Outdoor recreation sites in Chilliwack and Harrison Mills will be receiving provincial funds to help workers in the forestry industry while upgrading infrastructure.
The B.C. government announced it would be adding $12 million in funding to its Forest Employment Program, which is intended to help create employment opportunities for workers and contractors in the forestry sector. The funds are being included as part of the province’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan.
This $12 million will go to fund more than 180 projects across the province, largely focusing on improvements to recreation sites, trails, forest service roads, wildlife areas and wildlife safety.
In the Chilliwack-Kent area, these projects include upgrades to the Chehalis Forest Service Road and the Tamihi Recreation Site.
“These upgrades to roads and campgrounds will benefit workers, locals and the tourism industry alike,” Kelli Paddon, MLA for Chilliwack-Kent, said in a release. “It’s a win-win when we can improve the infrastructure that serves communities while also creating jobs, especially after such a tough year.”
The upgrades to the Chehalis Forest Service Road will see new gravel added on two kilometres of the road to help improve safety.
At the Tamihi Recreation Site, the project will see gravel added to roads and camp pads at the site and adjoining ORV staging area to help level ground and reduce siltation.
The Forest Employment Program began in 2019 to help workers in the Interior who were impacted by downturns in the forestry industry. Initially intended to be a three-year, $15 million program, it has now expanded to include contractors and workers impacted by COVID-19 across the province.