BY BILL PHILLIPS
During a stop in Prince George Friday, Premier Christy Clark announced that the province will give $150 million for the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia.
So what is the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia and what does it do?
Victoria formed the society last year, with an initial injection of $85 million, with the mandate to advance environmental and resource stewardship of British Columbia’s forests and advocate for the environmental and resource stewardship of British Columbia’s forests.
Essentially, the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia will fund projects that meet its mandate, which is to advance environmental and resource stewardship of British Columbia’s forests by, preventing and mitigating the impact of wildfires; improving damaged or low value forests; improving habitat for wildlife; supporting the use of fibre from damaged and low value forests; and treating forests to improve the management of greenhouse gases.
To advocate for the environmental and resource stewardship of British Columbia’s forests.
It is governed by a five-person board consisting of the province’s former Chief Forester Jim Snetsinger, who is the chair; McLeod Lake Indian Bank Chief and Duz Cho Logging manager Derek Orr; West Fraser Mills senior vice-president, woodlands, Wayne Clogg; assistant deputy minister for the Tenures, Competitiveness and Innovation Division for the Ministry of Forests Dave Peterson; and Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) for the Integrated Resource Operations Division for the Ministry of Forests Mary Sue Maloughney.
Operating out of Kamloops, the society has a staff of three: Executive director Greg Anderson, operations manager Dave Conly, and office manager Kathy Dupuis.
The first year of operation for the society was one for testing financing models for projects.
In its first year, the society has approved 23 projects totaling $2.7 milion. The largest project was $553,500 to rehabilitate pine leading stands heavily damaged by mountain pine bark beetle within five kilometres of the communities of Nazko and Kluskus. Most of the projects approved so far have dealt with wildfire hazard reduction.
According to the government press release, the $150 million will be “used plant tens of millions more trees.”
Exactly where has not yet been determined as the business model for the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. is that groups and/or companies will apply for funding for specific projects.