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Community Trust Workers Protectors Cariboo Ecosystems

by NationTalk on March 7, 20091163 Views

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
2009FOR0030-000300
March 6, 2009

Ministry of Forests and Range
Ministry of Community Development

WILLIAMS LAKE – Five forest workers employed by the Canoe Creek Band will protect riparian pastures, grasslands and sensitive ecosystems near Dog Creek, thanks to $48,000 from the Community Development Trust’s Job Opportunities Program, Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell and Community Development Minister Kevin Krueger announced today.“The Canoe Creek Band is showing strong leadership in pursuing the Job Opportunities Program, to create local employment for forest workers that directly benefits the community,” said Bell. “By identifying projects and community needs, they are keeping skilled and experienced forest workers in local jobs, and preserving grasslands and riparian areas for generations to come.”

The project, managed by the band’s Stswecem’c Xgat’tem Development Limited Partnership, involves clearing mountain pine beetle-attacked trees from 11 kilometres of fenced right-of-way. The dead trees pose the risk of falling and damaging fences that keep cattle from straying into nearby grasslands and water bodies.

“The Community Development Trust is one of our key tools to assist forest workers and their families during these difficult economic times,” said Krueger. “We are pleased to partner with the Canoe Creek Band to create employment while protecting sensitive ecosystems in central British Columbia.”

“This project is one component of our ongoing plan and commitment to protect and restore the extensive grasslands around Dog and Canoe Creek,” said Mike McDonough, Stswecem’c Xgat’tem project manager. “The Job Opportunities Program has been a good fit, providing incomes and helping us work towards our ecosystem conservation and recovery goals.”

The Canoe Creek Band is also managing a $120,500 Job Opportunity Program project announced in December, which provides jobs for 15 forest workers, establishing stock trails around Alberta Lake to protect grasslands, riparian areas and endangered species habitat from cattle.

The $26.25-million Job Opportunities Program is reducing the impact of current layoffs on workers employed in the forest industry, retaining skilled forest workers for the anticipated future upturn, and preserving the characteristics of the labour force in forest-dependent communities.

A forest-dependent community or organization and forest licensees or forest contractors working in cooperation with a forest-dependent community, are eligible to submit a project proposal to the Job Opportunities Program. To date, the program has approved $12.4 million to support 73 projects which will employ more than 580 forest workers in communities across the province.

The Job Opportunities Program is one component of the Community Development Trust, which was announced last spring. B.C.’s share of the federal trust is $129 million over three years, with funds also directed to a Tuition Assistance program and Transition Assistance for Older Workers Program.

For more information about the Community Development Trust and Job Opportunities Program, go to: www.cd.gov.bc.ca/cdt/

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Media Contact:

Jennifer McLarty
Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Forests and Range
250 387-4592

Mike McDonough
The Stswecem’c Xgat’tem Development Limited Partnership
250 398-9440

Leanne Ritchie
Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Community Development
250 356-0979

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