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B.C. set to shovel more than $55M out to plant 50 million trees in 2024

This year’s tree-planting season happens with several hold-over fires burning in northern B.C.
B.C. is expected to spend $55.5 million with the federal government spending $19.5 toward planting 50 million trees this year. (Photo courtesy of Paige Mueller)

Provincial figures peg the total cost of planting 50 million trees this year at $75 million with the province’s share being $55.5 million. The rest of the money is coming from an agreement with Natural Resources Canada.

B.C.’s forests ministry released that figure last week as part of marking the planting of the 10-billionth tree since the start of the reforestation program in 1930. The ministry said two billion of those were planted in the past seven years.

Last year, 305 million seedlings were planted in B.C. forests and one of these seedlings was the 10-billionth planted since work began almost a century ago.

April marks the start of the tree-planting season, usually running through August.

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This year’s season is starting against the backdrop of what may turn out to be a worse fire season than last year’s, which caused significant damage to provincial forests. Provincial figures estimate fires burnt 2.84 million hectares, more than double the area of forest and land fire had burnt during any previous year on record.

Fire, of course, also impacts replanting.

Forests minister Bruce Ralston said last week that the most important consideration when it comes to replanting after fire is the state of the ground itself.

“I think you have probably heard that in some parts of northern British Columbia, there are holdover fires, which may pose dangers to tree planting,” he said. “But safety is the primary concern before any workers sets foot on any site that is going to be replanted.”

Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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