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FESBC allocates $3 million to support forestry sector, utilise wood fibre

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The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) has allocated $3 million (€1.94 million) in new grants to support jobs in the forestry sector and boost the use of wood fibre that would otherwise be burned as slash.

FESBC’s latest round of funding supports 15 different projects in various regions of British Columbia, with individual grants ranging from $6,000 (€3,893) to $663,748 (€430,665).

The projects will allow approximately 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. The work will also provide environmental, economic, and social benefits to BC communities, including a reduction in greenhouse gases.

Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development said: “This new funding is part of the government’s $1.5 billion (€973 million) economic recovery plan, which reflects our ongoing commitment to help British Columbians deal with challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The grants will support local jobs and help make better use of wood debris left behind after timber harvesting.”

“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 programme does just that, while also advancing the forest sector’s transition to high-value production, which is essential for BC’s long-term economic wellbeing.”

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

Jim Snetsinger, board chair at FESBC, said the organisation was “delighted” to receive this additional funding to support incremental fibre use and forest rehabilitation projects.

“Upon receiving word of the $3 million (€1.94 million) allocation, our team worked quickly to prepare and announce its seventh intake for funding applications,” said Snetsinger.

“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 BC’s and Canada’s climate change targets.”