Challenge 5: Wildfires and Extreme Weather



Climate change is resulting in more wildfires and extreme weather, contributing to wildlife diseases, forest health issues, and the spread of invasive species, affecting wildlife populations and altering habitats.

Opportunities:

  • Assess the potential implications of climate change for wildlife and their habitats.
  • Proactively manage hazards (e.g. wildfire) associated with climate change by using prevention, preparedness, mitigation and recovery measures.
  • Increase wildlife and ecosystem resiliency and adaptation to changing climate by applying forward-looking strategies.
  • Enhance research, monitoring and management of climate change effects on wildlife health, ecosystem and forest health, and invasive species.
  • Increase awareness and research about wildlife health issues such as Chronic Wasting Disease in deer.

Discussion Question

  • What are the most effective ways to proactively adapt to the impacts of climate change to wildlife and habitats?

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84 responses to “Challenge 5: Wildfires and Extreme Weather

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    [-] Steve

    Prescribed burns are desperately needed to remove fuel from interface areas, and to improve habitat for wildlife. BC used to have large scale natural burns every 25-30 years, but due to suppression efforts, and pressure from the logging industry- this is no longer the case.

    As evidenced in 2017, there is a large amount of standing and dead fuel in the forest- we spent upwards of 1 billion dollars on suppression, when in reality- we could prescribe burn every year in off season for a fraction of this money.

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    [-] Jake

    Education based on hard facts and number that reflect the current state of these impacts is more effective than broader statements on climate change. People can tangible relate to impacts, and not get bogged down in what is essentially political banter these days.

    Community wildfire prevention plans need greater implementation and buy in. I have peers who have a lot of difficulty coordinating the wide range of buy in and opinions when looking to create these plans. Private landowners can often be difficult to achieve buy in from. Does this need a legislated approach where it becomes mandatory for all interface landowners to participate in order to protect the greater good?

    Continued monitoring and sharing of the results of changing climates is needed to support our natural resource decisions. This needs to be done by industry, government, and by resource professionals/ professional associations.

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    [-] Chris

    Enforce that logging companies clean up after themselves. On Vancouver Island South, you cant even walk through a slash because of debris left behind. This is all fuel for fires in the future, clean up and burn to promote new growth. This is left this way to save money and on the Island is due to all forestry on the south island is private land with no watchdog.

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    [-] Bill

    The opportunities all cost money. Only way to advance those opportunities is to increase budgets, especially for regulation enforcement and education. Proactive investment might reduce the reactive costs.

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    [-] Scott

    Prescribed burns to burn up all the “fuel” that is building up from fire suppression. Forestry needs to plant mixed forests instead of a “one species forest” after they cut.
    More public knowledge on the impacts and benefits of fire and how it is actually natural and necessary for a healthy ecosystem. Stop using the general statement of “climate change”, and start using facts and statistics of impacts of the fires, and industry.
    Fire cleans up and re births the habitat. We need to stop suppressing it and put money to burn before we get these out of control wildfires that put peoples lives and belongings in jeopardy.

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    [-] Scott

    There needs to be considerably more proactive controlled & prescribed burning in BC. Most prescribed burns are very small and are extremely political in their location. Residents do not typically like a bit of smoke in the spring and let their elected officials know about it.
    Suppressing large areas of forest encroachment will result in massive & devastating Wildfires down the road.

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    [-] Rick

    Increase the biodiversity in our forests. Stop the logging companies from planting single species. This makes the forests prone to desease and also makes this type of forests lacking in the species diversity to maintain diverse animal species. Habitat needs to have natural species. When we remove this diversity by planting single species and then spray the forests with herbicides it should be no surprise that the animals suffer. Wake up and take control before it is too late. One of the worst thing that the government did was turn over control of huge parts of the province to the big logging companies in the form of tree farms.

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    [-] Bill

    More Campfire bans
    More legal action against the million ignorant motorists tossing cigarettes out of their windows!! Im sick of seeing these arrogant people with no remorse for what may occur.
    Controlled burns to get rid of standing dead timber..but that means increased funding to do so
    But in the long run its cheaper than a billion dollars to fight wild fires

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    [-] Robert

    Underbrush burns are a time honored method of preventing large scale forest fires and increasing the health of the forest.

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    [-] Judy

    Let’s stop all subsidies for extraction industries and start supporting green energy, including subsidies for citizens to start using solar and wind energy and electric vehicles, as well as water saving toilets, etc.

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    [-] Rob

    clear-cut logging casts the same as deforestation by wildfire, even worse, so if you want to talk about the threats for wildfires, add clear cuts and the road building to the table, for a clearer picture,
    lack of forest canopy adds to extreme weather too it changes flood conditions ad weather conditions, we are sure to become the new California north unless drastic no loggin steps are taken a paradigm shift is necessary in virtual animal habitat areas

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    [-] John

    We have allowed specialty groups to manage our forests from spraying to specific species for financial gain rather than what is good for the environment. Prescribed area burns used to happen and needs to return Logging companies need to be controlled, not allowed to do what ever they please. We need to take control of our natural resources.

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    [-] John

    Focus logging plans on fire protection around communities. Set a stumpage rate for such work that would entice companies to log such areas.

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    [-] Joe

    Climate change isn’t nessecarily causing more wild fires. Wild fires are natures way of rejuvenating the forest. People have been extinguishing fires for far too long.

    pine beetle, invasive plants/weeds, over grown forests with too much under growth, lack of habitat, poor winter ranges……can all be fixed by using prescribed burns and allowing wild fires to burn.
    If cwd is caused from the feed that deer are consuming then prescribed burns/wild fire could help.

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    [-] Lee

    Acidification of the oceans, forestry and grass fires, more intense droughts and shorter duration for rain events will all add to a loss in diversity. Proactivley, we need to do what is humanly possible, such as creating more conservation land and ensuring connective corridors for species from conservation area to conservation area. We need to control negative human pressures on wildlife and habitats and on the corridors. Where necessary, we need to look at reintroductions of species unable to move any distance to species-specific suitable latitude/longitude just outside their current range.

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    [-] Lee

    As stated earlier we will require large scale ecosystem planning that maintains the 50% of the integrity of our land-base ecosystems. We need to plan now for climate changes that will make current protected species-specific habitat unsuitable and for the fact that some species will be forced to move out of current protected areas when the habitat becomes unsuitable. We need to have the ecological integrity of the various ecosystems available so we can move a current species habitat protected area to a more suitable site within the species rquired ecosystem. This will create great challenges and requires institution now and education of the public, politicians and industry.

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    [-] CS

    Wildfires and extreme weather in calving time also has a big influence on wildlife herds. Like the elk herd in Bulkley Valley. Huge snowfall last winter has changed their where about. Yet hunting season was opened a first time for them this coming year. Poor judgement on management and so called science when the goal post moves. Hunting must be done not on maximum allowable but on minimal and safe guards. Wildlife was somewhat stable in Spatsizi and Edziza parks until BCWF pushed the Liberal government into over hunting the areas. I suspect the same for the rest of the province. You can’t blame wolves and bear as they were doing there business long before man and his management policies.

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    [-] Scotty

    You contradict yourself. Huge snowfalls and wildfires are a naturally part of elk survival. They have been dealing with this for thousands if not millions of years. Hunting season also starts after the summer when most snowfall has melted and the elk have migrated back into summer range. Winter takes a big toll on wildlife yes, but due to human encroachment( clear cut logging, extensive road networks, loss of low valley wintering ground habitat) species like wolves can hunt faster and better when the elk get pushed down, and out of their “usual” wintering grounds. Also humans have hunted for millennia as well. Long before man and his “management” policies were around. Man also hunted wolves and bears too as they were fighting over the same resource.. We are and have always been part of the equation. We know need management policies more than ever if we want to keep any wildlife on our landscape. It’s the sad truth. BCWF does so much for wildlife, and blaming them for elk declines confirms that you don’t have your facts straight and are also not wanting to learn the facts.

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    [-] Dick

    Ban cigarettes or smoking of any kind and increase patrols to catch smokers. Implement severe penalties and massive fines so people get the hint. Its the only way to save lives and taxpayer dollars.

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    [-] Judy

    I agree with all these opportunities. However, unless the federal and provincial governments reach their climate targets and take actions to reduce our carbon footprint, and individuals change their personal habits, this may all be a moot point.

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    [-] walter

    the process of suppressing all fires has created an untenable situation where areas (e.g. around Gustafsen Lake 5-02) that should have burned a decade ago have been left as sterile islands to the detriment of wildlife and ranchers needs. The Wildfire Service should suppress fires around communities, but should be managing fires in September and October to renew habitat. In human eyes, fire is destructive. In Nature’s eyes, fire is a renewer of habitat.

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    [-] Rocksteady

    More use of prescribed fire provincially.. Looking back 30 plus years ago, the pine beetle could have been smashed in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park by doing a stand conversion burn. Instead BC Parks said “no touch anything in the park, it’s supposed to be all natural”.. look what happened….

    The beetle epidemic once it hit the caribou was very poorly managed, red attack salvage, green attack salvage, grey attack salvage (lots of breakage due to its dryness led to HUGE fuel loading), very poor enforcement of Hazard Abatement Guidelines, District and Regional Managers not supporting prescribed burning due to public being upset over smoke, but not realizing how lack of fire is impacting ecosystems, creating unhealthy stands which lead to more forest fire potential..

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    [-] Chris

    All of these are good ideas if implemented correctly. I would assume most of this work is being done already, but it seems not.

    Assess the potential implications of climate change for wildlife and their habitats.
    Proactively manage hazards (e.g. wildfire) associated with climate change by using prevention, preparedness, mitigation and recovery measures.
    Increase wildlife and ecosystem resiliency and adaptation to changing climate by applying forward-looking strategies.
    Enhance research, monitoring and management of climate change effects on wildlife health, ecosystem and forest health, and invasive species.
    Increase awareness and research about wildlife health issues such as Chronic Wasting Disease in deer.

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    [-] Andy

    You guys are framing the discussion….it will result in a bias. I thought science was looking for un biased data?

    The best way to adapt is not to have a preconceived conclusion!

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    [-] Alexander

    First, fire is an important part of the natural ecosystem and it has been excessively fought in this province. Fire has restorative properties to nature and ecosystems which we have interfered with too much over the last decades. Human interference with fire has caused fewer, but more extreme fires which have a much more significant negative effect than the routine smaller fires which a forest needs as part of its life cycle. We need to minimize all attempts to fight forest fires in all but the worst cases where they may affect houses and properties.

    The most important way to adapt to climate change is to protect and enhance habitat. By protecting and enhancing habitat wildlife will have a better chance of adapting to a changing world and surviving extreme weather events such as fire, drought, cold, or flooding. The second most important thing that can be done to proactively adapt to climate change is to fund biologists to study diseases like chronic wasting disease, winter tick infestations, and other worsening epidemics in ungulate and other populations.

    As a hunter I feel strongly that ensuring that wildlife and habitat management have the funding necessary to ensure the habitat is restored and protected to sustain healthy populations of wildlife is the most critical step to ensuring and improving resilience of wildlife species against weather events and changing climate. Fragile or declining populations of animals indicate that the habitat has been mismanaged, resulting in wildlife being unable to cope with challenging environmental conditions.

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    [-] Gord

    Would like to see more logging incorporate reserving dispersed large diameter, fire resistant species, and for logging to be followed with prescribed burns. Decreased stocking standards in some of these stands would maintain them as open Forrest types long term. Would like to see large areas around communities thinned/logged and managed as open Forrest as well. For areas managed for timber, maintain roads and use steel pipes to ensure fast access for fire suppression. For sparse forrests, high alpine, other areas without large timber or communities to protect, let er burn.

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    [-] David

    More aggressively restrict the building of fires during dry conditions.
    Put more resources toward policing outdoor users during dry conditions, including much
    heavier fines for non compliance and those that actually start fires.
    Increase programs directed in removing excessive tinder near roads and communities.

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    [-] Holly

    No feeding deer no bait piles for any animals no bird feeders no nothing. So then nothing is shared. Climate changes will happen. Recycling, fuel used in vehicles all the machines used for cutting trees Ect. Look at the big picture to minimize what is used

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    [-] Dara

    We need to emphasize the importance of habitats that have experienced wildfire/insect outbreak because they are of extreme value to biodiversity and natural growth cycles. Logging these naturally disturbed lands destroys the habitat that has evolved to exist in and sustain life in that region.

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    [-] Hilary

    Reduce the use of fossil fuels to reduce the speed of climate change. Research effects of insect migrations relative to bird migrations as well as plant species availability for each latitude. These changes are happening so fast, it is difficult to keep up with adaptations. the government needs to take climate change seriously and have this at the centre of all their policies including those for wildlife and habitat.

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    [-] Keaton

    I think climate change increases the importance of focusing on the creation of wildlife corridors. As the range of many species shift, connecting conservation areas will give them the chance to shift to more suitable habitat. Of course, wildlife corridors have many other benefits, such as giving wildlife with large territories the space they need.

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    [-] Kristen

    We need to protect the interior old growth forests as they are more efficient at carbon sequestration than secondary growth forests. We also need to allow for habitats to deal with natural disturbances as it always has instead of giving ‘carte blanche’ to logging companies anytime a forest fire or insect outbreak occur. These disturbances create important wildlife habitat, and therefore need to be considered before allowing heavy machinery into any area with an insect outbreak.

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    [-] Ray

    Embrace and prepare for change — will require a greater public understanding that there is going to be changes in wildlife and habitat that will require shifts and adaptation. Need resources for development of predictive tools, need to communicate scenarios and timeframes, need to be adaptive to the changes and support and need to be prepared for less of one thing, more of another.
    Where possible to delay impacts through habitat protection, better land use planning, limiting use, identifying key or critical refugia for sensitive species, and perhaps eliminating consumptive use of some species (while maintaining some ecological balance and function).

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    [-] Karen

    Understanding the cyclical nature of weather and accepting the impact of human activity on climate change. Planning development in ways that reduce risk due to wildfire and weather events (flood plains, land slippage etc.) Putting the responsibility on municipalities to manage development responsibily, rather than allowing developers to run the show as they are long gone once the problems arise.

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    [-] Mike

    I am a proponent of the wise use of preventative prescribed burns to help mitigate wildfires and return our forests to more natural cycles. We at the Wild Sheep Society of BC have been working hard to initiate and fund prescribed burns for wild sheep and other species around the province. While we have funding in place we have found it very difficult to navigate the government process to have successful prescribed burns within the current framework. We need regional burn plans with multiple pre-approved sites every year to take advantage of burn conditions when they occur and renewed interest and priority from government to make them happen. Perscribed burns are a natural part of our province and reduce our risks of 2017 fire seasons. They’re good for communities and wildlife alike. We need quick action to get this process started because burn windows only come twice a year.

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    [-] Stephanie

    Education on safe campfires, major fines for fires during a ban or left unattended. And definitely for throwin cigarettes out of car windows. Building developments in ungulate winter ranges decreases their chance of survival during a severe winter season.

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    [-] Rob

    The use of prescribed burns is a well-documented management tool which can restore wildlife populations, make our forests more resilient, and protect communities. Mandating specific wildfire burn plans for each region would be an effective means to ensure wildlife habitat is properly maintained.

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    [-] Anthony

    – Controlled burns!
    – Logging companies should be forced to only plant specific trees back into an environment in which they are native to.
    – I hate to say it but .. more campfire bans until we get this province back under control
    – Don’t just stop atv usage on hunters in certain areas, completely close atv usage all together during dry months.

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    [-] Kent

    First climate change is only a myth to most. Weather has always had its ups & downs. Again common sense will direct the ones making the decisions on how to rectifie the issue at hand.

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    [-] Kyle

    – The use of prescribed burns is a well-documented management tool. Mandating specific wildfire burn plans for each region would be an effective means to ensure wildlife habitat is properly maintained.
    – The Wild Sheep Society of BC has been pushing regions to carry out prescribed burns and we are often unsuccessful in these requests. Having a comprehensive prescribed wildfire management plan at the regional level and working proactively with committed organizations such as the Wild Sheep Society of BC would be effective. We are willing to invest resources, time, and man power to carry out wildlife habit rehabilitation. It is incredibly frustrating throwing our support behind these initiatives only to have the plans held up in the approval process.
    – A robust education initiative about wildfire benefits to the general public would help with social licencing.

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    [-] Chad

    The animals will adapt. They have for 1000s of years. More controlled burns would help wildlife as well as set up fire breaks in other areas.

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    [-] Warren

    Prescribed burns are a well documented management tool to restore wildlife populations. make forests more resilient, and protect our communities.
    Streamline the approval process for prescribed burns. The Wild Sheep Society of BC has been pushing regions to carry out burns, but have often been unsuccessful. If a group is willing to invest time, money, resources and manpower to carry out wildlife rehabilitation work, why do the plans often get held up in the approval process?
    A review of relevant policy and legislation which hinders prescribed burns and ecosystem restoration should be initiated.

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    [-] Eric

    Government funded or at least supported management of over grown forests near wildland/urban interface areas would benefit the logging companies doing the harvesting, boost the economy of the ever-growing real estate developments by advertising increased safety, and reduce wildfire risk to those development neighbourhoods. The investment in the restoration/replication of BC’s forests’ natural fire cycle through forestry is a proactive step towards summers where we don’t have to wonder whether or not we will have to evacuate our communities because of fire.

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    [-] christopher

    Be aware and educate the public on disease issues ( CWD, Mycroplasma Ovieneumonia ) take a proactive approach with disease management lets not be reactive like we have been in the past
    Be proactive with wildfire management develop landscape level fuel breaks that will protect communities and enhance habitat
    Educate the public on why and how wildfires benefit wildlife and communities

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    [-] Daryll

    An increase in wildfires is not due to climate change. The biggest reason is the suppression of fires over the years and lack of prescribed burns in the spring. Governments and people must start to realize this and not simply blame it in climate change.

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    [-] Charlie

    Develop a pro-active approach to wildfires. Instead of always being on the defensive and fighting existing fires, use our fire crews for controlled burns. Our forests need fires, they can and should be done in a controlled manner.

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    [-] Peter

    Generally speaking, we humans need to adopt a more adaptive and less managerial/combative posture. To my mind—from as much of an ecocentric point of view as I can muster—it is fundamentally pig-headed to think that we must, at all costs, straight-jacket the vibrant flexibility that ecosystems inherently have, to make them instead serve only our human economic agenda. For example, untold millions of taxpayer dollars and people-energy is wasted on trying to resist the climate-driven range expansions of many wildlife species who have been demonized as “invasive species”. Instead of resisting, why not channel this energy into research and development that encourages the human economy to take these natural adaptations in stride?

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    [-] Gary

    Fire on the land is a natural part of forest regeneration.
    Our past attempts to fight every fire have left our forests over-mature, unhealthy, susceptible to infestation and full of fuel for fires.
    Part of our obligation to leave the land for wildlife is to also let nature manage the forest regeneration cycle as much as possible.
    I live in a forested, rural area and I have a lot of over-mature forest around me that was once clear-cut, then left to mature over the decades. It contains a lot of standing and fallen fuel since the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic and although I have cleared back around the house, I understand that when fire eventually comes, it is unlikely that not much will be left.
    We have built a community emergency response plan and we all watch the situation during wildfire season. Last year I was involved in fighting a lightening-triggered fire on a slope behind a neighbour’s home.
    This is the trade-off of living where we do and we gladly accept it.

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    [-] Gary

    Correction above – “unlikely that much will be left”.
    Apologies.

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    [-] george

    Allow natural regeneration of logging blocks. Thai will increase the amount of deciduous growth, slowing wildfire spread. Nature will also be more likely to regenerate with climate adapted species as climate changes.
    Leave burns to regenerate naturally, creating more variety and excellent wildlife habitat.

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    [-] Mandy

    1. Prescribed burns should be used. We have been too aggressive in the past with fire suppression. Burns are a natural part of the forest life cycle.
    2. Stop planting monoculture pine. Plant mixed coniferous, and allow some deciduous trees to grow back; stop spraying all the deciduous trees.

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    [-] Jordan

    The use of prescribed burns is a well-documented management tool which can restore wildlife populations, make our forests more resilient, and protect communities. Mandating specific wildfire burn plans for each region would be an effective means to ensure wildlife habitat is properly maintained. The Wild Sheep Society of BC has been pushing regions to carry out prescribed burns and we are often unsuccessful in these requests. Having a comprehensive prescribed wildfire management plan at the regional level and working proactively with committed organizations such as the Wild Sheep Society of BC would be effective. We are willing to invest funds, resources, time, and man power to carry out wildlife habit rehabilitation. It is incredibly frustrating throwing our support behind these initiatives only to have the plans held up in the approval process. A robust education initiative about wildfire benefits to the general public would help with social licencing. A review of relevant policy and legislation which hinders prescribed burns and ecosystem restoration should be initiated.

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    [-] Ken

    Develop better stocking standards to leave more deciduous and wildlife-specific trees in place. We need a variety of age class and species in the forest, specifically deciduous that are more resistant to fire and provide additional cover and food for a variety of wildlife species.

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    [-] kr

    More psycho babble. What are they trying to do with this category? We now have a system that is hamstrung with political correctness. Why can’t you use plainspeak?

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    [-] Tom

    Move to a green energy on a massive scale (including electric vehicles). We will never adapt to terrifying, inferno forest fires. The next bad forest fire season is just around the corner. Caribou, salmon, Orca Killer whales, polar bear, etc will never adapt to anthropological climate change. All we can do is accept the fact, we will never have previous populations of those species again. We can’t have a world population polluting the environment with C02 and methane, at ever increasing rates, and expect everything to stay as it was at one time. Until all humans begin to experience terrifying situations, they will never change their old ways. What’s coming down the pipe will put the fear of mother nature in them …

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    [-] Bronwen

    – Protected, connected pieces of land have a better chance of withstanding climate change and extreme weather. It will be increasingly important to be proactive about protecting resilient, high quality habitat for ecosystems and wildlife.
    – It is easier and makes more sense to protect large intact corridors of habitat now than try to fix problems later.

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    [-] Evelyn

    – Protected, connected pieces of land have a better chance of withstanding climate change and extreme weather. It will be increasingly important to be proactive about protecting resilient, high quality habitat for ecosystems and wildlife.
    – It is easier and makes more sense to protect large intact corridors of habitat now than try to fix problems later, as we should well know…climate change for one.

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    [-] Adam

    Protected and connected lands have significantly better chance of withstanding climate change and extreme weather. It will be increasingly important to be proactive about protecting resilient, high quality habitat for ecosystems and wildlife. It is easier and makes more sense to protect large intact corridors of habitat now than try to fix problems later.

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    [-] Martha

    More roads in areas where wildfires frequently occur should be built and open to motorized access ONLY in such cases, no public allowed otherwise, to facilitate firefighters access. Also several communities in such areas should unite to purchase air and land vehicles that can deal with the situation when fires occur. Maybe with the Provincial support.

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    [-] Dave

    Get Coulson’s full resources on the firelines as well as Conair. There is no excuse for the destruction; it is not necessary. Your reasoning, in this case is flawed and you are allowing the destruction and devastation.

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    [-] Jason

    Develop policy that ensures mixed decidious forestes to reduce wildfire risk and enhance wildlife habitat.

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    [-] Nadine

    Adopt the precautionary principle. No net loss of habitat by human desire for more. Wildfires are not a natural disaster. Understand that they are a healthy part of the environment. Stop putting out fires. Stop building further into wilderness where people will demand fire suppression. Let fire do it’s job of regenerating habitat. Hard and fast targets for pollution control and habitat rehabilitation.

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    [-] Frank

    climate change is not the main cause’ its man made cause that is affecting our wildlife. man is destroying wildlife habitat at an alarming rate. but we can bring it back by proper management it just cost time and money is it worth it yes.

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    [-] Bryson

    Bring in a Smokey the Bear type charachter in adds for kids, whether it’s on tv, youtube or other social media sites inorder to educate kids on how to put out camp fires and what not. Also increase fines for people found to start or potentialy start wildfires

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    [-] Nick

    Nature will adapt. Don’t try to do it for them.

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    [-] Kevin

    Transplanting all species throughout the province to create greater diversity for protection from massive fires.

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    [-] Oliver

    I am not sure we hold the answer to this issue in our hands, as the land is responding to the changing conditions naturally with fire. Suppressing fires just distorts the situation and maintains fuel in areas and over expanses beyond a natural balance. Burns naturally regenerate. They provide both cover and feed and effectively retain the available biomass for future growth.

    I do feel that logging in particular has been afforded the most freedom to change the forests and habitats of our province and to alter it in its own interest and to the detriment of other stake holders. Monoculture plantations, habitat fragmentation and destruction, proliferation of vehicle access and reduction of biomass are some of the key issues. Cattle grazing has also taken its toll – look at the decline of Sharptail Grouse and Beaver/ ponds and wetlands due to loss of cover and water rights.

    Letting areas burn and taking the burns out of the harvesting programs of the various industries may be a way to give wildlife the space needed to cope with climate change related fires and weather over time.

    British Columbia is one of the few places left on earth where virgin tracts of land still exist in some quantity. These should be left fully alone, as a repository of land and ecosystems for not just British Columbians but for the world to see and share. Harvest in these areas should be selective at best, if at all. As an alternative to resource extraction such unharvested areas may well pay for themselves through global and regional tourism, managed hunting and gathering and can serve as a trust of habitat for a wide range of resident species.

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    [-] Mike

    Wildfire issues are not a result of climate change, they are a result of modern fire management targeting timber growth as the primary measure of success. We have created a forest which has to much fuel and very little diversity. Fire is good for wildlife, causing far less disruption than humans

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    [-] Michael

    Improved Prescribed burn planning

    Limit access by vehicles and OHVs for industrial and recreational use. Stricter fines if caught with monitor public service in benefit of wildfire mitigation.

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    [-] Nick

    Many species thrive in post burn landscapes when the burn isn’t too severe the opening of the forest canopy allows many for sources of food to become available for deer, elk, etc… A more involved fire plan could see smaller intentional burns being a benefit to many habitats.

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    [-] Kelly

    Allowing the OK Mtn Fire to burn with no impacts to structures is a great example of allowing for regeneration. This along with more proactive controlled burns is required. Species specific burns also required (ie. Wild Sheep vs Elk).

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    [-] Jack

    I would like to see a little more research. Are increased wildfires negatively effecting wildlife? Some fires are good for animal populations. Could prescribed burns alleviate some suppression costs?
    What are the specific effects of a warming climate? How is helping the spread of invasives? How is it increasing disease spread? I think we need more answers before more policy.

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    [-] Tammie

    Wildfires are increasingly concerning to me … anything that can be done to manage our forests to decrease the frequency and severity of wildfires would be amazing. Should campfires be automatically banned during the summer months? And maybe the penalties for people that start fires should be increased?

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    [-] Tracy

    Reduce carbon emissions! Moved to sustainable energy sources. Be accountable with promises.

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    [-] Mitch

    Perscibed burns are well documented as an effective tool for risk reduction and as an Excellent tool for habitat restoration and improvement. Regional burn plans need to be created and carried out. Education about the be idiots and reasons for prescribed burns should be delivered to the public. The government should consult and coordinate with regional conservation groups to find opportunities to collaborate on burn projects.

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    [-] John

    A contributing factor to some of the devastating wildfires has been the over harvesting or accelerated rate of logging in recent years. This has opened the forest canopy exposing snow to rapid melting and runoff. If the melt had occurred slowly there would have been water retention for a longer time period decreasing the fire hazard. But the fox is in the henhouse so to speak and will be difficult to resolve rather willdfire risk. Controlled burn to reduce divesting fire risk and enhance wildlife values need to be part of the solution.
    The critical time of year for wildlife is the winter so quality winter range with the capacity to support the population of overwintering animals needs to be assured. To much of this land base is in low lying areas, the same lands desired by humans. There needs to be a plan developed for thoughtful utilization of any winter ranges as it seems to have been a free for all in past decades at the expense of wildlife some form of incentive needs to be given to property owners for fostering wildlife values on their properties,, both short term and long term such as tax incentive for creation of covenants on limiting future development. Currently the values of real estate developments are huge incentives for sales of rural properties, with subsequent loss of habitat forwildlife.

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    [-] Andrew

    Let fires burn when there is no risk to human health or property. Conduct more prescribed burns in order to reduce fuel loads and increase habitat quality.

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    [-] Alison

    Take all possible steps to reduce production of greenhouse gasses in the province: for example, improve public transit and oppose new fossil fuel projects (such as new pipelines).

    PLANT NEW FORESTS using a selection of species that would be natural to the area, and suitable for wildlife, as opposed to tree farms. Require that companies which log land must replant within 18 months, regardless of whether that land is public or private.

    Selectively log dead pine-beetle trees, where that might reduce the likelihood of large fires.

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    [-] Josh

    Climate change may be causing an increase in wildfire but not to the extent that forestry practices are the cause of higher then idle combustible material in our forests. Perhaps more controlled burning and less managing for merchantable timber.

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    [-] Shelly

    Pipelines being built in this day and age is the most ludicrous idea. Shameful.

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    [-] Martin

    Would like to see 100% of tags and licenses to go towards the conservation of wildlife and wild places. Funds being used for science should tell use what is needed. Would like to see science based conservation for the betterment and management of BCs wildlife.

    It would seem fire would be helpful for habitat with control burns… For the forest fire issues we’ve been having in rescent years it seems years of fire suppression has not helped as under groth has built up instead of being taken care of by intermittent fires. Control burns in the spring season seem like they would be beneficial in many ways.

    Salvage logging needs research done to be found when is ideal for those area to be harvesred and still have the wildlife be able to receive the fires benefits.

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    [-] Vickie

    Controlled burning controlled burning controlled burning….needs to be done way more often! Once again it comes back to funding….more needs to be spent on indentifying areas that could benefit most from a controlled burn and then actually doing them

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    [-] Scott

    The climate is changing, and we cannot continue to follow the same practices in the face of it. We must take action to adapt. Dr. Scott Stephens, Professor, Wildland Resource Science, University of California, Berkey has stated that, unless we take deliberate action, within 10 years British Columbia will be what California is today with regard to wildfires. Key measures he recommends include utilizing a preventative burn program to help protect communities and managing the size and scale of wildfires. Additionally, we need a variety of each age class and species of vegetation in the forest, and a wider variety of tree species, specifically deciduous that are more resistant to fire and provide additional cover and food for a variety of wildlife species.

    The 2017 wildfires were the worst in British Columbia’s history. Many of family guide outfitting businesses were on the front lines and were directly impacted The province is divided into guide territories that range in size from 400 km2 to 26,000 km2. The wildfires impacted many guide outfitting businesses, specifically in the Chilcotin and East Kootenay regions. The damage ranged from access closures to loss of structures and habitat.

    As we start to recover from the fires, we are very concerned about the rush to immediately start salvage logging and replanting these areas without any other considerations. The fires have created critical habitat for wildlife. Now is the time for government to review stocking standards and silviculture practices to ensure the imminent salvage decisions are going to benefit the ecosystem and the animals that live in them.

    Our specific post-fire salvage logging concerns are:
    • Road density and access on wildlife
    • Soil damage and erosion
    • Damage to seedbanks and transfer of invasive and noxious weeds
    • Impacts on hydrology and fish
    • Retention of burnt snags to provide some summer heat thermal shade cover for wildlife
    • Post-harvest stocking standards which suppress wildlife populations

    Fires on our landscape are natural and benefit overall forest health. Our native fish, wildlife, grasses, and trees evolved with wildfire as an essential component of the natural process. Disturbance through fire is one of the best tools we have to maintain and restore wildlife populations. Wildfire opens the forest canopy, allows native grasses and herbaceous plants to grow, which increases native wildlife abundance and diversity. Through proper land management practices using ecosystem restoration and controlled burns, we can protect our communities, and restore dwindling wildlife populations.

    If we rush to replant these dry forests at densities consistent with current stocking standards, we will end up with unhealthy drought-stricken trees, which will reduce ecosystem diversity and suppress native wildlife populations. Over time, this will increase fuel loading, only serving to fuel British Columbia’s next firestorm.

    The status quo approach neglects wildlife values – in its current form the Forest and Range Practices Act does not address the needs of wildlife post-fire. We need a new process that focuses on wildlife and habitat values. First Nations, stakeholders, researchers, and industry must be at the table so that multiple values are represented.

    The 2017 fires present us with an opportunity to do things differently in British Columbia, to take care of our environment, restore our ecosystems, and protect the interests of future generations.

    Climate change is altering climatic conditions faster than animals and plants can adapt and as part of that, we expect heard health to become an increasing issue. Simultaneous changes make it virtually impossible to figure out how much anything is affecting each factor. Shorter, milder winters are producing a surge of insidious parasites that suck the lifeforce from wildlife. We’re seeing epidemics such as moose ticks, movi (Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae) and sarcoptic mange. What actions we need to take is still up for research and debate; however, as a start, we need to do a better job of keeping wild animals separated from domestic herds.

    The guide outfitting industry is gravely concerned – and perplexed – at how little is currently being done to ensure that disease transmission between domestic and wild sheep is prevented. Bighorn sheep are an iconic species in British Columbia, even gracing our provincial coat of arms. They have significant economic value to our industry as well, drawing international clientele to our region. The current market value of a bighorn ram is between $25,000 and $60,000 USD. When British Columbia provided a special permit to be auctioned at the 2018 Wild Sheep Society Fundraiser in Reno, Nevada, $250,000 was raised for wildlife conservation. Based on these numbers alone, the value of these animals can be appreciated not just economically, but intrinsically.

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    [-] David

    Active forest management including massive investment in wildfire mitigation efforts.

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