A billion trees planted will benefit B.C. for generations

November 10, 2021 at 10:40 am  BC, News, Politics

British Columbia has planted more than one billion trees since 2018, including 301 million this year.

The Province continues its work to reduce the effects of climate change and make sure healthy forests are here for generations.

“B.C. is leading the country in its science-based reforestation efforts and has planted over 1 billion trees since 2018,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “This milestone would not have been possible without the hard work of thousands of silviculture workers who prepare and plant millions of diverse saplings, ensuring our forests are resilient for generations to come.”

British Columbia planted just over 301 million trees in 2021, a record 304 million in 2020, 258 million in 2019 and 255 million in 2018. More than 1.1 billion trees have been planted since 2018.

About 5,000 silviculture workers throughout B.C. will be employed planting trees in 2022. Right now, in nurseries throughout British Columbia, another 1,300 workers are preparing millions of seedlings for cold storage, where they’ll wait until spring to be shipped to planting sites around B.C.

B.C. plants a mix of native tree species, including lodgepole pine, interior spruce, western red cedar, Douglas fir and Larch. This helps ensure future forests are climate-adaptable, resilient and diverse.

“Replanting harvested areas and those areas ravaged by wildfire and pests is essential to our fight against climate change and rebuilding forest health. The millions of trees planted this year will increase the carbon-capture capacity of our forests and reduce emissions in our province over the long term,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “These trees will also reduce the risks of landslides and floods while supporting the essential biodiversity and wildlife habitat all British Columbians value.”

Trees are valuable for carbon sequestration. They capture and hold carbon from the atmosphere and mitigate the impacts of climate change. By the time they are grown, one million trees planted today can have the greenhouse gas benefit of removing 42,000 cars from the road for a year, helping to ensure a cleaner environment for future generations.

Annual tree-planting efforts in B.C. start on the coast in early February, then expand throughout the Interior and Northern regions by the second week of July. Fall planting makes up a small portion of the annual reforestation effort but takes place in September and October in some parts of the province.

Quotes:

Roly Russell, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development –

“With more than 6,000 people actively employed in tree planting and tree-seedling nurseries, the industry not only provides meaningful jobs for thousands of people throughout the province, but it also shows our commitments to sustainable forests and sustainable forests jobs for the future are well aligned. We’re making decisions that support both B.C’s jobs and our environment.”

Bob Simpson, mayor, City of Quesnel –

“Reforestation is vitally important to the people of Quesnel and to communities throughout the Cariboo and beyond. If we take care of our forests today, they will be there for future generations.”

Rob Miller, chief executive officer, PRT Growing Services Ltd. –

“PRT will grow 150 million seedings for replanting British Columbia’s forests in 2022. As North America’s largest producer of container-grown forest seedlings, we’re on the front lines of forest restoration, helping to build resilient and sustainable forests, and fight climate change across the continent.”

Jessie Corey, terrestrial conservation manager, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – British Columbia (CPAWS-BC) –

“Reforestation is a key component of advancing nature-based solutions to climate change impacts like forest fires and floods, which are already being experienced in B.C. These efforts support long-term planning for conservation and improved stewardship of wildlife populations and habitat, which will help to build resilient landscapes and better support biodiversity in the province.”

Hadley Archer, executive director, Nature United  –

“Reforestation is an essential component of responsible forest management, and this is a significant milestone for the government and silviculture workers of BC. Importantly, this provides foundational infrastructure and expertise that can also be used to scale up tree-planting efforts as a natural climate solution that is vital for tackling the climate challenge.”

Quick Facts:

  • A diverse mix of more than 20 native tree species are grown every year. Seedlings are sown in the spring, managed throughout the summer, and lifted, boxed and stored in the winter for planting in the following spring. Nurseries and cold-storage facilities support local economies and employment in many communities throughout B.C.
  • Since 1987, forest licensees are required by law to replant areas harvested in B.C. The ministry’s reforestation program is carried out through BC Timber Sales, the Forests for Tomorrow program and the Forest Carbon Initiative.
  • In 2022, it is expected approximately 5,000 tree-planters will plant nearly 18 million trees on B.C.͛s Coast and nearly 247 million in its Interior. Efforts are focused on regenerating forests affected by the 2017-18 wildfires and reducing the impact of climate change.

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