The Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. is providing nearly $3.4 million to support a range of projects to improve unproductive forests or forests that have been damaged by wildfires or pests.
Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, announced the new funding at the BC Council of Forest Industries convention in Vancouver.
“Our government is committed to ensuring that our forests remain healthy and that British Columbians and their communities benefit from a strong and resilient forestry sector,” said Donaldson. “Projects funded by the society have generated over $230 million in economic activity and supported 1,400 jobs in B.C.”
The individual grants range from $150,000 to $1 million and cover eight different projects in British Columbia (see backgrounder for details about the work that will be done). They will bring damaged forests back into production to contribute to the mid-term timber supply and support future employment. The successful projects were selected from 20 applications received during the society’s fifth intake of proposals.
Damaged stands have generally been impacted by wildfire, forest pests or other factors such as wind, snow or ice. Low-value stands generally contain lower volumes of wood and lower-grade fibre. However, the growth and value of underperforming stands can be improved through activities such as spacing, pruning and fertilization.
Additional funding applications related to other aspects of forest enhancement are currently being evaluated by the society.
Projects funded by the society are helping minimize wildfire risks, enhance wildlife habitat, improve low-value and damaged forests, re-plant damaged forests and make fibre for green energy production. Most of these projects also result in carbon benefits and contribute to climate change mitigation.
Wayne Clogg, board chair, Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. —
“These eight projects were chosen because they all met criteria outlined in the society’s objectives and they aligned with the ministry’s land manager priorities for forestry projects. Wildlife habitat is being enhanced to benefit vulnerable species, and more strategic utilization of our forest fibre means we are helping British Columbia and Canada achieve positive climate benefits.”
Kim Haworth, general manager, Terrace Community Forest —
“The Terrace Community Forest applied for this funding to offset some of the harvesting costs and allow us to provide more volume to the local sawmill — creating local jobs while improving wildlife habitat across the landscape. The lower-grade fibre is also expected to be used to produce wood pellets at the local sawmill, creating more local jobs and utilizing what historically has been treated as wood waste.”
- The Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia, a Crown agency, was established in 2016 to advance the environmental and resource stewardship of the province’s forests by:
- preventing and mitigating the impact of wildfires;
- improving damaged or low-value forests;
- improving habitat for wildlife;
- supporting the use of fibre from damaged and low-value forests; and
- treating forests to improve the management of greenhouse gases.
- As of April 2019, the B.C. government has invested $235 million in the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C., with about $177 million allocated to date for wildfire risk reduction, reforestation, forest rehabilitation, wildlife habitat restoration and raising awareness of the FireSmart program.
- The Forest Carbon Initiative is funded in part through the federal government’s Low Carbon Economy Fund. This initiative assists with B.C. government priorities, such as:
- revitalizing the forest sector;
- partnering with First Nations;
- supporting the Province’s CleanBC commitment to transition to a low-carbon economy; and
- providing economic benefits for rural communities.
More information about the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. is available online: http://www.fesbc.ca
A backgrounder follows.