Being able to explore our diverse local forests is one of the advantages of living in the Cariboo Chilcotin. National Forest Week is Sept. 23-29 and residents are encourage to get out and see all the natural beauty that surrounds us. Angie Mindus photo

Celebrate National Forest Week Sept. 23-29

National Forest Week Sept. 23-29 highlights the living laboratories that are B.C.’s forests.

National Forest Week Sept. 23-29 highlights the living laboratories that are B.C.’s forests.

Among them, research forests are the focus of National Forest Week.

“British Columbians have a strong affinity for the outdoors and the natural beauty of our forests. But people may not realize that forests are also living laboratories that offer us places to observe, experiment, and learn,” said Bill Bourgeois, executive director of the National Forest Week BC Coalition.

“Forest research helps grow our knowledge of biodiversity, forest management and climate change. By learning how forests grew and reacted in the past, as well as predicting responses to new pressures like climate change, we can build a greener future and maintain healthy, vibrant, and productive forests across the country.”

Both the University of British Columbia and the University of Northern BC maintain research forests. UBC operates the Malcolm Knapp Research Forest in Maple Ridge and the Alex Fraser Research Forest in Williams Lake, while UNBC operates the Aleza Lake Research Forest east of Prince George and the John Prince Research Forest near Fort St. James in partnership with the Tl’azt’en First Nation. Additional forest research operations are also run by the federal and provincial governments as well as individual forestry companies across the province.

National Forest Week provides B.C. families with opportunities to learn more about our forests and raise awareness about this renewable resource. Whether it’s a walk in the woods, a talk in the classroom, or a showcase of the “critters” that live in the forest, adults and children alike can see how registered forest professionals manage B.C.’s forests for a wide range of uses including recreation, wildlife habitat, timber harvesting, forest ecosystems protection, and other values important to British Columbians.

Many teachers across B.C. will be inviting forest professionals to speak to students in their classrooms and the Association of BC Forest Professionals sponsors its annual art contest for children aged 4 to 12. Details and contest entry forms are available on the BC National Forest Week website.

National Forest Week is coordinated nationally by the Canadian Institute of Forestry (CIF) and in BC by the National Forest Week BC Coalition, a group of volunteers from the Association of BC Forest Professionals.

Visit the BC National Forest Week website for more information.

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