A new partnership totalling $200,000 will assist community forests and small woodlot licence holders to identify new business opportunities.
The project includes $60,000 each from the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, the Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition (SIBAC), the Omineca Beetle Action Coalition and $10,000 each from the BC Community Forests Association, and the Federation of BC Woodlot Associations. The project will be managed by SIBAC on behalf of the other project partners.
Small wood lot licensees between McBride and Barriere will be one of the areas to benefit from this project which focuses on improving fibre utilization, facilitating collaboration and business relationships, developing new markets and business opportunities and fostering information sharing.
During the recent Barriere Regional Economic Investment Pilot, the consultations recognized that if community forests and woodlots could increase their collaboration on a sub-regional scale, they could benefit from several synergies and increased economies of scale.
Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister responsible for Labour Pat Bell -
"This program isn't about finding more fibre, it's about finding partnerships and strategic linkages to better utilize the fibre that's already available and allowing businesses to take advantage of opportunities to create more jobs in the zones that are most affected by the mountain pine beetle."
Prince George - Valemount MLA Shirley Bond -
"We were very pleased to be asked to participate in the investment pilot project and to work collaboratively with communities throughout the corridor. As we look for ways to stabilize and grow the economy, it is critical that we work together, and programs like this are a response to some of the ideas and concerns that were expressed in our working group sessions."
North Kamloops MLA Terry Lake -
"Our government's BC Jobs Plan continues to unlock the economic potential for the interior regions of the province, bringing our unemployment rate down and providing jobs for families."
Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition chair Rhona Martin -
"The mountain pine beetle is an unprecedented challenge to our communities, but thanks to the beetle action coalitions, we have tools we can use to help mitigate those challenges and create ongoing opportunities for the forest industry."
- Since 2001, British Columbia has committed $840 million to battle the beetle and mitigating future impacts, including $9 million to the three beetle action coalitions for mountain pine beetle mitigation.
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour