2014 Project and Budget Summary

With contributions from the provincial government, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, the Peace Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, and Tl’azt’en First Nation totalling $280,679 the following activities were completed.

Administration: Includes program coordination, book keeping, SERNbc comprehensive liability and directors insurance, website maintenance and volunteer directors travel expenses.


Reconnaissance level surveys were completed across the region intending to locate new project areas for further detailed data collection and eventual prescription. This contract is scheduled for completion by March 31, 2015.


The Sutherland protected area had detailed assessment and prescription work completed. Also assessed were the Copely lake area but no potential prescriptions were developed. Also, further assessment was completed on the Blackwater ungulate winter range area. Recommendations were developed for the Forests For Tomorrow program but no further prescriptions were developed.


Funds were expended to facilitate access for prescribed burning and some monitoring operations in Bevel Creek, the Blackwater Ungulate Winter Range, the Euchiniko Sidehills, and Stuart River Park.


Special projects were completed to prioritize fish passage projects in the Williston drainage, to develop a prescription for plantation structural improvements in the ICH vk2, to encourage relationships between First Nations and SERNbc, to plan Whitebark Pine recovery in BC, to assist with the development of a Grizzly Bear Wildlife habitat area and restoration plan (Kuzkwa River)and to develop a Whitebark Pine plan for restoration in Mount Robson Park.


Further spacing, pruning, piling and burning work was completed on Savory Ridge. We also conducted a small amount of invasive weed treatments to try to hold back orange hawkweed.


Towards the end of the fiscal year (January to March 2015) we will complete work to advance our monitoring program and update our communication tools.




Activities Completed 2014

Bevel: A prescribed burn using aerial ignition was conducted in 2014. Although the prescribed area is 8000 ha we expected that it may be possible to achieve half that amount in any one year. It rained the day prior to ignition resulting in a light burn in scattered locations throughout the area. Another burn and monitoring is planned for 2015.

Stuart River Park: This area of approximately 200 ha was prescribed burned in 2014. Added area outside the prescribed area was also burned due to escape. Much of it was in the Park, some of it on the working forest and into a plantation. The plantation will be replanted through approval of FRPA Section 108 government funds.

Sutherland Park: Approximately 1050 hectares was assessed and a burn plan developed.

Euchiniko River: This area was initially burned in 2014 with a ground crew then followed up with an aerial ignition a week later for areas not burned in the initial ignition. Approximately 225 ha were burned.

Euchiniko Lakes / Blackwater Kluskus: A prescription exists for this area but due to safety concerns was not burned in 2014. A wildfire burned a small portion of the eastern end of the prescribed area. There is some concern that suppression activities (guard construction) may have damaged the grasslands. The rehabilitation of the guard should be monitored over-time.

Ruby Rock Provincial Park: Was planned for burning but was not completed due to competing priorities in meeting other burning projects. This will be planned for 2015.

Blackwater River UWR: Approximately 500 ha of this area was prescribed burned in 2014. Further assessments were also completed with recommendations pending to the Forest For Tomorrow program, encouraging planting of Douglas-fir.

North Nechako/Coply Lake: Assessments completed but though portions of the area are considered degraded with the presence of dead pine and live, unhealthy, small pine, no opportunities for burning or other rehabilitation treatments were identified. Further discussion is required on these degraded stands and what would assist with their recovery.

Other: Numerous other projects were delivered in the SERNbc ER program through other funding sources. These projects compliment and are in addition to the projects mentioned above and include a project looking at grizzly bear enhancement in the Kuzkwa, Whitebark pine prescriptions developed for restoration,  Whitebark pine seedling establishment framework, fish passage restoration prioritization, invasive weed treatments, ICH vk 1 plantation structural improvements, and others.

In-Kind Services

In-kind services are always significant however contributions this year were more than usual due to the amount of prescribed burning delivered through Wildfire Management Branch. The baseline contribution is estimated to be about $135,000 which covers planning and various coordination and administration efforts. Prescribed burns services are provided without direct charge to SERNbc and are estimated to be about $40,000 delivering five different prescribed burning projects.

Funding Proposals

Not including requests from the Provincial Government or in-kind services provided by various organizations and individuals, we are requesting $319,420 for expenditure in 2015 from 2 main sources as identified below.

Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation

Year 3 (of 5) funding of $106,900 was requested from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. The proposal covers the costs of continued SERNbc coordination, surveys and prescriptions for various areas identified in 2014 recce work, helicopter rental for conducting monitoring and prescribed burning treatments and other administrative costs.

Year 1 (of 2) funding to undertake enduring features mapping and analysis was re-submitted with reduced scope and renewed focus based on review comments and stakeholder input. The primary task is to undertake an analysis of enduring features within portions of the Omineca Region where this has not already been done.  In this project we will use enduring features information to identify areas of high physical variety, rarity, and productivity and to create interpretive products including maps of areas of ecological upheaval, connectivity corridors, and refugia.  Mapping and data products will inform decision making and prioritization regarding habitat conservation efforts, ecosystem restoration activities, and land use designations and practices. 

Peace/Williston Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program

SERNbc did not submit proposals directly to the program but projects that we support were submitted by Wildlife Infometrics and included prescribed burn and monitoring activities in Mackenzie Resource District.

Provincial Government

Funding submission for 2015/16 has yet to be completed. Though there is no specific deadline for submission, required budget from this funding source should be completed by the end of February 2015. It is expected that funding from any projects identified for 2015/16 under the survey contracts will need to come from this source. We would also like to continue our relationship with the MFLNRO fish passage technical working group. Further opportunities will be scoped as opportunities present themselves.


First Nations:  A major milestone has been met now that we have First Nations directorship on the SERNbc board. Luc Gleeson and Mike Tilson are alternating directors from Tsay Kay Dene First Nation and will bring a perspective that the board has been lacking over the last two years. SERNbc also hopes to engage with the broader group of First Nations communities in the Omineca through focussed discussion during the first three months of 2015. SERNbc hopes that these discussions will be the start of many to come in the future and that they will lead to stronger relationships, linkage in land stewardship interests, and eventual budget development and restoration projects.

Monitoring Strategy: Wildlife Informetrics has been hired to facilitate coordination of a monitoring plan for SERNbc. Their deep understanding of stewardship monitoring makes them great candidates to lead SERNbc in their monitoring efforts. The goal will be to work with SERNbc to develop a monitoring plan that is both cost-effective and informs project objectives, allowing for continuous improvement.

Regular Communications: The first Annual General Meeting occurred May 14, 2014. The meeting was held in the conference room of the Four Points Sheraton in Prince George and 14 members participated with 13 directors elected to the board. An attempt to elect officers through an email vote was unsuccessful but another attempt will be made during the next directors meeting February 10, 2015. Further discussion on project status’s and future priorities will also be discussed and confirmed at the February meeting.