Wildfire Risk Has Been Reduced to Protect a Kootenay “Jewel”

Greenwood, B.C. – a popular recreational area 20 minutes north of Greenwood is now safer for people thanks to a forestry initiative. A significant amount of burnable wood was removed, while also protecting some old growth trees, providing employment, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A 32-hectare area in the West Boundary Community Forest (WBCF) where the project work was done is situated by popular Jewel Lake. Thanks to a grant from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) for $254,100, the project reduced amounts of flammable wood, which increased safety for residents and visitors in the event of a fire.

“This project has been very collaborative from the start,” said Ross Elliot, Director on the Board of the WBCF. “We have consulted with our First Nations partners from the Osoyoos Indian Band who did initial field visits and supplied crews to do some of the hand treatments. We have connected with leaders from the Jewel Lake Environmental Protection Society, BC Parks, and Vaagen Fibre Canada. This project has shown how when we engage various groups, we get some of the best ideas coming forward in how to work together. We are appreciative of FESBC for the grant which got this project going in the first place.”

The FESBC grant enabled wildfire risk reduction and, at the same time, assisted in using waste wood which otherwise would have been piled and burned. The outcome for locals and tourists alike is the opportunity to not only enjoy interpretive hiking trails, but also the added comfort knowing emergency services have increased access to the area.

“With the FESBC funding for this work, we are able to better protect area homes and recreational infrastructure from a catastrophic wildfire while maintaining the aesthetics across the landscape.”

Dan Macmaster, RPF, Forest Manager, West Boundary Community Forest

“We’ve gone through a challenging summer with wildfires in many parts of the province and close to home here in the Kootenays,” said Dan Macmaster, RPF, Forest Manager of the West Boundary Community Forest. “With the FESBC funding for this work, we are able to better protect area homes and recreational infrastructure from a catastrophic wildfire while maintaining the aesthetics across the landscape. The onerous task of removing fuels while preserving old growth trees would not have been possible without FESBC funding.”

Pleased with the level of collaboration and work that has been accomplished to date is Gord Pratt, RPF, Operations Manager, FESBC.

“The accumulation of flammable wood in the forest resulted in the Jewel Lake area being classified as a fire-susceptible-ecosystem. The build-up of fibre was due in part to decades of fire suppression activities in the area,” said Pratt. “The initial work to engage community stakeholders created the local support and understanding of the scope of work required to better protect communities from wildfires. The project has shown that wildfire risk reduction work coupled with community engagement can achieve positive win-win environmental and social benefits.”

The West Boundary Community Forest employs 100% of its contractors from rural communities, creating revenue for the local economy. Fibre removed from the project site will be hauled to the Midway Chipper yard with sawlogs sold to the local mills of Vaagen Fibre Canada and Interfor. Fibre that cannot be safely transported will be scattered on site at low density and logging debris unable to be hauled or spread will be put in a burn pile and disposed of this fall.

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

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

Bioenergy Insight Magazine: Forest sector helps BC take action on climate change

Steve Kozuki, executive director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, explains how FESBC is supporting the utilization of forest residual fibre in the September / October 2021 edition of Bioenergy Insight magazine.

Atlantic Power – Utilizing Residual Fibre

Since 2010, Bioenergy Insight “has swiftly built up a reputation for delivering quality news, analysis, market information and technical articles relating to the biomass, biogas and biopower industries. Published six times a year to coincide with leading industry events, it provides ideas and insights for its audience of bioenergy professionals. Within each issue you can expect to find up-to-date industry news, the most recent technical developments, exclusive interviews with plant operators, an in-depth analysis of a particular region, and a whole host of feature-length technical articles.”

Bioenergy insight has close relationships with industry associations, such as the European Biomass Association, the US Pellet Fuels Institute, the Renewable Energy Association and the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association and is delivered to over 18,000 readers.

To become a member and receive the Bioenergy Insight magazine, visit: New Member | Bioenergy Insight Magazine (bioenergy-news.com)

Read the full Bioenergy Insight – FESBC article, here:

Kamloops This Week – 2021 National Forest Week Publication Features FESBC Projects

Kamloops This Week has several stories in their 2021 National Forest Week publication featuring FESBC projects to help celebrate National Forestry Week.

The FESBC stories include:

  • Planting Trees is good for the environment (featuring FESBC’s Executive Director, Steve Kozuki on page 3)
  • Wells Gray Community Forest Enhancement Project (Page 4)
  • Slashing Wood Waste and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Nicola Valley (Page 8)
  • An Update of Forest Enhancement Accomplishments (Page 10)

View the publication here: 2021 National Forest Week publication

For more information and media enquiries, please contact:

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

B.C. Forestry Workers are Climate Change Heroes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Truck Logger Magazine – Fibre Utilization Win-Win

The latest issue of Truck Logger Magazine features a story on partnerships created to utilize fibre on the North Coast of B.C. The Forest Enhancement Society of BC provided some of the funding for this project which created much needed employment as well as utilizing fibre which otherwise may have been burnt.

The full story, Working Together for Win-Win Fibre Solutions by Pam Agnew, is available, here:

Truck Logger BC Summer 2021 (mydigitalpublication.com)

For media enquiries to hear more about fibre utilization in BC, contact:

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

Bridging the gap: Log hauler transitions to grinding residual fibre – Canadian Forest Industries Magazine

Merritt, B.C.-based Valley Carriers Ltd. is profiled in the Canadian Forest Industries Magazine. The article showcases how Valley Carriers was able to pivot their business to take advantage of new opportunities, thanks in part to funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC.

Here is an excerpt:

“We always had that value-added piece of, ‘What can we do with this fibre to turn it into a product that people can use?’”

Ben Klassen, CEO, Valley Carriers Ltd.

So, when the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) put out a call for proposals in the fall of 2020, Klassen saw an opportunity to bring economic and environmental benefits to the community…FESBC approved a grant of $416,029 to Valley Carriers for this project, which began in December 2020. 

Canadian Forest Industries Magazine

To read the full story, visit: Bridging the gap: Log hauler transitions to grinding residual fibre – Wood Business

For Media Enquiries:

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

Valley Carriers – an FESBC funding recipient – is featured in the Canadian Forest Industries Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View the 2021 FESBC Summer Accomplishments Update.

For information or an interview regarding these projects, contact:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don Rosen of Canfor Energy North agrees.

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

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

Don Rosen, Canfor Energy North

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

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

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

Chris Hayward, Logging Manager, Duz Cho Logging

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

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

For information or an interview regarding this project, contact:

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

Project Partners