Forest Enhancement Society of BC – $27M for 38 Projects

Thirty-eight organizations in BC have collectively received $27M in funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia (FESBC). Awarded projects will increase the use of wood fibre that otherwise would have been burned as waste. Instead, the fibre will be transformed into heat energy, electricity, and pulp products (such as paper).

Individual FESBC grant amounts for the successful organizations range from $16,980 to over $3M.

Headquartered in Kamloops, BC, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a provincial crown agency that funds projects that help minimize wildfire risks, enhance wildlife habitats, recover low-value and damaged forests, and utilize fibre for green energy production. The agency also funds projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change.

Funding for BC Forest Protection

Several FESBC-funded projects will re-purpose slash, the woody debris generated during logging. As a potential contributor to wildfires, slash is systematically burned every fall and winter by companies in the logging industry. This practice means that millions of tons of wood fibre is wasted. Several FESBC-funded organizations will instead use this debris to create wood pellets, pulp, and other products.

Additional projects will rehabilitate damaged forests, enhance habitats for wildlife, and reduce the risk of wildfires.

The companies awarded the highest amount of support in this round of FESBC funding include Zellstoff Celgar (Castlegar), a continuous process pulp mill, and Ledcor Forest Products (Kamloops), a company that converts logging waste into biomass for electricity production

The top two companies received $3M and $3.86M, respectively.

Other organizations awarded high amounts by FESBC include:

  • Pinnacle Renewable Energy (Burns Lake) – $1.4M
  • Arrow Transportation Systems (Kamloops) – $2.4M
  • Canfor Pulp & Paper (Prince George) – $1.5M
  • Fort St. James Fuel Company (Fort St. James) – $1.5M

In addition to their environmental benefits, funded projects will also create jobs for forestry contractors, some of whom might otherwise be unemployed, as well as for mill workers at facilities that produce electricity, wood pellets, and pulp.

FESBC & Canadian Government Funding

About FESBC

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC was established in 2016 to advance environmental stewardship and BC forest protection projects, with an emphasis on:

  • Preventing wildfires and reducing the impacts of wildfires
  • Rehabilitating damaged forests
  • Improving wildlife habitats
  • Supporting the use of fibre from damaged or low-value forests
  • Caring for and managing forests to mitigate greenhouse gases

So far, the BC provincial government has invested $235 million in FESBC, with about $230 million allocated to 251 projects since the agency’s creation. FESBC is also a partner in the  province’s Forest Carbon Initiative, which is funded in part through the federal government’s Low Carbon Economy Fund.

Recipients of FESBC funding can receive a maximum of between $250K to $1.5M total per year, depending on the project type. 

Eligible applicants include local governments, provincial government agencies, conservation organizations, First Nations governments, and certain types of businesses.

Grants for Environmental Projects

FESBC is only one of many government organizations that fund environmental projects. For example,  the Agricultural Clean Technology Program supports research, development, and adoption of clean technologies through investments in precision agriculture and agri-based bioproducts across Canada. Other federal programs include the Climate Action Incentive Fund, whose SME funding stream supports small and medium-sized businesses undertaking retrofit projects, and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, which subsidizes late-stage development or pre-commercialization strategies for clean technologies.

Grants for Organizations in BC

Organizations in BC may be eligible for a range of federal funding programs, as well as programs that are specifically targeted to Western Canada, such as the BC Rural Dividend Fund, which helps rural BC communities and non-profit organizations diversify local economies.

Companies and non-profits may also qualify for programs offered by Western Economic Diversification Canada, a federal economic development agency.

To stay up-to-date on business grants, industry and funding news, and resources geared to Canadian businesses, sign up for Mentor Works’ Weekly Funding Newsletter.

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Written by

Sunnie holds a PhD in English from Dalhousie University, and has published her writing in several academic journals, as well as in magazines, newspapers, and blogs. She combines years of experience as a professor in English with practical experience in the private sector as a trainer in writing and analytical thinking.

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