The CNC Research Forest Society has selected the Stellat’en First Nation and School District 91 (Nechako Lakes) to each receive a $50,000 grant through its legacy fund.
Launched in 2019, the legacy fund supports projects with a focus on environmental improvement, renewable natural resource education and/or outreach programs, outdoor recreation improvement, or social/environmental commitment to local communities.
The legacy fund is providing $100,000 to support the efforts of these two projects. Since its inception, the fund has provided $290,000 to organizations in northern British Columbia.
With help from the legacy fund, the Stellat’en First Nation will launch a multi-year project to reduce densities and increase foraging opportunities in a 40-hectare pine monoculture near Fraser Lake.
The project will establish a rehabilitation plan to commercially thin the plantation and remove the slash loading from the trails to increase fire resiliency and subsequently plant forage species.
Stellat’en will consult with the community regarding culturally important plant species, collect seeds and clippings, and grow the plants in a nursery before planting in 2025.
School District 91 will use the funding to build an educational trail system within the W.L. McLeod Wetland in Vanderhoof.
The interpretive trail will have minimal impact to the natural environment by using boardwalks and viewing platforms in its design.
Viewing platforms will serve as learning stations, exploring the flora and fauna of the wetland, the historical and hydrological importance of the wetland to Saik’uz First Nation people and Nechako River, and how resources link to watershed health.
“The wetland is situated next to the Nechako River and two schools, which makes it the perfect spot for school and community-based education,” said Darren Carpenter, career and trades programs coordinator at SD91.
“The trail would be accessible to K-12 students from Vanderhoof and Saik’uz First Nation, CNC students, community residents, and tourists.”
The CNC Research Forest Society legacy fund is open each year to applications from individuals, businesses, community groups, First Nations communities, government agency, as well as secondary and post-secondary schools within the communities CNC serves (Prince George, Bear Lake, McLeod Lake, Mackenzie, Quesnel, Fort St. James, Vanderhoof, and Burns Lake).