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$2 million aimed at helping reduce slash burning, wildfire risk and habitat in Chilcotin

Funding for forestry projects includes four Cariboo-Chilcotin projects
With funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), more wood fibre is being moved out of the Jackson Lake area for use by local pulp mills. (FESBC photo) Forest Enhancement Society of BC executive director Steve Kozuki said turning slash piles into biomass is one of the ways forestry projects can help tackle climate change. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Forest Enhancement Society of BC is providing $2 million in funds towards two Tsilqhot’in (Chilcotin) forestry projects meant to reduce the impacts of wildfire and climate change.

Elhdaqox Developments Ltd. has been awarded $500,000 towards wildfire risk reduction planning and treatments to reduce the wildfire risk to the Yunesit’in Community (formerly known as Stone) and rehabilitate burned and beetle-affected stands.

The project is also aimed at creating local employment opportunities.

Eniyud Community Forest Ltd. will be awarded $1,500,000 for fuel management treatments to reduce the wildfire risk from forests affected by mountain pine beetle near Horn Lake and along Tatlayoko Lake, which is a vital main access/egress route for the local residences. Eniyud Community Forest Ltd. is a limited partnership between the Tatla Resource Association and Tsi Del Del First Nation (formerly known as Redstone).

In total, a provincial investment of $25 million in funding has been allocated towards 22 new community projects, with four of those located in the Cariboo Region.

The other two projects are located in Quesnel and Clinton.

These include work to reduce wildfire risk, while enhancing wildlife habitat, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from slash pile burning, and support forest recreation and ecological resiliency.

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that protect people from wildfire risks and reduce emissions from slash pile burning,” stated Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, in a release announcing the funding. “Along with the historic investments in Budget 2022 to transform the BC Wildfire Service into a year-round service and double funding for proactive wildfire prevention, these new projects funded by FESBC will help build communities that are safer and more resilient to climate change.”

“FESBC is thrilled that communities in the Cariboo will be able to continue this important work to reduce their wildfire risk to better protect their residents and important infrastructure,” noted Steve Kozuki, executive director, FESBC in the release. “These newly funded projects take a proactive approach to reduce the risks of wildfire and many will also improve wildlife habitat, increase the health of forests so they are more resilient to climate change and use the left-over wood waste to make green energy. Achieving multiple objectives is good forest management and good value for money.”

Work has already begun and all projects are expected to be complete by March 2024. To date, approved funding from the FESBC 2022-23 Funding Program totals $14 million. Additional applications through the FESBC portal are welcome and will be accepted until the $25-million fund has been allocated.

Ruth Lloyd

About the Author: Ruth Lloyd

I moved back to my hometown of Williams Lake after living away and joined the amazing team at the Williams Lake Tribune in 2021.
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