Forest enhancement projects up for approval

The Forest Enhancement Society of B.C.’s (FESBC) fifth intake deadline for proposals was November 30. In this round of funding, the society is making $63 million available for deployment to projects aligned with FESBC’s five purposes to advance environmental and resource stewardship of B.C.’s forests. As of the deadline, the society received proposal requests for almost double the $63 million available from across the province.

FESBC received 132 applications requesting $119,103,098. Of the total applications, 45 were received from First Nations organizations requesting $38,744,613 for projects.

“We are delighted with the number of good quality proposals,” said Steve Kozuki, Executive director of FESBC, in a news release. “Our team of forest professionals guided proponents through the application process to ensure funding is well spent on projects that have meaningful impact. Our society is now in a position to award new grants in addition to the already approved 171 projects valued at $163 million to organizations like community forests, municipalities, and First Nations who implement projects focused on a variety of treatments on provincial Crown forest lands.”

The projects focus on preventing and mitigating the impact of wildfires, improving damaged or low value forests, supporting the use of fibre from damaged and low value forests, improving habitat for wildlife, and/or treating forests to improve the management of greenhouse gases, he added.

FESBC received the following proposals for projects pertaining to its five purposes:

  1. Wildfire Risk Reduction: 86 applications for $62,769,855
  2. Forest Carbon Initiatives: 33 applications for $50,451,268
  3. Improving Low Value Forests: 10 applications for $4,435,078
  4. Improving Wildlife Habitat: 2 applications for $1,296,897
  5. Supporting the Use of Fibre: 1 application for $150,000

By geography:

  • Cariboo Region: 34 proposals    
  • Thompson Okanagan Region: 32 proposals
  • Kootenay/Boundary Region: 30 proposals           
  • Skeena Region: 12 proposals
  • South Coast Region: 10 proposals  
  • West Coast Region: 6 proposals
  • Omineca Region: 5 proposals    
  • Province-wide: 2 proposals
  • Northeast Region: 1 proposal

All projects put forward by proponents were developed in collaboration with the land manager from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. The job of FESBC now is to select projects for funding, ensuring the project is on provincial Crown land, aligns with FESBC’s purposes and is consistent with the priorities of the land manager.