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NEWS RELEASE: BC Forest Professional Magazine Highlights Osoyoos Wildfire Recovery Project

Updated: Sep 26, 2022

Midway, B.C. – Residents in the Osoyoos area will see a familiar sight when the Spring 2022 edition of BC Forest Professional (BCFP) magazine is released today.

The magazine’s cover story features the collaborative work Vaagen Fibre Canada (Vaagen) and the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) forestry management are undertaking this spring after last summer’s Nk’Mip Creek wildfire.

Vaagen’s RPF Fibre Manager, Dan Macmaster, was very excited about the company and the Band’s collaborative work being featured in the magazine. “We are delighted to have this collaboration with the OIB featured in the magazine. This relationship has been critical to the success of the project, and it is a relationship we greatly value,” he said.

In the summer of 2021, a massive area east of the community of Osoyoos was burned by a catastrophic wildfire dubbed the Nk’Mip Creek Wildfire. The fire burned until early September and ravaged much of the traditional territory of the Osoyoos Indian Band, where 20,000 hectares of land was scorched. In the months following the fire, the OIB and Vaagen began working together to start the clean-up of the burned areas within the OIB’s traditional territory.

Photo credit: Vaagen Fibre Canada
Wade Baptiste, OIB, skidding burned fibre.

Part of this work includes members from the OIB community who were involved in every aspect of the work from initial planning to operations. As part of the Nk’Mip Forestry team, Vern Louie works side-by-side with the team at Vaagen to help co-manage the forests.

“Our work is done through the lens of our culture and best forestry practices. Together, we’re ensuring the continued prosperity of our people and our land,” said Vern Louie.

Photo credit: Vaagen Fibre Canada.
Planning the salvage program and gathering traditional values to guide the action plan. Vern Louie (Nk’Mip Forestry); Taylor Frehr-Smith (Infinity Pacific Forester); Ashley Vegh (Infinity Pacific Forester).

The Spring 2022 edition of the BCFP magazine will highlight the Nk’Mip Creek Wildfire Recovery and Restoration Project. The story explains how the project incorporates First Nation’s values while addressing issues like wildfire risk reduction, forest health, and protection of biodiversity.

Photo credit: Vaagen Fibre Canada.
Salvaged burned Douglas Fir to be utilized at the Vaagen Fibre Canada mill.

“The BC Forest Professionals magazine reaches foresters and local leaders throughout the province. It shares some of the challenges we’ve faced to restore this area after the wildfire, plus some of our learnings; we hope others will reach out to replicate some of our successes,” said Macmaster.

The BCFP magazine is published by the Association of BC Forest Professionals (ABCFP) for ABCFP registrants and others interested in the forestry profession and forest resource management in BC. Each edition of BCFP covers timely forest management issues, news, and information of relevance to BC's forest professionals.

To view the story online, click here.

For an interview regarding the collaborative OIB Forestry Project contact:

Dan Macmaster, RPF, Fibre Manager

Vaagen Fibre Canada | 250.528.0344

About the Osoyoos Indian Band

The Osoyoos Indian Band is a First Nations government in British Columbia, located in the town of Oliver and Osoyoos in the Okanagan valley, approximately four kilometres north of the Canada–United States border. They are a member of the Okanagan Nation Alliance and control about 32,000 acres of land in the vicinity of the town of Oliver and Osoyoos. The Osoyoos Indian Band people honour the hard working, self-supporting lifestyle of their ancestors by developing their own economy through many business initiatives, including forestry.

About Vaagen Fibre Canada

From woodlands to mill to market, Vaagen Fibre Canada specializes in efficiently processing small diameter logs into high quality dimensional lumber. Using innovation, technology, and collaboration, they focus on quality, efficiency, safety, and waste utilization with a focus on sustainable forestry and supporting rural B.C. communities. Vaagen Fibre Canada is based in the rural community of Midway in the Boundary region of British Columbia employing 88 local workers and an additional 100 people through direct contracting.

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