Foresters-in-training from China and Ghana, Chengdong Fang and Kingsley Kyere-Donkor enjoy the view after taking the opportunity to hike Cameron Ridge east of Williams Lake recently with mentor forester, Nathan Davis. National Forest Week is Sept. 20 to the 26 and everyone is encouraged to get out and enjoy our local forests. (Nathan Davis photo)

EDITORIAL: Forests are there for everyone to enjoy

This week marks National Forest Week in Canada

This week we celebrate National Forest Week, a time to reflect on what our forests mean to us. In the Cariboo-Chilcotin we are surrounded by forests and many of us earn our livings from the forest industry.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our forests have been a place to escape from feeling cooped up.

In this edition of the Tribune we have a story about the latest Forest Practices Board special investigation into the challenges of reforestation in the Douglas-fir areas, including our region. While some things have changed, there are more changes needed.

Over the years, we have interviewed Mike Pedersen officially with the Ministry of Forests, so it was nice to do a personal interview with him for the Our Hometown page.

READ MORE: Our Hometown: Growing a career

Reading about his first impressions of the Cariboo-Chilcotin as a Maritimer were especially fun. It’s always great to hear from Williams Lake’s own Steve Kozuki who heads up the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. as its executive director.

He was eager to share the success of this year’s tree planting season as the industry adapted to the pandemic with strict guidelines for all planting companies.

To top it off, Mayor Walt Cobb was announced as the 2020 Forest Community Champion by the Forest Products Association of Canada.

He was nominated for the award by Tolko Industries Ltd. locally who praised him for his decades of leadership as a councillor, MLA and mayor in helping Williams Lake remain a strong sustainable forest community.

While we have weathered the pandemic the threat of wildfires was something in the back of everyone’s minds. Instead we received an abundance of rainfall which in turn made our forests lusher than they’ve been in recent years.

To celebrate our forests, make sure to get out and enjoy. You won’t regret what they have to offer.

READ MORE: Forestry workers meet the challenges, remain hopeful

-Williams Lake Tribune

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