What MLIB Little Trees-Big Trees Is All About and How We Helped
Little Trees-Big Trees is a part of the McLeod Lake Indian Band (MLIB) Reforestation Project. This initiative is focused on forest restoration for 3,750 hectares of beetle-damaged spruce forests on reserve land. The goal is to plant 6 million spruce and pine seedlings to significantly increase carbon sequestration and restore the land to its original state. Environmental resource management professionals have provided silviculture advice and guidance to maximize tree growth and concurrent carbon sequestration. The Little Trees-Big Trees project will also benefit wildlife, water retention, recreation, aesthetics, and future generations as well.
This year was PWB’s first time participating in the Little Trees- Big Trees planting initiative, and we were excited to support the planting of 25,000 seedlings on the McLeod Lake Indian Band Treaty 8 lands, which took place in June 2022.
Our Continued Efforts as a Part of the Forests for Tomorrow Project
One of our biggest sustainability projects we’ve been a regular supporter of for a number of years is the Forests for Tomorrow project. This is a Ministry of Forests and Provincial Government-led project that was established in 2005 to respond to the catastrophic wildfires and mountain pine beetle epidemic. The program is working to restore healthy forests and mitigate the impacts of wildfire and insect outbreaks while also creating economic opportunities for forestry and bioenergy production.
Forests We’re Helping, How It Works, and Why It Needs to Be Done
The actual work that needs to be done is fairly comprehensive. This year, our efforts with the Ministry of Forests were focused on the forest service roads near Berry Creek. These roads were turned over and sluffed up over the last 2 years by the Ministry and their contractors using excavators to turn up and loosen up the hard, compact roads and create more natural terrain. Now, the goal is to plant trees along those former roads to now turn those areas into forested regions, reset the area to its natural state, and completely deactivate the road network.
This area has been identified as part of the Caribou Closure area, which includes identified lands that are being rehabilitated to a more natural habitat to enable many caribou species a better chance of survival. The remediation of forest service roads also creates less access for predators of all sorts, including people. Additionally, this area is no longer identified as an area of harvest for gathering lumber, therefore road access is no longer necessary.
Our Tree Planting Participation for Forests for Tomorrow
PWB supported the planting of in excess of 55,000 trees in the Berry Creek area outside of Blue River, in the Thompson Rivers Forest District, and we supported the remediation of over 16.8km and 33.5ha of forest service roads!
These trees were ‘hot planted’, which simply means that after being grown in a facility, they were never ‘frozen’ and put into hibernation. Instead, these trees went straight from the greenhouse and right into the ground–meaning they were actually actively growing the entire time! The primary reason for this is a combination of the time of year the plant took place, as well as the elevation. These trees would not have enough time to stabilize after hibernation before the colder climate returns to this area, meaning hibernating trees would have a lower survival rate.
Overall, we’re thrilled to continue to move the needle with our sustainability work and are already looking into further opportunities for 2023 as well!