New mayor will revive forestry task force, says industry has been neglected by council

Campbell River city council's forestry task force will be resurrected

The city’s forestry task force will be resurrected.

Mayor Andy Adams announced in his inaugural address last week that Campbell River needs to seize the opportunities that are here now and one of the most obvious is forestry.

“We are the centre for the coastal forest industry,” Adams said. “We have neglected this sector for the past three years and it is my intention to work to revive this industry in Campbell River.”

Adams chose Coun. Charlie Cornfield to head up a forestry task force that will pick up where the former Future of Forestry Task Force left off.

After Cornfield was elected mayor in 2008 he appointed former councillor Ziggy Stewart to a newly created Future of Forestry Task Force which was designed to rejuvenate the industry and attract forestry businesses and jobs to the community.

It also recommended the city’s Wood First policy, which dictates that newly built municipal buildings must use wood as the primary construction material.

The task force, however, fell by the wayside following the 2011 election.

Adams said the new council will work to revive the task force, lead by Cornfield.

He said the task force is expected “to work with the Truck Loggers Association, TimberWest, Western Forest Products, Interfor and all other forest-related companies based here in Campbell River and on Vancouver Island to help re-build the coastal forest industry.”

And that’s not all.

“Charlie will also be tasked with the establishment of a community forest here in Campbell River,” Adams said.

“This could not only be a positive source of revenue for the city but can also be a working lab for expanded forestry-related programs at North Island College.”

Council previously discussed applying for a community forest in 2011.

Nigel Ross, the chair of the Future of Forestry Task at that time, told council that geography would be the biggest determining factor in whether or not a community forest would be successful.

“The profitability is directly linked to the location. A good location with high quality timber means there’s a better chance for profit,” Ross said in 2011. Community forests are located on provincial land and are leased by a community for terms of 25 years, with a renewable option every 10 years.