Quesnel is home to five West Fraser mills. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

Quesnel is home to five West Fraser mills. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

Celebrating our forests and products from them

National Forest Week runs until Sept. 24

At West Fraser, sustainability is core to our business. We are committed to maintaining healthy, productive forests for generations to come and are proud of the fact that the renewable building products we produce store carbon and have an integral part to play in the global effort to address climate change.

“Forests are complex ecosystems that have tremendous carbon storage potential and require careful management for a range of environmental, social, economic and cultural values,” said Jeff Mycock, Chief Forester, BC Operations. “West Fraser’s comprehensive forestry management planning practices are designed to meet and surpass certified sustainable forest management practices as well as rigorous provincial government regulations.”

Over the decades, West Fraser’s forestry practices have evolved. Today, foresters and biologists work closely together to monitor and manage the interconnected elements essential for healthy and resilient woodlands. Forest values considered by West Fraser on land the company manages include wildlife, fish, water, cultural and visual qualities such as scenery and unique places in the forest, wilderness recreation, hunting or trapping and the effects of other industrial uses.

West Fraser uses multiple resource inventories and analysis that provide a long-term outlook including the forest composition and rates of growth as well as how various values need to be managed sustainably. Less than one per cent of West Fraser’s managed forest area is harvested annually. Harvested areas are then restored by planting seedlings, directly seeding the area or by managing for natural regeneration of the native tree species. All of this adds up. By 2021, West Fraser celebrated its two billionth tree planted milestone, for all of the forest lands the company manages in B.C. and Alberta.

“Local Indigenous Nations are key to developing our harvesting plans and provide important input into our planning and harvesting activities,” said Mycock. “Building on a long-standing, respectful relationship, together with local Indigenous Nations, we are learning more about their values, traditional use and sustainable forest management. We are working together with a long-term view of supporting a thriving forest industry and resilient communities in the Quesnel area.”

Quesnel is home to five West Fraser mills which produce lumber, pulp, sustainable energy and engineered wood products like plywood and medium density fibre board. Taking an integrated approach to production means 99 per cent of each log is used and residuals such as sawdust are used to generate energy onsite, helping reduce the carbon footprint of the company’s operations. In total West Fraser has 1,400 employees in Quesnel and the mills support approximately another 1,700 local contracting jobs.

Join us as we celebrate National Forest Week and reflect on the importance of sustainably managed forests and the products that come from them for our communities, economy and environment.

Read More: West Fraser CEO calls for change to old-growth policy

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: rebecca.dyok@quesnelobserver.com

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