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

PHOTO GALLERY: Malicious Monster Truck Tour

The Malicious Monster Truck Tour sold out to crowds of 2,500 people… Continue reading

North Coast fishing grounds key to orca recovery: DFO

Plan marks waters from Langara to Rose Spit as critical habitat for northern resident killer whales

Chris Green, mother of scouts, passes away

Green, who was born near Kitimat, spent more than 60 years volunteering with Scouts Canada

Intertidal Music Festival back for round two

More than 20 performances throughout the day at the North Pacific Cannery on July 21

Alberta man missing on Kitimat River found dead

Body found on July 11 after going missing on July 7

BC Games’ Athletes Corner: What’s your favourite pump up song?

Check out what’s playing in the earbuds of BC Summer Games athletes before they compete

BC Wildfire update on Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

UPDATED: Evacuation alert issued due to Dog Creek Trail Wildfire

UPDATED: The Dog Creek wildfire has grown substantially over the past two… Continue reading

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

VIDEO: Near drowning captured on popular B.C. river

Search and Rescue manager says the popular pastime of floating in the summer is inherently dangerous

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

UPDATED: Anti-pipeline campers digging in as eviction deadline expires

The City of Burnaby had ordered the Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters out for violating bylaws

Trump was taped talking of paying Playboy model: AP source

Source says former personal lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded discussion prior to 2016 election

Most Read