Development, land management, and climate change are example change agents that have impacted the structure and function of many northern ecosystems. In many cases, these impacts are short-term while other influences have a longer-term effect. When ecosystems are no longer able to cope or respond effectively to disturbance and related change; they may become vulnerable and at risk. To manage vulnerable and at risk ecosystems, Ecosystem Restoration (ER) practitioners need to understand when ecosystems are vulnerable and what management changes can be made that will foster increased ecosystem resilience. ER practitioners can offer practical science-based treatment options to restore the ability of ecosystems to provide valuable ecosystem products and services.
In 2006, grass-root efforts to conduct ecosystem restoration (ER) work in the Vanderhoof Resource District began. In 2013, the Society for Ecosystem Restoration in North-Central BC (SERNbc) was established to expand ER programming to the Omineca Forest Region. SERNbc was registered as a non-profit society under the Society Act. In 2014, SERNbc finalized a Strategic Plan to guide its growth in the Omineca Forest Region. In 2016, SERNbc was asked to offer ER services to the Skeena, Omineca, and Northeast Forest Regions throughout northern BC.
A strategic plan was completed in 2016 to guide SERNbc’s growth and to develop a strategic and rigourous approach to identifying and prioritizing ecosystem restoration projects. These expansion activities are guided by the strategic planning process which was completed in July, 2013.
SERNbc’s mission is to coordinate ER programs that focus on the restoration of vulnerable and degraded ecosystems, which include a broad range of potential ecosystems.
SERNbc programming is focused on ecosystems that are either already degraded, in peril of becoming degraded, or have a high functional importance for biodiversity which are not explicitly managed through other programs. Past ecosystem restoration projects have been completed in Douglas-fir stands, grasslands, wetlands, berry producing shrub ecosystems, riparian and stream areas, and whitebark pine ecosystems. Current ecosystem restoration programs include road rehabilitation, habitat enhancement for species-at-risk, the use of prescribed fire, wetland research, reforestation of priority areas, and a variety of other ecosystem restoration projects.
Ecosystem restoration projects are identified and prioritized based on a structured decision-making framework to ensure ER investments are made that meet the objectives of SERNbc and their project partners.
SERNbc intends to:
To become involved in the society, please email the coordinator at .
Membership includes anyone interested in Ecosystem Restoration in Northern British Columbia. SERNbc has a diverse membership including the Provincial government, academia, First Nations, non-profit and non-government organizations, industry representatives, and other important stakeholders.
SERNbc is governed by a Board of Directors who represent SERNbc’s membership. The Directors provide valuable expertise and strategic direction for SERNbc and help to assess program priorities, develop and approve policy, evaluate program outcomes, and conduct many other important functions. There are three executive positions on the board including the President, Vice President, and Secretary/Treasurer.
SERNbc has one full-time manager whose role is to implement SERNbc programming, manage ecosystem restoration projects, support Board activities, and assist with fund raising and outreach and extension activities.
SERNbc governance is detailed in its constitutions and bylaws which are updated and approved by the Board. SERNbc is also guided by a number of policy and procedures such as:
SERNbc is interested in collaborating with all organizations interested in planning, implementing, and funding ecosystem restoration programming in northern British Columbia.
Ministry of Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development, Land Based Investment Program, Habitat Conservation Trust Fund, Fish and Wildlife Compensation Programs Environment and Climate Change Canada – Habitat Stewardship Program and the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk, Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia, and the Forest Carbon Initiative.