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FESBC helps Mackenzie firm utilise low-quality fibre

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East Fraser Fiber Company (EFF) has received close to $615,000 (€413,000) from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to recover low-quality fibre.

The funding is helping to support jobs in Mackenzie, BC, and recover close to 30,000 cubic metres (m3) of low-quality fibre that would otherwise not have been used.

Extracting as much useable fibre from a block and not burning it at the roadside allows for ‘significant’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to be avoided, contributing to BC and Canada’s climate change targets.

EFF’s operations in Mackenzie include a chip plant, logging, and a finger-joint mill. The joint mill is a value-added plant that utilises residual fibre from sawmills to produce finger joint studs. Residual material from this operation is sold to others to generate bioenergy or produce pulp.

“Increased utilisation is good for the environment and the economy,” said Jo-Anne Lang, RPF, EFF forester. “To be able to do this successfully in remaining mountain pine beetle-killed and significantly deteriorated stands, support such as that provided by FESBC is necessary."

EFF mill owners Pat and Richard Glazier have always believed that the full utilisation of sawlogs and residual material is the right thing to do, which is why 30 years ago, the firm built a whole log chip plant equipped with the first drum de-barker in BC. This allowed for the efficient de-barking of small-diameter logs and debris that would otherwise have been left at the roadside to be piled and burned.

Although it has not always been profitable, EFF has continued to uphold its vision of enhanced fibre utilisation, due to the long-term environmental benefits.

“A project like this generates so many benefits,” said Steve Kozuki, executive director of FESBC.

“Healthy forests for future generations of British Columbians, improved wildlife habitat, better water quality, reduced GHGs, reduced wildfire risk, jobs in the Port of Vancouver and beyond, and the enhanced utilisation of pulp products which can displace fossil fuels, such as plastic straws. Hardworking people in the Mackenzie area are doing their part to make life better for all of us.”