Minister Doug Donaldson at Quesnel’s CNC campus for the Forestry Think Tank. Melanie Law photo

Quesnel hosts Future of Forestry Think Tank

Researchers, industry experts and policy makers are in Quesnel to discuss the future of the sector

Quesnel is hosting a two-day Future of Forestry Think Tank this week, with more than 70 delegates in attendance.

The Think Tank has attracted forestry sector professionals from all of Quesnel’s wood products companies, plus the Honourable Doug Donaldson from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development. Other representatives are attending from University of Northern British Columbia, University of British Columbia, Council of Forest Industries, FP Innovations and the Forest Enhancement Society.

The technical working session aims to explore opportunities to use Quesnel as an incubator to accelerate research and development in the domains of alternative forest management and innovative manufacturing and processing of forest fibre.

Policy-makers, researchers and industry experts descended on Quesnel’s College of New Caledenia campus this afternoon to begin the sessions.

In his opening remarks, Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson said Quesnel is the best place to hold such a think tank due to its concentration of manufacturing facilities.

“We have everything from growing tress to lumber manufacturing to value-added remand, to pulp mills to MDF. We have everything here from a perspective of research and development.”

Minister Donaldson agreed, after being taken on a tour of some of Quesnel’s facilities.

“Quesnel is well-positioned to take advantage of any new trends and help influence policy. I just visited C&C [Wood Products] and West Fraser’s MDF plant and sawmill and I’m really impressed with the diversification of the utilization for fibre.

“We know there are challenges ahead with the reduced fibre availability after the mountain pine beetle and the wildfire impacts, so these are the topics we’ve been putting a lot of thought into in our first nine months in government, and the Think Tank that we are seeing here today is going to advance those thoughts,” he commented.

Simpson said Quesnel could act as an incubator for the wider provincial industry.

“Trying to solve this problem at the provincial level is almost a non starter. If you bring it down and locate it in an area where you can do some experimenting, some research, some thinking, at a level of scale that allows you to potentially get to some solutions, you can then extrapolate up to the rest of the province,” he said.

Donaldson believes the key may be in how we view our use of the forest.

“I think, overall, that rethinking what a forest in a communiity is is important for the future. We’ve got really efficient dimensional lumber mills in Quesnel and elsewhere, and we know the forest provides in a lot of other ways for forest-dependent communities – through wildlife, through other utilisation of forest fibre, for non-botanical forest products. The challenge ahead of us is to rethink how forests support communities. And that’s what this is about.”

The Think Tank sessions will cover topics including climate change, future forest fibre, processing opportunities, workforce vulnerabilities and more.

Just Posted

‘Summer from hell’: vandals rob community garden following devastating wildfire season

The community rallied to keep the Health Minds Community Garden open in Fort St. James

College of New Caledonia offers new automotive glass technician program

The program is offered mainly online, allowing more students to take part from across the north

Decision on Burns Lake’s workforce camp “pending very soon”: Coastal GasLink

Meetings to discuss new camp location postponed due to wildfire situation

B.C. parents leery of HPV cervical cancer vaccine

Provincial registration uptake among lowest in Canada

Municipal spending outpaces population growth 4-fold in B.C.: report

Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its annual operational spending report

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

B.C. deaf community wants different sign languages on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

B.C. nanny charged with sex abuse of 3 children

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

‘I’m no quitter’ on climate change issues, McKenna says at G7 ministers meeting

David Suzuki says if McKenna believes what she’s saying, she too should quit

Most Read