Building fire-resilient parks and protected areas with help from the BC Parks Licence Plate Program
Since the inception of the BC Parks Licence Plate Program in 2017, we have been funding wildfire resiliency projects through our “Fire-Based Ecosystem and Land Management (FELM)” funding stream. From 2017 to 2021, over $650,000 was invested in this area.
Fire is an important part of forest and grassland ecosystems in our province.
The history of fire suppression, the lack of Indigenous led cultural fire, and the changes to our climate have contributed to more frequent and severe wildfire seasons. Longer, hotter, and drier seasons are now contributing to extreme fire behaviour and weather, as we have seen in the recent wildfire seasons.
How does licence plate funding help increase wildfire resiliency?
Through FELM funding, projects that use tools like fuel management, ecosystem restoration, and prescribed fire can help to create or maintain fire resilient ecosystems, protect and conserve values, and contribute to public safety.
Fuel management treatments can help increase resiliency from wildfire and help limit the potential negative impacts on ecological, recreational, and cultural values. They seek to reduce forest and vegetation debris through activities like: pruning branches, reducing the amount of forest floor debris, and thinning the forest so it is less dense. Each site and values are unique and each planned activity is therefore unique.
Ecosystem restoration can help increase resiliency from wildfire by supporting fire adapted or fire dependent flora, fauna and ecosystems.
Prescribed fire is the reintroduction of fire into a forest or grassland ecosystem in a planned, deliberate and controlled manner to increase wildfire resiliency, and increase wildlife habitat and ecosystem nutrient cycling.
FELM funding is often combined with other funding, such as Community Resiliency Investment Program, Forest Enhancement Society, and Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, to name a few.
Wildfire knows no boundaries. Parks and protected areas projects seek to collaborate across the landscape with local and Indigenous governments, partners, stakeholders, and land managers to manage these fire-resilient ecosystems.
All net proceeds from the sale and renewal of the BC Parks licence plates are re-invested back into parks. To learn more about the BC Parks Licence Plate Program, visit bcparks.ca/licence-plates/.