The City of Quesnel officially opened its new forestry innovation centre last night.
Mayor Bob Simpson…
“The intention of this centre is to become a focal point for our desire as a community, and on behalf of Quesnel City Council, we want to see our forest sector reinvigorated, re-invented and repurposed.”
The centre is conveniently located on the second floor of City Hall.
Simpson says the idea came out of the Forest Think Tank process that began back in May of 2017…
“We’ve done a lot of work around trying to think about how our landscape can be managed differently than it is today, so it’s not as susceptible to these large scale disturbances, and it can be stabilized in a world of climate change to continue to give us products that we can manufacture and create jobs from. And we’re now turning our attention to the kinds of invention that need to occur in our manufacturing sector and in the markets that we need to get into.”
That process will continue over the next two days at the North Cariboo Community Campus.
Forest Minister Doug Donaldson was also on hand last night and will be involved in this next phase of the think tank as well.
He talked about maximizing value over maximizing volume in the forest industry…
“That’s our focus as government is the kind of products that are on display here. We always know that there will be an important role for the dimensional lumber sector in forestry, and that’s what traditionally we’ve been built on. But we know there are fewer merchantable logs in the forest and we’ve got to do more with what we have and ensure that we maximize every log that is brought out, and that also involves the training side about how we do that from a job perspective.”
The cost of the project, minus the donations from industry, is about 160 thousand dollars.
Most of the money came out of the city’s building reserve.