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

Grapplers hit mat for first tournament of season

The Lake City Falcons wrestling team brought home loads of hardware during the weekend

CRD to hold byelection for Area F

Conrad Turcotte who won the seat in the Oct. 20 election has been unable to take his oath of office due to illness

Fire forces family out of home two weeks before Christmas

A Williams Lake mother and her two teenagers fear they lost everything they own in a house fire

Watch out for legally set snares as trapping season unfolds

COS reminds recreational users Williams Lake is surrounded by several traplines

Cross country ski club ready to hit stride for upcoming season

The Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club is eaglerly anticipating the snow to fly

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Most Read