Manager’s Legacy in Forestry

Kamloops, B.C. –The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) congratulates Senior Manager Gord Pratt on his retirement after a distinguished career with the organization and within the forestry sector. His departure is a moment of both reflection and celebration, as his contributions have significantly helped to shape FESBC’s successes to date.

Pratt has been a cornerstone of FESBC, dedicating over seven years to carrying out the organization’s purposes to advance forest enhancement activities and to advocate for the environmental and resource stewardship of British Columbia’s forests.

Gord Pratt. Photo credit: Tiffany Christianson.

“When I first considered the opportunity to work at FESBC, I was excited about the possibility of working for a Society that had such strong purposes in its constitution,” shared Pratt. “Being able to continue the work to fund projects that reduce wildfire risk for the people of British Columbia was a big draw for me, as it allowed me to continue the work I started with the Kamloops Fire Centre as the Fuel Management Specialist.”

Joining FESBC in April 2017, Pratt quickly realized that he was not only part of an organization that could make a difference but was a part of an incredible team who were helping to build the new organization that would make that difference.

With the guidance of a strong and connected Board of Directors, the FESBC team began to develop processes to create funding programs that would result in local people in their communities doing good forest management work, ultimately benefitting communities throughout British Columbia.

“Working with FESBC has been an incredible journey. I am grateful to all the people I had the pleasure to work with over my 43 years in the sector, especially the last seven at FESBC,” shared Pratt. “Our delivery partners at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and all our project proponents have been crucial to our collective success. None of the work FESBC has funded could have been done without the strong commitment to good forest management and the willing partners doing the hard work on the ground. I also appreciate the guidance and trust from our Board, which allowed me to contribute significantly to FESBC’s success.”

Reflecting on his time with FESBC, one of his proudest accomplishments has been his growth as a forester, recognizing that good forest management balances complex objectives for the lasting benefit of the environment, wildlife, forest health, and communities.

“With direction from the Board, we delivered projects that met all five of our primary purposes, finding a balance between project costs and multiple outcomes,” Pratt explained. “Based on my own beliefs and by incorporating learnings from the many First Nations people I have had the privilege to meet and work with, I learned that good forest management includes taking care of our forests for the future. By doing so, we will be able to have astounding forests that are more fire resilient, better for wildlife, and optimize the use of fibre to support our forest sector across the province.”

Pratt proudly shared that he was honoured to be one of the founding members of the BC FireSmart Committee, established in 2017.

“I was first exposed to FireSmart in 2009 and at that time, it was considered a good idea but not high on anyone’s list of priorities. Today, FireSmart is a part of many people’s lives. I could not be more proud to have been part of the team that elevated this initiative, fostering a more wildfire-resilient province where everyone lives, works, and plays FireSmart.”

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director of FESBC, praised Pratt’s invaluable contributions, stating, “Gord’s impact on FESBC cannot be overstated. His vision and leadership have been instrumental in carrying out projects that have helped strengthen forest health and ecosystems amid climate change and worsening wildfire seasons. He has always been a guiding force, helping to navigate challenges and seize opportunities. His dedication to forest enhancement and community well-being has set a high standard for us all.”

Under Pratt’s leadership role, FESBC has helped leave a lasting, positive legacy for many communities.

“As I transition into retirement, I believe the future of FESBC is strong” shared Pratt. “It is crucial to see that continued support for FESBC to ensure good forest management continues for the benefits of generations, well into the future.”

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