The WCSIC promotes SFI sustainable forestry and fibre sourcing principles and objectives through sponsorship outreach programs that include forestry research projects (soil conservation, water quality, wildlife); forestry training; and community outreach programs. The values gained through sponsorship programs expand our knowledge base of sustainable forestry practices and build awareness in the forestry community about SFI and sustainable forestry. The projects featured below are a sample of or 2019 - 2020 Sponsorship Outreach Program.
New Online Course on Preventing and Managing Invasive Species
A new online training course is now available from the Invasive Species Council of BC.
The new course is designed to increase students' knowledge of forest management through an invasive species lens. It focuses on invasive species impacts, traits and vectors. Students will also learn best management practices for prevention and control. The course is free and takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete.
The course was developed through a community grant from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. Additional financing came from the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, and the SFI Western Canada Implementation Committee. Course material was developed with the guidance of forest industry representatives, government invasive species experts, Indigenous forestry company professionals and the silviculture industry. Two members of the advisory group even recorded their own stories of invasive species impacts.
The Invasive Species Council of BC would love your feedback as it strives to continually improve the course. Please send your comments to Sue Staniforth at [email protected].
Earth Rangers 2020 - 2021
In 2021 with the support of WCSIC, Earth Rangers will be bringing their exciting School Assembly Program to the BC communities of Duncan, Lake Cowichan, and Quesnel. The Earth Rangers School Assembly is an exciting and interactive presentation complete with live animals, games and trivia, captivating video content, and two enthusiastic presenters who explain complex environmental issues in a way kids can understand. They not only teach kids about the environmental issues our planet is facing — they empower them to take action. The assembly inspires students by highlighting the real-life work conservationists are doing, showing them how they too can take action for a cause they care about. Earth Rangers get kids excited about helping the environment and feeling confident that they can create real change. On Monday, February 1, 2021 Earth Rangers delivered the School Assembly Program virtually to 423 students of Ecole Mount Prevost. Here is some feedback from one of the teachers:
“My grade 2's loved the presentation and were engaged throughout. It was a perfect level for them.”
Teacher at Echole Mount Prevost in Duncan, BC
National Forestry Week 2020
The National Forest Week-BC Coalition (Coalition) began 2020 with the intent of continuing to develop the Program of assisting K-12 students and British Columbians in learning about BC forests and celebrating the contribution to our lives. In February, the COVID-19 pandemic was announced and all our plans required modification but within the Coalition’s intent. We were determined not to down tools for the year.
COVID-19 resulted in 2020 being a different year for celebrating BC forests. The spring K-12 Program was limited due to the closures of most schools, cancellation of field trip plans, teacher uncertainty as to what could/should be done and cancelation of community events. For all intensions, the activities of volunteers and teachers regarding educating students and British Columbians about forests stopped. Even though schools opened in September, the spring constraints affected the K-12 fall program. However, some teachers who normally include forests in their curriculum continued forest education in the classroom but no field trips.
In response, we modified the Coalition Program to provide teaching materials designed for the indoor or outdoor classroom instruction within COVID-19 constraints. The objective was to provide teachers with materials, lesson plan ideas, videos, etc. that would keep BC forests present in the education of K-12 students throughout the year and not just NFW per se. The approach was to build on the experiences of Coalition volunteers. Examples of BCNFW teaching resources include:
- Providing teachers with packages of promotional materials to encourage them to use BC forests education as part of their curriculum, where appropriate,
- Increasing the variety of handout materials but within the available Coalition budget and protection against future unknowns associated with COVID-19,
- Building a virtual field trip component database on the Coalition website that could be used by teachers and volunteers in the classroom. This was and continues to be created by a group of volunteers willing to work collaboratively in developing virtual field trip teaching materials.
The Coalition Program has two major cornerstones. One is the Provincial and community volunteers and the other the Sponsors without both the Program would have not achieved its successes.
The Coalition currently includes representatives from the Canadian Institute of Forestry (CIF) BC Sections, Association of BC Forest Professionals (ABCFP), Forestry Innovation Investments and a number of forest products and consulting companies.
Chuntoh Education Society
Program Manager, Chuntooh Education Society "We had another amazing week of outdoor activities during BC Forest Week this year. Despite the rainy weather, 287 resilient learners visited the Cinnabar Research Station to explore and celebrate our forests. Thank you to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee of Western Canada for providing transportation, meal and honouraria funding. Without their support, learners would not be able to make the trip!
Thank you as well to our fabulous volunteers from John Prince Research Forest, BC Wildfire, and Pope Mountain Arts. Musi cho to generous Tl'azt'en Elders Jonas, Maggie and Diana Morris for modeling intergenerational learning on the land. We look forward to inviting learners out to the forest again soon..."
Outland Youth Employment
The Outland Youth Employment Program is a local, community driven initiative that works towards equity and opportunity for Indigenous Youth (ages 16 to 19) through land-based education, training and work opportunities. Youth are fully immersed in a natural resource-based work culture including safety training, time management, remote and rotational work schedules and work-life balance. The program takes an inclusive approach to Indigenous education, recruitment and retention while providing a safe and predictable learning environment that can be tailored to meet the needs of local communities and partners. OYEP collaborates with local Indigenous communities and consults with Elders to ensure youth feel culturally and spiritually supported in the workplace.
The goal of all OYEP projects is to works towards equity and opportunity for Indigenous youth through land-based training, education and work opportunities. Achieving equity and opportunity leads to the leveling of the socio-economic playing field for Indigenous youth, which is currently critically imbalanced in Canada. OYEP provides Indigenous youth with a hand-up by opening doors to situations otherwise difficult to come by for Indigenous youth.
The 2019 activities were sponsored by WCSIC with additional support from West Fraser Mills Ltd, Carrier Lumber, Canfor, West Fraser (BC), Sinclar Group, and Conifex
Festival of Forestry
The BC Festival of Forestry is a non-profit organization committed to providing quality professional development experiences for school teachers.
Annual tours accommodate up to 20 teachers - to resource-based communities in BC. Tours provide an interactive learning experience to enhance teachers’ understanding of the complexities of sustainable forest management issues, and methods to integrate information into their classes.
Teachers have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a resource-based community and interact with the people most connected to resource issues. Our tours include hikes in various forest ecosystems, visits to active forest management areas, protected areas, and tours of processing facilities. Presenters on each tour represent a wide range of interest areas providing a clear balance of perspectives.
Tours in 2019 visited forestry operations certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
For more information please see our website http://www.festivalofforestry.org
Shishalh Nation-Cultural and Medicinal Plant Project
The shíshálh Nation (shíshálh), in partnership with A&A Trading Ltd. (A&A), retained Scott Hawker R.P.Bio., of Ecora Engineering and Resource Group Ltd. (Ecora), to undertake a program during the 2019 field season to verify previously mapped and identified cultural and medicinal plant sites. This work is one effort to help shíshálh to identify, protect, and to support shíshálh use of cultural and medicinal plants within the spipiyus swiya.
The shíshálh Nation (shíshálh) Medicinal Plants Management Policy outlines expectations for the Crown, proponents, and all others who seek to regulate or benefit from the use of the medicinal plants in shíshálh swiya. Described within the policy:
Medicinal plants are central to the shíshálh way of life, spirituality, culture, economy, and society. Medicinal plants have been a source of health and well-being for countless generations of shíshálh people and are essential to the lives of our present and future generations. shíshálh laws speak to the duties we all hold to honour, respect, and protect the medicinal plants of our Territory. Our Title and Rights include the medicinal plant resources throughout our Territory.
The attached redacted report outlines an Overview of this project, Scope and Methodology (Field Planning and Data Collection).
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