Quesnel mayor Bob Simpson spent more than an hour talking to and answering questions from UBC Masters of International Forestry program students on Oct. 6. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Quesnel mayor Bob Simpson spent more than an hour talking to and answering questions from UBC Masters of International Forestry program students on Oct. 6. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Quesnel hosts UBC’s international forestry students

Mayor Bob Simpson was the keynote speaker at their three-day tour of Quesnel

Quesnel mayor Bob Simpson spent more than an hour talking to and answering questions from UBC Masters of International Forestry students on Oct. 6.

The students are in Quesnel to experience forestry outside of the classroom.

Simpson spoke about his role as mayor advocating for Quesnel’s forest industry to the provincial government. He also spoke about taking an ecology first approach to forestry, mentioning environmental activist’s Greta Thunberg’s recent comments that world leaders just go ‘blah blah blah’ when talking about climate issues.

READ MORE: Several Quesnel area governments work toward forming community forest agreement

“You’d think politicians would stop blah blahing, because their are answers for us if we approach the problem the right way,” Simpson said. “For me, it’s very simple, we need to get inside the carbon cycle.”

Simpson said he disagreed with the current ministry of forests plans to focus on timber. Instead, Simpson advocates for finding more value in a shrinking timber supply.

“We’re trying to identify areas where you can create value out of the existing timber supply, and don’t put any more pressure on land use, and create jobs,” he said.

READ MORE: Quesnel mill is reborn under new ownership

The UBC Master of International Forestry is a 10 month-program with students from around the world.

According to the UBC website, the program “is an intensive, 10-month, course-based master’s program that provides the knowledge, skills, and tools required to address the social, environmental, and economic challenges of the global forest and natural resources management.”

After listening to the mayor, the students asked questions about his role as mayor, what he has accomplished as mayor, how the public views forestry in B.C. among other things.

“To me people with diverse backgrounds, diverse experience, different levels of maturity, coming in to look at what we’re doing in forestry is absolutely essential,” Simpson said.

“It’s that diversity of experience that causes people to really question what’s going on and see if we can move in a different direction.”

After speaking with the mayor, the students went on a tour of West Fraser Mills. The students are in Quesnel from Oct. 5 – Oct. 7.

READ MORE: West Fraser plans Quesnel pulp mill shutdown during COVID pandemic

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


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