The Province is recognizing Big Bull Enterprises for innovation and excellence in woodlot management, Mike Morris, MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie announced on behalf of Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson yesterday at the Federation of BC Woodlot Associations' annual general meeting in Prince George.
Big Bull Enterprises is being recognized for their leadership and guidance in managing the mountain pine beetle epidemic. They are receiving a total of $5,000 – $2,500 each for the provincial Minister’s Award for Innovation and Excellence in Woodlot Management and the north area Minister’s Award for Innovation and Excellence in Woodlot Management.
Owners Brian Harding and Darcy Nygaard prepared their Prince George-area woodlot for harvesting prior to the arrival of the mountain pine beetle, including road-building and bridge replacement. Their efforts created access to the full woodlot and enabled them to remove almost all of the affected pine as green attack, helping reduce the spread of the beetle in the area.
Because of the epidemic, normal sources for purchasing seedlings to replant the harvested area had limited inventory. Big Bull took the initiative to pick their own seed – enough to grow 300,000 seedlings – and, within three months of harvest of the last attacked pine, every opening created by mountain pine beetle salvage operations in their woodlot had been planted.
Big Bull Enterprises’ post-beetle harvesting strategies, including using partial cutting and selective harvesting, have benefitted local sawmills and communities in the Prince George area.
In summer 2015, preliminary reconnaissance of the openings created by the mountain pine beetle on their woodlot showed that all areas are stocked and 95% have reached free to grow status.
The awards are funded by the Province of British Columbia and administered by the Federation of BC Woodlot Associations. Each year, the awards recognize a woodlot licensee representing each of the coast, south and north areas, along with an overall top performer. Award winners are nominated through official submissions from their fellow woodlot operators.
Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations –
“Provincewide, woodlots generate $200 million in economic activity every year, with much of it supporting local economies. Woodlots also provide opportunity for local input into the type of forest stewardship shown by Brian Harding and Darcy Nygaard and Big Bull Enterprises. To the extent possible, the actions they undertook on their woodlot helped prevent further spread of the mountain pine beetle in the Prince George area and allowed for speedy forest regeneration.”
Mike Morris, MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie –
“Brian and Darcy really showed foresight in preparing their woodlot for the mountain pine beetle infestation before it even arrived. They built roads and replaced bridges without any guarantee that they would recover their costs. These bold decisions helped them address mountain pine beetle affected trees on their woodlot while still in green attack, reducing the impact in neighbouring Prince George areas. Their operation, Big Bull Enterprises, fully deserves this award.”
Mark Clark, president, Federation of BC Woodlot Associations –
“Innovation is part of the name of the minister’s award being given to Big Bull Enterprises – and it couldn’t be more fitting. Faced with a possible shortage of seedlings to purchase, Brian and Darcy picked enough of their own seed for 300,000 seedlings. Areas of their woodlot affected by mountain pine beetle harvesting operations have now been replanted, with 95% of those areas at free to grow. It’s an incredible accomplishment and I offer them my congratulations.”
- Woodlot licences are small, area-based tenures managed by individuals, groups or First Nations.
- British Columbia has over 860 active woodlots. Each woodlot generates jobs in planning, harvesting, road construction and maintenance, reforestation, silviculture and small-scale timber processing.
- Woodlots generate $200 million of economic activity for the province every year.
B.C. Woodlot Licence program: www.for.gov.bc.ca/hth/timber-tenures/woodlots/index.htm
Federation of B.C. Woodlot Associations: http://www.woodlot.bc.ca