Grants for four projects to support forestry contractors and boost wood pellet production worth $2.7 million (€2.44 million) have been allocated by the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia (BC).
The grants will help to increase the use of wood fibre that otherwise would have been burned. Doug Donaldson, the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, made the announcement at the Western Forestry Contractors’ Association conference in Prince George, BC, on 30 January. He said: “Our government’s focus is creating jobs in the forest sector by getting the most out of the fibre that comes out of our public forests.
“Our partnership with the Forest Enhancement Society of BC is making sure that more fibre gets turned into viable products – supporting good jobs in rural BC – and less is left on the forest floor.”
The project will turn wood waste from slash piles into wood pellets and pulp products, helping to support BC and Canada’s climate change targets. $408,320 (€369,605) will go to Skeena Bioenergy to use materials form slash piles to make wood pellets (around 440 truckloads) in the Coast Mountains Natural Resource District. The remaining funds will go to Taan Forest Products, Skookumchuck Pulp and RPP Holdings to use material from slash piles to make pulp for use in paper products.
“As I’ve travelled around the province, I’ve seen first-hand how these grants from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC are making a difference in our communities,” said Ravi Kahlon, parliamentary secretary for Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “It’s encouraging to see wood debris diverted from slash piles and used to make value-added products instead.”
Wayne Clogg, board chair of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, added: “Assisting the Province to reduce greenhouse gases, add value to forest fibre and maintain jobs for workers and communities are some of our key objectives. There are many society-funded projects throughout BC that are making a difference right now.
“The amount of woody biomass that will not be burned as slash, but instead used this winter season to fuel a greener economy, is expected to exceed 1.6 million cubic metres by March 2020. Funding has been committed to continue some of these projects to 2022 to further help forest workers and communities who are most in need.”
As of 30 January 2020, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC has supported 250 projects valued at $233 million (€210 million) in partnership with the BC Government and the Government of Canada.