Quesnel City Council has given staff the green light to apply for a series of grants related to various forestry initiatives in the area.

That includes a 2.5 million dollar ask to the Forest Enhancement Society of BC for landscape analysis and restoration.

The test area for this research will extend to hundreds of thousands of hectares.

Mayor Bob Simpson says this work is extremely important because all of the other work that is being done doesn’t have a rehabilitation framework to bring these forests back.

He uses the North Cariboo area west of the Fraser River as an example…

“It’s either mountain pine beetle dead, or other pest and disease dead, or burnt or whatever the case may be. If you go in and all you’re doing is a small area each time with your normal forest practices, you will end up 35 years from now with that landbase getting wiped out again. Because our normal forest practices are you go in and you plant, you fertilize, you thin, you bring it all back. Well we know from the last mountain pine beetle epidemic that 35 years from now the mountain pine beetle will come back, wipe all that out and the fires that we’ll get post that will be even larger than the ones that we’re experiencing just now.”

Simpson says some kind of framework is needed that looks at the ecology of that landbase and says OK when you’re doing stand treatments you need to do it with with this in mind.

This money is about half of what is needed and Council will look elsewhere for the rest.

Council has also approved an application, also to the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, for 1.4 million dollars for furthering the Community Wildfire Protection Plan, as well as just under 245 thousand dollars to the Community Resiliency Investment fund for education and fuel management of 26 hectares, and finally a 600 thousand dollar request to the Red Cross for staff support for the project over two years.