Students in Selkirk College’s Forest Technology Program had the opportunity to explore the grassland ecosystem in the Merritt area as part of a partnership with the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. (Dave Stevens)

Selkirk College forest technology students turn focus to grasslands

Students in Selkirk College’s Forest Technology Program had the chance to explore a new ecosystem

CASTLEGAR – Students in Selkirk College’s Forest Technology Program had the opportunity to explore a new ecosystem and discover Indigenous connections on a recent field trip to Merritt.

As part of the Applied Ecology and Range Management course, second-year students headed west at the end of September to spend a day of study with students, instructors and elders from the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT).

“Grassland ecosystems do not occur in our immediate area, so we have to travel to experience true grasslands,” says veteran Forest Technology Program instructor Carol Andrews, who led the trip to Merritt. “Ranching in our region is not common, but our students will work and live all over the province where they will need to understand rangeland management and how it can overlap and with forest management.”

Selkirk College and NVIT signed a memorandum of understanding designed to enhance the educational experience for learners at both schools through collaborative efforts.

Now in the second year of the partnership, the relationship helps provide important perspective to those getting set to embark on a career in the forest industry.

“The students we meet with at NVIT are all in their forestry program,” says Andrews.

“Our students get a chance to spend time with these students and share their experiences as forestry students and future land managers. Indigenous instructors from NVIT help to explain the focus of their program.

Elders accompany us and help students understand the Indigenous connections to land—traditional use, traditional customs, cultural and historical perspectives. This day helps the students begin to understand what reconciliation may mean on a personal and professional level.”

The Forest Technology Program is one of the original Selkirk College programs and has been an important part of regional post-secondary since 1966.

NVIT first opened in 1983 as a private institute by several First Nations bands in the Merritt region and in 1995 became a public post-secondary.

Learn more about the Selkirk College Forest Technology Program at

Just Posted

Province announces $23 million for upgrades at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District Board has yet to review the provincial proposal

Call a foul on cancer with the Pink Whistle Campaign

Local basketball referees are raising money for cancer research

UPDATE: Two-car accident closes Highway 3A at Thrums

Road expected to open for single-lane alternating traffic at 2 p.m.

Trail Curling Club set for BC senior championships

Volunteers step up for BC Senior Curling championships at Trail Curling Club

Man found dead identified as Andreas Pittinger

Pittinger was known locally for hosting a radio show

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Father to be charged with first-degree murder in Amber Alert case

11-year-old Riya Rajkumar was found dead in her father’s home in Brampton, Ontario

Most Read