Quesnel remains one of the most forest dependent communities in BC, but with our surrounding timber supply taking the hardest hits from both the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic and last season’s wildfires, significant uncertainty exists about the economic future of our region. Fortunately, Quesnel is also home to one of the most integrated and diverse concentrations of wood products manufacturing facilities in the world, including many best in class milling and processing operations.
The City, in partnership with UNBC and CNC, hosted a technical working session with our local industry, the provincial government, researchers, and key industry stakeholders to explore the future of the forest sector in our region. This two-day think tank session at the North Cariboo Community Campus was held in conjunction with a visit from the Minister of Forests, who toured some of our local mills before opening the event.
The main premise of the session was to explore the possibility of using Quesnel and its surrounding forests as an incubator for generating ideas about how forest management in BC can be adapted to address climate change induced challenges and how our manufacturing processes can be reinvented to take better advantage of the kind of fibre BC’s central interior forests will provide in the future.
The intent is to put all of the discussions, suggestions, and recommendations into a report to present to the Minister of Forests and then work with the Province and various funding agencies to turn the recommendations into action as soon as possible.
The changing landscape and fire ecology of interior BC forests - Paul Hessburg
Wildland fire and resilience - Robert W. Gray
Timber supply challenges and opportunities Quesnel - Albert Nussbaum
The Bioeconomy Hub: Innovative products from biomass - Tim Caldecott and Douglas Singbeil
Maximizing future processing opportunities - Dr. Guido Wimmers