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Kootenay Boundary forestry projects to help utilize waste wood or mitigate wildfire risk

Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
By Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
September 15th, 2023

A total of $3.7 million worth of forest-related projects have been announced for the Kootenay-Boundary region by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C.

The projects range from clearing areas near roads in the Harrop-Procter region to thinning forests around the village of Kaslo, or shipping low-value logs to Celgar pulp mill in Castlegar for processing.

The projects in the Kootenay Boundary region — with 37 from the rest of the province — are expected to 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.

Funded by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) — from the Province of B.C. — the projects will foster environmental sustainability and community wildfire risk reduction, said FESBC executive director Steve Kozuki, in a press release.

He said the many of the projects are twofold: helping communities reduce their risk of catastrophic wildfire events and transforming waste wood into green energy and sustainable products.

“(The Provicne) is taking action on climate change while at the same time promoting job growth and community resiliency throughout our province,” said Kozuki.

The projects arose out of a $50 million chunk of change 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.”

By using burned or damaged wood, projects around the Kootenay Boundary are providing the forest industry with fibre and are actively increasing resilience to future wildfires, said Bruce Ralston, minister of Forests.

“Our forests have endured some very difficult years of late,” he said. “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.”

Of the 42 new projects funded throughout the province, 24 projects have direct First Nations involvement, while eight have some First Nations involvement.

Kootenay Boundary region

A total of five projects were announced for the Kootenay Boundary region, including:

  • Incremental pulp wood haul project

$1,009,340 in FESBC funding to transport low value pulp logs to the Skookumchuck Pulp mill instead of piling and burning them.

  • Debris management

$159,400 in FESBC funding in a collaborative project with BC Hydro and the Town of Golden to remove debris from the Kinbasket reservoir to be ground and shipped to an energy facility in Golden.

  • Mt. Buchanan fire access trail project

$127,000 in FESBC funding for the Kaslo and District Community Forest Society to manually thin forested areas adjacent to the community of Kaslo.

  • Harrop and narrows linear fuel breaks 2023-25 project

$460,950 in FESBC funding for the Harrop-Procter Community Co-operative to thin forests adjacent to roads, to pile the post-harvest debris, and to transport low value fibre to Castlegar.

  • Osoyoos Indian Band/Celgar fibre recovery partnership

$1,948,118 in FESBC funding for Nk’Mip Forestry LLP to identify low value logs located outside of the economic range of the pulp mill in Castlegar to ship them to the Celgar pulp mill or one of their three satellite yards.

Source: FESBC

Categories: General


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