Northern Rockies hopes forestry industry drives local economic recovery

FORT NELSON, B.C – The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality hopes forestry production in the area will drive…

FORT NELSON, B.C – The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality hopes forestry production in the area will drive economic recovery.

Mayor Gary Foster says forestry announcements made over the past several years has made the Municipality optimistic about the future. The announcements include the increase in the annual allowable cut, and Peak Renewables pursuing a $100 million plant in Fort Nelson.

Peak Renewables is waiting to receive a forest license and have other steps to follow before they’re fully operational. The companies newly announced plant in Fort Nelson is expected to create 300 jobs.

“We think it’d be a tremendous addition to our economy. We couldn’t be happier that they’re coming to Fort Nelson.”

On Wednesday, the municipality sent out a release the regional council wants to “confirm their position on the forest investment, such as the harvest and export of local fibre and local manufacturing”.

Foster mentions the region had a large forestry industry that had disappeared over time.

“It’s coming back again; we’ll come back better and stronger than before.”

“We’re hoping to attract some other companies or have Peak Renewable, do more manufacturing on some of the conifers, so we’re getting some good stories out of the forest industry here.”

Council wants to ensure that logs grown in the Fort Nelson Resource Operations District remain in the community. This is to ensure the resources benefit the local economy.

“Council’s support for any enterprise looking to do business in the Northern Rockies is rooted in the expectation that locally-based workers and businesses are given reasonable preference. Wherever practical, local persons and providers should be considered first for employment opportunities, provision of goods and services, and the harvesting and transportation of logs,” said the release on Wednesday.

Regional Council accepts that the success of a manufacturing operation may require the export of select resources from the region, but only where the overall project ensures:
• Significant local manufacturing sector employment opportunities;
• Significant local direct logging opportunities;
• Significant local direct transportation opportunities;
• Significant local service sector opportunities; and
• A broad local economic benefit.

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