Construction of one of the most modern forest research facilities in western Canada got underway on this week at the University of Northern BC campus in Prince George, BC. The project is a cooperative effort of the Slocan Group of Vancouver, BC, Ike Barber (Slocan's chairman and CEO), and Forest Renewal BC of Vancouver.
The new research facility, to be known as the I.K. Barber Enhanced Forestry Laboratory, is being made possible by Barber's contribution of $500,000. Slocan is contributing another $400,000 towards a new research position in the forestry program at the University that will carry out an expanded research program directed at interior forests.
"We have an excellent forest resource base in the interior of British Columbia," said Barber. "The research and development work made possible by these contributions will help government and industry foresters balance the need to preserve biodiversity and sustain the forest resources with the need to harvest in a sustainable manner. The forest industry remains the largest industrial employer in the province and a major contributor to the economy. This research will provide a cornerstone of knowledge to support our industry and enhance the long term value of the resource for forestry employees and their communities, as well as investors in the industry."
Barber added that "an enhanced understanding of our forest resource and forest management practices will also support certification initiatives to confirm that our forest management practices are sustaining the forest resource. Both myself and Slocan are pleased to be able to make this positive contribution to the province of British Columbia."
Slocan Group is a major integrated forest products company in British Columbia with more than 4,000 employees.