West Chilcotin Forest Products Ltd.

“Not Only Ourselves, but Our Grandchildren.”

For the past 20 years, the Ulkatcho People have been progressing toward sustainable economic development of its lands. The band purchased West Chilcotin Forest Products (WCFP), and the band’s rejuvenated forestry sector promises over 120 full-time jobs. Under the band’s skilled management WCFP created sustainable business partnerships, and this mid-size mill has a promising, long-term future, because WCFP is dedicated to sustainable and environmentally responsible logging practices that will ensure mill’s operation for many generations to come.

West Chilcotin Forest Products Ltd. is situated 300 kilometers west of Williams Lake, in the region known as the Chilcotin Plateau. The mill is located between the communities of Anahim Lake and Nimpo Lake. The company operates within the Vanderhoof, Williams Lake, and Quesnel Forest Districts, and is fully committed to practicing sustainable forest management on these heritage lands.

The forest cover in the area consists mainly of Lodgepole pine with some Englemann Spruce (on the wetter sites). The climate on the Chilcotin Plateau brings on a short growing season. This causes trees to grow tightly set growth rings, resulting in a very dense, strong wood. This makes the Chilcotin lumber one of the finest in the world, and it is in high demand throughout North America and Japan.

The mill produces 2×3, 2×4, and 2×6 Stud Grade and J Grade lumber up to 9 Feet in length, and also 4×4, 3” & 4” small cutting, 6” timbers and railway ties. All unused wood is turned into wood chips used in the production of wood pulp for paper industry. With the quality of the Chilcotin wood, the Chilcotin chips are also considered to be among the best quality in the paper industry.

WCFP has the ability to consistently produce a tight grain, high quality stud. The mill processes its lumber effectively, efficiently and sustainably. This is a two line saw mill. Smaller diameter logs are processed through a Chip-n-Saw line, and the larger logs go to Scragg Saw line. After processing, the lumber is sorted and sent to the automatic stackers or to the edger line. The remaining waste is fed through a chipper and shipped to the pulp mill. Once the lumber passes the mill’s twenty-knife, high-speed planer, the quality Chilcotin product is graded, sorted, and stacked for shipping.

The local community covers a vast region, a region that has unique attraction to tourists, outfitters, trappers, ranchers and the Ulkatcho First Nations. The area is unmatched as a recreational tourism region and all the land users depend heavily on a healthy watershed, wildlife population and pristine landscape. That is why WCFP takes this multi-faceted use of the land into serious consideration during the planning stages of the logging operations, working to minimize its impact on the operation of other businesses in the area.

That is why WCFP has spent fast several years creating a sub-regional plan for the Anahim Lake area, considering and including all of the values that exist on the landscape, and the mill is committed to ensuring that the objectives of this plan are met.

WCFP crated successful working partnerships with the First Nations, and the local communities actively work with the WCFP to assess the best sustainable way of land development with ongoing projects such as furbearer studies, pine mushroom research, repressed pine fertilization, juvenile spacing, and preliminary growth and yield work, creating a more rounded approach to forestry in the Anahim area.

Together, WCFP, the Ulkatcho First Nation, and community members developed one of the first working models for preserving interests of all groups while pursuing a successful woodlands operation. WCFP chooses to hire local workforce, and also invests in local community through bursaries, donations and sponsorships. This local approach had a profound economic impact on the community, and had raised the community’s overall standard of living.