Director’s Corner: April 2024

I’m happy to share that I was able to attend the Conference of Forest Industries last week in Vancouver. It was an opportunity to network with government and industry from all over BC and to attend presentations and have conversations on everything from how mass timber is being incorporated into housing regulations, access to fibre, indigenous involvement, and wildfire risk management. 

The Province of BC has provided a report and I suggest you use your internet search engine to find “The Premier’s Expert Task Force on Emergencies” to get the summary of recommendations. Also, the province has provided funding for BC wildfire service training for individuals in rural communities.

There is good news:

1) The public recognizes there’s a problem

• British Columbians are focused on wildfires and think they are going to get worse

2) There’s a solution

• The majority of people believes proper forest management can mitigate the risk

3) Industry & Government

• There’s a broad, cross-partisan support for government action to manage forests to prevent and mitigate wildfires

In conclusion, the responsibility to manage wildfire risk lies with industry, government, and landowners.  Working forest practices such as fuel mitigation and reforestation are key, and landowners being responsible by participating in the local & provincial governments cooperative FireSmart program or choosing to build in an area not in the urban interface can help reduce losses and protect our forests. You can access more information on FireSmart or sign up for a home assessment through the RDKB’s website here.

Remember, forests are a living entity that with respect and planning can provide an economic benefit to the community as well as shelter our watersheds and provide the ecosystem for wildlife and natural habitat that we all enjoy.

Sharen Gibbs, 

Director, RDKB Area ‘E’

West Boundary