Canada’s New Government to Fund Projects that Address the Impact of Mountain Pine Beetle
RICHMOND, B.C. - The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, today announced that Canada’s New Government is now inviting proposals for projects that address the impact of the mountain pine beetle infestation under the Mountain Pine Beetle Program. A total of more than $2 million is available for funding. A further $2.1 million in contracts will be awarded in the future for geoscience surveys in areas affected by the beetle.
“We are seeking proposals from university researchers, forest sector research institutes and government agencies, among others, to fund projects that will ensure we get as much value as we can from beetle-killed trees in the immediate future,” said Minister Lunn. “Over the long term, these projects will help gather the knowledge we need to manage our forests as effectively as possible.”
“We are working with the Government of Canada, to help communities across British Columbia address both the short- and long-term impacts of the beetle infestation,” said the Honourable Rich Coleman, B.C. Minister of Forests and Range. “Exploration and discovery is the way we can create new opportunities that lead to jobs in these communities.”
The following funding is available for projects to complement the B.C. Ministry of Forests and Range mountain pine beetle response:
exploring alternate uses for trees killed by the beetles ($900,000), including determining the characteristics and “shelf life” of beetle-killed wood for different products, as well as increasing the use of “beetle wood” in existing mills and looking at how it could be used in the production of panel board or as a source of bio-energy;
developing new, long-term approaches to timber harvesting and forest management ($140,000) that take into account the impact of the infestation on the forest ecosystem; and
assessing the impact of the beetle infestation on non-timber forest resources ($1.007 million), including watershed hydrology, landscapes and wildlife habitat, and developing strategies to manage these impacts.
Eligibility requirements and other details of the request for proposal process are available on the Mountain Pine Beetle Program Web site, at http://mpb.cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/index_e.html.
The Government of Canada announced the Mountain Pine Beetle Program in January 2007, pledging a total of $200 million to support a comprehensive response to the infestation and its consequences.
Funding for the requests for proposals made today is included in the latest allocation of $39.6 million under the program, announced by Minister Lunn in June 2007. Additional funding allocations, including support for transportation infrastructure and economic diversification projects to meet the needs of affected communities, will be announced in the coming months.
This initiative advances the commitment of Canada’s New Government to help affected communities adapt and rebuild through a time of unprecedented change - creating stronger, healthier and more stable communities.
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