The Syilx territory has historically been maintained by cultural fire events. Active fire suppression tactics have led to vegetation ingrowth and extreme fuel loading throughout Syilx Territory. Combined with climate change, fire suppression has led to longer, more intense, and more destructive wildfire seasons and a less resilient forest ecosystem. A less resilient forest ecosystem degrades cultural, ecological and social values, increases threats to communities and infrastructure, and provides fewer natural resources, including timber supply.
The success of this project is the product of hard-earned relationships between local First Nations (PIB and ONA), local industry (Gorman’s), the Provincial Government and FESBC. It has successfully combined timber harvesting in the Timber Harvesting Land Base (THLB) with Syilx cultural-ecological restoration at a landscape level and has provided a template to model and improve on as the forestry sector, Indigenous rights and reconciliation and ecosystem stewardship continue to innovate.
•Contribute to a landscape level fuel break protecting Summerland and Peachland and surrounding rural development from wildfire risk.
•Restore forest ecosystem functions associated with a complex stand structure and low intensity stand maintaining fire regime.
•Enhance wildlife habitat, particularly mule deer winter range, where fire suppression and forest in-growth has led to sub-par understory shrub growth, limiting food sources such as red stem ceanothus and willow for ungulate species.
•Cultural resources include food plant species, mule deer and a variety of sensitive medicinal and spiritual resources. The project will enhance these values by restoring the reciprocal relationship be-tween the people and the landscape- resources flourish when they are taken care of.
•Maximize utilization of undersized trees by taking the fibre to a processing facility