While Khowutzun Freegro™ tree shelters are made by a First Nation-led company in the Quamichan Big House (i.e. a fine example of First Nation leadership in environmental stewardship), KFT is not promoting this as a way for forest companies/licensees and private forest landowners to gain some measure of social licence. KFT is putting forth the business case that the Khowutzun Freegro™ tree shelter is superior product that:
- has a proven ability to offer a high level of robust protection against all types of animal browse/damage;
- offers a better microclimate that promotes higher rates of survival and growth, especially where hydric stress caused by extended climate change given drought is a factor;
- because of benefit #2 above, is an effective climate change mitigation and adaptation tool;
- keeps laterals and leaders from extending outside of the shelter;
- is easier to install and much faster to recover for reuse;
- is less costly to transport, handle (i.e. no zap straps required) and store;
- can be used multiple times (on successive plantations) over a useful life of 15 years;
- has a much lower carbon foot print than plastic tube-like shelter types.
The combined impact is better protection and enhanced tree growth at an overall lower cost (all labour and materials). KFT can save forest companies/licensees and forest landowners over 25% in their browse protection costs. while, at the same time, increasing timber yields and values and carbon sequestration rates.