What is SERNbc

SERNbc is a group of individuals and agencies interested in collaborating to help restore vulnerable and degraded ecosystems in the Omineca Region of Northern British Columbia. Members include representatives from government agencies such as the University of Northern BC, the College on New Caledonia, Forest Stewardship, BC Wildfire Services, and BC parks; organizations like the Fish and Wildlife Federation, B.C. Trappers Association, the Guide Outfitters Association, and Cattlemen; as well as private citizens. There is no cost to be a member.

SERNbc has recently completed a Strategic Plan we are excited to present this to those interested in ecosystem restoration in the Omineca. We look forward to continuing to work with interested individuals, groups, stakeholders and partners in the implementation of the Strategic Plan in the coming years. We want to say a special thanks to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation in their funding of the strategic planning process.

Our Mission

The mission of the Society for Ecosystem Restoration in North Central BC is to manage the structure and function of vulnerable and degraded ecosystems in the Omineca Region to achieve a desired future condition that will sustain ecological services and human socio-economic needs.

The purposes of the society are to:

  • Identify, treat, and monitor vulnerable ecosystems in the Omineca Region and achieve a desired future condition that will sustain ecological services and human socio-economic needs.
  • Coordinate ecosystem restoration activities in the Omineca Region and foster collaboration amongst stakeholders.
  • Acquire technical information on ecosystem restoration and disseminate it to members and stakeholders.

Program Scope

  • The geographic extent of the program encompasses the Stuart Nechako, Prince George and Mackenzie Natural Resource Districts -  approximately 20 percent of the landbase of British Columbia!
  • SERN activities focus on ecosystems that are either already degraded, or are in peril of becoming degraded, have a high functional importance to wildlife and biodiversity, and which are not explicitly managed through other programs. To date we have been working in Douglas-fir ecosystems, grassland ecosystems, wetland ecosystems, berry producing shrub ecosystems, improvements to fish passage structures, and whitebark pine ecosystems.

History and Strategic Direction

  • The B.C. Ministry of Forests and Range (MoFR) created a provincial Ecosystem Restoration (ER) Program in the fall of 2006 and, in 2009, produced a provincial strategic plan with goals, strategic priorities, and methods to help guide the program.
  • Ecosystem restoration meetings under this new program were first held in Vanderhoof In 2007 to determine how to formalize the program. The program was initially modeled after similar work being conducted in the East Kootenays.
  • In the Vanderhoof District, a steering committee was formed, an initial treatment plan was produced, non-governmental stakeholders were engaged, and various treatments were undertaken in targeted ecosystems. 
  • A governance structure was not formally established until 2012 after producing a more formal strategic plan in 2011.  Also in 2011, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations Regional Executive Director approved a proposal to fund a staff representative to help manage the program on a half time basis, and expand it to the entire Omineca Region.
  • In 2013 the Society for Ecosystem Restoration in North Central BC (SERNbc) was created and registered with the Province of B.C.’s Registrar of Companies, and incorporated under the Society Act.
  • In the spring of 2014, SERNbc finalized a strategic plan for the society, to provide guidance in the growth of ecosystem restoration across the Omineca.
  • Further direction will be provided in the spring of 2016 through delivery of a science based workshop to develop a strategic and systematic approach to identifying and prioritizing potential projects.
An example of a restored ecosystem.
Savory Ridge - BeforeSavory Ridge - Before
Sovory Ridge Brushing First Treatment (mechanical thinning and pruning)
Savory Ridge BurnSecond treatment (prescribed burn)
Savory Ridge Post BurnImmediately Post-Treatment
One year Post-Treatment