The Burns Lake Community Forest (BLCF) has received funding of $223,214 from the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia to carry out a fire mitigation project south of Babine Forest Products.
“This project compliments the BLCF mitigation strategies,” said BLCF manager Frank Varga.
In addition to mitigating fire risk in the area by thinning, pruning and removing woody debris, the project is also intended to enhance wildlife and recover fiber to support local mills.
“The harvesting and sawlog marketing will be completed by First Nation partners of the Burns Lake Community Forest with intent of supporting local mills with volume,” explained Varga. “Part of this opportunity is to hopefully develop First Nations capacity and enhance working relationships with partners.”
“We are expected to salvage up to 10,000 cubit metres of volume,” he continued.
The BLCF has started the initial planning phase and is currently conducting consultation with local First Nations. The area of the project is approximately 6.8 km long and 150 to 200 metres wide.
Varga said the operational layout and development will be completed by current contractors of the Burns Lake Community Forest and no additional staff will be required.
“The layout development will be completed likely during summer, with plans of harvest activities in fall/winter and completion by the end of 2017.”
The Burns Lake Community Forest is also on track for attaining Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification – an international certification and labeling system dedicated to promoting responsible forest management of the world’s forests.
The requirements to attain FSC certification include developing short and long-term development plans, showing current high conservation areas and gathering feedback from local community members and organizations interested in the community forest’s operations. Varga hopes the BLCF will attain this certification by April 2017.