Creating Jobs and Helping the Forests
In 2010, RCFC applied to the Job Opportunities Program for funding to hire unemployed forest workers. This program was to bridge unemployed forest workers in the industry through the economic downturn so that the forest industry would still have experienced people to hire when the employment opportunities arose. RCFC hired 5 people to complete a conifer release on four blocks within our TFL. Three of the five people hired are back to work in the bush again. It is getting harder and harder to find skilled workers in the industry and this program helped retain some of them.
Over two years later, the cottonwood trees are finally dying. Over 85% of the area treated has been successful in slowly killing the deciduous trees to give room for the conifers. We didn’t want to kill all the deciduous as it is important to maintain a component of these trees for forest health and biodiversity. The slow mortality of the deciduous give the understorey conifers time to adjust to the increased light they receive and result in a faster growing, healthy forest.
This type of treatment is called a conifer release which is a type of enhanced silviculture. Enhanced silviculture is used to increase the production of the forest and often increase the value of the trees for the future. You’ve probably heard in the news lately about mid-term timber supply in BC. Enhanced silviculture treatments are ways to reduce the impacts on mid-term timber supply while providing jobs in forestry. Healthy forests and creating jobs!!!