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Nazko First Nation, Pacific BioEnergy plant 1.9M trees in 2021


September 15, 2021
By Pacific BioEnergy

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Photo courtesy Forests Ontario.

Nazbec is celebrating the planting of nearly 2 million trees this summer. Nazbec is a joint venture between the Nazko First Nation and Pacific BioEnergy Corp (PacBio).

Nazko and PacBio teamed up to plant 1,938,840 seedlings in a just a couple of months. The planting was focused in two regions. The first priority was to replant Nazko reserve and private lands that were burned in the 2017 wildfires that swept across many areas in B.C. 535,590 seedlings were planted in areas that surround the Nazko community west of Quesnel. Fir and Pine seedlings were planted with minimal brushing and spaced off natural regrowth (aspen and conifer species) in the area. These seedlings will help regenerate the forest, with a mixed stand of species, much faster than would occur with natural reforestation due to the fire impacts from 2017.

Nazko Chief Leah Stump says, “We welcomed the planting crews to our territory and our reserves. Our members are excited to know that over a half-million new trees have been planted to help restore our forests and our environment. Our forests and territory have supported our First Nation for thousands of years. These new seedlings will leave a legacy for our children, grand-children, and future generations. This is about the renewal of our forests with a reconnection of our members to the land and to celebrate our partnership with PacBio through our joint-venture company Nazbec.”

The second part of the Nazbec tree planting program focused on private lands in the Prince George area. 1,403,250 seedlings were planted in 18 locations that were good candidates for reforestation. Some mechanical site preparation was conducted to successfully plant the Fir and Pine seedlings. These new seedlings will help the environment by capturing carbon as the trees grow and provide shelter/habitat for wildlife such as moose and other species.

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PacBio forest operations supervisor Conor O’Donnell added, “The private landowners were very enthusiastic about the opportunity to reforest in the Prince George region. This is another great example of PacBio and First Nations working together to improve the sustainability of our local environment. This project provides long term benefits to our communities and the environment.”

PacBio CEO John Stirling adds, “All of us at PacBio were excited to work with our partner, the Nazko First Nation, to plant nearly two million new seedlings this year through our Nazbec joint venture. Renewing the forests around Nazko that were burned in the devastating wildfires of 2017 is a very positive step as the new trees will help the forests recover much faster and provide a resource that Nazko can manage over the coming generations. This program was well balanced with tree planting near Quesnel and in Prince George. These are both important communities for us and I want to thank the team for the good results and for keeping the planting crews safe through Covid19 challenges. We also thank the Nazko First Nation for our partnership.”

PacBio’s woodlands manager Joe Kenny states, “It has been a busy and productive year for our tree planting programs in 2021. In addition to the seedlings planted through Nazbec, PacBio also planted 853,535 seedlings in the Bobtail fire area. We are very proud to have planted a total of 2,792,375 seedlings this year. PacBio planted 1.1 million seedlings last year in the Bobtail area, so we are approaching a total of almost four million seedlings in the past two years. This accomplishment speaks strongly to PacBio’s commitment to sustainability and supporting the environmental health of the communities in which we work.”

PacBio is pleased with the results of both these planting programs in 2021 and proud to be one of the only wood pellet companies in Canada that carries out a reforestation program each summer as part of its operations.