District of Clearwater’s forest fuel reduction programs brought a total of $2.4 million into the community and resulted in 31.4 person-months of employment over the past two years.
Those were just some of the figures corporate administrator Leslie Groulx used when she introduced Wes Bieber, the forest consultant who coordinated the programs. Bieber gave his final report to town council on April 19.
North Thompson and Wells Gray provincial parks received nearly $800,000 in collateral benefit, Bieber said. School District 73 had 19 hectares treated for $145,000 in collateral benefit.
Three local woodlots plus Wells Gray Community Forest benefited saw improvements to their standing timber inventory.
One of the biggest problems they faced was disposing of the woody material generated, said Bieber.
Domtar accepted 23 B-trains of it and some was salvaged, but the much of the rest was burned.
Unexpected results included finding metal pieces from metal drums near Clearwater Secondary School, piles of strapping in North Thompson Provincial Park, and wiring in the bush near Vavenby.
They also observed several possible signs that the forest is under stress due to climate change. These included black rings on a tree caused by a fungus and significant dieback of cedar in some areas.
“They could indicate that we’re not at the end of our fuel management job,” said Bieber.