Forestry Initiatives Program

The Forestry Initiatives Program was created to address the multiple challenges facing our community at this time - mainly protecting our communities from wildfire through:

  • Encouraging home and business owners to FireSmart their properties
  • Implementing our Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP)
  • Advocating for landscape level analysis and restoration
  • Exploring ways to innovate the forest products manufacturing sector

The objective of the program is to build ‘home-grown’ solutions for Quesnel during it’s time of transition to be innovative, resilient and help grow a sustainable future for everyone who chooses to call the area home.

This program is made possible through funding provided by the City of Quesnel, BC Rural Dividend, Community Resiliency Investment Program, Forestry Enhancement Society of British Columbia, and Cariboo Strong.


Find out how you can reduce the risk of fire damage to your home and property, and how we can help. Also, view event and contest information from FireSmart month, held in May.



The Forestry Initiatives Program emerged from the Future of Forestry Think Tank process, which brought together 65 technical experts in May of 2018 with a wide range of knowledge and expertise to discuss land management and innovation in manufacturing of wood.

Program News & Events

Interested in what the Program has achieved and upcoming events? Read all of the Program news and list of events!

In The News


  • January 4, 2021 - Cities Adapt to Extreme Wildfires: Quesnel; by the Institute for Catastrophic Loss
  • February 10, 2021 - Quesnel’s Forestry program recognized through nomination
  • March 5, 2021 - Quesnel is hoping to fund fire smart activity on private lands
  • March 29, 2021 - City of Quesnel reaches milestone in quest for a community forest
  • June 2, 2021 - Former BC Forestry Critic says proposed changes to the industry will be good for the area
  • June 2, 2021 - 3 km of trails now open near Quesnel’s airport
  • July 1, 2021 - Cariboo communities receive $500K for wildfire prevention
  • October 7, 2021 - Quesnel hosts UBC’s international forestry students
  • October 13, 2021 - Quesnel Catches Eye of Forestry Projects Both Federal and Provincial
  • October 16, 2021 - Quesnel-area community forest entering land-selection phase


  • January 21, 2020 - BC Premier calls Quesnel a 'hub of innovation'
  • February 6, 2020 - Quesnel keeps an eye on Forestry's longer term future
  • February 11, 2020 - Clearwater looks to Quesnel's forestry vision
  • February 20, 2020 - Workshop will help move Quesnel Community Forest forward
  • February 2020 Issue of Logging and Sawmilling Journal - B.C. Interior forest industry is tackling adversity—and planning for the future
  • March 4, 2020 - Importance of FireSmarting your home highlighted at Quesnel open house
  • March 9, 2020 - Cariboo benefits from provincial wildfire prevention money
  • April 8, 2020 - Quesnel and FPInnovations partner to improve forest fibre utilization and forest resilience
  • May 1, 2020 - May is FireSmart month in Quesnel and the surrounding area!
  • May 10, 2020 - How the pandemic could be an opportunity to revive B.C.'s forestry industry, with Mayor Bob Simpson
  • June 26, 2020 - Quesnel prepares to train forestry workers of the future
  • July 8, 2020 - City of Quesnel begins fuel management project on Sugar Loaf Mountain
  • July 13, 2020 - City of Quesnel moves one step closer to getting a community forest
  • September 16, 2020 - City of Quesnel recognized for fire protection efforts
  • September 16, 2020 - New Quesnel-area community forest process moving forward
  • October 4, 2020 - FireSmart Feature: Steve Dodge and composite decking
  • October 9, 2020 - Quesnel council approves funding for community forest process
  • October 9, 2020 - City of Quesnel applying for UBCM grant to advance wildfire preparedness initiatives
  • October 28, 2020 - City of Quesnel hopes to FireSmart private properties in 2021
  • November 5, 2020 - UBC students, researchers and faculty visit Quesnel to learn about forestry
  • December 14, 2020 - Innovative Study Combines First Nations’ Values with Biomass Opportunities


Program Newsletters

The Forestry Initiatives Program Newsletters, which are sent to all of our community partners and interested partners.

If you are interested in receiving these updates, visit and select "Forestry Initiatives Program - News, updates and events". 


Read below on upcoming events!


The Forestry Initiatives Program is involved in a number of different research projects. Check here for research findings and updates!

Research Projects

Selective Harvest Operation as a Forest Fuel Treatment

(2019 - Ongoing) The City of Quesnel applied an innovative selective harvesting technique in a mature Douglas-fir forest stand with the objectives of maintaining biodiversity and reducing fuel-load buildup and consequent wildfire threat. FPInnovations researchers monitored and documented the harvesting operations and measured machine productivity to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the operation. The project to collect baseline data is complete and the full report is available. There are 8 permanent research plots that will be used for future research.

Adapting Canadian silviculture & forest management to global change

(2021 - 2025) FPInnovations, the University of British Columbia, Laval University and NRCan have asked the Province of BC (Chief Foresters Office), Quesnel Resource District, and the City of Quesnel to be involved in a large national research project called Silva21 which aims to improve silvicultural practices across Canada.

Towards a Sustainable and Resilient Forest Industry

(2021) The Forestry Initiatives Program and the UBC Forestry Vibrant Forest Landscapes Lab partnered to bring two UBC PhD students to Quesnel to conduct research. This six-month project investigated the relationships between members of the Quesnel forest industry in order to identify conditions that foster learning and innovation, particularly among smaller forest enterprises. The students interviewed a range of local forestry players to create a social network map and analysis. Funding was provided through the Province of British Columbia's Rural Dividend Program, and the MiTACS (Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems) Accelerate Program. The final report will be shared end of 2021.


The Forestry Initiatives Program works closely with industry and academic partners such as the College of New Caledonia and the University of Northern British Columbia to identify forestry training opportunities. Read below for more information.

Training Projects

Harvesting Equipment Training Opportunity

(Summer 2021) We are partnering with Freya Logging to offer a unique training opportunity this summer! Successful candidates with be trained on the job to operate a forwarder over a 20-day period. No previous experience is necessary. Application deadline is now closed.


Additional Information and Resources

Interested in learning more about the Community Wildfire Protection Plan, landscape level analysis and restoration, innovative manufacturing, and other forestry related topics? Follow the links below to learn more.

Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP)

Quesnel’s CWPP identifies 34 fuel treatment units. The overall goal of the program is to implement the CWPP within 5 years (by 2022), using multiple funding sources, starting with areas within the 2 km wildland urban interface (WUI) and working outwards.

The City is working with: local area licensees and Provincial agencies, such as BC Parks and all branches of the Ministry of Forest, Land, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development, to identify the potential collaborations and innovative approaches needed for advancing the fuel mitigation work laid out in the CWPP. 

The City enables the collaboration and consensus-building needed to carryout out large-scale fuel management, and the associated fibre utilisation and job creation opportunities.


The BC Wildfire Service and the Forestry Initiatives Program keep busy outside of the active wildfire season, helping to reduce the risk of wildfires near homes and infrastructure.

June 2021 Update

Landscape Level Analysis and Restoration

Working with our Provincial government partners, the City of Quesnel is supporting the landscape level analysis and restoration project. The goal of this project is to shift the way we manage for merchantable timber to managing the ecosystem for multiple values.

We are proposing a learning laboratory on the land west of the Fraser River to test alternate forms of ecosystem management. The proposed project consists of research, management and planning to better understand the role of fire and forest health on ecosystem functions. We are looking at ways that prescribed fires can restore landscapes that are resilient to a changing climate and potential future mega-fires. Above and beyond prescribed fires are different fuel management techniques, including thinning, spacing, and utilizing more of the fibre left behind from traditional harvesting practices. 

Innovative Manufacturing of Wood Products

Quesnel is also home to one of the most diverse concentrations of wood products manufacturing facilities in the world. We have many of the best milling and processing operations that have been used for making traditional wood products, which can now be diversified. Through research and development, forestry companies are experimenting with wood-fibre residues and other byproducts of forest product manufacturing. Some of these products include prefabricated construction materials, wood composites, biofuels, bio-oils, pellets, and biodegradable single use products.

The City has been working with research and development companies, like FPInnovations, to explore the future of wood products. The emerging research from FPInnovations illustrates the magnitude of possible alternative wood products, which can augment and/or replace many products in the construction and assembly processes, as well as everyday consumable products.

There are many innovative and alternative uses for wood-fibre, many of which are already in development and entering the market.

  • Nanocrystalline Cellulose has a vast range of uses, including strengthening and stiffening materials, and changing the texture of paper. 
  • Lignin is an all-natural, renewable green alternative for fossil fuel-based compounds that can create adhesives and thermoplastics.

October 2021 Update

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