The Wildfire Mitigation Project is expected to be completed by spring 2021. (Lakes District News file photo)

Granisle on track to grow deciduous trees around the village

The project is expected to be completed by spring 2021

The residents of the Village of Granisle will benefit from the efforts of the village, the Babine Lake Community Forest (BLCF), Lake Babine Nation and the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia (FESBC), in providing a safer haven from wildfires, in the future.

The village undertook a Wildfire Fuel Mitigation Project in partnership with the BLCF and through funding from the FESBC, in order to make Granisle a safer place from the wildfires. The project was a result of an idea that the former Granisle Mayor Frederick Clarke had, according to Gord Pratt, who is the operations manager with the FESBC.

“He had a vision of making Granisle safer by reducing wildfire risk. He was innovative in his thought process in managing this community forest and he was really supportive of this idea of planting deciduous trees which are more fire resilient in and around the community forest,” said Pratt.

The BLCFS applied for a grant from the FESBC in November 2017 and were approved for up to $401, 450 in April 2018. The community forest then began the harvest in February 2019 of over 130 hectares of trees around the Village of Granisle.

“Everything done to date has come from the BLCF’s funds as FESBC does not help in their normal logging. And they have a legal obligation to reforest the area but because they are planting deciduous trees, which isn’t normally what they would do there, FESBC will fund anything that isn’t a legal requirement but meets the objectives,” said Pratt, emphasizing that the project was not fully funded by the FESBC and was a partnership with the BLCF and the Village of Granisle.

A few of the objectives that are important to the FESBC that the Granisle project is also focusing on are, to reduce the wildfire risk in and around the community of Granisle, to increase the fibre utilization of the residual fibre around the site which will normally be burnt under normal practices and by increasing the use of fibre utilization, reduce the amount that will be burnt and therefore reduce the carbon footprint and green house gas emissions.

Peter Tweedie, the manager for the BLCF, told Lakes District News in an email that Hampton was the harvest partner in the project and they purchased the timber from the project area. They were also the ones who coordinated the harvest for the BLCF.

Tweedie also said that they are planning on completing the reforestation efforts by spring 2020 adding that work towards it had already begun as they have collected local birch seed and found a local source of cottonwood for “whips” to plant. BLCF has however not selected a planting partner yet.

“We have not yet chosen a planting company but the cottonwood will be collected and planted with a local labour crew,” he said.

Mayor for the Village of Granisle, Linda McGuire said, “we are really happy with the Wildfire mitigation project,” and believes that these efforts will definitely help protect the community.

However, any efforts to protect the community with these deciduous forest cover would be a long-term goal. In the short-term however, the wildfire risks are in fact higher according to Peter Tweedie.

“As with any “harvest-to-mitigate-wildfire-risk” type project, the initial post-harvest period has an actual increase in fire hazard coinciding with the increase in fine fuels on site residual from the harvest. Our plan is to reduce that fuel load this year by raking and burning the fine fuels and possibly completing some small scale broadcast burning. Also, the piled post-harvest processing debris has to be burned this fall,” said Tweedie.

Granisle residents have been supportive of this project. In fact the community engagement period during the project saw responses ranging from “Why hasn’t this been done sooner?” to “We don’t want you to burn anything. Fire is bad.”

“This is a multi-faceted project and the citizens of Granisle have been quite supportive. We appreciate their patience in getting through the harvest phase of the project,” said Tweedie.


Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist
@PriyankaKetkar

priyanka.ketkar@ldnews.net


Like us on Facebook and follows us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The much-awaited Splash Park opens in Burns Lake

The Splash Park at the Radley Beach Park is finally open for… Continue reading

Brucejack mine fatality identified

Patrick Critch was from Newfoundland

Granisle receives $4.3 million funding for Wastewater Treatment plant upgrade

The village will finally get to upgrade the 49 years old plant

Spirit North Burns Lake conducting canoe, paddle board camp for indigenous kids

Rachelle van Zanten, the Community Program Director for the Burns Lake area… Continue reading

Canada to match donations to Lebanon relief

Canada is directing all of its aid for this crisis directly to humanitarian organizations, not the Lebanese government

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Infamous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and other destinations

Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

‘Forest Defenders’ occupy road to prevent logging company from reaching Port Renfrew-area watershed

COVID-19 could mean curtains for film and TV extras

Background performers worry they’re being replaced by mannequins on film and TV sets

Laid-off B.C. hotel workers begin hunger strike demanding job protection

Laid-off workers not sure what they’ll do when government support programs end

‘Huckleberry’ the bear killed after B.C. residents admit to leaving garbage out for videos

North Shore Black Bear Society said it was local residents who created a ‘death sentence’ for bear

Researchers find cannabis use in pregnancy linked to greater risk of autism

Researchers caution findings only show association — not cause and effect

Small Manitoba town mourning after well-liked teens killed by tornado

Melita residents feeling profound grief after the deaths of Shayna Barnesky and Carter Tilbury

Antonio Banderas says he’s tested positive for coronavirus

Acclaimed actor celebrating his 60th birthday in quarantine

Most Read