Valemount Community Forest to spur economic opportunity in the Robson Valley

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(from left to right) Valemount Community Forest Manager Craig Pryor, Valemount Mayor Andru McCracken, Valemount Mayor-elect Jeanette Townsend, Northern Development CEO Janine North, Community Forest President Cynthia Piper and community members gathered to celebrate grant contributions and a major industrial land purchase for the community forest in Valemount
The Valemount Community Forest has inked a significant land purchase deal that will help to expand the forestry industry in the Robson Valley.

With the help of Northern Development, Columbia Basin Trust and others, the Valemount Community Forest Company has purchased 240 acres of land at the former Carrier Sawmill site where it plans to build an industrial park and log sort yard.

The deal means that smaller mill operators in the Robson Valley will be able to co-locate at the industrial park, which will minimize their costs and maximize their access to the fibre they need to manufacture wood products.

Under co-location, the small mills are able to acquire only the fibre they want in the species profile that meets their customer’s needs.

Northern Development has approved a $250,000 grant through its Economic Diversification Infrastructure program to support the land purchase. Columbia Basin Trust has approved a further $200,000 grant to support the deal.

Northern Development’s Economic Diversification Infrastructure program has previously provided funding to support major infrastructure upgrades at airports, arenas, marinas and elsewhere throughout central and northern B.C.

Quotes

Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour and MLA for Prince George – Valemount: “This is a significant step for Valemount. Having this kind of shared space will allow smaller mill operators to reduce costs. I will continue to work with the Valemount Community Forest to find additional ways to expand opportunities and grow the economy in the region.”

“I want to thank Northern Development and Columbia Basin Trust for their contributions. I also want to commend president Cynthia Piper and the board of the community forest – they are the ones who have spent many, many hours making decisions on what is best for Valemount and the forest economy here. I also want to thank the staff as well – we are very fortunate to have all of them. I wish them all continued success, and I know the people of Valemount are the ones who willcontinue to benefit from their hard work and success,” said Village of Valemount Mayor-elect Jeanette Townsend.

“This is an important and exciting economic development opportunity,” said Village of Valemount Mayor Andru McCracken. “Having industrial land with an Industrial Land Use Plan will enhance our ability to support local small business and attract new development.”

“This is an extremely valuable project for the Robson Valley, which has not experienced the same level of economic growth as other areas of northern B.C. in recent years,” said Janine North, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust. “The Valemount Community Forest’s plan to build an industrial park and log sort yard will support local value-added manufacturers with the right logs on-demand.”

“We are excited to announce the purchase of the old mill site located south of Valemount. It will play a key role in creating economic growth and job creation for Valemount and area. Many thanks to Northern Development Initiative Trust, Columbia Basin Trust and to Carrier Lumber Ltd. for their patience, support and commitment in this purchase,” said Craig Pryor, Manager, Valemount Community Forest Co. Ltd.

“We are pleased to support the efforts of the Valemount Community Forest in taking a significant step toward achieving its longer term goals,” said Neil Muth, Columbia Basin Trust President and CEO. “It’s clear their success will have a tremendous impact in the Robson Valley.”

Quick Facts
• Northern Development has approved a $250,000 grant to support the Valemount Community Forest Co.’s purchase of 240 acres of industrial land
• The land will be used as an industrial park and log sort yard where small mill operators can co-locate
• Columbia Basin Trust has provided a further $200,000 in grant funding to support the land agreement

Contact
Joel McKay
Director, Communications
Northern Development Initiative Trust
joel@northerndevelopment.bc.ca
250-561-2525