Forestry Workers to Benefit from $50-Million Investment from Province

January 24, 2023

Dave Peterson is board chair of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC

BRITISH COLUMBIA – The Province will offer funding through the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to increase fibre supply, benefitting forestry workers in BC.

The $50 million investment, will be used to fund projects using low-value or residual fibre, fire damaged trees and left over logging waste which would otherwise be burned.

Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests, stated: “The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner in delivering projects on the ground that benefit communities, workers, and the health of our forests. Forestry is – and will remain – a foundation of BC’s economy. As market prices have declined, forestry workers should know that government has their backs. That’s why we are taking action today and providing increased funding to get more fibre to the mills that need it.”

Renewed and increased funding for FESBC meets a key recommendation of the Pulp and Paper Coalition to keep mills operating and protect forestry jobs. It builds on recent action by the Province to increase the flow of fibre to the sector, including:

  • re-instating the Fibre Recovery Zone on the coast;
  • creating new Wildfire Salvage Opportunity Agreements; and
  • establishing a pulp fibre supply task force with industry.

“With renewed funding from the Government of British Columbia, FESBC is pleased to further support Indigenous Peoples, workers and communities to reduce their risk of wildfires, improve forest utilization to reduce slash burning and greenhouse gases, restore healthy and resilient forests, foster innovative forest economies, and sustain local forestry jobs,” said Dave Peterson, board chair of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC.

FESBC is a Crown agency. It was established in 2016 to advance the environmental and resource stewardship of the province’s forests by:

  • preventing wildfires and mitigating wildfire impacts;
  • improving damaged or low-value forests;
  • improving wildlife habitat;
  • supporting the use of fibre from damaged or low-value forests; and
  • treating forests to improve the management of greenhouse gases.

FESBC has supported 263 projects throughout BC; 43 of these projects have been in partnership with First Nations. These projects have benefited 120 communities and, among other outcomes, have created approximately 2,200 full-time-equivalent jobs.

As part of the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, the Province will work toward the near elimination of slash pile burning by 2030 and will increasingly divert materials away from slash piles, reducing both air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions while creating new economic opportunities.

“Programs to assist in short-term mitigation for our workers and communities is welcomed. Our desire is that this leads to part of the reforms needed to ensure longer-term sustainability of our members,” said Bob Brash, executive director of the BC Truck Loggers Association.



Share This