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 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

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)

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

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.[CDC]
More COVID-19 exposures reported at schools in Kelowna

Interior Health added additional schools and dates to their list of exposures

Winter driving conditions returned to the Coquihalla Highway on April 10. (ICBC image)
Coquihalla motorists warned of fresh snow

Five to 10 cm of snow is expected today for the mountain highway.

Tom Smithwick has written a new book, Knocking On Freedom’s Door, about his experiences advocating for a drug addiction treatment program in Kelowna. (File photo)
‘Knocking On Freedom’s Door’: A retired Kelowna lawyer’s insights to mental illness, addiction

Freedom’s Doors advocate Tom Smithwick shares what he has learned from experiences of treatment program clients in new book

Royal LePage Arena was an addition to West Kelowna championed by Len Novakowski. (File photo)
West Kelowna community leader Novakowski dies

Former Westside regional district director Len Novakowski dies after lengthy health battle

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Sun Peaks is tracking rising COVID-19 cases. (Kamloops This Week Photo)
Sun Peaks sees spike in COVID-19 cases at end of ski season

On April 9, there were 15 positive cases confirmed.

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Penticton Christian School. (Facebook)
COVID-19 exposure at South Okanagan independent school

The exposures are the latest in a quickly growing list in the Interior

Most Read