Q1. How are FESBC projects selected for funding?
The FESBC Board of Directors (BOD) determine which projects are approved for funding. The BOD strive to ensure that FES funding is directed to the highest priority projects on the provincial Crown land base that fall within the purposes of the Society.
In order to achieve this objective, the FESBC BOD developed the following set of project selection criteria to help guide its decision making. The Board anticipates that many projects will satisfy a number of these criteria given the significant provincial Crown land base available for treatment. As such, the FESBC Board placed a high priority on proposed projects that satisfied multiple FESBC selection criteria below:
- Wildfire risk reduction/mitigation – prioritized based on reduction in wildfire threat to communities, critical infrastructure, First Nation cultural values, timber supply and special features such as parks and protected areas in consideration of approved Community Wildfire Protection Plans and Fire Management Plans.
- Wildlife habitat enhancement – prioritized based on provincial priorities and Habitat Management Plans as assessed by regional wildlife and ecosystem restoration specialists.
- Rehabilitation of fire damaged or low value stands, particularly MPB killed stands that will not be salvaged through existing licenses – prioritized based on contribution to timber supply needs or shortages.
- Recovery of fibre (lumber, pulp, pellets, energy, etc.) – prioritized based on volumes created for local/regional markets.
- Opportunities to attain carbon benefits.
- Opportunities to combine FESBC funding on the provincial Crown land base with other funding sources (ex. UBCM-SWPI, LBI, HCTF, FFT, CBT, NDIT, etc.) and/or creating synergies with adjacent projects or TSA/landscape/ community strategies.
- Community/First Nation government support as indicated through the project consultation process.
- Value-for-money in achieving all of the above – based on FESBC BOD evaluation. A higher value will be placed on those projects that provide lower funding costs per area treated.
- Especially for 2016, projects more fully prepared for expeditious (shovel-ready) startup and delivery were strongly preferred.
Q2. Why has the government elected to deliver these activities through the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, rather than delivering it in-house?
The Society model meets three objectives:
- It allows provincial government and other sources of income to invest in an organization dedicated to deliver a multi-year program focused on wildfire risk reduction and forest enhancement;
- It provides an arm’s length platform, allowing more flexibility in operations and alignment with communities and stakeholders; and
- It creates an opportunity to lever Government’s contribution to pursue other funding sources.
Q3. How does FESBC funding (and the activities it supports) relate to other existing programs, including Forests for Tomorrow, Land Based Investment Strategy and Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative?
FESBC will provide funding to support a more landscape-level approach to wildfire risk reduction in high-risk areas and restoring severely impacted forests to ensure healthy, resilient forests for the future.
In the process, FESBC will ensure linkages to and build upon existing activities delivered through other programs such as Forests for Tomorrow, Forest Carbon Initiative and the Land Based Investment Strategy.
The Forests for Tomorrow program is funded at approximately $40 million per year and uses that funding, in an average year, to rehabilitate of 20,000 hectares and plant 28 million seedlings.
The Land Based Investment Strategy invests in all stewardship activities across Crown land, ranging from forest health activities to wildlife inventories.
The Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative is designed to reduce wildfire risk to communities by funding community wildfire prevention planning and treatments within the two-kilometre wildland-urban interface buffer surrounding communities. FESBC will primarily focus on funding wildfire risk reduction projects outside of the immediate wildland/urban interface (complementary to the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative by supporting critical wildfire prevention work outside of the community interface areas) and providing a more landscape approach to wildfire risk reduction.
Some of the existing investment programs have been aimed at ecosystem restoration. FESBC activities will also engage in restoration but as a part of a larger wildfire prevention strategy.
Q4. What kind of activities were NOT eligible to be covered by Forest Enhancement Society of BC?
Activities within municipal boundaries, on private lands or on First Nation reserve or title lands.
Harvesting and silviculture activities that would be economically feasible to pursue without the Forest Enhancement Society of BC and those that are a licensee obligation.
Q5. What role will the Province have in project delivery?
Because the Province is the land manager, they will take a leadership role in strategically identifying, coordinating and prioritizing potential projects that satisfy FESBC project selection criteria.
The FESBC Board of Directors strives to ensure that funding is directed to the highest priority projects on the provincial Crown land base that achieve the purposes of the Society.
In all cases, the Province will continue to be responsible for ensuring that proper consultation has occurred, appropriate tenures are in place and that manufacturers pay market prices for fibre generated from BC’s forests.
Q6. Will any projects involve major licensees?
With their knowledge of local forest conditions, all major licencees can provide valuable advice to FESBC and the Province to help identify and plan projects in their area.
Where the areas identified for treatment by the Province fall within the geographic boundaries of area-based licences, it is expected that the licensees will play a significant role in the development of the project. As applicable, licensees will pay stumpage on sawlogs and volume will be tracked and attributed to the relevant licence. In most cases, licensees will have an opportunity to purchase timber generated at market prices.
It is expected that activities will be planned and carried out to ensure that fibre that is not of value to the licensee will be made available to other users at market prices. In all cases, project development will be consistent with the principle of market pricing.
Q7. What about community forests and woodlots?
Area-based license holders, such as community forest agreement holders and woodlots, will be given the first opportunity to deliver any activities proposed for their areas and to sell fibre generated through these activities to willing buyers at market prices. In all cases, project development will be consistent with the principle of market pricing.
Q8. What role will First Nations have in these projects?
It is anticipated that First Nations will have a significant role to play, with opportunities to participate in all phases of project planning and development.
Where First Nations are licensees with areas identified for treatment, they will have the same opportunities as other licensees described above.
In all cases, FESBC respects the obligation to consult and accommodate First Nations impacted by activities that might impact Aboriginal rights and title.
Q9. What role will BC Timber Sales have in the delivery of these projects?
BC Timber Sales can play a key role in ensuring that the Province receives market value for timber and timber residuals delivered to licensees as a result of harvesting activities.
This could include:
- Identifying areas in need of treatment within BC Timber Sales operating areas and using the data generated in contracting out that work to set benchmarks for activities carried out elsewhere;
- Working with FESBC to auction timber sales, sawlogs and other fibre from project areas.
Q10. Will the Society be contracting to parties to carry out the logging and other work?
That will depend on the nature of the project. In most cases a project proponent will be the one issuing contracts and managing project development using the funding provided by FESBC. FESBC funding cannot fund costs that a proponent is obligated to pay. Contract work may also include many other activities such as; prescription writing, thinning, brushing, pruning, wildlife habitat enhancement and tree planting.
Q11. Will the Society auction logs that have been made available through the program?
FESBC will ensure that all sawlogs and other fibre generated under the program is competitively sold. This may involve BC Timber Sales, the licencee or the project proponent acting as the selling agent. In all cases, project development will be consistent with the principle of market pricing.
Q12. Will the logs go to sawmills or to pellet plants?
It depends on the nature of the timber volume produced and the proximity and type of plants available such as; sawmills, pulp, pellet, and co-generating plants. In most cases, high utilization of all logging wastes will be encouraged as a part of meeting the Society’s objectives of fuel management, fiber utilization, and greenhouse gas reduction. In most cases the competitive marketing of fiber volume will dictate the end product.
Q13. When will the 2016 funded projects start?
Most projects will be commencing this fall as soon as recipient agreements have been signed with the successful proponents and FESBC funding has been formally allocated.
Q14. Who is eligible to apply for FESBC funding?
Interested parties who may apply and be considered for FESBC funding include:
- Provincial government resource management agencies;
- Local governments;
- First Nation governments; and
- Small area-based tenures – Community Forests and Woodlots.
Q15. What are some examples of 2016 projects that were approved?
There are several areas with complex resource management objectives and high wildfire risk which were identified as good candidates for treatments and received FESBC funding.
There is a wildfire risk reduction project near Williams Lake that was approved that involves treatment of forests with high wildfire risk in a variety of tenure types that covers a mosaic of forest values including:
- Recreation (sanctioned mountain bike trails)
- Wildlife (mule deer winter range)
- Old growth management areas
In the Kootenay’s there was a project deemed high priority by the Land Manager that was “shovel ready” to be delivered. The project focuses on wildfire risk reduction and will be a combination of harvesting, slashing and pruning, to decrease forest biomass, increase sunlight and reduce moisture/nutrient competition by removing conifer overstory. The project objectives are:
- Protection of community and infrastructure from wildfire, as per the Regional District’s CWPP; and
- Restore and conserve suitable habitat conditions for several wildlife species.
Q16. What can groups do if their project didn’t receive funding?
Applications that are not funded in respect of a particular intake period may be re-submitted in a future intake period. Proponents should review the project selection criteria on our website, discuss with local FLNRO staff and consider options that may improve their application.
Q17. When is the next intake of applications? How can we apply for funding?
The next intake of applications from “eligible parties” (see Q14) is November 4, 2016. Check the FESBC website for details under ‘Applying for Funding’.