CHETWYND, B.C. – The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) hopes the utilization of wood waste in Northeast B.C continues.

A forest enhancement project using low-grade residual wood fibre leftover from harvesting operations in the Chetwynd area is wrapping up, but the FESBC says the social, economic, and environmental benefits will certainly last.

The society provided $299,759 in funding to a partnership project led by Duz Cho Logging of the McLeod Lake Indian Band and Canfor Energy North.

“FESBC was allocated $3 million from the provincial government as a part of its StrongerBC For Everyone: B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan to deploy to projects that would increase the utilization of wood fibre throughout the province,” said Ray Raatz, RPF, Operations Manager, FESBC.

“The submission from Duz Cho Logging and Canfor Energy North was well thought out and we collectively could envision how it might be a catalyst for more of this kind of work in the Northeast region of B.C.”

The society says without funding leftover wood is piled and burned resulting in greater amounts of greenhouse gas emissions than compared to what was released through the project.

The residual fibre was hauled to the Canfor Energy North Pellet plant in Chetwynd where it was chipped and used for pellet and energy production.

Overall, 14,742 cubic metres of residual waste fibre was utilized, equivalent to 295 truckloads.

“One of our core principles at Duz Cho is we ensure the footprints we leave behind are the ones our children will be proud to walk in, and this project was definitely in alignment,” ” said Chris Hayward, Logging Manager, Duz Cho Logging.

“The economic benefits were also significant in that we were able to provide employment for McLeod Lake Indian Band members. Not only are these good paying jobs to benefit our members and their families, but people have the opportunity to learn new skills while doing this hands-on work which is important.”

The Chetwynd economy was positively impacted during the project, said the society, through fuel, accommodation, and food purchases, as well as hiring local tradespeople to provide maintenance on equipment.

As a part of the StrongerBC funding allocation, FESBC provided funding to 14 fibre utilization projects, including the Duz Cho/Canfor Energy project, in many parts of the province.