Minister Pat Bell Tours the Demonstration Forest
September 9, 2009The Honourable Pat Bell was welcomed to Fort Nelson by Acting Mayor Osbourne and Regional Council for a special meeting at City Hall. Danny Soles, representing Fort Nelson's Forestry Roundtable was also present, and discussed issues that the local Roundtable has tackled and seeks action from the Province on.
Minister Bell was presented with important aspects of Regional Council's strategic plan, an update of the progress towards the Northern Rockies Partnership (a partnership between Regional Council, First Nations, Industry, and the province), Regional Council's stance on future provincial funding, and other topics over the lunchtime meeting.
Danny Soles gave a summary of the efforts of the Fort Nelson Forestry Roundtable which was established in 2008 when Canfor announced the closure of their mills in Fort Nelson. Mr. Soles elaborated on the Roundtable's concerns over Pulpwood Agreement 14, wood utilization, diversification of the local forestry economy, the Job Opportunities Program (JOP) initiated by the Roundtable, and the Community Forest Tenure initiated by the Roundtable and supported by Regional Council.
Minister Bell was largely supportive of the Roundtable's efforts, and noted congruency with his own outlook and policy changes with the goals and efforts of Fort Nelson's Forestry Roundtable.
Minister Bell also visited the Fort Nelson Forest District offices and held discussions with Ministry staff.
Later in the afternoon, the NRRM provided a tour of the recently upgraded Demonstration Forest along with Fort Nelson Forest District staff, Peace Country Consulting Ltd. (the contractor on the job, employing 7 displaced forestry workers), and local media. The Demonstration Forest has been the beneficiary of Job Opportunities Program funding, and the result has been very well received by citizens and others utilizing the Demonstration Forest trails.
See more news from the Minister and the Ministry of Forests and Range from the Ministry of Forest and Range's News Page.
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