The City of Quesnel is seeking Research and Innovation grant for $1.7 million through the Ministry of Social Development & Poverty Reduction in order to develop a training school in Quesnel for single grip harvesters and forwarders over the next three years. (Observer file photo)

The City of Quesnel is seeking Research and Innovation grant for $1.7 million through the Ministry of Social Development & Poverty Reduction in order to develop a training school in Quesnel for single grip harvesters and forwarders over the next three years. (Observer file photo)

City seeking $1.7 million grant to train forestry workers of the future

Project would see creation of training school in Quesnel for single grip harvesters and forwarders.

The City of Quesnel is seeking a grant for $1.7 million in order to develop a training school in Quesnel for single grip harvesters and forwarders over the next three years.

The Forestry Initiatives Program, along with project partners the College of New Caledonia, UBC Natural Resources Finland, F.P. Innovations and Forest Liaison Inc., are currently in the process of applying for a Research and Innovation grant through the Ministry of Social Development & Poverty Reduction.

The Quesnel City Council discussed the project during a virtual meeting on Tuesday, June 23. City of Quesnel Forestry Initiatives Manager Erin Robinson noted that the training program could eventually be scaled up and potentially marketed across the globe.

“The proposed research project will identify innovative approaches from in Eastern Canada and Scandinavia to determine a tailored in Quesnel approach,” said Robinson. “The findings from the project will then be scaled up, hopefully to the Provincial level for a how-to on how other training institutions can do this and also offer the training to students from around the province and maybe even the world.”

Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson noted that conversations around the need for individuals trained in machine based selective logging came up during the Forestry Think Tank process and in fact that West Fraser recently had to source a crew from Alberta who had this expertise for a commercial thinning project.

Robinson confirmed that there few contractors in the region that are able to offer these specific services and that the demand is growing.

“We have a few local contractors, local being Prince George and Williams Lake and there is one person here in Quesnel that moved from Hinton but yes there is a demand and there is not enough people to fill that demand at this time,” said Robinson.

READ MORE: ‘Treed in perpetuity’: one local property owner advocates a different way to log

Mayor Simpson said that he feels that the training will be popular with younger generations as well since the process involves using a more thoughtful approach and being selective with tree removal rather then clearcutting an area.

“The West Fraser Chief Forrester was talking to us about this during our think tank process, you start to blend a forest technician mindset with a machine operator capability with these funky machines,” said Simpson. “They are actually attractive to a younger generation, that combination of they’re not just going out to a block and basically creating a moonscape by full clearcut logging and dumping it on the roadside – they are actually making interactive forest management decisions.”

Mayor Simpson also believes that the ability to offer the training program in Quesnel could potentially attract individuals from across the country as the demand for individuals trained in all aspects of selective logging grows in the forestry industry.

“Positioning ourself on the lead for this as a community fits in with our economic development strategy too, if we can be the lead and if we can become a centre of excellence for this then we may become a regional hub or you know the northern part of the province hub depending on how much we can scale this up and so the college is very much on board, our licensees are on board — we are really positioning ourself on the forefront of where this training regime has to go,” said Simpson.

READ MORE: City of Quesnel hosting open house at new Forestry Innovation Centre

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

Sonja Maas, who lives in Germany, was inspired to draw the 2021 Gold Rush Sled Dog Mail Run art after spending time in Quesnel working with a musher in 2020. (Submitted Photo)
Sled dog mail run artist inspired by 2020 event

Sonja Maas lives in Germany, and spent the 2020 sled dog run in Quesnel with a musher

Chief Leah Stump communicated the state of emergency news through a Facebook video. (Video Screenshot)
Nazko First Nation tightens borders due to COVID-19

Chief Leah Stump said in a video they will be putting up checkpoints before entering the reserve

Tl’etinqox will be going into lockdown at 6 p.m. Jan 20 due to COVID-19. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
House parties, impending lockdown and loss; Tl’etinqox chief grapples with COVID-19 challenges

Tl’etinqox Government west of Williams Lake declared a state of emergency Jan. 18

A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is displayed on Jan. 5, in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Rick Bowmer/AP)
Power outage spoils COVID-19 vaccine at Tl’etinqox

Temperature-sensitive vaccine no longer viable after Jan. 18 event

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
‘You can’t make this stuff up’: Stories from the B.C. CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

Most Read