Forest Enhancement Society BC Executive Steve Kozuki addressed a conference hosted by the Forest Nursery Association of BC where he emphasized the importance of a healthy forest in preventing wildfires and rehabilitation following wildfires.

A B.C. society helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires

Forest Enhancement Society of BC focuses on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation

The importance of a healthy forest in preventing wildfires as well as rehabilitation following wildfires was the subject of a presentation at the Forest Nursery Association of BC conference in Salmon Arm on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

Steve Kozuki, executive director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) reported on some of the initiatives the organization has funded including those focused on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation of B.C.’s forests.

He says FESBC has funded projects to mitigate and prevent future wildfires, along with projects that have focused on the reforestation of those areas impacted by wildfire.

“The projects we fund will reduce wildfire risk, rehabilitate damaged forests, improve forest carbon management to mitigate climate change, and enhance wildlife habitat,” he said.

Related: Searing memories of the 1998 Silver Creek wildfire in the Shuswap

Kozuki notes the Forest Enhancement Society uses three main tools in forest rehabilitation: plant trees on land that has been impacted by wildfires and that wouldn’t otherwise have trees, fertilize the trees to make them grow faster in order to remove carbon from the atmosphere sooner and find alternative uses for fibre left from forestry operations.

Some of the fibre that is usually burned in slash piles can be used to make alternate energy products like wood pellets, something the society has increasingly been involved in funding, he says.

“When you burn wood, carbon goes into the air, but if we use the fibre to make alternative energy like wood pellets, the green energy substitutes energy that would have been provided by fossil fuels, which has a positive carbon benefit as well.”

Kozuki says the vast majority of pellets are for industrial use, something that is particularly attractive because it is a substitute for coal, which he describes as “the dirtiest fuel.”

Related: Opinion: Forest policies need to add up

“Whenever there’s logging, by law, companies must reforest, but when we lose forests to natural causes such as insects, disease or fire, nobody has the responsibility for reforesting, Kozuki says.

“FESBC, in partnership with the BC government and the Government of Canada, pooled funds to sow 11 million seedlings last autumn,” he says, noting that surveys from areas burned in this year’s wildfires indicate that significantly more seedings will be sown to reforest these areas this year and in the years to come. “Good forest management in British Columbia requires a large network of excellent collaborators, and forest nurseries throughout the province are key partners.”

Related: Sowing seeds for reforestation in Salmon Arm

Kozuki says the society is doing the best it can with the funding it has and that several successful forest fuel mitigation projects have been undertaken in the province.

“All the applications we have received have received funding,” he says, pointing out dozens of communities have come around to realizing the risks to infrastructure, communication towers, evacuation routes and access to such places as provincial campgrounds and homes on the interface all need to be considered.

“They are actually realizing the risk is far greater than they thought, even among forest professionals,” he says.

Elizabeth Engelbertink, FNABC president, says B.C.’s forests have come under extreme pressure in the wake of the mountain pine beetle epidemic and two years of record-breaking fire activity.

“Our nursery members are world leaders in tree growing practices and stand ready to help grow the hundreds of millions of trees that will result from FESBC sponsored initiatives,” she says. “We look forward to working with the FESBC to help them meet these important objectives.”


@SalmonArm
barb.brouwer@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC, in partnership with the provincial and federal governments pooled funds to sow 11 million seedlings in the fall of 2017. Surveys from areas burned in this year’s wildfires indicate that significantly more seedings will be sown to reforest burned-out areas. (Forest Nursery Association of BC photo)

Just Posted

Northwestern BC Hydro transmission line to be refurbished

Replacing poles between Kitimat and Terrace far cheaper than complete new line

Riparian project addressing loss of fish breeding habitat

A sustainable forest helps restore salmon habitat

Ocean “Blob” returns to North Coast of B.C.

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Canada condemns killing of journalist in Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey

The Saudi government claimed Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a ‘fistfight’

One year to election: Trudeau Liberals gear up for tussles on climate, premiers

Analysts say that the Liberals have reason to be ‘fairly confident’

GUEST COLUMN: B.C.’s proportional representation vote is dishonest, misleading

Veteran of 2005 Citizens’ Assembly urges rejection of new voting systems

Prank pizzas delivered to B.C. mayor on election night

The fake orders happened throughout Victoria mayor’s re-election campaign

MLA to become Nanaimo’s next mayor, could weaken NDP’s grasp on power

Leonard Krog’s win will trigger a byelection when he gives up his provincial seat

Horvat nets OT winner as Canucks beat Bruins 2-1

Young Vancouver star had spirited scrap earlier in contest

Most Read