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New plan helps Bulkley-Nechako, Fraser-Fort George farmers adapt to climate change

Farmers in the Bulkley-Nechako and Fraser-Fort George regions will have more support to adapt to climate change, following the development of the Bulkley-Nechako & Fraser-Fort George Regional Adaptation Strategies plan.

The governments of Canada and British Columbia are providing $300,000 in funding through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The funding will support projects identified in the Bulkley-Nechako and Fraser-Fort George Regional Adaptation Strategies as priority actions for increasing the resilience of producers in the region. Funded projects would help farmers respond to four impact areas affecting the region – increasing wildfire risk, increasing variability and shifting crop suitability, warmer and drier summer conditions, and changing pest dynamics.

The Bulkley-Nechako & Fraser-Fort George Regional Adaptation Strategies planning process, managed by the BC Agriculture and Food Climate Action Initiative (CAI), commenced in summer 2018. It brought together farmers from both regions to work with local governments and provincial and federal agencies to identify priorities for agricultural adaptation, as well as strategies and actions for strengthening resilience.

A 14-member working group with representatives from the agricultural sector and regional and provincial governments will oversee development of these projects, and CAI will manage project implementation. Up to six projects will be completed in the region by 2023. The Bulkley-Nechako and Fraser-Fort George Regional Adaptation Strategies plan is the eighth regional plan developed as part of the Regional Adaptation Program delivered by CAI.

“It’s great that government is supporting farmers and ranchers in the Bulkley-Nechako and Fraser-Fort George regional districts in dealing with challenges due to climate change, because it is our new reality,” said Megan D’Arcy, a local farmer and member of the advisory committee for the Bulkley-Nechako and Fraser-Fort George Regional Adaptation Strategies, in a news release. “Information exchange, increased collaboration and the development of new systems and best management practices will be key to ensuring that the agriculture sector in these two areas remains resilient.”