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Forest Enhancement Society looking to grow more projects

Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) says they'd like to see more projects in the Northeast.

Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) presented to the Peace River Regional District on July 22, and say they would look to see more projects after the success of a collaboration between McLeod Lake Indian Band’s Duz Cho Logging and Canfor North in Chetwynd.

14,742 cubic metres or 295 truckloads of residual waste fibre were recovered through a $299,759 project to create wood pellets, one of 14 newly funded projects by FESBC.

FESBC Operations Manager Ray Raatz says he’d like to see more projects for the North.

“There isn’t a ton in the Northeast, which is unfortunate from our perspective,” he said. “We haven’t had a lot of uptake to our intakes in the past.”

He added the partnership with First Nations is a huge factor in its success.

“This project ranked in the top ten of proposals we received, so it’s good to see. Our hope maybe with this one is that the outcomes will encourage other in the Northeast to consider submitting proposals,” said Raatz.

To date, 269 projects have been approved through FESBC, generating $357 million dollars in economic activity, creating 2,214 jobs and preventing 5.3 million tonnes of CO2 being put in the atmosphere.

Duz Cho Logging Manager Chris Hayward says clearing and construction has been a large part of the company’s work.

“It’s worked out well, because we’ve been able to be a part of this with Canfor and FESBC,” he said.

Canfor Woodlands Manager Don Rosen agreed that their experience has been a huge help to operations.

“One of the issues we have is securing fibre at a price point or cost effectiveness that we can actually afford to operate at,” said Rosen.  

“This project really did help us to provide some the seed base funding to really make an effort of this and to learn from that process,” he added.  

PRRD Chair Brad Sperling asked about the potential for recovering wood materials from Site C as Duz Cho is the contractor for clearing. 

"They're burning virtually all of them - is there not some value?" he said of timber piles from the mega project. 

"We didn't really drive that, that was mostly BC Hydro. Like you say, we had limited capacity," said Rosen, noting Canfor had offered to pay. 

Tom Summer, Local Journalism Initiative. Email Tom at tsummer@ahnfsj.ca