Mayor Bob Simpson says starting this week they will be working with the Ministry of Forests and Lands to convene a landscape pilot table…
“So that’s beginning to take a look particularly at the landbase west of Quesnel that has been devastated by Mountain Pine Beetle and fire, and how do we rehabilitate that landbase in a way that the ecological systems are more resilient, less susceptible to these large scale disturbances and we can drive continued economic benefit from them.”
Simpson says they’ve also just started the work with the University of Northern British Columbia and UBC forest products innovation, on taking a look at our options on the manufacturing side.
He says 2020 will be a big year for the city’s Forestry Think Tank process.
Here, he describes what people will see..
“They will certainly see a comprehensive effort with all partners, industry, First Nations, Regional District, the Ministry of Forests who are also trying to bring the Federal Government in, so coming through 2020 we should see the beginning of our rehabilitation strategy and our forest investment strategy for the Quesnel Timber Supply area, and it’s vital we get that strategy in place as soon as possible. They’re also going to see a lot more fuel management work in the interface to protect our community.”
Simpson says he also hopes that we’ll also see the beginnings of the framework for our community forest.
On the manufacturing side, Simpson says that could take longer…
“I think the furthest we can get, depending on how quickly the province comes along as a partner, would be the beginnings of a road map of what some of our options are and what the potentials are. Can we start remanufacturing MDF into actual products, can we look at actual modular home building being done here, what’s the pathway from dimension lumber products, 2 by 4’s, 2 by 6’s, into these mass timber products and laminated products that the market is beginning to demand.”
Simpson says investments in manufacturing and job creation will likely take place over the next four or five years.