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West Kootenay MLAs welcome grants to protect community forests from wildfires

By Contributor
April 13th, 2021

In a media release, Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson and Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy said they are welcoming grants for wildfire protection and mitigation to protect people and critical infrastructure near community forests.

“Across the Kootenays, one of the biggest draws is that we get to live next to nature,” said MLA Anderson. “Unfortunately, that can mean our homes and communities are at greater wildfire risk. By supporting these projects, we are making sure people will be protected by a community-led response in the case of a wildfire.”

Projects in the Southeast Fire Centre include:

  • $204,620 to Creston Valley Forest Corporation
  • $184,070 to Harrop-Procter Community Co-operative
  • $260,505 to Kaslo and District Community Forest Society
  • $25,000 to Nakusp and Area Community Forest
  • $148,500 to Slocan Integral Forestry Cooperative

“People in the Kootenays have been living with the reality of wildfires for a long time,” said MLA Conroy.

“These projects will help keep people and local infrastructure safe if a fire does happen, and support local employment in a community-owned and operated forest.”

These local projects are part of the approximately $5 million announced by the province to 15 holders of Community Forest Agreements around B.C. to fund 44 Crown Land Wildfire Risk Reduction 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.

Community Forest Agreement holders are important partners in managing forested land near communities in the Kootenays. 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.

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. 

Learn More: 

Province provides $5 million to reduce wildfire risks in community forests 

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