Rob Ballinger, planning superintendent for West Fraser in 100 Mile House, looks over a map of the forest district in the office. Photo by Taylor Ormiston/100 Mile House Free Press

Ask your questions, learn more about forest management

West Fraser, other forest licensees, hosting public open houses around 100 Mile House district

West Fraser and other forest licensees in the 100 Mile House Forest District want to get the conversation going with residents about forestry in the area.

Whether you’re a back country recreation enthusiast, local business owner or a resident looking for more information, come down and meet your working forest neighbours during a series of five open houses.

Hosted at Lac la Hache, Forest Grove, Clinton, 100 Mile House and Interlakes, the gatherings are designed to give attendees a chance to have questions answered and suggestions heard by the licensees operating in area forests.

“At these open houses, there really is no set agenda, so to speak,” says Rob Ballinger, the planning superintendent for West Fraser in 100 Mile House. “The public is welcome to come and ask questions about any topic. Our hope is that they freely come in and just engage with us.”

Norbord, Tolko, BC Timber Sales, Clinton Community Forest and other forest licensees will have booths at the events along with West Fraser, with public information available on forestry work and planning, including such topics as:

  • Maps and harvesting plans
  • Organizational information
  • Cariboo Information sharing website for Forestry
  • Forest Stewardship Plans
  • Post fires forest management

Licensees haven’t had a chance to connect with the communities in this way for quite a while, so the timing of the open houses is good, Ballinger adds.

Open house attendees can also speak with representatives from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and hear about operations from the province’s perspective. With the subject of wildfires still very much in people’s minds, as well as allowable cut levels, discussions about wildfire management strategies, are expected to be frequent.

“I think people might be surprised to see that licensees are optimistic about sustainable forestry in the area,” Ballinger says. “We want to see these communities thrive.”

All open houses are from 5:30 to 8 p.m.:

  • Lac La Hache, Sept. 25, Community Hall, 3997 Hwy. 97
  • Forest Grove, Sept. 27, Canim Lake Band Gym (8 km east of Forest Grove on Canim-Hendrix Lake Rd.)
  • Clinton, Oct. 2, Memorial Hall, 306 Lebourdais Ave.
  • 100 Mile House, Oct. 4, Community Hall, 240 Third St.
  • Interlakes, Oct. 11, Roe Lake/Interlakes Community Centre

 

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