Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) has recently announced 42 newly-funded forest enhancement projects across British Columbia, including seven projects located in the Thompson-Okanagan region.

According to the press release published on Sept. 13, this announcement comes in response to the Ministry of Forests’ allocation of $50 million to FESBC earlier this year, which aims at boosting fibre supply by utilizing previously uneconomic wood resources and reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfires while fostering community growth and sustainability.

Steve Kozuki, executive director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), said at a press event that the funding provided by FESBC is proof of the provincial government’s “drive to foster environmental sustainability and community wildfire risk reduction.”

Their support of these transformative projects demonstrates their commitment to helping communities reduce their risk of catastrophic wildfire events and transforming waste wood into green energy and sustainable products.”

One of the projects that is receiving funds is the Stuwix Resources JV-Bush Grind Program, a partnership between the First Nations forestry company Stuwix Resources Joint Venture and Valley Carriers. 

According to the release, the Stuwix Resources JV-Bush Grind Program is receiving $821,668 in funding to “grind waste material in slash piles to ship to the energy facility in Merritt.”

Lindsay Tighe, general manager at Stuwix Resources Joint Venture, welcomed the news about the funding.

“It allows us to meet the community’s requests to lessen the amount of material burnt and they believe that more of it needs to be utilized.”  

In a news release, Ben Klassen, CEO at Valley Carriers, said the funding would allow them to ensure the maximum utilization of important resources. 

“Partnering with Stuwix, we are able to provide five to seven additional local jobs and fulfill the value of maximizing their resources through non-traditional markets,” he said. “Further, this will help us transform logging residuals into value-added products utilized by the agricultural, pulp, and clean energy industries in B.C.”