National Forest Week 2023

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Inland thriving at new Iron Mask site

It has been a year since Inland Truck and Equipment moved to its new home in the Iron Mask area of Kamloops — something general manager Gabe Annette said has been a boon for the company.

“Moving into a new facility like that and having everything at such a large scale and available to you has been unbelievable,” Annett said.

The company deals Kenworth trucks, Case Construction Equipment machinery, LinkBelt forestry and construction equipment and Tigercat forestry equipment. Inland was formerly located at the corner of Notre Dame Drive and Dalhousie Drive in Southgate, but moved last year to its new location at 2505 Trans-Canada Hwy., just south of Dufferin.

“It’s been a great location. We’ve had a lot of business coming from the scales. We can send a guy over there with a service truck — we could even get over there with a golf cart, really,” Annett said.

The new facility includes 24 truck bays, eight equipment service bays and a wide open lot to make it easy for large vehicles to pull in and turn around.

One area Inland continues to work on is employees, however, which Annett said has

been the company’s main challenge over the past year, with inflation applying pressure and making it difficult to fully staff the large facility.

“The good part is, we have great staff, high morale and they’re all high-performing people. That’s what we’re continuing to search for,” he said.

Annett said the company is also helping out employees when it comes to work/life balance and offering training perks.

“My experience with Inland has been second to none,” he said.

“I’ve never worked for a company that is so willing to listen and adapt to economies changing — the ebbs and flows of business — and I really appreciate that is allowing me to be so involved in the business, to create change and be a part of it.”

Over the past year, Inland Truck and Equipment has held several corporate events at the Kamloops location and the branch now also serves as a corporate warehouse to help feed other Interior locations.

“That’s been a great addition and helpful in moving our equipment and repairs quicker through our shop, helping our customers with uptime,” Annett said.



Forestry is British Columbia’s founding industry and logging is its lifeblood The Interior Logging Association knows the importance of timber harvesting to BC’s economy and has been a strong and unifying voice for its members since 1958.

Our association’s strong and influential voice in the forest industry represents independent loggers’ interests throughout this region.

We work to keep the timber harvesting industry thriving, promoting the benefits of a robust and sustainable industry, raising awareness and educating our youth about the importance of forestry and ensuring our members continue to be a strong economic force in the province.

Through our solid alliance with other forest sector organizations, the ILA has contributed to the growth and cultivation of a healthy, sustainable and vibrant forest resource in British Columbia that will support our communities, families and economy today and always.

The ILA works with the Provincial, First Nations, Federal & Municipal governments and BC Forest Safety Council to ensure our members’ interests and safety are recognized in policy and regulations that impact our industry, our businesses and the communities we live and work in.

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Nancy Hesketh, Office Administrator

Meagan Preston, CCDP Forest Impact Recovery Business

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Inland Truck and Equipment’s new facility in the Iron Mask area includes 24 truck bays, eight equipment service bays and a wide open lot to make it easy for large vehicles to pull in and turn around.

When things get difficult, little gestures become big, and we want to recognize all of the people who do small things everyday. Many people have demonstrated compassion and courage, and made a huge difference in the lives of so many. We thank you.

And to everyone aff ected by wildfire, our hearts remain with you as you undertake the long journey to recovery.
for you!
C2 WEDNESDAY, September 20, 2023



In the past few years, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) has funded numerous projects throughout the province with a primary objective of reducing wildfire risk.

Many of these project partners — 25, in fact — have been community forests. These partnerships have accounted for 53 projects valued at more than $18 million, of which $12.3 million was for wildfire risk reduction and $5.9 million for projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which have included work to enhance the utilization of fibre and rehabilitate damaged forest stands.

A community forest is a forestry operation owned and managed by a First Nation, local government or community group for the benefit of the entire community. FESBC executive director Steve Kozuki pointed out why FESBC and community forests work well together.

“We both want to create as many values as we can in our projects,” he said. “We not only achieve the main objective of reducing wildfire risk, but we often create numerous additional co-benefits, such as enhancing recreation opportunities and wildlife habitat, reducing greenhouse gases and generating employment for local people.”

The BC Community Forest Association (BCCFA), which represents many of these community forests, has seen the good outcomes from FESBC’s collaboration with community forests. Jennifer Gunter, executive director of the BCCFA, highlighted the importance of the partnership between FESBC and community forests.

“Support from FESBC has been instrumental in the success of wildfire risk reduction projects. With funding from FESBC, many community forests have been able to take meaningful action to make their communities safer, and their forests more resilient,” Gunter said.

Nakusp and Area Community Forest (NACFOR) is an example of a community forest that has undertaken wildfire risk reduction work to provide an added layer of protection to the community, while also generating numerous co-benefits. With funding from FESBC, NACFOR created a series of strategically placed fuel breaks surrounding the community of Nakusp to act as the last line of defence against an approaching wildfire. The project provided increased opportunities for local contractors, with local dollars staying within the community, giving a boost to the local economy.

“The benefits of such wildfire risk reduction work in community forests are widespread,” Gunter said. “Community forests are often situated in the wildland-urban interface and are increasingly becoming leaders in protecting rural communities from the risk

of high-severity fires. Not only has this work contributed to keeping communities safe but, in many cases, it strengthens relationships between Indigenous and rural communities and has resulted in local employment, ecosystem restoration, and wildlife habitat enhancement.”

Another community forest, in Creston, undertook wildfire risk reduction work that also gave a boost to the local economy through increased employment opportunities, providing work to at least 15 Creston locals who were involved in the development, planning and implementation phases of the project. The project itself treated more than 120 hectares on Arrow Mountain and approximately 10,400 cubic metres (approximately 230 truckloads) were harvested from seven areas, removing invasive mistletoe, infected larch and unhealthy Douglas fir.

The resulting state of the forest, according to Daniel Gratton, forest manager of the Creston Community Forest, is now similar to what would have existed when wildfires frequented the area prior to the introduction of the fire suppression programs in the early 1900s.

Fire suppression efforts of the last 100 years have resulted in some forests near communities across B.C. becoming overmature and/or very dense, making them more susceptible to wildfire. Many times, these types of stands have less value to wildlife and are less desirable for recreation activities. FESBC-funded projects in community forests have not only reduced the wildfire risk to communities, but they have also improved wildlife habitat, created local employment opportunities and increased recreational values like camping, hiking and biking.

One such project to reduce wildfire risk to

the community, undertaken by the Kaslo and District Community Forest Society (KDCFS), led to additional wildlife benefits some people weren’t expecting. An area resident, Doug Drain, whose house was adjacent to the forest area that was being treated, almost lost his house to a wildfire in 2012. The wildfire risk reduction treatment not only gave him peace of mind, but he said that opening up the forest made a huge difference to the wildlife that lived there. He has seen seven bears and two cubs ,as well as deer and elk that are back grazing in the area for the first time in many years.

This work was informed by a Landscape Level Wildfire Protection (LLWP) plan funded with a $50,000 grant from FESBC. Not only did the plan inform the work done near Drain’s property but KDCFS ended up purchasing three fire pumps, hoses, and an inflatable bladder to fight a fire, if need be.

Gunter said community forest agreements are unique forest tenures that give communities, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, the ability to manage local forests for local benefit. They are in it for the long term with a mandate to manage environmental, economic, social and cultural values.

“Partnering with FESBC on projects that reduce the risk of wildfire while supporting community values and advancing climate action is a win-win for communities and the province,” Gunter said. “We have been building a network of practitioners across the province who understand how to integrate these concepts and the experts with FESBC are integral to this process.”

According to Gunter, as forest policy in B.C. shifts to support an increase in Indigenous and community-led forestry with a focus on value rather than volume, the active role of community forests in the movement toward reconciliation and innovating to integrate multiple values on the landscape, becomes clearer.

“Throughout the province, community forests demonstrate their leadership in implementing an inspiring vision for forestry that allows local communities to manage local forests in ways that generate many benefits,” said Gunter. “Our hope is that the partnership between the BCCFA and FESBC will continue to provide ongoing support and opportunities for community forests in our province. Together we are making our forests and communities more resilient ecologically, economically, and socially.”

To learn more about the various projects undertaken by community forests to reduce wildfire risk to communities, visit FESBC at

Over 1,200 members in many industries including Sawmilling, Wood products manufacturing, Steel manufacturing, Recycling, Security, Trucking, Construction, Machining and more. 181 Vernon Ave . K amloops, B.C. 25 0-55 4 -3167 usw141 WEDNESDAY, September 20, 2023 C3
One of the first areas treated as part of the Arrow Mountain Wildfire Risk Reduction Project. PHOTO BY DANIEL GRATTON, GENERAL MANAGER, CRESTON COMMUNITY FOREST

Making a difference for communties, climate

etc. The second step in the plan was to identify the risks, often overgrown forests close to the identified values.

Since 2016, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) has been enabling local people to enhance their local forests and, in doing so, also creating numerous benefits. FESBC has funded more than 300 projects valued at in excess of $300 million throughout British Columbia.

So far, FESBC has assisted more than 120 communities (municipalities, unincorporated communities and First Nations) in reducing their wildfire risk. These communities’ motivation was that they didn’t want to see towering flames engulf their homes and businesses, so they took action.

The first step was to create a plan that identifies values, such as homes, businesses, communications towers, infrastructure for power and water, emergency routes,

The third step in the plan was to decide what treatments should be done to reduce wildfire risk, which is usually thinning out the forest to reduce the amount of woody fuel.

The thinned-out forests often result in shaded fuel breaks with cooler temperatures, higher humidity and less fuel for any future fires.

Interestingly, shaded fuel breaks in drier areas of the province not only reduce the intensity of forest fires, but usually increase forest resiliency against insects, disease and climate change, including drought.

This is because removing some trees leaves more room for the remaining trees to get the sun, moisture and nutrients they need to be healthy. Healthy trees are more resilient to drought, insects, diseases and fire.

Other changes also happen. More sunlight and moisture means

more leafy ground vegetation like berries, which in turn provides more food and habitat for small mammals and birds, which then supports larger animals. People often comment they find a semi-open forest more enjoyable to walk through.

In one community, a First Nations elder said they remember their grandparents talking about how they rode horses to visit friends and family in another community, but decades of stopping forest fires has resulted in forests becoming so thick and overgrown that it became impossible to get through. For them, thinning the forest restored it to a more natural condition and, for dry fire-dependent areas, most ecologists would wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment.

FESBC has also helped people reduce greenhouse gases in forests, equivalent to taking almost a million cars off the road for a year. Growing trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen

through photosynthesis.

When trees are killed by fire, insects, disease or simply old age, they release greenhouse gases. In forestry, international carbon accounting standards recognize three ways to reduce greenhouse gases: planting trees that otherwise would not be planted, typically in uneconomic areas following damage by fires or insects, fertilizing trees so that trees grow faster and absorb carbon dioxide faster and using waste wood from forest operations instead of open burning of piles of waste wood to avoid the release of greenhouse gases, including methane and nitrous oxide.

FESBC has contributed to Indigenous reconciliation by enabling First Nations to take the lead on forestry projects, allowing them the opportunity to decide when, where and in what manner projects will be done.

For some Nations, it has been a

very empowering experience.

FESBC has also improved wildlife habitat through many projects as a byproduct of achieving another objective such as community wildfire risk reduction. Habitat for many species of wildlife has also been improved through wildlifespecific projects in partnership with the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and include bats, elk, caribou, birds of prey and much more.

When forest enhancement projects are located near communities, recreational opportunities have also been created or improved.

An example of this are the airport lands in Quesnel, where they not only thinned the forest to reduce fire risk and improve wildlife habitat, but the city also created trails which are now frequently used by local people.

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Success for everyone is the philosophy

In the course of doing all these great projects, many jobs have been created or maintained. At one point, there was an economic downturn in the forest industry, so FESBC focused on projects in forest-dependent communities to help provide jobs to people who were temporarily laid off.

In one project, a First Nations leader was grateful for the jobs because a paycheque puts food on the table, but he said the positive social outcomes of less crime, less substance abuse and such were even more important than just the financial benefits.

FESBC strives to be different from other funding programs that have come and gone over the years.

Almost everyone is eligible to apply for project funding. The project ideas are proponent-driven, which means local people decide what they want done in their local

forests. FESBC is grassroots-oriented.

The FESBC philosophy is focused on the success of everyone. Applicants are proactively coached to help make their ideas even better, such as achieving multiple objectives with a project and to make sure the projects are operationally practical. This is possible because FESBC staff are operationally seasoned with a lot of real-world know-how.

FESBC fully funds projects and doesn’t require applicants to have “skin in the game.” FESBC typically uses gated approvals, meaning that a concept can be approved first, which does not require a bunch of time or money to submit. Then FESBC will pay the cost to develop more detailed plans. This approach works particularly well for communities that don’t have a tax base from which to fund the detailed proposal writing.

Past experience is not necessary. Many funding programs require

proof of success in performing similar work in the past. However, this prevents new people from being eligible for funding.

Innovation and calculated risktaking is supported. FESBC is willing to take a chance on unproven technology or creative approaches to doing forestry differently.

With an overhead cost of about six per cent of funds administered, FESBC compares very favourably to similar programs in the past for which costs were commonly in the 12 to 15 per cent range.

I invite you to visit online for more information. You will find interesting articles about some of the projects and you can use the interactive map to find the projects FESBC has funded throughout British Columbia. I believe you can take pride in seeing projects in your own local area, and if you know any of the people involved, please thank them for stepping up for their communities and their forests. 1-888-227-2638 ALWAYS IN FULL SWING. The all-new 2956G Swing Machine can handle whatever you face in the forest and is available in log loader and harvester configurations. More Productive Increased horsepower and hydraulic flow allow greater efficienc y and speed when loading trucks. More Versatile Operating weight without attachments under 90,000 lbs eases transpor t and speeds machine mobility
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Steven F. Kozuki is a registered professional forester and executive director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC.

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Transformational award-winning reading

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) has been recognized for a second time with a Gold Hermes Creative Award in the Print Media category for its 2022 Accomplishments Report

The report told the stories of local people, communities and organizations who work hard to create a different future and create meaningful transformational shifts to greener economies, healthier ecosystems, reduced risk of mega wildfires in forests, improved wildlife habitat and more.

“This recognition of our Accomplishments Report is a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in the project,” FESBC executive director Steve Kozuki said. “We are thrilled to have received this award and continue to work diligently to enhance our forests for the benefit of all British Columbians.”

The Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition that rec-

ognizes outstanding work in the creative industry. With more than 6,500 entries from across the globe, a gold award is a significant achievement.

This prestigious honour not only underscored FESBC’s unwavering commitment to effective communication and high-quality storytelling, but also validated their efforts to enhance the province’s forests through funding good forestry management projects.

Produced in collaboration with Kamloops-based Amplify Consulting Inc. and Signet Studio, the 32-page publication featured 263 transformational forestry projects throughout British Columbia, showcasing striking photography and compelling stories that provided readers with a clear understanding of forestry’s role in taking action on climate change and driving positive long-term economic and social benefits.

The Accomplishments Report further highlighted eight forestry stories of transformation that have benefited

communities, workers and the environment. It celebrated the outstanding work being done with the many millions of dollars allocated by the province of British Columbia to support forest enhancement initiatives throughout the province.

Kozuki pointed out that the Accomplishments Report is an important tool for showcasing the work being done by the forest sector across the province.

“Forestry can be an unsung hero because the work is oftentimes not seen or understood,” he said.

“Local people know that forests can be a means to achieve many social, economic and environmental goals. By telling the stories of remarkable people and communities working to enhance our forests through this report, we can shine a spotlight to build understanding for all the good work happening in forestry, and that benefits us all.”

Read the report online at https://

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Cougar tracking part of conservation effort

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) is funding a multi-year cougar study in collaboration with the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC).

By fitting GPS collars on 40 cougars, the project leaders will better understand their predation rates of deer and other species and their movement behaviour.

The project, currently in its fourth and final year, is B.C.’s most comprehensive cougar study to date, with a focus on the predation behaviour, habitat use and impacts of harvest on cougars,” said project leader Adam Ford.

“Cougars are one of the most important predators in B.C. for mule deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and caribou,” Ford said.

“In spite of their high profile in B.C., we have very little information on the effects of cougar predation on prey distribution and survival and the effects of

human (e.g. road density, forestry) and natural (e.g. fire) landscape change on cougar habitat use.”

Benefiting from $70,845 in co-funding, this study is part of HCTF’s $8 million in conservation funding across B.C. this year, with nearly $1 million allocated to proj-

ects in the Thompson-Okanagan natural resource region.

According to FESBC’s executive director Steve Kozuki, HCTF has some of the best expertise in wildlife biology and habitat management.

“That’s why FESBC is so

pleased to collaborate with HCTF. Together, we have improved wildlife habitat on numerous successful projects all around British Columbia and we will continue to endeavour to assist wildlife to thrive and flourish for generations to come,” Kozuki said.

HCTF CEO Dan Buffett is also proud to work with FESBC in this partnership.

“Through this collaboration, we can fund more projects such as this investment in better understanding cougars in a changing landscape and enable our project partners to deliver more conservation work that benefits wildlife, fish, and their habitats,” Buffett said.

For more than 40 years, HCTF has provided grants to a large network of recipients who undertake conservation projects that protect B.C.’s wildlife, freshwater fish and their habitats. Since 1981, they have funded more than 3,550 projects, representing an investment of over $215 million for conservation in B.C. Each project funded by HCTF goes through a multi-level, objective and technical review process prior to the final board review and decision. HCTF’s board of directors ensures that species important to B.C. anglers and hunters are supported, but also place a great deal of importance on conserving whole ecosystems and species-at-risk, while investing in environmental education across the province. For more information on the collaborative conservation projects funded by FESBC and HCTF, go online to

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By fitting GPS collars on 40 cougars, the project leaders will better understand their predation rates of deer and other species and their movement behaviour.

Forest enhancement worth tens of millions

A total of 42 new forest enhancement projects worth $34 million are underway in B.C., with a number of them in the Kamloops area.

At an event at River City Fibre on Mission Flats Road on Tuesday, Sept. 12, Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) executive director Steve Kozuki said the funding is a result of a $50-million investment to FESBC from the Ministry of Forests to boost fibre supply by utilizing uneconomic fibre and reducing wildfire risk while also supporting workers and communities.

“The funding provided by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a testament to the government of British Columbia’s drive to foster environmental sustainability and community wildfire risk reduction,” Kozuki said.

“Their support of these transformative projects demonstrates their commitment to helping communi-

ties reduce their risk of catastrophic wildfire events and transforming waste wood into green energy and sustainable products. They are taking action on climate change while at the same time promoting job growth and community resiliency throughout the province.”

On hand during Tuesday’s announcement were Simpwc Resources Group, Arrow Transport and Kruger, three companies working together on a joint project, “It exemplifies how partnerships can transform industries,” Kevin Gayer of Arrow said. “Often

funding is required to bridge the financial gap of learning new practices until efficiencies can be developed.”

He said this particular project’s outcomes are multifaceted, encompassing economic, social and environmental benefits.

The creation of approximately 20 full-time-equivalent jobs will provide a boost to local economies while helping reduce greenhouse gases and improve air quality.

The funding also plays a role in supporting the utilization of forest fibre that would otherwise go to waste. For example, low-quality logs from outside of the current economic range for Simpwc Resources Group’s operations

can be used by Arrow and Kruger, instead of being burned.

Kozuki said the investment also drives local economic growth in providing jobs throughout various sectors, including First Nations, the pulp sector, loggers, silviculture companies and technology companies.

Created as a small Crown agency seven years ago, Kozuki said the Forest Enhancement Society of BC sees itself as being “an enabler.”

“We enable groups like the Simpwc Nation and Arrow, who want to do good things in the forest. So far, we’ve funded over 300 projects valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, all around British Columbia,” Kozuki said.

“It’s making a real difference in taking action on climate change, reducing the risk of wildfires to communities in a very meaningful way, improving recreational values and helping to improve wildlife habitat.”

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Steve Kozuki, executive director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC, speaks to the media during a Sept. 12 visit to River City Fibre in Kamloops. DAVE EAGLES/KTW

Everyday chores make for everyday heroes

This year, British Columbians have witnessed unprecedented wildfires, some still burning. Organizations such as the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), BC Wildfire Service,and local community forests, along with local governments and many others, have been working relentlessly to protect our provincial forests from the destruction brought about by wildfire.

Amid these efforts, FireSmart BC has been reminding people that even simple everyday chores can contribute to the larger cause. This insight has served as the foundation for FireSmart BC’s annual campaign this year: “Everyday Chores Make Everyday Heroes.”

FireSmart BC stands as a provincial program with a dedicated mission to enhance wildfire resilience and mitigate fire’s negative

impacts throughout the province.

This initiative is rooted in a commitment to safeguarding homes, communities and landscapes from the threat of wildfires.

FESBC is a member of the BC FireSmart Committee.

“Being FireSmart is a shared responsibility that will build a wildfire resilient province where everyone works, plays and lives,” said FESBC executive director Steve Kozuki. “FireSmart includes individuals taking care of the risks around their homes and where they play.”

The “Everyday Chores Make Everyday Heroes” campaign extends a call to action for every British Columbian to participate in wildfire prevention. This campaign magnifies the ordinary, empowering individuals to protect their homes and nurture resilient communities.

To put it another way, it’s the

little tasks around your home that can make a world of difference if a wildfire comes a bit too close for comfort.

The program recommends developing evacuation plans, preparing homes by clearing combustible materials and staying informed about evacuation alerts and orders.

The FireSmart Last Minute Checklist (online at FireSmartwildfirechecklist) assists in last-minute property resilience measures. To drastically increase the fire resiliency of your home and your community, some of the things you’ll need to do are:

• Remove debris from your gutters.;

• Mow your lawn and keep it under 10 centimetres tall.;

• Relocate combustible materials (firewood, propane tanks, etc.) at least 10 metres away from your home;

• Clean out under your deck to remove combustible debris such as leaves and branches;

• Prune tree branches on your property that are within two metres of the ground;

• Starting with the first 1.5 metres from any buildings, reduce highly flammable plants on your property and choose fire-resistant plants to replace them.

“The FireSmart program is backed by a vast amount of field, laboratory, and wildfire modelling research,” Kozuki said.

“Actions recommended by FireSmart help reduce the risk of losses under some of the most extreme fire conditions. FireSmart BC’s principles highlight the importance of proactive steps individuals and communities can adopt to reduce wildfire risks, which includes the projects funded by FESBC to reduce wildfire behaviour on crown land

near communities.”

In the coming months, FireSmart has some significant milestones to look forward to, including the launch of the FireSmart K-12 Education Program.

This will be in conjunction with the ongoing expansion of the Home Partners Program and Plant Program, as well as the continued growth of the FireSmart BC team and program through FireSmart coordinators, local FireSmart representatives and FireSmart-recognized neighbourhoods.

As wildfires continue to burn throughout the province, FireSmart BC remains instrumental in helping communities strengthen their defences against these challenges.

To dive into the campaign and join the ranks of everyday heroes, go online to


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