Mackenzie Mill Maximizes Wood Fibre with Grant: “It’s the Right Thing To Do”

MACKENZIE, B.C.: close to $615,000 in funding awarded to East Fraser Fiber Co. Ltd. (EFF) by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is helping to support jobs in Mackenzie and in the recovery of close to 30,000 cubic metres of low-quality fibre that otherwise would not have been used. Extracting as much useable fibre from a block, and not burning it at roadside, allows for significant greenhouse gas emissions to be avoided, contributing to meeting British Columbia’s and Canada’s climate change targets.

“Increased utilization is good for the environment and the economy”

Jo-Anne Lang, RPF, East Fraser Fiber Forester

“Increased utilization is good for the environment and the economy,” said Jo-Anne Lang, RPF, EFF forester. “To be able to do this successfully in remaining mountain pine beetle-killed and significantly deteriorated stands, support such as that provided by FESBC is necessary.”

EFF mill owners Pat and Richard Glazier have always believed that the full utilization of sawlogs and residual material is the right thing to do, which is why 30 years ago the company built a whole log chip plant equipped with the first drum de-barker in B.C. This allowed for efficient debarking of small diameter logs and debris that would otherwise have been left at roadside to be piled and burnt.

“In 2005 and 2006,” said Pat, “We logged a mountain pine beetle-attacked block, and by bringing it in tree length and processing in the yard, we were able to realize 98,000 cubic metres of sawlogs and 35,000 cubic metres of pulp from a block that originally cruised out at 92,000 cubic metres.”

Although it has not always been profitable, EFF has continued to hold on to their vision of enhanced utilization of fibre because they strongly believed in the long-term benefits this approach would bring to revitalizing forests for future generations. “We worked together to make it work,” said Pat.

One of the ways EFF has been working together with partners was through a log purchase agreement with Three Feathers Limited Partnership, a consortium of the Kwadacha First Nation, Tsay Keh Dene First Nation, and the McLeod Lake Indian Band. Three Feathers holds a Non-Replaceable Forest Licence with requirements to harvest significantly damaged leading pine stands of which EFF is currently harvesting and managing volume under this agreement.

“We’re still harvesting mountain pine beetle-impacted stands, which are well past their prime,” said Lang. “Harvesting is more costly, and blocks are further and further away from the mill. FESBC funding made it possible to substantially increase the utilization of residual fibre from damaged and low value stands that our company may otherwise have had to leave or burn at roadside because of the costs to transport it. Being able to harvest and deliver the fibre to those who can utilize it will benefit the community, contractors, employees, and the environment.”

Also, EFF now has a business relationship with Sasuchan Development Corporation (SDC) to do similar work.

“Similar to Three Feathers, SDC holds a non-replaceable forest licences (NRFL) with conditions to harvest significantly damaged leading pine stands,” said Lang. “EFF is currently managing and harvesting a portion of this volume under our agreement with SDC, and some of pulp will be extracted from the SDC NRFL utilizing the FESBC funds.”

In providing the grant to EFF through its 7th Intake, FESBC recognized the proposal’s many benefits.

“A project like this generates so many benefits,” said Steve Kozuki, executive director of FESBC. “Healthy forests for future generations of British Columbians, improved wildlife habitat, better water quality, reduced greenhouse gases, reduced wildfire risk, jobs in the Port of Vancouver and beyond, and the enhanced utilization of pulp products which can displace fossil fuels such as plastic straws. Hard-working people in the Mackenzie area are doing their part to make life better for all of us.”

Robert MacCarthy, EFF’s regional manager commented on the good work. “On any given block, we can extract up to 50 per cent additional volume in the form of pulp logs. There is immense overall benefit to the public in making sure the fibre is brought in and utilized.”

Robert MacCarthy, regional manager, East Fraser Fiber

EFF’s operations in Mackenzie include a chip plant, logging side, and a finger joint mill. The finger joint mill is a value-added plant that utilizes residual fibre from sawmills to produce finger joint studs. Residual material from the finger joint and chip plant is sold to others to generate power or produce pulp. Providing employment through every phase, Mackenzie Mayor Joan Atkinson notes the diversity of operations and the economic stability it brings to the community.

“Mackenzie exists to support the forest industry, that’s why the town is here. It’s nice to see a local business like East Fraser Fiber so focused on community and supporting their employees. And kudos to FESBC for raising the bar in terms of forest management and practices. I think companies should be looking at what FESBC is trying to achieve to support sustainable forest management practices especially with so much of our forests having been lost to fire and insects.”

For information or an interview regarding this project, contact:
Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison | communications@fesbc.ca | 250.574.0221

Helping A Community Forest Rebuild for the Future

BURNS LAKE, B.C.— Over 10,000 hectares of the Chinook Community Forest (CCF) was lost in the 2018 wildfires and the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) has provided $800,000 toward revitalizing approximately 300 hectares of the hardest hit stands.

“As a shareholder in the Chinook Community Forest, we are grateful to FESBC for the funding to salvage burned fibre from the devastating wildfires of 2018,” said Dolores Funk, Mayor, Burns Lake. “This project benefits our local economy through job creation and allowing the utilization of fibre that is no longer economically viable.”

The fire reduced the value of the remaining fibre significantly and it was unlikely it was ever going to be economically viable to salvage the fibre and regenerate the site with a new forest. FESBC funding allows for the rehabilitation of this area resulting in the quicker regeneration of a healthy forest.

“The Chinook Community Forest, a partnership between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, is committed to good forest stewardship and seeing this forest thriving for future generations,” said Ken Nielsen, General Manager, CCF. “This is a long-term investment by all parties to get to regeneration.”

A high level of utilization means there is a long-term carbon benefit by avoiding the fibre being burned in slash piles. The removal of fuel also results in wildfire risk mitigation as there is less available to burn if there is ever another fire in the area.

“We are happy to support this project and bring some hope and opportunity back to the community after the wildfires,” said Gord Pratt, RPF, Operations Manager, FESBC. “It is important to assist with the heavy lifting due to the economic challenges and bring this area back to a green, healthy forest.”

Nielsen agrees. “We were hit heavily. Through this project, CCF, FESBC and other partners pulled together to rebuild from that devastating loss.”

Jennifer Gunter, Executive Director of the BC Community Forest Association, is pleased to see the collaborative efforts as well.

“Community forest tenures give communities the opportunity to steward the land,” said Gunter. “Among the multiple benefits of this project is the fact that it is making the community forest land base more resilient and reducing the risk of more catastrophic fire in the future. Community forest tenure holders are proving to be important leaders in this work. The tenure is a significant asset that helps to make this possible.”

Community forests are “an integral way to manage forests for the long-term sustainability of our region and projects such as these ensure communities are stronger, healthier and safer.”

Dolores Funk, Mayor, Burns Lake

CCF has salvaged approximately 100 hectares of the burned fibre last year and plans to salvage anther 200 hectares this year. It was bunch skidded to the roadside where it was then recovered and the sawlog was trucked to various secondary fibre users like a local fence post operation and Pinnacle Pellet, depending on the condition and size of the fibre. This approach meant that all the burned fibre removed from the community forest was utilized.

Tree planting is slated to begin in the spring of 2022 with a company associated with one of the local Indigenous communities.

“It’s really important to fund the reforestation of these areas,” said Clint Lambert, Director of Electoral Area E. “The trees originally growing there were not big enough to produce cones yet, which means the area didn’t naturally reforest itself after the fire. We have lost a lot of fibre and therefore jobs, so it’s nice to support local companies and help a community get back on its feet again.”

Project Partner

For information on/or an interview with Chinook Community Forest regarding this project, contact:

Ken Nielsen, General Manager, Chinook Community Forest, 250.692.0630, Ken.Nielsen@chinookcomfor.ca.

For information on/or an interview with FESBC regarding this project, contact:

Gord Pratt, Operations Manager| gpratt@fesbc.ca | 250.319.1119

Slashing Wood Waste and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Nicola Valley

Merritt, B.C.: A grant from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is helping Valley Carriers take a new approach to bring 24,000 cubic metres of wood fibre into Merritt to be used to generate electricity instead of burning it in slash piles. With the FESBC grant, Valley Carriers initially explored an opportunity to use a forest slash bundler to see what they could recover in waste residual forest fibre piled along forestry roads in the area. The pilot hoped to prepare biomass bundles that could be transported by regular logging trucks.  Valley Carriers modified their approach after a full evaluation of the bundler and approached the remaining utilization opportunities with a more conventional grinding operation.

“The project trial had some initial challenges, but what we appreciate about working with the team at Valley Carriers is their approach and innovative style,” said Dave Conly, Operations Manager, FESBC. “They have been able to pivot and get into the grinding business to assist the local economy in improving forest fibre utilization. By all accounts, it has been a great success so far and a benefit to B.C.’s environment and economy.” 

With a funding grant of $416,029 from FESBC, the recovered fibre will be delivered to Merritt Green Energy and used to generate electricity. When the residual fibre is utilized instead of burned in slash piles, there are fewer greenhouse gas emissions contributing to help achieve B.C.’s and Canada’s climate change targets. Additionally, the electricity generated can displace electricity otherwise generated by fossil fuels.

“The FESBC funding is allowing us to provide a solution for fibre removal that was previously burned because of high hauling and transport costs,” said Derek Mobbs, Interior Operations Manager, Valley Carriers. “It is great to see the wood fibre in the brush piles being utilized instead of burned and to see extra value being created out of our local timber resources.”

Valley Carriers’ Merritt-based division specializes in forest product transportation, sawmill residual service, supply, and grinding residual forest fibre. The FESBC funding made it possible for the company to extend their grinding operations and keep up to 10 people employed with 5,750-person hours generated from this project. Employment included the full-time operations of a grinder, loader, four 53-foot trucks and the part-time employment of a dozer, excavator, and a spare truck. The fibre produced from this project is anticipated to provide Merritt Green Energy with 37 days of run time.

“Our small community has been hard hit by the mountain pine beetle and mill closures. Being able to keep our people working and producing fibre for our customers is critical.”

Ben Klassen, CEO, Valley Carriers

Klassen notes the FESBC grant is projected to generate $1.75 million in revenue that helps to sustain members of the community who have endured multiple sawmill curtailments and closures over the last decade. “We have been able to support our community with good paying jobs from a resource that otherwise would have gone unrecovered. At times, we have had to juggle our operations to address customer needs, and without the flexibility of this FESBC support, this would not have been possible.”

The project has also led to collaborative working relationships with Stuwix Resources, Tolko, and Aspen Planers to recover forest fibre in other parts of the Southern Interior.

For information on/or an interview with FESBC regarding this project, contact:

Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison | communications@fesbc.ca | 250.574.0221

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC Announces Intake 7

British Columbia: The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is pleased to announce its seventh intake for funding applications. Applications will be accepted through the Forest Enhancement Society Information Management System (FESIMS) starting on September 28, 2020. The online FESIMS portal will remain open for applications until midnight October 16, 2020. 

“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is pleased to invite applications from all over British Columbia,” said Steve Kozuki, Executive Director, FESBC. “Projects being considered for Intake 7 will be for increased utilization of wood fibre that would normally be left as waste or the rehabilitation of forests where low value or damaged areas can be cleared to then be reforested to grow healthier forests. These projects not only provide strong environmental benefits, they also generate much-needed economic benefits locally by creating and maintaining jobs.”

Funding applications will be required to clearly demonstrate that all activities under the proposal will be fully completed and invoiced by March 31, 2021. Interested proponents are encouraged to click the Applying for Funding tab for details on how to apply through the FESIMS system.

“The FESBC website also showcases the diversity of previously successful proponents such as First Nations forest companies, small woodlots, community forests and others,” said Kozuki. “We hope these stories inspire others to apply.”


All applications must be submitted through FESIMS and there are limited funds available.