New grants to help use more wood fibre

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The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) has allocated $3 million in new grants throughout the province to support jobs in the forestry sector and increase the use of wood fibre that otherwise would be burned as slash.

“This new funding is part of the government’s $1.5-billion economic recovery plan, which reflects our ongoing commitment to help British Columbians deal with challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “The grants will support local jobs and help make better use of wood debris left behind after timber harvesting.”

The latest round of funding supports 15 different projects in different regions of the province, with individual grant amounts ranging from $6,000 to $663,748 (see backgrounder for details about each project). The projects will allow about 250,000 cubic metres of post-harvest waste wood to be used in the production of pulp, wood pellets, electricity and compost for soil remediation. This work will also provide environmental, economic and social benefits to B.C. communities, including a reduction in greenhouse gases.

“One of the aims of our StrongerBC economic recovery plan is to build stronger, more resilient communities in every corner of the province,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “This program does just that, while also advancing the forest sector’s transition to high-value production, which is essential for B.C.’s long-term economic well-being.”

Eight of the approved applications were from new proponents that will receive FESBC project funding for the first time.

“We were very pleased to receive this additional funding to support incremental fibre use and forest rehabilitation projects,” said Jim Snetsinger, board chair, FESBC. “Upon receiving word of the $3-million allocation, our team moved quickly to prepare and announce its seventh intake for funding applications.

“We were delighted with the quality and innovation shown in the proposals that we received. This work will help support families and communities in a time of need. It demonstrates the significant role that the forestry sector plays in our province’s broader economic recovery, while at the same time helping to achieve B.C.’s and Canada’s climate change targets.”

Source: BC Gov News