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.

Forest Enhancement Society of BC works to protect and restore forests

Group helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires, bug infestations

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Salvation Army’s Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser in Salmon Arm welcomes you

Make community connections while taking a walk and contributing to $35,000 goal

Letter: South Shuswap incorporation a foregone conclusion?

Writer overwhelmed with information at committee meeting

Snapshot: Valentine’s donations to Shuswap organizations

Shuswap SPCA, SAFE Society receive some love from SASCU Insurance

Sniffing out options for expansion of Salmon Arm’s sewage treatment plant

Public presented with nine site possibilities at open house, feedback to help narrow options

CHIME finds four days of noise, twelve days of silence from space

The radio telescope picked up the first recorded pattern in radio signals from space

VIDEO: Kawhi Leonard wins first Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP award

Leonard scored 30 points and hit eight 3-pointers to lead Team LeBron to a 157-155 victory

Kelowna RCMP arrest alleged impaired driver

The driver is facing potential charges after power pole collision

South Okanagan mountian bore racist name for a half century

Nkawala Mountain was initially named in connection with the deaths of two black men.

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

BC Ferries sailings filling up Family Day Monday

More than 20 sailings added between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for long weekend

UBCO announces new top boss for Okanagan campus

Lesley Cormack will start in the position this summer

Nine West Kelowna athletes to go to B.C. Winter Games

The athletes will compete in biathlon and cross country ski

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

Most Read