First Nations nursery turns to biomass
October 1, 2015 - The Saulteau First Nations are replacing a plant nursery’s propane heating with a biomass heating system, with funding support of $150,000 from B.C.’s First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund.
To be developed in partnership with West Moberly First Nations, the upgraded biomass heating system for the Twin Sisters Native Plant Nursery will initially heat two existing greenhouses, with the capability of supporting two additional greenhouses as they are built. Although some carbon emissions are caused by wood-burning, biomass heating systems, these are much lower than the emissions from fossil fuels such as propane.
“The Saulteau and West Moberly First Nations are helping to meet the demand for specialized nurseries capable of providing local-area plants for reclamation use,” Mike Bernier, MLA, Peace River South. “By upgrading the nursery with the new heating system, they are showing real leadership in the development of cleaner energy options, while providing ongoing economic benefits for their communities.”
The Twin Sisters Native Plant Nursery, located in Moberly Lake, B.C., grows plant species used in site reclamation by the mining and oil and gas industries. By addressing the shortage of local plant stock for reclamation in Northern B.C., the nursery is playing an important role in helping to restore post-industrial lands to natural, healthy and productive ecosystems.
“This funding will support Saulteau First Nations’ investment into a biomass heating project at the Twin Sisters Native Plants Nursery co-owned with West Moberly First Nations,” said Nathan Parenteau, Chief, Saulteau First Nations. “This project will help reduce the facility’s dependence on fossil fuels, increase the sustainability of the project, protect the environment, and reduce operating costs. As well, the project directly supports Saulteau First Nations key community economic development priority – working towards the goal of energy self-sufficiency.”
Funding for this project and other agreements is part of the Province’s commitment to reconciliation with First Nations.