The hard-hit Burns Lake forestry region is getting some help from the provincial government in the form of an investment in reforestation and timber supply mitigation.
The government will invest $3.4 million in the Nadina district for reforestation, timber supply mitigation, forest health and inventory, according to a news release from the Ministry of Forests.
Seven months ago, the Babine sawmill – the major employer for Burns Lake – went up in flames. Burns Lake has been featured as part of Business in Vancouver’s series on industry dependent towns.
The investment may not have much immediate impact, since the Babine sawmill may not be rebuilt. It is intended to increase timber supplies for the medium and long term.
A pine beetle infestation resulted in an accelerated harvest, and now forestry companies worry that they will start running short on standing timber.
Reforestation plans include the planting of 17,000 seedlings and fertilization of 4,500 hectares of timber to produce 90,000 cubic metres of timber over the next 20 to 60 years.
Another 850 hectares will be planted with 1.3 million seedlings next for the longer-term production of an additional 210,000 cubic metres.
The funding will also be used to survey land to find other suitable areas for reforestation fertilizing and improved spacing.