A prescribed burn totalling 750 ha was conducted in May using an aerial ignition device. The objective was to improve wildlife habitat.
Two days of prescribed burning, totalling 470 hectares, were conducted to improve and expand forage conditions, remove fuel build-up resulting from mountain pine beetle infestations, and to promote natural regeneration of trees. The first day ignition was conducted by hand to create a fuel free barrier on the eastern edge of the valley. This ensured protection of plantations to the east. The second day ignition was done from helicopter and involved more prescribed burning in standing fuels, particularly the dead pine stands.
35 hectares of Douglas-fir leading stands were spaced, pruned and debris piled away from healthy Douglas-fir in preparation for a prescribed burn conducted in the fall.
A contract was awarded to coordinate foundation of the ecosystem restoration program. Part of this contract was to establish a not for profit society which will provide leadership for ecosystem restoration in the Omineca Region. Founding directors include representatives from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations, BC Parks, The BC Wildlife Federation, The BC Trapper’s Association, the Nechako Valley Regional Cattlemen's Association, and the BC Guide Outfitters Association.
Funding acquisition was also a high priority and proposals were submitted to various potential partners.
Another important aspect of this contract was to identify and undertake preliminary planning for potential projects in the next few years.
The society was officially registered with a list of first directors, and a constitution and bylaws were prepared and submitted to the BC Registry for acceptance as a non-profit corporation.
A website was created to showcase the societies work and to keep members apprised.
A project was initiated to examine the effect and potential impact of understory burning and charring on Douglas-fir trees.
Terms of reference for a project to plan and coordinate the recovery of whitebark pine, a federally listed species at risk, were prepared and vetted through government agencies. This project involves a preliminary assessment of whitebark pine locations within the Omineca Region, as well as the production of a tactical plan that addresses identification of suitable habitat, development of rust resistant populations, seed acquisition and treatment, seedling production, stand treatments, monitoring needs, and identification of potential funding partners, and stakeholder outreach. The project is meant to build on recovery efforts already underway elsewhere in the province. It is hoped that anyone with an interest in restoration of whitebark pine will be able to use information in the plan and will coordinate their activities through the ecosystem restoration society. This project will be undertaken in the early part of 2013 so that products will be available in time to help guide field work in the summer.
Treatment monitoring activities were completed on the Stuart River project area.
A field analysis of the potential for prescribed fire on the northern slopes of Fraser Lake was conducted.