CNC Research Forest legacy fund supporting two projects

    • Prince George
  • May 3, 2022

Two projects from the Nazko First Nation and Fraser Headwaters Alliance were named recipients of the College of New Caledonia Research Forest Society’s (CNCRFS) legacy fund.

Launched in 2019, the CNCRFS legacy fund supports projects with a focus on environmental improvement, renewable natural resource education and and/or outreach programs, outdoor recreation improvement, or social/environmental commitment to communities the college serves.

The legacy fund provided $100,000 in total to support the efforts of these two projects. Since 2019, the CNCRFS legacy fund has provided $190,000 to projects from around north central British Columbia.

 “Once again, we had so many wonderfully creative proposals submitted, which made choosing just one a difficult task,” said CNC Research Forest Manager Carl Pollard. “There’s a lot of passion and respect for the natural environment of the region. We’re pleased to support these two projects that benefit us now and for generations to come.”

With the CNCFRS legacy fund, the Nazko First Nation will continue its work on a native plant reclamation and habitat restoration project.

The traditional territory of the Nazko First Nation reaches 1.8 million hectares of the B.C. Interior Plateau. In 2017, a wildfire devastated 421,000 hectares of this territory, which Nazko Natural Resources Manager Florian Bergoin said led to radical change in the landscape and long-term habitat lost for wildlife and plants of high cultural significance to the Nazko First Nation.

“Since the fires, we’ve experienced several record-breaking floods, which again led to the evacuation of our reserves,” he said. “The long-term effects of the wildfire are going to be felt for a long time.”

In an effort to sustain their traditional lifestyle and make their community more resilient in the face of climate change, natural disasters and a change in the forest economy, Bergoin said they are initiating a multi-phase landscape recovery program.

The first phase includes the development of a traditional plant inventory by community Elders and regional botany experts. The second phase uses innovative techniques to seed and propagate culturally significant plants on 60 hectares of land. The third phase sustains the plants seeded in the second phase through monitoring and maintenance.

“Nazko First Nation is very excited to hear our proposal with the CNCRFS Legacy Fund was approved and we look forward to getting started at the end of May 2022,” Bergoin said. “This innovative project will be a great opportunity for our Nation to collaborate with our partners at the CNC, and help bring forward new approaches to ecosystem restoration work.”

The Fraser Headwaters Alliance is using the support from the CNCRFS legacy fund to continue its work upgrading the historic Goat River Trail.

The 68 kilometre trail is nestled in the heart of the Cariboo Mountains stretching from the Fraser River north of McBride to the world-renowned Bowron Lake Provincial Park. 

“Recreational trails are extremely important, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Fraser Headwaters Alliance President Roy Howard. “It allows people to get out into the wilderness, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and learn about forests and the environment.”

The Fraser Headwaters Alliance’s goal is to complete the final improvements to Goat River Trail route during 2022, including constructing a new campsite at Kruger Mountain, clearing brush and debris from the pathway, building boardwalks, and installing additional signage and trail markers.  The works will enhance usability of the trail, improve hiking and camping safety, and provide for environmental protection.

 “We’ve seen a steady increase in the use of the trail since the start of the pandemic,” Howard said. “But, without additional skilled labour to reroute the trail, establish a new campground, and remove deadfall and downed trees, the trail would be unsafe.”

About the CNC Research Forest Legacy Fund

The CNC Research Forest Legacy Fund was launched in 2019 and is available as a result of the harvest and sale of spruce beetle affected timber within the CNC Research Forest units located north of Prince George. Learn more about the Legacy Fund.

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