Recent History – 1999
July 30, 1999, By Kelly Henschel, Daily News Staff
Prince George-based Industrial Forestry Service Ltd. (IFS) has come to Dawson Creek to handle the developmental aspects for four new forest licenses offered to Louisiana Pacific this spring.
“There’s a time period that you go through with the government before signing (the license agreements) and we haven’t signed yet, but we’re confident that everything is going to move forward,” says Martin Scholz, L-P Woodlands superintendent. “IFS has picked up the contract work to do the five-year-development plan, first on the Dawson Creek forest license and then on the Fort St. John one.”
Three of the forest licenses are located in the Fort St. John Forest District, and one in the Dawson Creek Forest District. The one-year Dawson Creek portion of the IFS contract is signed, with another year in the Fort St. John Forest District pending.
As L-P’s head office is in Dawson Creek, IFS opted to set up headquarters here, says vice-president Francis Donelly. Developing the five year plan is the first step in preparing for the new mills L-P will be building in the next two to three years in the region, although the location has yet to be determined. L-P announced the creation of four new mills for north-eastern B.C. in late April, 1999, including a new oriented strand-board mill, a veneer mill, a laminated veneer mill and an I-Joist mill, part of a $280 million investment into B.C.’s forest industry.
Through their contract, IFS will be helping prepare the fibre supply for the facilities, Scholz says.
“Basically it’s identifying harvestable areas and preparing them for harvest, going right through from cut block layout through to application.”
Some new jobs will be created in the area, Donelly says, as the work progresses.
“Over time we could have 20-30 people working here and we would hope that half of them would be from local and half of them would come up from Prince George maybe on a rotational basis, as we need various professionals to do certain things,” he says.
Possible employment may come from forestry sectors such as timber crews or working with the specialized Geographic Information System used for mapping.
“We’ll be getting approval through the ministry of forests, the stakeholders, the trappers, the natives, and just working with everybody to get through the process up to the point of logging,” he says.
The new office on 116 Avenue and 7 Street should be operational by next week, Donelly says.