As mills continue to close and fears are raised about the sustainability of the B.C. Lumber industry, organizations like the Alex Fraser Research Forest are working to educate the next generation of foresters and environmental stewards with hands-on experience.
The Alex Fraser Research Forest consists of 10,000 hectares of Crown forest that has been set aside for the purpose of research and education conducted by the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia. Its primary goal over the last 36 years it’s operated is to find ways to enhance British Colombians’ and Canadians’ approach to maintaining sustainable forest ecosystems, to protect industry, the environment and our way of life.
Currently, the forest is managed by Stephanie Ewan, a UBC graduate herself, who primarily co-ordinates between researchers at the university and those maintaining experiments and installations in the forest. She also works with local forestry community members and will pass along their ideas and questions to the university to be incorporated and then implemented in future research.
“Since the fires we’ve had quite a bit of interest in fire research. Specifically, regeneration post-fire and the difference between salvaged areas and un-salvaged areas would be one project that is happening right now,” Ewan said.
IMAGE: Submitted photo – This year 39 students came from UBC to the AFRF to get some field experience.