Category: News & Events

Rehabilitation of the Bralorne Pioneer Mines Ltd. Office

Project Update
November 8, 2022

The Bralorne Pioneer Mines Ltd. Office (BPMO), built in 1938-1939 by Bralorne Mines Ltd. is a key structure that contributes to Bralorne’s heritage character. From 1939-1971 the building served the as the center of administration for the Bralorne and Pioneer Mines as well as the organizational operations of the community. In the fall of 2021, the Squamish Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) included the building on its Heritage Register, recognizing the heritage value of the structure locally and regionally. The Bridge River Valley Community Association (BRVCA) owns the building. The BRVCA sees the BPMO as an ideal place for bringing together diverse cultures, abilities, and generations of residents, visitors, and tourists for learning, teaching, as well as community and economic growth. The project is viewed as an opportunity to solidify the community’s past as a route to strengthen its future.

Planning for how to best use the building and conserve its heritage character has been ongoing since the BRVCA’s purchase in 2017. After securing grants the physical work began on the building in the spring of 2022. Leading up to this point numerous assessments of the building took place by professionals, including carpenters, construction managers, architects, structural, mechanical, and electrical engineers and a heritage planner. Through their work, the plans cover a scope of work that will ensure the stabilization of the building and meet all life and safety requirements set by BC Building Code applicable to a structure listed on a local Heritage Register and the Provincial Register and will meet the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Place in Canada.

The building permit application was submitted to the SLRD Building Department in December of 2021 and was approved in late March 2022. At that time a Construction Manager was engaged and began work. The following tasks were completed between March and the start of November 2022:

  • Site preparation and excavation work to expose the foundation
  • Removal of historic piping containing hazardous materials in underbuilding workspace
  • Clean out and targeted demolition of the interior
  • Temporary stabilization of front entry portico allowing for entryway access work
  • Installation of drainage system around and under the building
  • Repairs to the foundation from previous failed drainage damage
  • Repairs to framing caused by settlement and moisture damage
  • Stabilization of interior floors
  • Completion of interior sheer walls and new beam required to stabilize building
  • Reinforcement of rafter system to meet seismic requirements
  • Restoration of the entryway footer and stairs
  • Rough in for electrical and plumbing upgrades
  • Exterior construction of wheelchair accessible ramp and new entry roof
  • Accessible washroom framed

However, the Construction Manager left the job unexpectedly the week of September 26, 2022. The BRVCA has recently vetted a new Construction Manager and hopes to have a contract in place by Nov. 15, 2022. Presently working on site are a plumber and electrician with plans for the new Construction Manager and carpenters to be on site in mid- November to winterize the building.

Additional work needing completion in the coming months includes an upgrade of the watermain to allow for the installation of a sprinkler system, completion of the underbuilding drainage system, upgrading the mechanical and electrical systems, installation of one full size kitchen, one studio kitchen, two full bathrooms, a public wheelchair accessible bathroom and a powder room, interior and exterior restoration of finishes, doors and windows.

The above-mentioned changes will allow for the building in addition to a permanent home for the museum will include a flexible space that will be used for meetings and gatherings, space to display local art, a small theater room, a renovated caretakers suite and a studio apartment, office space, a wheelchair accessible washroom, an upgrade of the public laundry facility and improvements to the back courtyard.

The issues that have set back the timeline of the project include: the delay by the building permit due to the Regional District’s Building Department backlog, difficulty securing skilled carpenters to assist the Construction Manager, the subsequent departure of the Construction Manager and the rising costs of materials. While work continued during the period it has taken the BRVCA to secure a new Construction Manager, the scope of work completed without senior oversite has been limited for the past month. It is expected that the above issues will lead to at least an additional three-to-four-month delay in the completion of the project. It is expected that the remaining tasks to complete the building rehabilitation will be in late spring to early summer of 2023.

The Bridge River Valley Community Association is pleased to tell everyone that we have hired a new General Contractor, Tandem Builders.  You can learn more about Tandem Builders at https://www.tandembuilders.ca/

BPMO Update

Building Permit Issued
A building permit has now been issued for the conservation work at the Bralorne Pioneer Mines Office Building.
The proposed scope of work will ensure the stabilization of the building and meet all life and safety requirements set by BC Building Code applicable to a structure listed on a local Heritage Register.
Some of this work includes improving the drainage around the building, meeting seismic requirements, upgrading the mechanical and electrical systems, improving wheelchair accessibility into the building, upgrade of the watermain, the installation of a sprinkler system, interior and exterior restoration of finishes and windows.
The building, if this conservation work were not to occur, would continue to deteriorate. The result of this conservation work will be to have a structurally safe, up to code building with life-safety issues addressed. This will ensure this heritage building is safe and habitable for years to come.
Conservation Plan: https://bit.ly/3xrjncO

Local Laborers and Contractors
The hope of the BRVCA is to employ as many local laborers and sub-contractors as possible. Thanks to those that have responded so far. As the date to begin physical work on the building approaches, we know we will need laborers, carpenters, drywallers, painters, as well as various other sub trades. If you are interested and to be put on a list for information on opportunities, please email us at bridgerivervalley@gmail.com

FAQ
What will be the uses of the building once the conservation work is completed?

The Bralorne Pioneer Mines Office Building will house the Bralorne Pioneer Museum once the conservation work is completed. The Museum will use approximately 40-50% of the building including exhibit space, storage space and an office.
The building will have a renovated caretaker suite and a renovated studio suite, a small office, an accessible washroom, an upgrade of the public laundry facility. There will be flexible spaces that can be used for community meetings, gatherings, co-working, and the display local art, as well as a small theater room and improvements to the back yard.
Architect Drawing: https://bit.ly/3OdwPae

Why did the Museum need to move?
The Museum’s first home in 1972 was in the Bralorne Pioneer Office Building after the Whiting’s purchased it. In the 1980s the Museum moved to the Bralorne High School’s Industrial Engineering Building, built in the 1950s, located to the east of the baseball field. Unfortunately, this building had neither heating, plumbing, nor insulation, and over the years suffered both a failing roof and foundation. While it served well enough for many years as the Museum’s home, the unstable climate in the building led to the artifacts deteriorating. With the interest of preserving the Museum’s collections the Museum leased and moved to the Post Office building in 2014 while a search was done to secure a permanent home for the Museum.
The BRVCA purchased the Bralorne Pioneer Mines Office building in 2017 with the two-fold goals to move the Bralorne Pioneer Museum into the space for its permanent home and to ensure that the building would stand and be usable for generations to come.

Housing in the Bralorne Pioneer Mines Office Building.
When the building was purchased in 2017 the decision was made to continue with the tenants who were in the building at the time. Arrangements were made with one tenant to do caretaking duties for reduced rent. All tenants were paying market level rents and the Residential Tenancy Branch rules were followed with regard to raising rents (very minimal).
As tenants chose to move from the building and given the understanding of the scale and scope of upcoming conservation work needed, those rental units were not reoccupied.
The two remaining tenants were provided their four month notice on March 31. One tenant has successfully found housing and we are actively advertising the need of housing for the other tenant. The tenant in need is single with a pet, a long-time resident of the Valley, and has a history of being a good tenant. The individual is currently in a studio type apartment, and we hope that the community will turn up housing that meets the tenant’s needs.
Once the conservation work is complete there will be two housing units in the building, a two-bedroom apartment and a studio type apartment. One of these two units will act as a caretaker suite for the building.

Will the Museum contribute to tourism in Bralorne?
The mission of the Museum is “to engage and educate the public through the promotion and conservation of the unique culture and heritage of the Bridge River and South Chilcotin Region.”
Through the 50 years the Museum has been in the community, it has received a steady number of visitors to the Museum. Those visiting are a mix of property owners, their guests, past residents of the area and various people who already in the area and happen upon the Museum.
A visitor survey conducted in 2021 indicated that majority of visitors come to the area primarily for outdoor recreation. Survey results indicated that none of the visitors indicated they were coming to the Bridge River Valley to specifically visit the Museum, however some mentioned a general interest in the area’s history.

Will the Museum being in the Bralorne Pioneer Mines Office Building mean there will be bus tours?
Through the years, an independent bus tour company has visited the Bridge River Valley. The guests are mostly seniors. They stay at Tyax Lodge, usually for two days or so and do a guided interpretive tour of the Valley which includes a stop at the Museum. The tour usually stops somewhere for lunch as well.
The Museum over the last number of years has seen 1 or 2 of these type of tours (none during 2020)

Is there a coffee shop planned in the Museum section?
As many will recall, there was a small coffee shop on one side of the lobby for a short while.
The plan for that space once the Museum has moved in is an “entrance greeting area” along with the Museum shop. The Museum currently sells books and other items of local interest as well as coffee, soft drinks and at times various snacks. It has been discussed that a partnership may be struck with a local provider for any food items, however there will not be any cooking facilities in this area.

What has been the community consultation and communication process for this project?
Prior to purchasing the Bralorne Pioneer Mines Office Building in 2017 a feasibility study was completed. The feasibility study found heritage value in the building and recommended, based on study and consultation in the area, a mixed use of the building which included, in part, the Bralorne Pioneer Museum.
Starting in 2017, once the purchase was completed, the Bridge River Valley Community Association has provided regular public updates on the progress of the conservation of the building and the adaptive-reuse.
Updates have been posted on our website, on Facebook, in the Mountain Telegraph, and in other media depending on the content.
Other forms of consultation and communication that have occurred included:
Walk throughs of various groups of people to both understand the condition of the building and provide input into the configuration of uses
Several special meetings of a broad cross section of stakeholders as key decisions needed to be made
Two public meetings were held to discuss a key decision point as well as one with regard to the Heritage Status of the building.
All forms of consultation and communication involved a broad group of stakeholders include the BRVCA Board of Directors, the Heritage Committee, legacy and former residents, community members from Bralorne and other locations in the Valley and elected local government officials, professionals such as architects (2), engineers, plumbing and electrical specialists, construction expertise (2).
All that have worked on this project are very appreciative of the help and the constructive input and feedback from those who have participated. This input and support has informed the evolution of what was needed to be done to preserve the building and determine the configuration of the building uses.

Questions or concerns are welcome and can be emailed to bridgerivervalley@gmail.com.

Training Committee Chair

The Valley Wide Training Committee is looking for a chair. If you love to see training for the entire Valley that helps us with serious issues such as wildfire, first aid, food etc. this is a straightforward role. It isn’t a huge time consuming role as it is well defined and has been worked through for a number of years.

The BRVCA Valley Wide Training Committee organizes and facilitates learning and development to increase knowledge, skills, and abilities to improve the level of safety and education required throughout our remote location.

If you are interested please contact the office at bridgerivervalley@gmail.com and they will put you in touch with committee members who can provide more detail.


BRVCA General Committee Chair Role

• In collaboration with committee members and staff determine meeting times and places
• In collaboration with committee members and staff develop agenda based on previous minutes and items coming up, work with staff to put it together and have it sent out ahead of meeting
• Ensure minutes are completed and distributed by whoever is doing them, review to ensure they are ok, have them or send out to committee for check
• Chair the meetings or ensure someone is there to chair
• Be a point person and advisor on communication etc., someone who staff/vollies go to for support etc.
• Ensure Terms of Reference for the committee are followed
• Come to BRVCA/BPM Board Meetings when requested or needed by circumstances

Specific Valley Training Committee Chair’s Role/Responsibilities

  • If new to the Committee, familiarize yourself with the program.
  • Sal DeMare a previous Chair can help with this.
  • The Committee meets 3 times or more a year and can be done virtually.
  • At first meeting in January or early February:
  • Training Committee requires a Treasurer but can be the Chair.
  • Review the Training Matrix Data sheets to see which courses will require recertification and how many participants may require recertification.
  • Review previous Survey Monkey results and comments on courses not listed.
  • Decide with the Committee which courses they would like to see on the Survey Monkey.
  • BRVCA Staff will put out the Survey Monkey on Social Media.
  • At the second meeting in late February or early March:
  • Review the outcomes of the Survey Monkey and decide which courses are going to be put on.
  • Decide which days the courses will be put on.
  • Staff will reach out to the Training Providers for availability and quotes.
  • In between second and third meeting:
  • Confirm and review trainer availability and quotes.
  • Build a draft Training Plan with courses dates and costs.
  • Review Committee Bank Balance and what funding will be required to put on the courses.
  • At the third meeting in April:
  • Review the Draft Training Plan and confirm with the Committee that the plan is achievable and approve it.
  • Staff will build Cognito Registration Forms and put out on Social Media.
  • Staff will book Trainers and confirm rental of facilities if required.
  • Work with the BRVCA Grant Writer for funding requests.
  • Other tasks:
  • Review the New Director Orientation Check List with any new Committee members.
  • Chair, Staff or other volunteer can do opening statements at any of the training sessions and at course ends.
  • Staff will take care of all paperwork for contracting etc.
  • Staff will help Trainers with accommodations etc and anything else they may need.
  • Staff will prepare Sign in Sheets and any other documentation required.
  • Staff will update the Training Matrix.
  • Staff will take care of the invoices.
  • Review Committee Transaction Reports and Budget with Treasurer and build the upcoming years Budget.
  • Prepare Meeting agendas and minutes.
  • Help with promoting the Training Program on Social Media.

Memorandum of Understanding

Memorandum of Understanding signed to work together in spirit of collaboration and partnership

The Bridge River Valley Community Association (BRVCA) together with Tsal’alh Development Corporation, Bralorne Gold Mines, Cobalt One Energy Corp, Endurance Gold and the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work together in the spirit of collaboration and partnership.

The signatories to the MOU have made a commitment to each other to:

*  Listen and seek to understand, always showing mutual respect;

*  Build trust through integrity, honesty and transparency in all communications;

*  Engage, where possible, in full and early communication of events or initiatives that have the potential to affect shared or individual objectives; and

*  Display long-term commitment to support and maintain the intent of this MOU.

Pat Dahle, President of the BRVCA comments, “This MOU is an important symbol of our commitment to work together with our Indigenous neighbours and industry partners on unceded St’at’imc territory.  In a community as small as ours, the only way we can create sustainability is through these relationships and partnerships. We are especially pleased to be working closely with Tsal’alh Development Corporation to explore affordable housing opportunities for our senior residents and those most vulnerable and hope to soon have support from BC Housing to undertake more detailed planning.”

Sal DeMare, Director, SLRD Electoral Area A shared, “I was pleased to sign this MOU on behalf of the SLRD. It’s been great to see some of the mining sector interests operating in the region come together with Tsal’alh Development Corporation, the BRVCA and the SLRD to create what I think is a valuable framework to guide us as we work to improve communication and build stronger relationships. We look forward to continued collaboration with the other parties to this MOU, and to welcoming other businesses, community organizations and St’át’imc communities to join us, for the benefit of everyone who lives, works, plays and has ties to this spectacular place.” 

While each organization that signed the MOU has its own mandate and objectives, all parties have confirmed that they share the following objectives:

*  Enhancing relations and pursuing collaborative economic development opportunities with the St’át’imc Nation and communities; and,

*  Creating a resilient and prosperous local economy that attracts a sustainable permanent population of people having employable skills and a desire to contribute to community life.

Rod Louie, CEO of Tsal’alh Development Corporation noted, “This commitment to work together and build mutually beneficial working relationships is important.  As individuals, businesses and government bodies, we have more in common than is often acknowledged. All non-Indigenous signatories to this MOU have worked hard to become aware and to be respectful of the unceded territories of St’at’imc, and other indigenous peoples. “

The signatories intend to collaborate on a number of important initiatives as time and resources permit, including:

*  Building and strengthening relationships with St’át’imc communities;

*  Growing the permanent resident base in the region including families with school aged children;

*  Preserving and protecting cultural and heritage assets;

*  Increasing the supply of long-term housing for purchase and rental

*  Improving road access to the area; and

*  Building and maintaining support for a successful mining industry.

Michael McPhie, Vice President, Sustainability and External Affairs with Talisker Resources commented, “It is an honour for the Talisker and Bralorne Gold Mines team to be a part of this.  We recognize this as unceded territory and that we are guests here.  Our overarching goal is to contribute positively to the well being of the people and communities who call the Bridge River Valley home and being a signatory to this MOU is a symbol of our commitment to that.”  

Charles Daley, Mining Industry consultant for Endurance Gold and Cobalt Energy One states, “The mining industry wishes to operate respectfully and sustainably in the unceded St’at’imc traditional territory. There are many other parties that also depend upon the resources of the Upper Bridge River Valley and contribute to its social, cultural and economic health and vitality – we encourage others to become signatories to the MOU and join us in this journey.”

The MOU text can be viewed here:  https://bit.ly/3kRApd5

Community organizations, individuals and businesses interested in learning more about the MOU, including how to get involved, can contact the Bridge River Valley Community Association at bridgerivervalley@gmail.com or by telephone at (250) 238-2534.   

Trail Workshop

Wow, my calendar tells me that today is the first day of September and cooler mornings and tacky dirt are certainly making it feel like fall time. Regardless if you are thinking about squeezing as much fall riding in as possible, or are dreaming of snow I’d like you to consider putting one more event into your fall calendars.

We are hosting IMBA Canada trail expert Jay Darby to run a trail development workshop in Gold Bridge/ Bralorne September 24-26. Jay has worked with communities across BC to develop, expand and build world class trails. If you’d like to learn more about Jay, you can read about him here: https://www.wanderingpathconsulting.ca/

Here are three reasons that you should consider attending this workshop:

  1. It’s free! Sal Demare from the SLRD has worked to arrange funding to offer this community training at no cost to participants. I should note that the funding has to go through one more approval on September 8th, but we do not expect any issues with this step. 
  2. Sunshine Mountain is now a designated Rec Site. This is great news, for many reasons but does come with some additional regulations around trail construction. Any trails on Sunshine will need to meet IMBA or Whistler Trail Standards moving forward. This workshop is focused on developing awesome trail within these standards.
  3. We will actually be working on trail. Over 50% of the course will be in the field, working on Alphagetti. So if you like to get dirty and work to make trails more fun, this is the course for you!

The planned dates are Friday evening September 24 and full day September 25, 26. However, this is still subject to funding approval. So please consider this a save the date for now. Everyone is welcome Friday evening for a community hall style presentation. Saturday morning will also be in class and all are welcome. Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday will be in the field and class size limits will apply.

I will also note that while the focus of this course is developing bike trails, the principles discussed are transferable to all trail types. 

We will have copies of the IMBA trail manuals on hand, in the short term I have attached the Whistler trail standards document. 

If you have any questions please let me know. If you are considering attending please respond to this message so I can start a list. There are some capacity limits for the field based parts of the course.

Thank you and I hope you get to ride your bike this week. 

Blake Rowsell, BRA Co-ordinator

2021 AGM Notice

Talisker Resources Ltd. Sponsorship of the Bralorne Pioneer Gold Mine Map Project

Talisker Resources Ltd. has agreed to transfer ownership of the Bralorne Gold Mines maps that date back to the very early stages of exploration in the area and in addition sponsor the work of cataloguing all the maps developed by Bralorne Gold Mines.
Bralorne Gold Mines understands the historic value of these maps and their importance within the community. “We are very excited to work with you on this project! Bralorne Gold Mines is also happy to hear you have received the $2000 donation that is to be put towards this endeavor.” Says Kaitlin James,

Bralorne Gold Mines will transfer the ownership of the map collection to the Bralorne Pioneer Museum, pending the completion of map cataloguing by their geological team. Bralorne Gold Mines will also complete digital copying prior to all maps being transferred. In addition, Bralorne Gold Mines is committed to supplying the Bralorne Pioneer Museum with a digital copy of all maps in the collection that are being transferred.

In the interim, The Bralorne Pioneer Museum will develop a plan to determine how to catalogue, conserve, archive and store the maps. The permanent exhibit and storage of these maps will be part of the restoration of the Bralorne Pioneer Mines Office building.

The Bralorne Pioneer Museum will use the initial $2,000 donation from Talisker Resources and lever it to access other funding that will permit the cataloguing and conservation, estimated to provide employment for at least one summer.

“This is a real historic and valuable project for the Bridge River Valley and the Province of British Columbia,” says Sue Girling, Vice Chair, Heritage Committee. “Bralorne Gold Mines was a provincial and national economic driver for decades. These maps hold significant heritage value for future generations to understand how the richest gold deposits in North America were developed and mined right in this area.”

The Heritage Committee and the Bralorne Pioneer Museum would like to thank Talisker Resources Ltd for recognizing the importance of this valuable heritage asset and supporting the work that needs to be done to conserve this irreplaceable collection.

BPMO Funding Announcement

We are thrilled to announce the Bridge River Valley Community Association was successful in its request for funding for the Bralorne Pioneer Mines Office Building project from the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP) Unique Heritage Infrastructure stream. The BRVCA will receive $300,000 in funding for the project which will see the conservation of the building and the adaptive reuse by the Bralorne Pioneer Museum.  The Bralorne Pioneer Mines Office Building was built in 1938-1939.  This project will eventually result in space for the Bralorne Pioneer Museum along with some ancillary uses such as the laundromat, a small coffee and gift shop, office space and residential suites.

This announcement is part of BC’s $10 billion COVID response, which includes the Stronger BC for Everyone recovery plan —a plan that protects people’s health and livelihoods while supporting businesses and communities —and the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP). “We could not be happier to have this recognition and support from the Province,” says Paul Gravett, executive director of Heritage BC. “Through this funding program, the Province not only provided the largest one-time infusion of funds into the heritage sector, but it also recognized the importance and potential of heritage infrastructure and its place in our province’s economic picture.”

“Funding heritage and cultural projects throughout British Columbia is vital for communities and their well being. It allows them to remain connected to their past and it helps to support their cultural organizations” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “This funding also helps communities recover from the pandemic with investments in programs that benefit the whole community.”

“The Bralorne Pioneer Mines Office building conservation and adaptive reuse project was a great fit for this program”, says Pat Dahle, BRVCA President. “The program is designed to fit our needs as a very small community with a very significant and distinctive history both in provincially and nationally.  While we will still need to find additional funding as well as continue to hone in on the fine details of the conservation work, this is a huge step towards moving this project forward and to completion.”

As one member of BRVCA wrote us upon hearing of the funding award, “Thank you one and all, this is fabulous news . I hope you all know how many people so appreciate all that you have done and do for the community, and restoration you are doing to preserve my  childhood for one, but the history of one of the greatest place on earth to live. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.I will be 80 this year and I still have many pictures for you, but most of are my memories, of the best life I could have ever had growing up in Bralorne during its prime years.”

This project directly supports downtown businesses, tourist attractions and local visitors.  The society believes that getting the museum open in the Bralorne Pioneer Mines Office Building to the public will significantly assist the economic development of Bralorne and the area.  It is the intention to employ and contract with as many local or close to local folks as possible as this is another important piece of the project, to create employment in the area.  The BRVCA will continue to provide as much information and updates as possible as well as touching bases with the community as input is needed on some of the various aspects of the project.

Heritage BC says “The awarded projects show us the strong local connections of our history and heritage. CERIP has shown us the great need for this type of funding and it has shown us that people need their heritage,” says Britney Dack, chair of Heritage BC’s board of directors. “It is part of our daily lives. It is part of communities and our stories”.  The Bridge River Valley Community Association and the Bralorne Pioneer Museum couldn’t agree more!  We extend our heartfelt thanks to all our community partners who have supported this project with their expertise, their volunteer time,  letters of support, memberships and cash donations and other forms of monetary support.  We especially want to thank all of the staff and volunteers who have made the Bralorne Pioneer Museum a successful long term community project since it was founded in 1977.

Tree Planting Program

Reference: 260847

Feb. 2, 2021

The Provincial Tree Planting Program and COVID-19 Protocols

Dear Mayor / Chief and Council

It was my intent to reach out to the municipalities, indigenous communities, forest licensees and the planting contract community prior to the start of the 2021 planting season. The past year has been filled with new and challenging business processes focused on keeping workers and communities safe as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the province. As you’ll remember, last spring’s planting season began as our knowledge of the pandemic started to unfold, and through an unprecedented season of collaboration by all sectors, we successfully planted over 300 million trees with close to 6000 tree planters and without a single confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus in our workforce.

The combination of Public Health Office orders and operating guidelines, along with the forest sector working collaboratively with government and local communities, was paramount in helping make the 2020 planting season successful The forestry sector is currently preparing for the 2021 tree planting season again, to ensure community and worker safety with respect to COVID-19. Forest activities, including tree planting, continue to be designated an essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic. As an important part of the provincial economy and for environmental sustainability, every year the forest sector in BC engages in Canada’s largest tree planting program to ensure that areas harvested or destroyed by insects and wildfire are replanted. The 2021 planting season will be equally significant to last year, with about 300 million seedlings scheduled to be planted.

The 2021 planting program will begin on BC’s coast at the end of February and in the interior in about mid-April. Learning from our experiences last year, the forest sector response and safe delivery of the 2020 tree planting program, preparations began last fall and will continue through the tree planting season to ensure that the safety of our workers and the surrounding communities are our highest priority.

For the 2021 tree planting season our goals are once again to:

Prevent the transmission of any potential infection from the silviculture workers to communities around the province; and
Ensure that the planters are kept safe and healthy so they can complete another planting season successfully.

Keep municipalities and indigenous community leaders informed of the planting as it moves with the spring openings.
To ensure that we can achieve our goals, as we did in 2020, please be aware of the following:

Those working in the silviculture industry in the north of the province must follow the requirements of the new Provincial Health Officer (PHO) order, Resource Sector Worksites and Industrial Camps in the Region of the Northern Health Authority published as of January 12, 2021, https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/about-bc- s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/covid-19/covid-19-pho- order-industrial-camps-northern-health.pdf while the rest of the province is required to follow the pre-existing order Industrial Camps – July2, 2020. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of- the-provincial-health-officer/covid-19/archived- docs/pho_order_industrial_camps_april_23_2020.pdf All workers will be required to follow the PHO orders as they are amended to address changing conditions.
Along with PHO orders, there are a number of guidance documents available to the planting contractors, both from the Ministry of Health and the Western Forestry Contractors Association (WFCA).
A key success factor in 2020, which will continue for 2021, is the commitment for government and industry to align and collaborate on delivery of the planting program. A critical piece of that commitment includes frequent and clear communication.
An essential part of that commitment to communication is to identify and resolve issues both within the planting programs and also, most importantly, to provide information to communities about what is happening as the tree planting season progresses. As with all good communication, it will also provide you with an opportunity to ask questions and provide details about local issues.

Outreach and communication will begin over the next few weeks as we approach the planting season in your area.

I have asked the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development District Managers to be the point of contact for tree planting information for communities following on the success and effectiveness of the role they played in 2020.

In the interim, if you have specific questions please direct them to Shane Berg, Deputy Chief Forester at Shane.Berg@gov.bc.ca. With your assistance, I am confident we will accomplish similar successes in 2021.

Yours truly,

Diane Nicholls, RPF ADM, Chief Forester Office of the Chief Forester

Winterfest 2021

With the current Covid 19 restrictions extended to January 8th and the uncertainty about what will happen after that, we have made the difficult decision to cancel Winterfest 2021. We look forward to welcoming everyone to another amazing Winterfest in 2022. Stay safe & healthy!