Not only are the tree planters working for companies like Dynamic Reforestation happy to be at work but they’re also giving back to the communities that are hosting them by donating $8,400 to local Cariboo food banks.
The cheques were presented to the 100 Mile House Food Bank and the Williams Lake Salvation Army on Friday, May 29 by Miles Sanoy the owner of the Dynamic Reforestation. Sanoy and his company have worked in the Cariboo for years now and have had long-standing relationships with West Fraser and the Ministry of Forests.
“We plant trees and we’re also a firefighting contractor,” Sanoy said. “Right now I have almost 90 workers in the 100 Mile District.”
Sanoy would like to stress how fortunate he and his employees are to be able to go work despite the wrench of COVID-19 that got thrown into the works. This was under very strict guidelines imposed by the Public Health Officer (PHO) as all of his workers were instructed to self-isolate prior to coming to B.C. and then remain isolated once arriving in B.C. at the company’s tree-planting camps, with the exception of delivery workers.
At all six of their camps, with almost 270 workers spread out across them, have all been isolated for 25 days without a single case of COVID-19, which Sanoy is both confident and happy to say. The measures, while strict, seem to have worked and to his knowledge, there hasn’t been a single COVID-19 case in any of the tree planting camps across B.C.
Dynamic Reforestation, Sanoy said, is on track to plant 19-million trees by the end of the season with six-million being planted in the 100 Mile District. So far he says they’re close to being a third of the way through the planting with around six-million trees in the ground across the region with a busy June and July coming up, as they lost a month in April they usually spend planting.
“The reason for the donation is it was just a way of giving back to the communities for accepting us into them. There was a lot of skepticism about us coming out, it was something we had to overcome and that was a real issue for these little communities with all our workers coming over,” Sanoy said. “So it’s just a way of saying thanks and recognizing we’re fortunate to go to work when many people couldn’t so we thought we’d donate to the local food banks to support the local communities we’re working in.”
As such, Sanoy put the word out to the camps who proceeded to raise $4,200 by the workers with this sum matched by management to net a sum of $8,400. The money was then distributed to Williams Lake, 100 Mile House and Clearwater for $4,500, $2,500 and $1,400 respectively.
“It’s very gratifying that we can help out, there’s a lot of people in need so it was very rewarding. On behalf of all of my staff, we’re very grateful to be working and it was very humbling to help where we could,” Sanoy said.
As to whether or not the restrictions on his workers will be lifted, Sanoy said it’s ultimately up to the PHO if they stay in place. He’s told his workers however to expect them to last all season but said if a little freedom comes down the road, they’ll be grateful.