FESBC’s Executive Director to Address Forestry’s Role in Rural Development at “Keeping it Rural” Conference

Kamloops, B.C. – The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is pleased to have its executive director, Steve Kozuki be a featured speaker at the Keeping it Rural conference. Hosted at the Four Points by Sheraton in Kelowna from May 21-23, this year’s conference will explore the theme “Sowing Seeds of Success: Cultivating Rural Economies.”

Kozuki has been involved with forestry in British Columbia since 1984 with roles such as Timber Valuation Coordinator for Weldwood, General Manager of Forestry at the Council of Forest Industries, and key positions within BC Timber Sales and Timber Pricing Branch and has led FESBC since 2017. This year, at the conference, Kozuki will share insights as a panellist on the Emergency Preparedness panel.

Photo: Steve Kozuki; photo credit: FESBC

“Forestry has been an unsung hero, often overlooked in its extensive capabilities to address environmental, economic, and social challenges, including challenges faced by rural communities,” Kozuki shared. “When it comes to wildfires, we work closely with partners like the BC Wildfire Service, Fire Chiefs, FireSmart BC and local communities and First Nations to help bolster community defences against the ever-growing threat of wildfire through thoughtful planning and collaboration. While a focus of our funded projects may be on wildfire risk reduction, our projects yield significant secondary benefits which include creating jobs, enhancing wildlife habitats, reducing greenhouse gases and creating recreational trails—all of which naturally contribute to strengthen local economies. I’m excited to share how integral forestry is to both rural sustainability and emergency preparedness on this year’s panel.”

The Keeping it Rural conference started first in 2015, is an essential gathering for economic development professionals and community leaders dedicated to encouraging sustainable development in rural communities. This year’s sessions will cover a range of topics including sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, and innovative environmental conservation methods tailored for rural applications.

Sarah Sinclair, executive director of BC Rural Centre, explained what prompted them to approach Kozuki, and said, “FESBC was brought to our attention through board members in the Peace region of the province. After some brief research, it was clear to us that having Steve speak to our audience on the importance of forest enhancement and share FESBC’s success stories would bring great value. Our organization was founded as the Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition (SIBAC), so any collaboration with organizations that are in the forestry sector, be it community forests, those who work in wildfire risk mitigation, or Indigenous forest stewardship, is a natural fit.”

This year’s conference will explore various critical topics, including an introduction to the BC Rural Centre Society, innovation in rural areas, advances in agricultural practices promoting food sovereignty, and essential discussions on water stewardship concerning riverscapes and watershed health.

“The conference is two half days and a full day with keynotes from Chief Clarence Louie of the Osoyoos Indian Band and Doug Griffiths author of ‘13 Ways to Kill your Community’ and more,” said Sinclair. “With panels on rural innovation, rural agriculture, water stewardship, and more there is something for everyone. The conference is geared for rural, remote, and First Nation communities, regional districts, non-profits, and other key stakeholders. But the content really lends itself to anyone who has a passion for living rurally and keeping it rural in BC.”

People can sign up for the conference at https://ticketstripe.com/keeping-it-rural-2024.

“It is a great opportunity for anyone interested in rural challenges, to hear rural success stories and share space with some amazing people,” concluded Sinclair.

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

Faces of Forestry: Dave Gill

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 Dave Gill, general manager of Ntityix Resources LP.

Dave’s interest and passion for forestry began when he was hired as a summer student by the Pacific Forestry Research Center in Victoria, where he worked on a Spruce Bark Beetle Research project near Hixon, BC.

“I was in the woods just about every day that summer. I loved learning about the forests I was working in, the industry, and the profession itself,” he explained.

This month, we feature Dave Gill, general manager of Ntityix Resources LP.

That same summer, Dave enrolled in the University of British Columbia’s Forestry program, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry a few years later.

Currently, Dave works as the general manager of Ntityix Resources LP, a company owned by Westbank First Nation (WFN).

“Ntityix Resources has been given the privilege and the responsibility of managing the forest tenures held by WFN with the best interests of the WFN and West Kelowna/Peachland communities in mind,” he said.  

Additionally, within this role, he guides a dedicated and diverse team focused on gaining a deeper understanding of the lands they manage, with an emphasis on maintaining and enhancing the values provided by these forests.

Dave and his team have been actively collaborating with FESBC since its inception, undertaking vital wildfire mitigation projects within the Community Forest around the City of West Kelowna and the District of Peachland.

“Our partnership with FESBC has been crucial in treating hundreds of hectares around communities and building our in-house capacity to complete this work,” he explained. “Some of this work has been tested by recent wildfires and proven effective. Now we have a full-time forestry crew who completes this work in addition to pre-commercial thinning, pruning, and wildfire suppression.”

Over the past two decades, the importance of the work carried out to protect these communities and the broader landscape from the devastating wildfires has become evident.

“It’s been said so many times that we can’t control the weather, we can’t control the terrain, but we can control the forest fuels. Not only do we have to address the high priority areas near communities, we also need to take a more proactive role in managing fuels at the landscape level,” Dave added.

Throughout his career, Dave has found a deep appreciation for the multifaceted aspects of his work. He finds joy in being outdoors, acknowledging the unique connection with nature that comes with walking through a forest. Additionally, he values the people he gets to work with every day, his community, and the passion they all share for the land, which has provided him with continuous learning opportunities.

As Dave explained, the dynamic and progressive nature of forestry represents an exciting moment in the industry, regardless of the role one plays in it.

“Forestry continues to be a profession in transition. We are adopting a longer-term approach, with an Indigenous lens, to making decisions on the land. We are removing the silos and beginning to understand the inter-connectedness of all values on the land and the long-term consequences of our decisions.”

Thank you, Dave, for your commitment to wildfire mitigation and the crucial role you play in protecting our environment and communities.

Newly Funded Projects to Help Utilize Waste Wood and Mitigate Wildfire Risk in B.C.

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC Announces 42 Newly Funded Projects

Kamloops, B.C. – At a press event at River City Fibre in Kamloops, the executive director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), Steve Kozuki, announced 42 newly funded forest enhancement projects. These projects throughout the province of B.C. will either assist with the delivery of uneconomic forest fibre to pulp and pellet mills or green energy facilities, or will help communities reduce their wildfire risk.

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC announces 42 new forest enhancement projects throughout the province of B.C. to utilize uneconomic wood fibre and reduce the risk of wildfires to communities;
Photo Credit: Tiffany Christianson Photography. 

“The funding provided by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a testament to the Government of British Columbia’s drive to foster environmental sustainability and community wildfire risk reduction. Their support of these transformative projects demonstrates their commitment to helping communities reduce their risk of catastrophic wildfire events and transforming waste wood into green energy and sustainable products. They are taking action on climate change while at the same time promoting job growth and community resiliency throughout our province,” said Kozuki.

These newly funded projects come as a result of the $50 million given to FESBC earlier this year by the Ministry of Forests to boost fibre supply by utilizing uneconomic fibre and reduce wildfire risk while also supporting workers and communities. 

“Our forests have endured some very difficult years of late. Devastating wildfires, pine beetle epidemics and the effects of climate change have stressed the environment more than ever before, with direct impacts felt by rural and First Nations communities,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “By using burned or damaged wood, projects around B.C. are providing the forest industry with fibre and are actively increasing our resilience to future wildfires.”

As a part of one project, led by Simpcw Resources Group, funding will enable low-quality logs from outside the current economic range of Simpcw Resources Group’s operations to Arrow and Kruger, instead of being piled and burned.

Kevin Gayfer, RPF, Regional Manager, Arrow noted that “The funding from FESBC plays a pivotal role in supporting the utilization of forest fibre that would otherwise go to waste. This investment not only drives economic growth but also contributes to environmental sustainability through a net reduction of carbon emissions in the form of products derived from Kruger.”

The forest sector encompasses a diverse array of partners including First Nations, the pulp sector, the Provincial government, community forests, wood lots, loggers, silviculture companies, technology companies, and many, many others. Collaboration among these partners is crucial for success. By working together, a sustainable and prosperous future for our forests, workers, and communities can be achieved.

The broader collection of projects funded by FESBC demonstrates the collective efforts being taken to revolutionize the relationship with the forest. These initiatives will utilize waste wood to produce green energy and sustainable products, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and plastics that have long dominated our everyday lives.

“With challenges such as insect epidemics, devastating wildfires, and the need to conserve old growth and wildlife habitat, it is crucial to find innovative solutions,” said Kozuki. “The declining timber supply has amplified the importance of utilizing leftover forest fibre that would have otherwise gone to waste.”

Of the 42 new projects funded throughout the province, 24 projects have direct First Nations involvement, while eight have some First Nations involvement.

ADDITIONAL QUOTES:

Omineca region: Canfor’s Pulp Incremental Haul Program for Pulplog

Kevin Edgson, President & CEO, Canfor Pulp: “We appreciate the grant funding the Forest Enhancement Society of BC awarded for our Incremental Pulplog Haul Program project. This funding allows Canfor Pulp to access and purchase pulp logs that are outside the economic radius we can normally operate within. It is particularly important at a time when the timber supply and the availability of sawmill residual chips is shrinking. This funding will provide assistance to harvesting and hauling contractors, enabling them to supply pulp facilities in nearby communities. We will be able to transform low-value logs, which would otherwise be burned, into higher value-added products. By doing so, it will help minimize waste, pollution and carbon emissions.”

Cariboo region: 2023 Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. Fibre Utilization Project |

Michael Tomlinson, RPF, PAg, Consus Management Ltd.: “Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. (CCR), in partnership with FESBC, has successfully diversified its business practices to enhance the utilization of forest fibre within the traditional territory of its partnered community and beyond. Furthermore, CCR remains committed to supporting government initiatives aimed at reducing our carbon footprint and enhancing our forests for the benefit of future generations.”

Thompson Okanagan region: Southern Interior Biomass Incremental Haul Costs project

Greg Kilba, Arrow: “We are excited about how FESBC has allowed us to utilize biomass logs that historically went up in smoke. FESBC has provided the funding that has allowed us to experiment with logs that had never been used for creating pulp in the past. Using fire-affected logs for pulp production came about from previous FESBC projects. In cooperation with FESBC, our hope is to continue to find innovative ways to be able to utilize fibre that historically had very little to no value. Through this initiative we have been able to bring in logs from further away that can be used for hog and pulp production. Together, we are making a difference, creating jobs, and making positive changes!”

Kootenay Boundary region: Osoyoos Indian Band/Celgar Fibre Recovery Partnership

Dan Macmaster, Osoyoos Indian Band: “Better fibre utilization from harvesting permits is very important to the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB). Our commitment to responsible forestry practices goes beyond limiting brush piles and reducing burning; it extends to ensuring economic viability for logging contractors who are struggling to feasibly haul the low-value pulp logs out of the forest to a chipping facility. Led by the OIB Forestry Department, our project incentivizes licensees to utilize all logging fibre by funding the costs of hauling it to pulp mills or yards. With funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, we can achieve our utilization objectives throughout the OIB’s traditional territory, resulting in better forest stewardship and a significant reduction in burning logging debris. This funding will provide the crucial financial support needed to process and transport pulp fibre, making a tangible impact on climate change and securing a sustainable future for our forests.”

South Coast region: Lil’wat Fibre Recovery 2023-2024 project

Klay Tindall, General Manager of Forest Operations for the Líl̓wat Forestry Ventures LP.: “We are truly excited about the funding we have received from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) for our Lil’wat Fibre Recovery 2023-2024 project. This funding enables us to turn our vision into action and make a tangible impact on our local environment, economy, and community. We recognize the importance of partnerships and collaboration in achieving our goals, and we look forward to sharing our progress and success with FESBC and the broader community.”

West Coast region: CRIBCO Forest Products Ltd. – Heydon Bay

Chief Chris Roberts, Wei Wai Kum: “The FESBC Funding will help CRIBCO, a forest company wholly owned by Wei Wai Kum Nation, utilize low-value and low-end pulp material from our remote, high-cost tenures we hold in our Territory. Utilizing this material from the operating areas is an important part of sustainable resource extraction and something that our Nation has been focused on. The funding FESBC is providing CRIBCO is a win-win for CRIBCO and the Nation, and we look forward to additional opportunities of working with FESBC to assist the Nation with innovation in the forest sector to meet our stewardship and sustainability objectives.”

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

Nine Newly Funded Forest Enhancement Projects in the West Coast Region

Forestry Projects to Help Utilize Waste Wood or Mitigate Wildfire Risk

At a press event in Kamloops, the executive director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), Steve Kozuki, announced 42 newly funded forest enhancement projects. These projects throughout the province of B.C. will either assist with the delivery of uneconomic forest fibre to pulp and pellet mills or green energy facilities, or will help communities reduce their wildfire risk. Among these projects, nine projects are located in the West Coast region.

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC announces 42 new forest enhancement projects throughout the province of B.C. to utilize uneconomic wood fibre and reduce the risk of wildfires to communities; Photo Credit: Tiffany Christianson Photography.

“The funding provided by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a testament to the Government of British Columbia’s drive to foster environmental sustainability and community wildfire risk reduction. Their support of these transformative projects demonstrates their commitment to helping communities reduce their risk of catastrophic wildfire events and transforming waste wood into green energy and sustainable products. They are taking action on climate change while at the same time promoting job growth and community resiliency throughout our province,” said Kozuki.

These newly funded projects come as a result of the $50 million given to FESBC earlier this year by the Ministry of Forests to boost fibre supply by utilizing uneconomic fibre and reduce wildfire risk while also supporting workers and communities. 

“Our forests have endured some very difficult years of late. Devastating wildfires, pine beetle epidemics and the effects of climate change have stressed the environment more than ever before, with direct impacts felt by rural and First Nations communities,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “By using burned or damaged wood, projects around B.C. are providing the forest industry with fibre and are actively increasing our resilience to future wildfires.”

Taan Forest will be transporting low value pulp logs located on Haida Gwaii by barge to pulp mills on the South Coast; Photo credit: Jeff Mosher.

The nine projects in the West Coast region are:

  • Haida Gwaii Fibre Utilization: $195,093 in FESBC funding to transport low value pulp logs located on Haida Gwaii by barge to Husby Forest Products on the South Coast. 
  • Kvamua Forestry Services Ltd. – Sandell Phase 3: $377,127 in FESBC funding to transport pulp logs from the North Coast to pulp mills on the South Coast.
  • Kitasoo First Nation-Pooley Island: $319,199 in FESBC funding to transport low value logs from a remote coastal location to southern pulp mills.
  • Taan Forest -Incremental Haul: $862,395 in FESBC funding to transport low value pulp logs located on Haida Gwaii by barge to pulp mills on the South Coast. 
  • CRIBCO Forest Products Ltd. – Heydon Bay: $87,075 in FESBC funding to transport pulp logs from the mainland coast and outside the Fibre Recovery Zone to pulp mills on the South Coast.
  • Fibre Salvaging – North Vancouver Island: $646,680 in FESBC funding to collect waste wood outside the Fibre Recovery Zone to be transported to the Atli chip facility at Beaver Cove, processed and then towed to pulp mills on the South Coast.
  • Sqomish Forestry LP. Blocks: 51-28; E23; 50-73 project: $150,470 in FESBC funding to transport pulp logs from the mainland coast and outside the Fibre Recovery Zone to pulp mills on the South Coast.
  • A&A Trading Ltd. – HG Moresby Island Incremental Pulp project: $239,523 in FESBC funding to transport pulp logs in Haida Gwaii by barge to pulp mills on the South Coast.
  • Fibre Salvaging – TFL North Vancouver Island: $275,178 in FESBC funding to collect waste wood outside the Fibre Recovery Zone to be transported to the Atli chip facility at Beaver Cove, processed and then towed to pulp mills on the South Coast.

These initiatives will utilize waste wood to produce green energy and sustainable products, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and plastics that have long dominated our everyday lives. Other projects currently funded by FESBC will reduce wildfire risks for communities.

“With challenges such as insect epidemics, devastating wildfires, and the need to conserve old growth and wildlife habitat, it is crucial to find innovative solutions,” said Kozuki. “The declining timber supply has amplified the importance of utilizing leftover forest fibre that would have otherwise gone to waste.”

Of the 42 new projects funded throughout the province, 24 projects have direct First Nations involvement, while eight have some First Nations involvement.

ADDITIONAL QUOTES:

CRIBCO Forest Products Ltd. – Heydon Bay

Chief Chris Roberts, Wei Wai Kum: “The FESBC Funding will help CRIBCO, a forest company wholly owned by Wei Wai Kum Nation, utilize low-value and low-end pulp material from our remote, high-cost tenures we hold in our Territory. Utilizing this material from the operating areas is an important part of sustainable resource extraction and something that our Nation has been focused on. The funding FESBC is providing CRIBCO is a win-win for CRIBCO and the Nation, and we look forward to additional opportunities of working with FESBC to assist the Nation with innovation in the forest sector to meet our stewardship and sustainability objectives.”

Taan Forest – Incremental Haul

Jeff Mosher, Taan Forest: “FESBC’s incremental haul funding is a game-changer for us. It enables us to harvest and market lower-valued logs that would typically be left behind in Haida Gwaii due to high transportation costs, only to be burned as waste. The majority of these logs will now supply the Howe Sound Paper Excellence Mill, bolstering the pulp production. Moreover, Taan Forest’s Forst Stewardship Council certification ensures that the mill’s customers receive sustainably sourced raw materials. This project not only benefits contractors with increased revenue for moving additional volume but also allows Taan Forest to invest in training and equipment. The extra revenue also enables us to provide additional revenue to contractors to move firewood to local communities, reducing carbon emissions from pile burning. We deeply appreciate the incremental haul funding as it provides more revenue, more product for our customers, and better utilization of the forest resource.”

Fibre Salvaging – TFL North Vancouver Island

Doug Mosher, RPF, Atli Resources LP: “The FESBC funding toward two projects to salvage approximately 55,000 cubic metres of salvageable fibre that would otherwise be left in the forest to burn or rot will support the Northern Vancouver Island Fibre Utilization Project. Removing this material helps decrease the potential for wildfires, carbon dioxide emissions, and ash into the atmosphere. The funding is being used in a joint project between Atli Resources LP and a salvaging contractor, Estero Peak Contracting Ltd. The waste wood fibre from the harvested forests is hauled by Estero Peak Contracting, material that would otherwise be beyond the economic range of the chip plant to a chip plant in Beaver Cove to be converted into chips for pulp and paper and for hog fuel (bark) to be utilized for power generation.

The direct contributions and the economic ripple effect of this funding will provide employment for the salvage company employees, chip plant employees, and indirectly to many other businesses in the North Island.”

Sqomish Forestry LP. Blocks: 51-28; E23; 50-73 project

Maxime Lapine, Forestry Manager, Sqomish Forestry LP.: “Transporting pulp logs efficiently from the forests of British Columbia to the mills is not merely a logistical task; it is a crucial link that nourishes the growth of our economy while sustaining our commitment to environmental stewardship.”

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

Two Newly Funded Forest Enhancement Projects in the South Coast Region

Forestry Projects to Help Utilize Waste Wood or Mitigate Wildfire Risk

South Coast region, B.C. – At a press event in Kamloops, the executive director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), Steve Kozuki, announced 42 newly funded forest enhancement projects. These projects throughout the province of B.C. will either assist with the delivery of uneconomic forest fibre to pulp and pellet mills or green energy facilities or will help communities reduce their wildfire risk. Among these projects, two projects are located in the South Coast region.

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC announces 42 new forest enhancement projects throughout the province of B.C. to utilize uneconomic wood fibre and reduce the risk of wildfires to communities; Photo Credit: Tiffany Christianson Photography.

“The funding provided by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a testament to the Government of British Columbia’s drive to foster environmental sustainability and community wildfire risk reduction. Their support of these transformative projects demonstrates their commitment to helping communities reduce their risk of catastrophic wildfire events and transforming waste wood into green energy and sustainable products. They are taking action on climate change while at the same time promoting job growth and community resiliency throughout our province,” said Kozuki.

These newly funded projects come as a result of the $50 million given to FESBC earlier this year by the Ministry of Forests to boost fibre supply by utilizing uneconomic fibre and reduce wildfire risk while also supporting workers and communities. 

“Our forests have endured some very difficult years of late. Devastating wildfires, pine beetle epidemics and the effects of climate change have stressed the environment more than ever before, with direct impacts felt by rural and First Nations communities,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “By using burned or damaged wood, projects around B.C. are providing the forest industry with fibre and are actively increasing our resilience to future wildfires.”

Lil’wat Fibre Recovery 2023 2024 project will transport pulp logs from the Mainland Coast and outside of the Fibre Recovery Zone to pulp mills on the South Coast.;
Photo credits: David Conly.

The two projects in the South Coast region are:

  • Lil’wat Fibre Recovery 2023 2024: $38,903 in FESBC funding to transport pulp logs from the Mainland Coast and outside of the Fibre Recovery Zone to pulp mills on the South Coast.
  • HSPP Incremental Haul Program on Vancouver Island: $635,000 in FESBC funding to transport low value pulp logs from harvesting outside of the Fibre Recovery Zone to the Howe Sound Pulp and Paper facility.

These initiatives will utilize waste wood to produce green energy and sustainable products, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and plastics that have long dominated our everyday lives. Other projects currently funded by FESBC will reduce wildfire risks for communities.

“With challenges such as insect epidemics, devastating wildfires, and the need to conserve old growth and wildlife habitat, it is crucial to find innovative solutions,” said Kozuki. “The declining timber supply has amplified the importance of utilizing leftover forest fibre that would have otherwise gone to waste.”

Of the 42 new projects funded throughout the province, 24 projects have direct First Nations involvement, while eight have some First Nations involvement.

ADDITIONAL QUOTE:

Lil’wat Fibre Recovery 2023-2024 project

Klay Tindall, General Manager of Forest Operations for the Líl̓wat Forestry Ventures LP.: “We are truly excited about the funding we have received from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) for our Lil’wat Fibre Recovery 2023-2024 project. This funding marks a significant milestone in our efforts to promote and maintain sustainable forestry practices and contribute to the well-being of our local community and environment. The funding from FESBC will play a pivotal role in recovering pulp fibre from higher-elevation hemlock balsam stands and getting it to local pulp mills. This will not only create a reliable supply of raw materials for the mills but also contribute to the overall economic vitality of our region. By taking these actions, we aim to make the best use of available resources while maintaining a focus on sustainable forestry practices.

This funding enables us to turn our vision into action and make a tangible impact on our local environment, economy, and community. We recognize the importance of partnerships and collaboration in achieving our goals, and we look forward to sharing our progress and success with FESBC and the broader community.”

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

Seven Newly Funded Forest Enhancement Projects in the Thompson Okanagan region

Forestry Projects to Help Utilize Waste Wood or Mitigate Wildfire Risk

Kamloops, B.C. – At a press event at River City Fibre in Kamloops, the executive director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), Steve Kozuki, announced 42 newly funded forest enhancement projects. These projects throughout the province of B.C. will either assist with the delivery of uneconomic forest fibre to pulp and pellet mills or green energy facilities or will help communities reduce their wildfire risk. Among these projects, seven projects are located in the Thompson Okanagan region.

With the Southern Interior Biomass Incremental Haul costs project, Arrow will transport low value sawlogs to Kamloops for use in energy and pulp; Photo Credit: Greg Kilba

“The funding provided by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a testament to the Government of British Columbia’s drive to foster environmental sustainability and community wildfire risk reduction. Their support of these transformative projects demonstrates their commitment to helping communities reduce their risk of catastrophic wildfire events and transforming waste wood into green energy and sustainable products. They are taking action on climate change while at the same time promoting job growth and community resiliency throughout our province,” said Kozuki.

These newly funded projects come as a result of the $50 million given to FESBC earlier this year by the Ministry of Forests to boost fibre supply by utilizing uneconomic fibre and reduce wildfire risk while also supporting workers and communities. 

“Our forests have endured some very difficult years of late. Devastating wildfires, pine beetle epidemics and the effects of climate change have stressed the environment more than ever before, with direct impacts felt by rural and First Nations communities,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “By using burned or damaged wood, projects around B.C. are providing the forest industry with fibre and are actively increasing our resilience to future wildfires.”

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC announces 42 new forest enhancement projects throughout the province of B.C. to utilize uneconomic wood fibre and reduce the risk of wildfires to communities;
Photo Credit: Tiffany Christianson Photography. 

The seven projects in the Thompson Okanagan region are:

  • Simpcw Resources Group Pulp Log Utilization: $2,299,175 in FESBC funding to transport low value logs located outside of the current economic range of the River City Fibre Ltd. chipping facility in Kamloops.
  • St’at’imc Tribal Holdings Burn Permit project: $196,350 in FESBC funding to transport low value fibre from burned forest stands to the River City Fibre facility in Kamloops for use in power production.
  • 2023 Ikwadli Creek 3 Fibre Utilization project: $47,595 in FESBC funding to transport low value fibre from the Community Forest owned by the Lower Similkameen Indian Band to Interior pulp mills.
  • Southern Interior Biomass Incremental Haul costs project: $1,075,186 in FESBC funding for Arrow to transport low value sawlogs to Kamloops for use in energy and pulp.
  • CJ4-047 Burn Permit project: $110,620 in FESBC funding to transport low value fibre from burned forest stands to the River City Fibre facility in Kamloops for use in power production.
  • Southern Interior Grinding Fibre Utilization Project: $1,859,069 in FESBC funding to ground and ship waste piles located throughout the Southern Interior to the River City Fibre facility in Kamloops then used for power production at the Kruger Pulp Mill.
  • Stuwix Resources JV-Bush Grind Program: $821,668 in FESBC funding to grind waste material in slash piles to shipment to the energy facility in Merritt.

These initiatives will utilize waste wood to produce green energy and sustainable products, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and plastics that have long dominated our everyday lives. Other projects currently funded by FESBC will reduce wildfire risks for communities.

“With challenges such as insect epidemics, devastating wildfires, and the need to conserve old growth and wildlife habitat, it is crucial to find innovative solutions,” said Kozuki. “The declining timber supply has amplified the importance of utilizing leftover forest fibre that would have otherwise gone to waste.”

Of the 42 new projects funded throughout the province, 24 projects have direct First Nations involvement, while eight have some First Nations involvement.

ADDITIONAL QUOTES:

Simpcw Resources Group Pulp Log Utilization project

Kevin Gayfer, RPF, Regional Manager, Arrow: “The funding from FESBC plays a pivotal role in supporting the utilization of forest fibre that would otherwise go to waste. This investment not only drives economic growth but also contributes to environmental sustainability through a net reduction of carbon emissions in the form of products derived from Kruger.

The collaboration between Kruger, Simpcw Resources Group, and Arrow exemplifies how partnerships can transform industries. Often funding is required to bridge the financial gap of learning new practices until efficiencies can be developed. FESBC and the Ministry of Forests have been excellent to work with on getting these projects off the ground.”

Thomas Hoffman, fibre manager, Kruger Pulp Mill: “Kruger is very pleased to see the Government of BC support the Forest Enhancement Society of BC. The funding from FESBC allows us to work with First Nations Communities and businesses to access and utilize fire-affected fibre to produce value-added products that are used locally and worldwide.”

Glen Foss, Forestry Manager, Simpcw Resources Group: “Beyond utilizing fibre, our project’s true impact lies in reducing the wildfire risk. We’re not just cleaning up post-harvest fuel; we’re better safeguarding our communities and natural landscapes.”

Southern Interior Biomass Incremental Haul Costs project

Greg Kilba, Arrow: “We are excited about how FESBC has allowed us to utilize biomass logs that historically went up in smoke. FESBC has provided the funding that has allowed us to experiment with logs that had never been used for creating pulp in the past. Using fire-affected logs for pulp production came about from previous FESBC projects. In cooperation with FESBC, our hope is to continue to find innovative ways to be able to utilize fibre that historically had very little to no value. Through this initiative we have been able to bring in logs from further away that can be used for hog and pulp production. Together, we are making a difference, creating jobs, and making positive changes!”

Stuwix Resources JV-Bush Grind Program

Ben Klassen, CEO, Valley Carriers Ltd.: “This funding from FESBC allows us to further reach to ensure the maximum utilization of this important resource in our local community. Partnering with Stuwix, we are able to provide five to seven additional local jobs and fulfill the value of maximizing their resource through non-traditional markets. Further, this will help us transform logging residuals into value-added products utilized by the agricultural, pulp, and clean energy industries in B.C.”

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

Five Newly Funded Forest Enhancement Projects in the Kootenay Boundary Region

Forestry Projects to Help Utilize Waste Wood or Mitigate Wildfire Risk

Kootenay & Boundary region, B.C. – At a press event in Kamloops, the executive director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), Steve Kozuki, announced 42 newly funded forest enhancement projects. These projects throughout the province of B.C. will either assist with the delivery of uneconomic forest fibre to pulp and pellet mills or green energy facilities or will help communities reduce their wildfire risk. Among these projects, five are located in the Kootenay Boundary region.

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC announces 42 new forest enhancement projects throughout the province of B.C. to utilize uneconomic wood fibre and reduce the risk of wildfires to communities; Photo Credit: Tiffany Christianson Photography.

“The funding provided by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a testament to the Government of British Columbia’s drive to foster environmental sustainability and community wildfire risk reduction. Their support of these transformative projects demonstrates their commitment to helping communities reduce their risk of catastrophic wildfire events and transforming waste wood into green energy and sustainable products. They are taking action on climate change while at the same time promoting job growth and community resiliency throughout our province,” said Kozuki.

These newly funded projects come as a result of the $50 million given to FESBC earlier this year by the Ministry of Forests to boost fibre supply by utilizing uneconomic fibre and reduce wildfire risk while also supporting workers and communities. 

“Our forests have endured some very difficult years of late. Devastating wildfires, pine beetle epidemics and the effects of climate change have stressed the environment more than ever before, with direct impacts felt by rural and First Nations communities,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “By using burned or damaged wood, projects around B.C. are providing the forest industry with fibre and are actively increasing our resilience to future wildfires.”

Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) will be identifing low value logs located outside the economic range of the pulp mill in Castlegar to ship them to the Celgar pulp mill or one of their three satellite yards;
Photo credits: Peter Flett, OIB.

The five projects in the Kootenay Boundary region are:

  • Incremental Pulp Wood Haul project: $1,009,340 in FESBC funding to transport low value pulp logs to the Skookumchuck Pulp mill instead of piling and burning them.
  • Debris Management Town of Golden: $159,400 in FESBC funding in a collaborative project with BC Hydro and the Town of Golden to remove debris from the Kinbasket reservoir to be ground and shipped to an energy facility in Golden.
  • Mt. Buchanan Fire Access Trail project: $127,000 in FESBC funding for the Kaslo and District Community Forest Society to manually thin forested areas adjacent to the community of Kaslo.
  • Harrop and Narrows linear fuel breaks 2023-25 project: $460,950 in FESBC funding for the Harrop Procter Community Co-operative to thin forests adjacent to roads, to pile the post-harvest debris, and to transport low value fibre to Castlegar.
  • Osoyoos Indian Band/Celgar Fibre Recovery Partnership: $1,948,118 in FESBC funding for Nk’Mip Forestry LLP to identify low value logs located outside of the economic range of the pulp mill in Castlegar to ship them to the Celgar pulp mill or one of their three satellite yards.

Many of these initiatives will utilize waste wood to produce green energy and sustainable products, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and plastics that have long dominated our everyday lives. Other newly funded projects in the Kootenay Boundary region will reduce wildfire risks for communities.

“With challenges such as insect epidemics, devastating wildfires, and the need to conserve old growth and wildlife habitat, it is crucial to find innovative solutions,” said Kozuki. “The declining timber supply has amplified the importance of utilizing leftover forest fibre that would have otherwise gone to waste.”

Of the 42 new projects funded throughout the province, 24 projects have direct First Nations involvement, while eight have some First Nations involvement.

ADDITIONAL QUOTE:

Osoyoos Indian Band/Celgar Fibre Recovery Partnership

Dan Macmaster, Osoyoos Indian Band: “Better fibre utilization from harvesting permits is very important to the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB). Our commitment to responsible forestry practices goes beyond limiting brush piles and reducing burning; it extends to ensuring economic viability for logging contractors who are struggling to feasibly haul the low-value pulp logs out of the forest to a chipping facility. Led by the OIB Forestry Department, our project incentivizes licensees to utilize all logging fibre by funding the costs of hauling it to pulp mills or yards. With funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, we can achieve our utilization objectives throughout the OIB’s traditional territory, resulting in better forest stewardship and a significant reduction in burning logging debris. This funding will provide the crucial financial support needed to process and transport pulp fibre, making a tangible impact on climate change and securing a sustainable future for our forests.”

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

Six Newly Funded Forest Enhancement Projects in the Cariboo Region

Forestry Projects to Help Utilize Waste Wood or Mitigate Wildfire Risk

Cariboo region, B.C. – At a press event in Kamloops, the executive director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), Steve Kozuki, announced 42 newly funded forest enhancement projects. These projects throughout the province of B.C. will either assist with the delivery of uneconomic forest fibre to pulp and pellet mills or green energy facilities or will help communities reduce their wildfire risk. Among these projects, six projects are located in the Cariboo region.

Steve Kozuki, Executive Director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC announces 42 new forest enhancement projects throughout the province of B.C. to utilize uneconomic wood fibre and reduce the risk of wildfires to communities; Photo Credit: Tiffany Christianson Photography.

“The funding provided by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a testament to the Government of British Columbia’s drive to foster environmental sustainability and community wildfire risk reduction. Their support of these transformative projects demonstrates their commitment to helping communities reduce their risk of catastrophic wildfire events and transforming waste wood into green energy and sustainable products. They are taking action on climate change while at the same time promoting job growth and community resiliency throughout our province,” said Kozuki.

These newly funded projects come as a result of the $50 million given to FESBC earlier this year by the Ministry of Forests to boost fibre supply by utilizing uneconomic fibre and reduce wildfire risk while also supporting workers and communities. 

“Our forests have endured some very difficult years of late. Devastating wildfires, pine beetle epidemics and the effects of climate change have stressed the environment more than ever before, with direct impacts felt by rural and First Nations communities,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “By using burned or damaged wood, projects around B.C. are providing the forest industry with fibre and are actively increasing our resilience to future wildfires.”

Photo: A wood fibre utilization project of the Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. near Williams Lake, B.C.
Photo credit: FESBC.

The six projects in the Cariboo region are:

  • West Chilcotin Forest Products Ltd. Fibre Utilization 2023-25 Project: $1,354,929 in FESBC funding to transport low value logs located outside of the current economic range to the pulp mill in Quesnel, rather than being burned. 
  • 2023 Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. Fibre Utilization Project: $3,218,240 in FESBC funding to grind wood waste material in slash piles for transport to pellet and energy facilities as well as transport low-value logs located outside of the current economic range to the pulp mill in Quesnel.
  • Pressy Lake CP394 Rehab/Fibre Utilization Project: $2,073,000 in FESBC funding, Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation will harvest and chip low value burned stands to be shipped to Kamloops. Ground material will be used for pellets.
  • Williams Lake First Nation-150 Mile House Wildfire Risk Reduction Project: $494,802 in FESBC funding to thin forests in 150 Mile House that are adjacent to houses.
  • Nazko First Nation-Wildfire Egress Routes: $676,297 in FESBC funding to thin forests adjacent to egress routes around the Nazko community.
  • Cariboo Pulp & Paper-Fibre Recovery and Utilization 2023-2025 Project: $2,500,000 in FESBC funding to transport low value pulp logs to the Cariboo pulp mill rather than being burned. 

Many of these initiatives will utilize waste wood to produce green energy and sustainable products, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and plastics that have long dominated our everyday lives. Other newly funded projects in the Cariboo will reduce wildfire risks for communities.

“With challenges such as insect epidemics, devastating wildfires, and the need to conserve old growth and wildlife habitat, it is crucial to find innovative solutions,” said Kozuki. “The declining timber supply has amplified the importance of utilizing leftover forest fibre that would have otherwise gone to waste.”

Of the 42 new projects funded throughout the province, 24 projects have direct First Nations involvement, while eight have some First Nations involvement.

ADDITIONAL QUOTE:

2023 Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. Fibre Utilization Project

Michael Tomlinson, RPF, PAg, Consus Management Ltd.: “Our rural communities rely heavily on the forest industry for its significant contributions to economic stimulus and socio-economic benefits.

As climate change progresses and significant natural disturbances become increasingly likely, these programs enable us to prioritize industry diversification by piloting innovative processes. The aim is to create value-added products from damaged forests, even long after they are traditionally considered economically salvageable.

Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd.(CCR), in partnership with FESBC, has successfully diversified its business practices to enhance the utilization of forest fibre within the traditional territory of its partnered community and beyond. Furthermore, CCR remains committed to supporting government initiatives aimed at reducing our carbon footprint and enhancing our forests for the benefit of future generations.”

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

Cougar Tracking in the Okanagan Part of $8M Conservation Funding

Kamloops, B.C. –The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation is proud to announce over $8 million in funding for 167 fish and wildlife conservation projects across B.C. this year, with nearly $1 million allocated to projects in the Thompson-Okanagan Natural Resource Region.

For over 40 years, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has provided grants to a large network of recipients who undertake conservation projects. With support from the HCTF, a wide range of nonprofit organizations, First Nations and Indigenous communities, Provincial ministries, and community groups implement projects that protect B.C.’s wildlife, freshwater fish, and their habitats. Since 1981, the HCTF has funded over 3,550 projects representing an investment of over $215 million for conservation in B.C.

Among this year’s projects in the Okanagan is a multi-year cougar study; by fitting GPS collars on forty cougars, the project leaders will better understand their predation rates of deer and other species and their movement behaviour. The project will be “B.C.’s most comprehensive cougar study to date, with a focus on the predation behaviour, habitat use, and impacts of harvest on cougars,” says project leader Adam Ford. “Cougars are one of the most important predators in B.C. for mule deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and caribou. In spite of their high profile in B.C., we have very little information on the effects of cougar predation on prey distribution and survival, and the effects of human (e.g. road density, forestry) and natural (e.g. fire) landscape change on cougar habitat use.”

The project is being supported by the HCTF and the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) with $70,845 in co-funding this year. According to FESBC’s executive director Steve Kozuki, “HCTF has some of the best expertise in wildlife biology and habitat management. That’s why FESBC is so pleased to collaborate with HCTF. Together we have improved wildlife habitat on numerous successful projects all around British Columbia. And we will continue to endeavour to assist wildlife to thrive and flourish for generations to come.”

HCTF CEO Dan Buffett is proud to work with FESBC in this partnership noting, “Through this collaboration, we can fund more projects such as this investment in better understanding cougars in a changing landscape, and enable our project partners to deliver more conservation work that benefits wildlife, fish, and their habitats.”

Other new HCTF-funded projects taking place in the Okanagan include:

  • $40,400 to restore the riparian Black Cottonwood forests of the Kettle River Watershed, considered one of the rarest ecosystems in the province (with FESBC funding).
  • $83,918 to evaluate how large-scale wildfires affect the distribution of owl species in the Thompson-Okanagan region (with FESBC funding).
  • $78,940 for the re-naturalization of nluxʷluxʷɬcwix (Lower Trout Creek).
  • $108,271 to implement the Lower Mission Creek conservation and restoration plan.

Each project funded by HCTF goes through a multi-level, objective and technical review process prior to the 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.

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

Recognizing the Outstanding Contributions of an FESBC Director

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is recognizing Brian Banfill, a remarkable individual whose term on the FESBC Board of Directors is coming to an end. We would like to take a moment to express our most sincere gratitude for Brian’s invaluable contributions and unwavering commitment to advancing the vital work of FESBC. With over 30 years of distinguished forest-sector experience, he has played an instrumental role in shaping the organization’s vision and fostering sustainable forest management practices throughout British Columbia.

As one of the early board members, Brian joined the board in 2017, shortly after FESBC’s inception in February 2016. He has since been a devoted member, serving on the board until June 2023. 

Board Chair Dave Peterson shared that, “Brian’s tenure on the FESBC Board of Directors has been nothing short of exceptional. His six years of dedicated service to the public, including two consecutive three-year terms, have had a profound impact on our organization’s success.”

A visionary presence since FESBC’s inception, Brian Banfill has completed his maximum term as a Director on the Board, leaving a lasting impact on forest enhancement practices in British Columbia.

Brian’s rich experience and expertise have thoughtfully influenced the organization’s direction, policies, and funding decisions. His deep understanding of forestry coupled with his financial acumen have proven invaluable in optimizing resource allocation and driving positive change within British Columbia’s forestry sector.

“Brian’s senior-level financial expertise gained from leading forest sector firms has been a tremendous asset to FESBC. His contributions as the FESBC Chair of the Finance Committee for six years have greatly influenced our financial strategies and systems, ensuring the responsible allocation of resources for the enhancement of British Columbia’s forests,” added Peterson.

During his tenure, Brian Banfill played an instrumental role in shaping FESBC’s programs and initiatives, contributing to the successful implementation of projects focused on wildfire risk reduction, reforestation, and improving ecosystem resilience. His unwavering commitment to sustainable forest management has left an indelible mark on the organization, inspiring future generations to preserve and protect British Columbia’s precious forest resources.

FESBC’s Executive Director, Steve Kozuki, remarked, “While Brian’s time on the board is coming to a close, his legacy of strong accounting, investment, risk management, and financial systems will endure. FESBC will continue to benefit from the foundation he has helped build, enabling us to further our mission of enhancing forest resilience to wildfires and climate change. Brian’s impact will be felt for years to come, and I would like to extend my appreciation for his invaluable contributions to our Society and the forest sector as a whole.”

Thank you, Brian, for your remarkable service. Your vision, expertise, and unwavering commitment have shaped FESBC’s journey and will continue to inspire its ongoing mission.

Lower Nicola Indian Band Creating Community Safety through Partnerships

MERRITT, B.C.— With the support of close to $250,000 in funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), the Lower Nicola Indian Band (LNIB) removed dangerous trees and reduced wildfire risk in two areas close to the city of Merritt, BC.

The two locations border the edge of both Merritt and the Lower Nicola Indian Band Reserve Lands. Lindley Creek is located south of the Nicola River, south of Lower Nicola; and Fox Farm is located on the north side of the Coquihalla highway just east of Merritt on Fox Farm Road.

Crews from Shulus Forest Enterprises Inc., a company owned 100 per cent by the LNIB, did all the manual treatments of these sites including tree pruning, spacing, falling, bucking, piling, and burning, covering about 20 hectares at Lindley Creek and 11 hectares at Fox Farm.

Bruce Morrow, RPF, Bruce Morrow Forest Consulting Ltd., who submitted the application for funding to FESBC on behalf of LNIB, noted that the project was important because forest fuel treatments will make the area safer for wildfire suppression crews accessing the area in the event of a wildfire.

“Spacing of trees to reduce crown closure, pruning to remove ladder fuels to reduce the risk of crown fires, and reducing the amount and continuity of ground fuels will all contribute to reducing wildfire risk, and allow wildfire crews to respond faster,” said Morrow.

The Fox Farm community is located halfway up a steep hillside. The forested area below has been subject to wildfire suppression for over 60 years, resulting in a significant accumulation of dead and downed fuels.

“About 40 per cent of the trees were dead standing or lying on the ground ready to burn, creating a high fire hazard for a one-way in, one-way out community,” said Morrow. “We created a situation where hopefully a fire in the area will now move along the ground instead of through the crown. This will make it easier to fight and reduce the risk of structure loss from ember spotting onto the nearby houses from a crown fire.” 

Don Gossoo, General Manager, Lower Nicola Indian Band Development Corporation (LNIBDC) said the crews employed an average of six people from the community who are trained in the use of hand tools for this type of forestry work.

“The work at the Fox Farm area was done downslope of several large properties adjacent to the Coquihalla Hwy. where someone could toss out a lit cigarette etc. The residents there were happy to see the work done,” said Gossoo.

“Lindley Creek is a corridor from the forest down to the valley where there are more houses,” noted Morrow. “The local winds and topography create a funnel in the Lindley Creek drainage, which can push wildfires downslope toward the homes at the bottom of the treatment area.”

Similar work being done in the area on reserve land and adjacent Crown land is being funded through the Community Resiliency Investment Program and the Cascades Resource District. Morrow noted the project is a great example of collaboration and cooperation in recognizing an issue and working together to protect the community.

“We are leaving behind a much happier forest ecosystem. Dry belt trees compete for moisture and nutrients and the trees there were competing for these and weakening each other. The trees left behind are healthier and more resilient to drought, pests, and weather because there’s less competition.”

Gossoo described it as taking a stagnant coniferous jungle and turning it into parkland, adding nutrients, sunlight, and moisture to the stand.

“This type of project provides socioeconomic benefits to the community through employment opportunities, and an environmental benefit in improving overall forest health.”

Stu Jackson, Chief of the Lower Nicola Indian Band said projects like this one have multiple benefits to the community.

“They provide employment opportunities, improve safety, and help support healthy forests. We look forward to more partnership opportunities like this which enhance communities overall.”

Gord Pratt, FESBC Operations Manager, highlighted the importance of completing this work in support of addressing high-risk areas identified by Merritt’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan and the BC Wildfire Service.

“This is a multi-benefit proposal to the community, the forest, and the area as a whole,” said Pratt. “This project aligns with FESBC purposes, provides employment, and is exactly what we want to support in terms of rural communities working to implement wildfire risk reduction projects.”

The project also had the full support of the local Resource District and BC Wildfire Service. FESBC would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests.

For an interview with FESBC contact: 

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

For an interview with the Lower Nicola Indian Band Development Corporation contact:  Don Gossoo, General Manager | don.gossoo@lnibdc.com | 250.315.9277