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FESBC awards over CA$27 million to stimulate wood fibre use in BC

In Canada, over CA$27.6 million in project grants that will help create jobs throughout British Columbia (BC) will also help increase the use of wood fibre that otherwise would have been burned as slash. This was done by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC), which distributes the grants, in partnership with the BC government and the Government of Canada.

The Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) has announced over CA§27.6 million in funding for 38 slash utilization projects across British Columbia (BC). The announcement was made on November 13, 2019, by Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development at the Pacific BioEnergy wood pellet plant in Prince George. Pacific BioEnergy has received several grants from the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. in recent years. A fibre utilization project that started in 2017 was supported by a grant of CA$1 456 758, while another fibre utilization project that started in 2018 was supported by a CA$726 000 grant. Pacific BioEnergy also received a grant of CA$1 036 152 in 2017 for a wildfire risk reduction project around the community of Nazko (photo courtesy BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development).

The announcement was made on November 13, 2019, by Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development at the Pacific BioEnergy wood pellet plant in Prince George and he was joined by industry and FESBC representatives, and Mackenzie Mayor Joan Atkinson.

Nothing frustrates people more than seeing piles of slash go to waste rather than be used to help create jobs, said Ravi Kahlon.

These projects will employ forestry contractors, some of whom might otherwise be unemployed. In addition, it will help to employ mill workers who produce electricity, wood pellets, and pulp at mills that produce these products specifically.

As a result, more wood waste will be turned into electricity, heat energy, and pulp products to help achieve BC’s and Canada’s climate change targets.

This latest round of grants by the society covers 38 different projects in British Columbia, with individual grant amounts ranging from CA$16 980 to CA$1.5 million. As of November 13, 2019, about CA$230 million have been provided by the FESBC to support 251 approved projects.

Projects funded by the FESBC help minimize wildfire risks, enhance wildlife habitat, improve low-value and damaged forests, re-plant damaged forests and use fibre for green energy production. Many of these projects also result in carbon benefits and contribute to climate change mitigation.

Supporting greater utilization of fibre and improving greenhouse gas management are two of our key objectives. These 38 projects will help achieve these objectives while supporting rural communities. We are very pleased to work with the provincial government on projects that support important climate action goals, said Wayne Clogg, board chair of the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C.

About FESBC

The Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC)  is a Crown agency. It was established in 2016 to advance the environmental and resource stewardship of the province’s forests by: preventing wildfires and mitigating wildfire impacts, improving damaged or low-value forests, improving wildlife habitat, supporting the use of fibre from damaged or low-value forests and treating forests to improve the management of greenhouse gases (GHG).

The BC government has invested CA$235 million in the FESBC with about CA$230 million allocated to 251 projects since the society’s inception.

The funded projects include wildfire risk reduction, reforestation, forest rehabilitation, wildlife habitat restoration and raising awareness of the FireSmart program.

The FESBC is a partner in the Forest Carbon Initiative, which is funded in part through the federal government’s Low Carbon Economy Fund. This initiative assists with BC government priorities such as: revitalizing the forest sector, partnering with First Nations, supporting the Province’s CleanBC commitment to transition to a low-carbon economy and providing economic benefits for rural communities.

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