Two industry professionals will be sharing their perspective on the past, present, and future of wildfire in the Rocky Mountain Trench, and how wildfire risks can be mitigated in the East Kootenay.
The Rocky Mountain Trench Ecosystem Restoration Program is hosting a free evening presentation on the topic on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at the Ktunaxa Nation Government Building gymnasium in Cranbrook.
Dr. Lori Daniels, Professor of Forest Ecology in the Forest and Conservation Sciences Department at the University of British Columbia (UBC) will be one of the presenters alongside Don Gayton, a consulting ecologist.
Both will discuss their work around wildfire and how the use of prescribed burns, forest thinning, fuel reduction and other treatments can reduce the severity of wildfires across the Rocky Mountain Trench. The Trench is a vast landmass that stretches through the East Kootenay, including northern B.C. such as Valemount and Golden, all of the Columbia Valley, Kimberley, Cranbrook, along with Eureka, Whitefish, and Kalispell in Montana.
According to the Rocky Mountain Trench Ecosystem Restoration Program, Dr. Daniels has worked on fire history in the East Kootenay for many years and directs the Tree-Ring Lab to investigate and reconstruct forest disturbances such as wildfires or insect outbreaks.
“With her research team at UBC, Lori is researching wildfires and forest resilience to climate change in the B.C. interior, Rocky Mountain National Parks and foothills of Alberta,” said the Rocky Mountain Trench Ecosystem Restoration Program. “Lori has served on B.C.’s Prescribed Fire Council and as an advisor to the 2017 Provincial Flood and Fire Review.”
Dr. Daniels is also a contributor to the Blueprint for Wildland Fire Science in Canada (2019-2029) and a member of the Canadian Wildfire Implementation Strategy Team.
Don Gayton is based out of Summerland as a consulting ecologist, earning a Master’s degree in Plant Ecology from the University of Saskatchewan, while also working for FORREX and the B.C. Forest Service.
“Don Gayton will offer his personal chronology of fire, starting with boyhood experiences and then fast-forwarding to the 1990s in the Rocky Mountain Trench, where learned about fire-maintained ecosystems, First Nations’ use of fire, and contemporary prescribed burning,” added the Rocky Mountain Trench Ecosystem Restoration Program. “From his perspective as a grizzled elder with an edge of humour, Don will recount the people and events that forged our current understanding of fire in our dry forests and grasslands.”
The presentations are free to the public on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at the Ktunaxa Nation Government Building gymnasium, which is prior to the Crown Managers Partnership Forum at St. Eugene Resort between March 11th and 12th.