The City of Quesnel will soon have a million dollars to do some forest management over the next couple of years.
Council unanimously agreed last night to accept the transfer of a grant that C & C Wood Products was awarded from the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C.
City Manager Byron Johnson says C&C felt that it would be best managed by the City because of it’s broader vision under the Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
And Johnson says, besides the fact that the City doesn’t have to put any money into this, there is also the potential for revenue…
“As part of the fuel treatment prescriptions in some areas there will be some marketable timber developed. So as a result of the fuel treatments, the timber gets developed, any revenues from the timber sales stay with the proponent to be re-invested to complete more fuel management work. So if we have a million dollar program, if you were to make x amount of money that ads to the full program, so then you can continue on your work and do even more treatment. I suspect it will not be fully self-sustaining, that at some point in time the program will run out of money, and we would need to approach the province to get more funding into it or stop the program at some point of time.”
Johnson says the City will also be able to work in the areas which are the highest priorities under the Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
He says the fibre will be made available to all licencees to get the absolute greatest utilization possible, and will go through a public process.
As part of the transfer C&C will stay engaged in the process as the fuel treatment managers, basically running the day to day aspects of the program and the Fraser Basin Council, already engaged in developing the City’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan, will be the project manager.
While some i’s still have to be dotted and t’s crossed, Johnson doesn’t anticipate any problems in finalizing an agreement.
Council has been critical in the past that city taxpayer’s money was being used for wildfire mitigation on crown land outside the city.
Mayor Bob Simpson says this not only gets the City to 100 percent funding, it’s actually an extension to the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative, because he says the revenue from this work could also be used to pay for it’s portion under that plan.