In celebration of its 10th anniversary, the College of New Caledonia (CNC) Research Forest Society (CNCRFS) has launched a legacy fund supporting projects in communities CNC serves.
CNCRFS is seeking applications for legacy projects with a focus on environmental improvement, renewable natural resource education and/or 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.
“CNC and CNCRFS are both very excited about this opportunity to create new partnerships and lasting legacies for local people focused on sustainability of our natural resources,” Tara Szerencsi, CNC vice-president of finance and corporate services, said in a press release.
The CNC 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 forest covers 12,500 hectares and includes 12 separate forested areas, as well as eight distinct ecological subzones.
The spruce beetle outbreak began to noticeably affect the CNC Research Forest in 2015, according to the press release.
The onset resulted in a new management plan, as well as two timber supply reviews in an attempt to reasonably forecast tree mortality and develop a quick management response.
Ultimately, the CNC Research Forest 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, CNC Research Forest manager Carl Pollard says it is the long-term mandate of the CNCRFS to ensure the Research Forest provides important benefits to students and local natural resource research for many years to come.
“There is now the opportunity to re-invest 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 in the release.
The CNCRFS legacy fund project application is open to individuals, businesses, community groups, First Nations communities, government agencies and secondary and post-secondary schools in and around Prince George, Bear Lake, McLeod Lake, Mackenzie, Quesnel, Fort St. James, Vanderhoof and Burns Lake.
Application packages and instructions can be found online at cnc.bc.ca/research/forest.
The deadline to apply for the legacy fund is Aug. 16 at 4 p.m.