The B.C. government is investing over $5 million to help Community Forest Agreement holders complete wildfire risk reduction projects as part of the Province’s economic recovery plan to create jobs and help communities deal with the impacts of COVID-19.
“It’s a priority for our government to do everything we can to keep people safe from the threat of wildfires,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “This money will help recipients reduce those risks and also support local employment opportunities.”
The BC Community Forest Association will distribute more than $5 million to 15 holders of community forest agreements around B.C. to fund 44 Crown Land Wildfire Risk Reduction (CLWRR) projects. The CLWRR funding stream is part of the Community Resiliency Investment program administered by the BC Wildfire Service. It supports wildfire risk reduction treatments on provincial Crown land near communities, around critical infrastructure and in areas facing a higher wildfire risk.
StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan provides employment and economic opportunities to support a wide range of projects throughout the province. The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is responsible for economic recovery programs worth more than $100 million. This investment in wildfire risk reduction in community forests is one component of that overall recovery strategy.
“Our StrongerBC plan is designed to help people, communities and businesses in every corner of the province get back on track,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “This community forests program has multiple benefits, such as creating jobs, protecting Crown timberland and making communities safer from the threat of wildfires.”
Community forest agreement holders are represented by the BC Community Forest Association and are important partners in managing forested land near communities. They play a key role in fuel management treatments, advocate for their communities, and provide expertise and local knowledge to successfully implement fuel management projects.
Roly Russell, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development –
“Community forests make significant contributions to diversifying rural economies across the province. These 44 projects help support resiliency and autonomy in our rural communities, while simultaneously helping protect us from the risks of future wildfires.”
Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness –
“This is a wonderful example of how cross-government efforts can help reduce wildfire risk and make our communities safer. This funding supports emergency preparedness, and recognizes that mitigation projects are key to improving the resilience of people across British Columbia in the event of disasters, including wildfires.”
Jennifer Gunter, executive director of the BC Community Forest Association (BCCFA) –
“Community forests are leaders in wildfire risk reduction. This new partnership between the BCCFA and the BC Wildfire Service will further their efforts to make our forests and communities more resilient.”
StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/
Community Resiliency Investment program: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status/prevention/funding-for-wildfire-prevention/crip
BC Community Forest Association: https://bccfa.ca/
A backgrounder follows.