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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Coast Mountain College sets up student emergency fund

It’ll provide grocery store gift cards for students affected by COVID-19 crisis

Northern Health moves reefer unit to Mills Memorial

The move is not related to COVID-19

RDKS developing strategy to bring higher internet speeds to remote areas

Results of public survey will help ISPs build business case for funding

UPDATE: Man drowns crossing Skeena River

59-year old Prince Rupert victim pronounced dead at Mills Memorial

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

COVID-19 has been impacting Canadian economy since January

But full effects of pandemic won’t be known for months

Doctors trained abroad want to join front lines of COVID-19 fight in Canada

B.C. is looking to allow internationally trained doctors to work under the supervision of attending physicians

Fake test kits and other COVID online scams play on public anxiety: fraud centre

Vancouver has seen a spike in commercial property crimes, with offices and stores empty because of COVID-19

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Feds amplify stay-home message as cost of financial aid to Canadians mounts

Liberals have unveiled around $200B in direct financial aid and tax deferrals

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

World COVID-19 update: Six million U.S. jobless claims; Russia sends medical aid to U.S.

Comprehensive update with COVID-19 news from around the world

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Most Read