Through ongoing efforts to keep communities as safe from wildfires as possible, the province is using agriculture, cattle grazing specifically, as another resource to manage fine fuels in parts of British Columbia. Angie Mindus photo.

The South Cariboo could see livestock grazing used for wildfire fuel mitigation

The B.C. government is providing $500,000 to the BC Cattleman’s Association

Through ongoing efforts to keep communities as safe from wildfires as possible, the province is using agriculture as another resource to manage fine fuels in parts of British Columbia.

The approach is livestock grazing – a low carbon, cost-effective method that supports local food production and provides new opportunities for ranchers.

“We’ve been working on ways to utilize targetted grazing to start protecting some of the infrastructures in areas where we have the opportunity to do so,” said Kevin Boon, general manager of the BC Cattlemen’s Association. “The last two fire seasons have seen unprecedented resources burn in the province. These events have shown us the value of agriculture, specifically cattle grazing, in mitigating the start or spread of fires while assisting in firefighting efforts. Cattle grazing reduces the fine fuels available for fires to take hold.”

Related: B.C. works to safeguard livestock during another tough wildfire season

The B.C. government is providing $500,000 to the BC Cattlemen’s Association to develop partnerships around the province – working with local governments, the ranching sector and Indigenous communities to develop partnerships and provide opportunities for livestock owners, stakeholders and other interested parties.

The funding will allow the association to develop said partnerships in areas to protect the land, forests and communities while still producing some of the best quality food in the country.

“We are going to create very specific areas to concentrate on that are considered as high-risk areas to utilize the cattle to do this,” said Boon. “This is part of what we will be identifying very quickly.”

Related: Cattlemen urge B.C. to prevent erosion caused during 2017 wildfire season

According to Boon, the association will be meeting with a wildfire management group to identify those areas throughout the province.

“I can’t give one specific area, but there is many and this is why we will be forming these partnerships,” said Boon.

For the South Cariboo, there is still a lot of landscape that can be affected by fires, which can be considered for this approach in mitigating some of those fuels.

“We have the funding, which some has to be utilized before the next fiscal year and some can be used for the following,” said Boon. “We are hoping to put as much of this into effect as we can this year. Once we get this setup and get the system in place, we will be able to use this every year. This is not a one-year thing, but a matter of making it work in those areas needed. If we see a benefit to it, I can see this expanding in years to come.”

Targetted grazing won’t be the solution to all fuel management challenges, but it is an effective tool when used in combination with other methods, such as prescribed burning and selective tree harvesting. Wildfire prevention programs in Europe and parts of the U.S. are successfully using livestock to graze fuel breaks around communities and reduce the risks of wildfires.

“I am confident that we will see the benefits of this.”


newsroom@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

First round of support programs for forestry workers in B.C. Interior now available

100 Mile House to receive a community based-job placement co-ordination office

Snow, showers and sunnier weather forecast for South Cariboo over coming days

Residents can expect warmer temperatures come mid-week

Indigenous-focused book signing set for Nuthatch Books

Chelseas of Esk’et subjects of recent book

Second young woman dies after rollover crash near Williams Lake

‘Someone’s going to get her heart, which is awesome, because she has the best heart in the world’

Google searches for ‘how to vote’ surge on Election Day

Interest spikes despite social media campaign by Elections Canada

West Fraser Timber records Q3 loss of $45 million on lower lumber production

Company has closed Chasm mill, eliminated third production shift at 100 Mile House location

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Most Read