Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson says this week’s Forestry Think Tank was once again very successful.

He says they focused on what the human resource challenges would be in realizing a whole new approach to the forest industry.

Simpson says they looked at a variety of alternate products…

“If we’re going to get into bio processing for example, making bio fuels, bio plastics, or bio composites, if we’re going to do something different on the land base in terms of how we plan and harvest on the land base, then a big question begged is how do you fill the human resource skills for that ?”

Simpson says they had more 60 people taking part representing post-secondary institutions, research institutions, the Ministry of Forests from around the province and Victoria, as well as First Nations.

As for what’s next…

“What we’ll be doing over the next month or so is really trying to decide what are the more immediate projects that we can take on, so people can see that this is real. It will attract real investment, it will attract real dollars to the projects, it will attract people into our community.”

Simpson says the new Forestry Innovation Centre that opened on Wednesday night will be part of whatever they decide going forward.

Forests Minister Doug Donaldson was on hand for the think tank and Simpson says they received confirmation that their landscape planning exercise will be sanctioned by the province.

He says they are now working on the province to get funding to do satellite imagery of the Quesnel Timber Supply Area to provide really solid inventory data into that project.

This was a follow-up to the Forestry Think Tank that was held in Quesnel in May of 2017.