The Aboriginal housing situation in Canada is in crisis with a lack of culturally and environmentally appropriate housing. To address this need, this Mitacs Elevate project involves a collaboration between the Heiltsuk Nation (in Bella Bella, BC), the University of British Columbia, and FPInnovations. Through this project, a Participatory Approach towards Holistic Solutions (PATHS) framework was created and applied to help assess pathways with which the Heiltsuk Nation may effectively develop and implement community-led housing solutions.
The sequence of costly wildfires that burned at multiple locations in British Columbia and Alberta during fire seasons in 2003, 2015, 2016 and 2017 remind people that fires play an important part in forests of southwestern Canada. However, people are also increasingly recognizing the role of fire in providing ecological renewal and diversification. As a testament to this growth in understanding, forestry companies are embracing practices which include emulating historical fire regimes that exhibit a wide range of spatial and temporal characteristics such as fire shape and severity.
B.C.s Pacific salmon are in decline yet the causes are not clear. The role of disease in declining productivity is poorly understood but is potentially an important factor especially given recent controversies involving salmon farms and disease transmission to wild salmon. We have recently collected quantitative data on 47+ viral, bacterial, fungal, and protozoan pathogens in >16,000 out-migrating juvenile sockeye, Chinook and coho salmon and 4,500 salmon from farms culturing Atlantic and Chinook salmon.
In recent years, globalization and increasing international traffic have allowed tree infecting micro-organisms and pests to colonize new forests and plantations. These invasions are a threat to global trade and the delicate ecological balance of our forests. Good examples are the Sudden Oak Death (SOD) outbreak caused by Phytophthora ramorum in California and the emerald ash borer in eastern Canada. Such epidemics can wreak havoc and halt international trade resulting in loss of millions of dollars.
Steep slope harvesting with machines is a recent element of the forest industry, still experimenting with winch-assist machines and the different harvesting approaches that each comprises. The aim of this research topic will compare the productivity of six different winch-assist forest harvesting operations; three in New Zealand and three in Canada. The primary goal will be to establish the productivity for each operation, and relate the different stand and terrain factors at each harvest operation.
The August 2014 tailings dam breach at the Mount Polley Mine, BC severely disturbed downstream forest ecosystems through erosion and tailings deposition. The impacted area presents an opportunity to research using ecosystem legacies (components that survive a disturbance) to rehabilitate disturbed sites.
For many reasons, forest management in Canada will be constrained by ecological and social forest management objectives. Along with meeting the diverse needs of society, forest managers will need to consider increased demands for renewable resources, such as wood. Wood, as opposed to concrete and steel, has a positive impact on the global carbon cycle but is also strong enough to build large buildings. Therefore, there will be an increased demand for stronger wood in the future.
The legalization of Cannabis (marijuana) is now supported by 66% of Canadian voters. Aphria Inc., was the first approved and licensed producer under the MMPR to begin growing in a greenhouse and is currently the second-largest marijuana producer in Canada. Unfortunately, Cannabis is attacked by a plethora of phytopathogens leading to a number of diseases with the most commonly reported are grey mold and powdery mildews.
An emerging strategy for managing natural resources such as Canada's forests more sustainably and responsibly is to use knowledge of how Mother Nature has done it to help guide our hand. This so-called ecosystem-based approach has gained favour with provincial and federal governments, as well as national and international certification agencies.
A coal mine operating on the Snuneymuxw First Nation reserve lands between 1913 and 1939 has left mine waste that has contaminated the soil, sediment, groundwater and surface water with metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Human health and ecological assessments are being conducted in the area to determine how best to deal with the contamination in the area.