by EVAN MATTHEWS
The McBride Community Forest Corporation (MCFC) is developing two sets of plans to move forward: one including BKB Cedar, and one not.
With BKB and Cedar 3 as the two major mills in McBride, with a few smaller operations, MCFC has mostly set out to harvest cedar.
On Tuesday May 23rd, owner of BKB Cedar Manufacturing Raj Basran says the future of his business still remains in limbo, as he awaits information from insurance companies. Things should come to a head soon, he says.
With no confirmation or timeline on a BKB re-build, MCFC Interim Manager Jeff McWilliams says it means MCFC is unsure about what the profile — the species composition — and the logging blocks of the 2017 harvest will look like.
“We do know harvesting will continue in Block 23 at Crescent Spur,” says McWilliams. “But we aren’t sure which other blocks we will be logging.”
MCFC Board of Director Chairperson Joe Rich says the timeline of a potential BKB re-build would suggest MCFC begin to plan “white-wood logging” — which is spruce — for the remainder of the summer.
The MCFC board of directors and the public will review the plans at the open house on Thursday night.
Interestingly, Rich says in the short-term, logging spruce means more immediate income for MCFC,
But he was quick to point out short-term economic gain for MCFC does not make up for the loss of 35 jobs the community has seen in the wake of the mill fire.
“We don’t take it lightly… That’s quite a few jobs,” says Rich.
MCFC has harvested about 23,000 cubic metres this year, so far, according to McWilliams, and it plans to harvest 35,000 to 40,000 cubic metres in total by year’s end.
MCFC has four logging contractors in the McBride area it works with, according to Rich.
McWilliams says MCFC will start tree planting in mid-June, hiring a local contractor with a crew of between six to 10 workers to plant about 200,000 spruce seedlings over roughly 143 hectares.
“Harvesting will also re-start in June, weather dependent,” says McWilliams.
Currently making up the MCFC Board of Directors is Joe Rich, Loranne Martin, Kevin Taphorn, and Dutch Molendyk, while the board is still seeking one more member.