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 the 2017/2018 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.
As the Centre is an active working space, it is not open to the public daily. Open houses are scheduled periodically to give the public a chance to visit and learn about our forestry initiatives. Check the Forestry Initiatives Program page under events for upcoming open house dates.
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
The City, with funding from the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia, hosted a second Future of Forestry Think Tank session on September 19 and 20, 2019. The session occurred at the North Community Campus in Quesnel, and had over 60 participants from the provincial, municipal, First Nation and regional governments, along with members of the local forestry industry, non-government organizations, academic partners, union representatives, and funding organizations.
This session was guided by the question - “If this is the future of forestry, what does our plan for the workforce need to be?” The Honourable Minister Donaldson, from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources and Rural Operations, was the Keynote Speaker and provided a province-wide context, focusing on the government direction for forest management and the resulting workforce trajectory.
The main focus of the session was to outline the deliberate steps needed in human resource development in order to respond to the long-standing and systemic issues influencing the forest sector, and help us manage through this transition period in a proactive manner.
- The Future of Forestry - Dr. Dominik Roeser and Dr. Lauri Sikanen
- The Future of Fibre - Tim Caldecott
- The Future of Fuel Management - Mike Gash and Jason Ward
- The Future Forest Worker - Taiho Krahn
- The Future of Wood Manufacturing - Dr. Guido Wimmers
- The Future of Bio-Refining - Dr. Rahul Singh
- The Future Labour Force - Barry Snowdon and Josh Pressey