The College of New Caledonia Research Forest Society has launched a legacy fund supporting projects in communities the college serves.
The society is welcoming applications for projects with a focus on environmental improvement, renewable natural resource education and outreach programs, outdoor recreation improvement, or social-environmental commitment to the local communities.
The successful project will receive up to $30,000 per year for three years.
The research forest was founded in 2009 to provide a new revenue source to sustain and revitalize the college's natural resource and forestry education and provide for new research and learning opportunities for CNC and its students.
The spruce beetle outbreak began to noticeably affect the forest in 2015. The onset resulted in a new management plan and two timber supply reviews in an attempt to reasonably forecast tree mortality and develop a quick management response.
Ultimately, the caretakers had to increase harvest level to remove spruce beetle populations and salvage spruce timber prior to significant degradation from drying and decay.
Though the forest industry is currently experiencing difficult circumstances affecting many people in the region, research forest manager Carl Pollard said it is the long-term mandate of the CNCRFS to ensure it provides important benefits to students and local natural resource research for many years to come.
"There is now the opportunity to reinvest a portion of the sale of the timber back into the natural resources and people of the region served by CNC through this new legacy fund," Pollard said.
The CNCRFS legacy fund is open to individuals, businesses, community groups, First Nations communities, government agency, as well as secondary and post-secondary schools in and around Prince George, Bear Lake, McLeod Lake, Mackenzie, Quesnel, Fort St. James, Vanderhoof, and Burns Lake.
Applications packages and instructions can be found online at cnc.bc.ca/research/forest. Deadline for applying is August 16 at 4 p.m.