Western Forestry Contractors’ Association
Rumour Mill RoundUpDate
4 March 2022
Volume 22 Issue 03

Warning: Some of the facts in the edition are based on actual events.

Forecasters Say Weather Will Continue

Temperature probabilistic forecasts for this spring appear inverted with the Arctic above normal and our western regions below normal as B.C. coast planting season gets underway.

According to reports Vancouver Island locals are now saying the chances of late winter snow falling in their region increase with the arrival of tree planters in February and March. The seasonal forecasts for the beginning of the meteorological spring (March 1 to May 31) appear to support that with below normal temperatures forecasted. The Old Farmer’s Almanac is silent on whether it recognizes the effect tree planters have on weather in its predictions. By the way, who is the Old Farmer?

BCWS Expands Role To Include Reducing Natural Disaster Risks

In an effort to mitigate natural disaster risks and deal better with responding to and recovering from events like our recent wildfire and weather emergencies, the 2022 BC Budget allows for the BC Wildfire Service to become a year-round agency. With this expanding role—consistent with B.C.’s 2018 adoption of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction—it will take on staff to develop disaster risk mitigation strategies aimed at reducing natural hazard threats and restoring more fully ecosystems lost to disasters. As we heard at our WFCA conference last month BCWS will be relying on the forestry contracting community to implement these programs. By our reckoning the budget includes a total of over $200-million over three years for wildfire prevention and community risk reduction projects.

The above budget also includes $25-million for the Forest Enhancement Society of BC spread over two years. That money will be spent on wildfire fuels management work. Our government is expected to permanently mandate FESBC later this year.

This Year’s Climate Change Reports More Dire

There has been a run of climate change reports this year: all of them in shades of bleak. The most dire is the latest UN IPCC report Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaption and Vulnerability. It questions whether the planet will remain habitable. The UN Environment Program published its assessment Spreading Like Wildfire: The Rising Threat of Extraordinary Landscape Fires. Fires are burning up forests across the planet at a worsening rate. Our Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel on Disaster Resilience in a changing Climate brings things closer to home with their Building a Resilient Canada. If you are not doing enough doom-scrolling you can read those reports.

BCWS Contract Advisory Committee Undertakes Review of Contractor Procurement System

As the BC Wildfire Service expands its role contractors will play a major part in hazard reduction, prevention, response and recovery projects. Along with those rising expectations, the BCWS Contract Advisory Committee (WSCAC) will undertake a third-party review of the current contractor procurement, training, and performance assessment system making recommendations to address any needed improvements. The report is expected to be done by the fall.