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Kamloops  

Making the most of wood

More wood waste will be redirected to mills instead of being burned on the ground, creating more jobs and reducing carbon emissions thanks to an influx of cash from Forest Enhancement Society of BC.

The society is providing $10 million for the project.

"This is good for local jobs and for the health of the forests, and it is a positive step toward increased safety for forest-dependent communities," said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. "Companies and workers will be able to make better use of residual timber and, in addition to creating employment and reducing waste, this approach will also help to reduce fuel on the landscape to mitigate wildfire risk."

The individual grants range from $90,500 to $3,430,491 and cover nine projects in B.C.'s Interior including two in Kamloops.

The successful proposals were selected from among 33 applications that were submitted in response to a call for proposals specific to fibre use, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The recovered wood will be used for a variety of purposes, including chips for pulp, wood pellets, hog fuel for bio-energy and cants (low-grade timber products).

By using 100 cubic metres of lodgepole pine debris for energy or pulp, rather than burning it in a slash pile, about 17 tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions can be avoided.

As a result of the expedited approval process, the successful applicants will be able to start taking the wood debris out of B.C.'s forests this winter.

The proposals will see more than 1.13 million cubic metres of fibre removed from the landscape.

"The Ulkatcho First Nation, as an owner of West Chilcotin Forest Products, very much appreciates the support of the governments of B.C. and Canada in assisting with the incremental utilization of harvesting waste that would otherwise be burned," said Stephen James, executive director, West Chilcotin Forest Products.

"The West Chilcotin plateau lacks the infrastructure that many other areas of the province take for granted. Given the distance to markets for our forest products, enhanced utilization of our forest fibre has always been a struggle. With this assistance from the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia, we can now start to do our part to fight climate change while, at the same time, providing much-needed employment for our band members."



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