On Saturday, July 11, PacBio achieved another milestone when planting crews with Freya Logging wrapped up PacBio’s first tree planting season. Crews planted the last of 1.1 million seedlings to complete PacBio’s planting responsibilities as part of its commitments to access burned fibre in the Bobtail Biomass Recovery Area.
The season began on May 8 with the planting of the 1st seedling. PacBio contracted with three Prince George based companies to complete the 2020 planting season. Along with Freya Logging, Strategic Natural Resource Consultants and Folklore Contracting safely and successfully completed the planting season. Between the three companies, the 2020 planting season created employment for approximately twenty local people.
PacBio Woodlands Manager, Joe Kenney, adds “Despite the challenges presented by Covid-19, 2020 has turned out to be very rewarding for our Woodlands Team. We’ve learned to take burnt fibre from the 2015 Bobtail wildfire and our Pellet Mill Team is producing quality wood pellets for our customers in Japan and Europe. We’ve experienced our 1st full season of planting seedlings which will renew the forests for future generations. We’re working with a number of different stakeholders to consider new forest management approaches such as introducing more Aspen into reforestation plans. We’re also celebrating over a decade of working with Excel Transport to grind fibre onsite in the forests that would otherwise have been piled and burned. While we’re only half-way through 2020 we’re feeling very good about the year so far.”
PacBio Forestry Planner, Aiden Wiechula added, “Watching as crews planted over one million new trees this year has been very rewarding. These seedlings are the basis of a new forest that will grow and flourish over the next several decades and provide food and shelter for birds and wildlife in the process. Its extremely rewarding as a forest professional to be able to participate in the full circle of planning, harvesting and reforestation. This year’s planting program now enables PacBio to say that it is a full-circle wood pellet company.”
PacBio Forestry Operations Supervisor, Conor O’Donnell, states “PacBio is leading the Canadian wood pellet industry with its innovative fibre acquisition strategies and is now fully involved in reforestation. While I focus the majority of my time and energy working with our contractors to acquire fibre and get it to our Prince George Plant, it is equally satisfying to see our Company now planting seedlings which will sustain forests for tomorrow. Everyone at PacBio can feel very proud of what we’ve accomplished this year with the help of our contractors and their crews.”
PacBio CEO John Stirling was on hand to plant the 1st seedling on May 8 and toured the Folklore planting site on July 9 to see the planting of some of the last seedlings in the 2020 planting season. John added, “We are very proud to be recovering fibre that would have been wasted and then replanting the forest in those areas. This year’s planting program was a huge step for us and especially as it began when British Columbia was still in the initial lockdown phase of Covid-19. I want to thank our Woodlands Team, our contractors, and their crews for successfully responding to the safety challenges. I want to thank all the planters and their companies for helping us achieve this extraordinary milestone. I also want to thank our PG Pellet Plant Team for figuring out how to process the burned fibre from the 2015 Bobtail wildfire. We have gained important new capabilities that will carry us forward into the future.”