We are pleased for the municipalities that received the additional $780,000 in B.C. government funding to the Omineca Beetle Action Coalition. As with the recently announce $630,000 in federal funding for Fort St. James, Fraser Lake and Vanderhoof, we appreciate the need for these communities to respond to the crises they are facing.
We are concerned, however, that an immediate crisis is being ignored by governments - one that places more than 100 First Nations communities and 100,000 lives in jeopardy.
Half of B.C.’s First Nations - 103 communities - are in the middle of the 13.5 million hectares destroyed by the beetle. Most are in remote areas, many accessible only by air, and are surrounded by a massive tinderbox of dead forest just waiting for a spark.