Harrop-Procter Community Co-op went about understanding and assessing impacts by analyzing provincial climate change data as well conducting risk assessments. The area has already experienced a number of significant wildfire events including one in 2003 which sparked initial recognition of the need to address and adapt to future climate change related events. Another large fire event in 2017 further highlighted the gravity of the situation. In order to systematically understand the impacts of wildfire events in the area extensive risk mapping was undertaken. This mapping aided in balancing priorities of conserving natural habitats as well as protecting human health and included current data as well as future projections. Historical data was employed to visualize various aspects of the area and individual variables which may contribute to wildfire probability in the present such as forest canopy fuel weight, soil moisture, and ecosystem moisture. Historical data was also used to plot the extent, date and cause of past wildfire events (with many attributed to lightning strikes). Finally, the mapping also utilized provincial climate data projections in order to understand the consequences wildfires would have on nearby homes and infrastructure, water, biodiversity, and timber. It was deemed that any built form, timber or biodiversity which currently resides on dry or ‘submesic’ land should be considered a top priority. Further, headwater areas with high fuel loads should also be carefully protected. Comparisons were made between 2018 and 2085 scenarios. Climatic projections for the area show that the summer season will get warmer and drier while the fall, winter and spring will become wetter with increased instances of extreme precipitation. Given this, summer wildfire events are expected to become more extensive in the future.
As of March 2021, Forest Manager of the Harrop-Procter Co-op, Erik Leslie and the rest of the Co-op continue to refine their climate change adaptation and wildfire protection plan to increase resilience to wildfire events such as that of 2003 which destroyed thousands of acres of forest in the vicinity and forced the evacuation of the community. The Harrop-Proctor Co-op manages 11,300 hectares of Provincial Forest Crown land between the two namesake communities near Nelson, British Columbia, located in the southeast of the province. The adaptation and wildfire protection plan uses provincial climate data as well as historic data to explore the consequences climate change may have on local homes and infrastructure, water, biodiversity, and timber. Based on this data, the Co-op has created a series of maps to visualize the implications. The plan also identifies a range of current and future actions available to the Harrop-Procter Co-op to address oncoming climate change. One such action is a study spearheaded by the University of British Columbia to test the health and growth of various tree species in the area to determine which would be most resilient in future projected climate conditions. The plan has thus far relied heavily on public input and intends to continue this trend through future meetings. Further development of the project is forthcoming with the planning phase set to be completed in June 2021.