Mountain pine beetle: Canada's new government delivers

September 10, 2007

“British Columbians know how wildfire can devastate communities, and there’s no question the beetle has added fuel for potential fires. Dead and dying trees pose other risks as well,” said M.Harris. “Helping communities and First Nations reduce the risk to public safety presented by beetle-killed timber is a major objective of the Mountain Pine Beetle Program.”

Of the funding announced today, $1.06 million will go toward assisting communities in beetle-affected areas with the cost of completing wildfire protection plans and implementing operations to reduce forest fuel loads in order to manage the wildfire risk. The program will be delivered in collaboration with the Union of B.C. Municipalities’ Strategic Wildfire Protection Program.

"New federal funding for managing wildfire risk is good news for communities in B.C.," said UBCM President Brenda Binnie. "Today's announcement will make communities in pine beetle-infested areas safer and better prepared."

First Nations communities on federal forestlands in areas hit by the infestation will also receive financial assistance to support wildfire risk assessment and forest fuel management. Canada’s New Government will provide a total of $1.06 million to First Nations bands and tribal councils for these projects. This program will complement the work being done through the First Nations Forestry Council and the First Nations Emergency Services Society.

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