Farmers in the Bulkley-Nechako and Fraser-Fort George regions will have more support to adapt to climate change, following the development of the Bulkley-Nechako & Fraser-Fort George Regional Adaptation Strategies plan.
The provincial and federal governments are providing $300,000 in funding through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to support projects identified in the plan as priority actions for increasing the resilience of producers in the region.
Funded projects would help farmers respond to four priority impact areas affecting the region: increasing wildfire risk, increasing variability and shifting crop variability, warmer and drier summer conditions, and changing pest dynamics.
“It’s great that government is supporting farmers and ranchers in the Bulkley-Nechako and Fraser-Fort George regional districts in dealing with challenges due to climate change, because it is our new reality,” says Megan D’Arcy, a local farmer and member of the advisory committee for the Bulkley-Nechako & Fraser-Fort George Regional Adaptation Strategies.
“Information exchange, increased collaboration and the development of new systems and best management practices will be key to ensuring that the agriculture sector in these two regions remains resilient.”
Implementing priority projects
The Bulkley-Nechako & Fraser-Fort George Regional Adaptation Strategies planning process, managed by CAI, began in summer 2018 and brought together farmers from both regions to work with local governments and provincial and federal agencies to identify priorities for agricultural adaptation as well as strategies and actions for strengthening resilience.
A 14-member working group with representatives from the agricultural sector and regional and provincial governments will oversee development of priority projects, and CAI will manage project implementation. Up to six projects will be completed in the region by 2023.
The Bulkley-Nechako & Fraser-Fort George Regional Adaptation Strategies plan is the eighth regional plan developed across the province as part of the Regional Adaptation Program delivered by CAI.
- The total farmland in the Bulkley-Nechako region, the Stikine region and the Fraser-Fort George region was over 330,000 hectares in 2016.
- The regions employed over 2,600 people in the agricultural sector (both farm operators and employees) in 2016.
- Agriculture in the regions is predominantly focused on poultry, cattle, hay and field crops.
- Other notable crops include: greenhouse flowers and greenhouse vegetables (in the Bulkley-Nechako region).
- Samantha Charlton, Project Manager (Regional Adaptation Program), BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative, 778-676-7657
- Robert Boelens, Communications Manager, Ministry of Agriculture, 250-356-1674
The BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative (CAI) develops tools and resources that increase the capacity of agriculture to adapt to climate change. Guided by industry, CAI brings together producers, government and researchers to develop a strategic, proactive and pan-agricultural approach to climate adaptation.