Work is underway to enhance forest resilience to protect against the impacts of wildfire and climate change in the Cariboo Region.
Through a provincial investment of $25 million, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) has funded 22 new community projects, including four in the Cariboo Region. This includes work to reduce wildfire risk, while enhancing wildlife habitat, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from slash pile burning, and support forest recreation and ecological resiliency.
“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that protect people from wildfire risks and reduce emissions from slash pile burning,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “Along with the historic investments in Budget 2022 to transform the BC Wildfire Service into a year-round service and double funding for proactive wildfire prevention, these new projects funded by FESBC will help build communities that are safer and more resilient to climate change.”
Wildfire-mitigation projects funded in the Cariboo Region include:
- Clinton District Community Forest of BC Ltd., $450,870 – Treatment of 300-metre-wide fuel break adjacent to the transmission line west of Clinton. Low-grade fibre will also be recovered.
- Elhdaqox Developments Ltd., $500,000 – Wildfire risk reduction planning and treatments to reduce the wildfire risk to the Yunesit’in Community and rehabilitate burned and beetle-affected stands that will create local employment opportunities.
- Eniyud Community Forest Ltd., $1,500,000 – Fuel management treatments to reduce the wildfire risk from forests affected by mountain pine beetle near Horn Lake and along Tatlayoko Lake, which is a vital main access/egress route for the local residences.
- The City of Quesnel, $529,000 – Prescriptions and treatments will be conducted on specific sites identified for wildfire risk reduction in the Community Wildfire Protection Plan. Treatments will include thinning, pruning and debris cleanup while promoting fibre removal and utilization
“FESBC is thrilled that communities in the Cariboo will be able to continue this important work to reduce their wildfire risk to better protect their residents and important infrastructure,” said Steve Kozuki, executive director, FESBC. “These newly funded projects take a proactive approach to reduce the risks of wildfire and many will also improve wildlife habitat, increase the health of forests so they are more resilient to climate change and use the left-over wood waste to make green energy. Achieving multiple objectives is good forest management and good value for money.”
Work has already begun and all projects are expected to be complete by March 2024. To date, approved funding from the FESBC 2022-23 Funding Program totals $14 million. Additional applications through the FESBC portal are welcome and will be accepted until the $25-million fund has been allocated.
Since 2016, FESBC has supported more than 260 projects throughout B.C. Sixty-three of these projects have been led by First Nations and another 23 have significant First Nations’ involvement. FESBC projects have reduced wildfire risk in 120 communities and have created more than 2,100 full-time jobs.
“The City of Quesnel is extremely grateful to the Forest Enhancement Society of BC for its sustained support of our wildfire risk reduction efforts in Quesnel and surrounding area,” said Erin Robinson, forestry initiatives manager, City of Quesnel. “This funding will allow us to continue our work of improving the health of forest stands that are a threat to our community, by reducing the risk to the people and their properties and keeping infrastructure safer during wildfire events. Access to FESBC funds is critical for us to continue our grassroots wildfire risk reduction projects and we look forward to working with FESBC for many years to come.”
As part of the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, the Province will work toward near elimination of slash pile burning by 2030 and will divert materials away from slash piles and into bioproduct development. This will reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, while creating new opportunities in British Columbia’s expanding forest bioeconomy.
The $25 million provided to FESBC is a component of $359 million announced in Budget 2022 to protect British Columbians from wildfires, including $145 million to strengthen the BC Wildfire Service and Emergency Management BC.
“Through provincial investments, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC has funded critical projects to help reduce wildfire risk and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Doug Routley, Parliamentary Secretary for Forests. “Diverting materials away from slash piles not only reduces fire risk but creates new opportunities in our province’s forest economy. These projects accomplish multiple objectives to help communities be more resilient to climate change.”
FESBC is a Crown agency established in 2016 to advance the environmental and resource stewardship of the province’s forests by preventing wildfires and mitigating wildfire impacts, improving damaged or low-value forests, improving wildlife habitat, supporting the use of fibre from damaged or low-value forests, and treating forests to improve the management of greenhouse gases.
Forest Enhancement Society of BC: https://www.fesbc.ca/
To view funded projects, visit: