UBC, WBCF, OIB collab for innovative forest resilience project
January 15, 2024 By UBC Forestry
The University of British Columbia’s (UBC) masters of sustainable forest management (MSFM) program is set embark on a collaborative project with the West Boundary Community Forest (WBCF) and Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB).
Led by Ken Byrne, MSFM lecturer and co-ordinator, 19 students will visit the Kootenay Boundary region from Jan. 22-26 to undertake a hands-on project addressing emerging resiliency issues such as planning the forested landscape to manage for old growth, fire, and riparian.
The MSFM program in the faculty of forestry’s department of forest resources management at UBC is a course-based masters designed to provide students the opportunity to pursue their registered professional forester designation in Canada or their certified forester designation in the United States.
“The program is accredited by both the Canadian Forestry Accreditation Board and the Society of American Foresters and is the only program recognized in both Canada and the United States,” explained Byrne.
As graduates of the MSFM program, Dan Macmaster, forestry manager with the OIB and Peter Flett, head of operations at Nk’Mip Forestry and WBCF, understand the importance of engaging with students through regular class visits and field tours, helping them acquire practical skills and a deeper understanding of the industry.
“Education is a key pillar for our community forest,” noted Macmaster. “We look at our forest as a great training ground for students from kindergarten to the graduate level. When we can form these kind of partnerships, it’s a win-win situation. We look forward to welcoming these UBC students and encourage our community to engage with them when they see them around the community.
During their visit, students will design and model long range landscape level plans and scenarios centered around themes related to old growth retention, recruitment, old growth management areas, as well as fire and riparian management.
“This collaboration signifies a mutually beneficial partnership between UBC and the West Boundary Community Forest and Nk’Mip Forestry of the Osoyoos Indian Band where students gain practical experience, and our partners receive valuable scenarios for potential implementation on their land base,” said Byrne.
The plans will assess the sensitivity of various forestry values – including biodiversity, wildlife, First Nations’ knowledge and priorities, and visual quality -to the scenarios that are tested and modelled using advanced forest planning software.
Working directly with forest professionals, Indigenous people, and community stakeholders in the development of these plans, Byrne added that students should acquire a realistic perspective as well as valuable practical experience.
This project represents a significant step forward in integrating academic expertise with community-driven forestry solutions, ensuring students gain a deeper understanding of forestry practices and incorporate community values into plan development.
Print this page