B.C. unveils 42 projects to boost forest sustainability, reduce wildfire risk
Funding provided by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC
September 14, 2023 By FESBC
At a press event at River City Fibre in Kamloops, the executive director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), Steve Kozuki, announced 42 newly funded forest enhancement projects. These projects throughout the province of B.C. will either assist with the delivery of uneconomic forest fibre to pulp and pellet mills or green energy facilities or will help communities reduce their wildfire risk.
“The funding provided by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a testament to the Government of British Columbia’s drive to foster environmental sustainability and community wildfire risk reduction. Their support of these transformative projects demonstrates their commitment to helping communities reduce their risk of catastrophic wildfire events and transforming waste wood into green energy and sustainable products. They are taking action on climate change while at the same time promoting job growth and community resiliency throughout our province,” said Kozuki.
These newly funded projects come as a result of the $50 million given to FESBC earlier this year by the Ministry of Forests to boost fibre supply by utilizing uneconomic fibre and reduce wildfire risk while also supporting workers and communities.
“Our forests have endured some very difficult years of late. Devastating wildfires, pine beetle epidemics and the effects of climate change have stressed the environment more than ever before, with direct impacts felt by rural and First Nations communities,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “By using burned or damaged wood, projects around B.C. are providing the forest industry with fibre and are actively increasing our resilience to future wildfires.”
As a part of one project, led by Simpcw Resources Group, funding will enable low-quality logs from outside of the current economic range of Simpcw Resources Group’s operations to Arrow and Kruger, instead of being piled and burned.
Kevin Gayfer, RPF, Regional Manager, Arrow noted that “The funding from FESBC plays a pivotal role in supporting the utilization of forest fibre that would otherwise go to waste. This investment not only drives economic growth but also contributes to environmental sustainability through a net reduction of carbon emissions in the form of products derived from Kruger.”
The forest sector encompasses a diverse array of partners including First Nations, the pulp sector, the Provincial government, community forests, wood lots, loggers, silviculture companies, technology companies, and many, many others. Collaboration among these partners is crucial for success. By working together, a sustainable and prosperous future for our forests, workers, and communities can be achieved.
The broader collection of projects funded by FESBC demonstrates the collective efforts being taken to revolutionize the relationship with the forest. These initiatives will utilize waste wood to produce green energy and sustainable products, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and plastics that have long dominated our everyday lives.
“With challenges such as insect epidemics, devastating wildfires, and the need to conserve old growth and wildlife habitat, it is crucial to find innovative solutions,” said Kozuki. “The declining timber supply has amplified the importance of utilizing leftover forest fibre that would have otherwise gone to waste.”
Of the 42 new projects funded throughout the province, 24 projects have direct First Nations involvement, while eight have some First Nations involvement.
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