VALEMOUNT COMMUNITY MILL:
The Valemount Community Forest’s new mill is taking shape in the Valemount Industrial Park south of town.
Piles and piles of hemlock wait in the mill yard to be sawed into cants, 8x8s and 6x6s. According to Valemount Community Forest manager Craig Pryor, the community forest can either ship the logs at a loss, or mill them into lumber locally for a profit and ship them to nearby markets.
The machinery for moving logs around the mill is largely in place. A major consideration is managing the three main types of waste that it will produce, hog fuel (bark from incoming logs), wood chips, and saw dust. There are markets for all three. No waste will be burnt on site.
During a public tour of the facility on September 15, Pryor said that a massive part of the budget needed to be spent on handling and moving the waste.
According to lead contractor Allan Yaworksy, the next big steps for the mill is getting the control systems in place, a part of the project that is taking an unexpectedly long time.
Other work that remains to be done is getting safety systems in place.
All in all, the mill is bright and beautiful