The Omineca Ski Club has recently been recognized for innovation and excellence in woodlot management.
The club was honoured with the $2500 Minister’s Award for Innovation and Excellence in Woodlot Management for the north area. The woodlot and ski trails are currently managed by registered professional forester Sean Broadworth.
The award was recently presented on behalf of minister of forests Doug Donaldson during the Federation of B.C. Woodlot Associations’ annual general meeting near Kamloops.
“British Columbia’s woodlots create employment and promote long-term stewardship of our forests,” said Donaldson. “This year’s award recipients have all demonstrated innovation and excellence in woodlot management; their high standards encourage all of us to look for innovative and effective ways to manage our forests.”
The Omineca Ski Club has managed the woodlot since 1985. It has over 20 km of ski trails for cross-country skiing and biathlon activities, and provides an area where locals can participate in outdoor activities.
While the club’s goal is to manage the woodlot for the purpose of sharing the cross-country ski experience, the woodlot is an ideal place to showcase forestry in action for local groups.
Each May, over the past 10 years, Lakes District Secondary School has hosted the ‘project forest management,’ a weeklong event that brings teenagers to the woodlot to learn about different careers in forestry, including firefighting, timber cruising, tree planting, brushing, ecology and layout.
Roads in the woodlot are built so they can be used as ski trails in the winter. This means slightly longer roads with more corners and hills than normal logging roads. However, it also means a better ski experience for club members. Roads are also linked to create loops wherever possible, and new harvesting is planned to reduce hazards from falling dead pine and to create new trails.
The club uses the revenues generated to purchase or maintain equipment, expand the clubhouse and run various programs for children and adults. Regional and provincial competitions hosted by the ski club also attract more than 200 skiers and biathletes from all over B.C.
Omineca Ski Club volunteers will be using the award money toward legacy projects that will benefit the whole club. They said ideas haven’t been finalized yet.
The awards are funded by the provincial government and administered by the Federation of B.C. Woodlot Associations. Since 2010, the annual awards recognize a woodlot licensee representing each of the south, coast and north areas, along with an overall top performer.