A meeting scheduled for Thursday, July 18 in Williams Lake will bring industry, the ministry of forests, the community forest, woodlot licensees and small operators together to discuss the future of the forest industry. File image

Future of forest industry focus of upcoming meeting in Williams Lake

Representatives from the industry, ministry of forests and local politicians will meet to discuss possible solutions

Forestry will be the focus of a meeting in Williams Lake, taking place Thursday, July 18 at the Pioneer Complex.

During Tuesday’s regular council meeting, Mayor Walt Cobb said representatives from the industry, ministry of forests, community forest, woodlot licensees and small operators to see what they might be able to do.

“We will meet in Williams Lake to discuss the future of the forest industry,” he said, adding if anyone from council is available to attend, the meeting will take place from 1 to 3 p.m.

“I met with Mike Pedersen (executive director engagement of interior forest renewal, Ministry of Forests), to give me a little bit of a briefing on what’s going to happen at this meeting coming up on Thursday and they are prepared to put some assistance in place somewhere if in fact we can somehow pull a committee together.”

Read more: Implications of reducing stumpage to help companies during poor markets

Cobb also met with the Deputy Minister of Forests John Allan and had a “good” discussion.

“He is doing a bit of a tour around on the forest industry, and different aspects of what is happening,” Cobb said. “He is lending his support to build a strategy to be prepared if and when we have further curtailments in the forest industry or the closure of a mill.”

Cobb has also circulated a letter to council from Prince George regarding the forest industry asking the City to send a letter of support to a number of different federal government ministers requesting support for workers displaced because of forestry companies making permanent closures, shift reductions and temporary curtailments.

Council unanimously supported sending a letter.

Read more: COLUMN: Forestry at the heart of B.C.’s export economy


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