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HomeNewsNak'azdli Whut'en enters joint venture to enhance forest sector

Nak’azdli Whut’en enters joint venture to enhance forest sector

A company that transforms trees damaged by mountain pine beetles and other elements into engineered wood products is expanding.

Today (Monday), the Province provided Deadwood Innovations, a joint venture with the Nak’azdli Whut’en First Nation, $200,000 over the past two years to support the creation of jobs in rural communities, and to accelerate Indigenous participation in the forest sector.

“Strengthening B.C.’s forestry sector means tackling the challenges of today, while making sure we seize the opportunities of tomorrow,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests.

“This will take all of us working together – the provincial government, First Nations, and the forestry industry – to drive forward innovation and greater sustainability, support increased Indigenous participation, and create more jobs for every tree harvested. The work being done by Deadwood Innovations is a perfect example of this vision in action.”

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Deadwood Innovations has used the funding to assess, engineer, procure and build a pilot-scale manufacturing plant at the site of the former Tl’Oh Forest Products mill in Fort St. James.

“The joint venture with Deadwood Innovations is one example of our Nation’s increasing participation in forestry on our traditional territories. The commercialization of this technology will create more economic opportunities in our community and find new uses for waste, protecting our forests and wildlife for future generations,” said Chief Aileen Prince, Nak’azdli Whut’en.

The funding is provided through the Indigenous Forest Bioeconomy Program.

The Province is working closely with Deadwood Innovations to finalize new funding so it can commercially produce engineered wood products in its facility.

The plant design is scheduled to start in September.

The forest bioeconomy is focused on using materials left over from logging and forestry, such as bark, shrubs, branches, and berries, to make everyday products.

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