The City of Cranbrook will use $20,000 from the Rural Dividend Fund to discover how removing build up in local forests can be monetized.
The analysis project aims to find ways of incentivizing local forestry industry to remove wood products other than saw logs, so they can then be sold for profit.
Cleanup in forested areas surrounding the city helps decrease chances of wildfires by removing the bulk of the fuel source.
Deputy Fire Chief Scott Driver says if proven plausible, the practice would benefit industry, the city and most importantly, help to prevent significant wildfire risk.
He explains there is a lot of thick, dense forest surrounding regional communities and 100 years of fire suppression has contributed to that.
Driver adds the City believes making a healthy forest is the goal because a healthy forest from an ecosystem perspective is also a safe forest from a community perspective.
The Deputy Fire Chief explains they are looking to protect the community from the risk of a disasterious blaze and at the same time, provide some of the forests wood material back into industry.
He explains as an offshoot, there will be an economic benefit to the community in terms of job creation and money flow back into the City.
Driver says the project will get underway this spring with analysis results expected by the end of 2017.
Cranbrook, Deputy Fire Chief, Scott Driver –
– Keira O’Loughlin