For­est di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion re­port high­lights po­ten­tial for cen­tral New­found­land

Advertiser (Grand Falls) - - Editorial - BY ADAM RANDELL

A re­port on for­est di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion for the prov­ince has con­firmed what Grand Falls Windsor Coun­cil­lor Peggy Bartlett al­ready knows – there’s a lot of po­ten­tial for de­vel­op­ment in the cen­tral re­gion.

The re­port was com­mis­sioned fol­low­ing the clo­sure of the town’s pulp and pa­per mill in 2008-09, and was funded by the pro­vin­cial govern­ment.

The re­port states that the there’s sig­nif­i­cant un­der­uti­liza­tion of the prov­ince’s tim­ber re­sources with 13-mil­lion cu­bic me­tres left un­har­vested.

Fur­ther­more, while this for­est area is spread through­out the prov­ince, sig­nif­i­cant con­cen­tra­tions of tim­ber are noted within the cen­tral area, where the plant har­vesters would tra­di­tion­ally cut.

With a sig­nif­i­cant de­cline in the de­mand for newsprint, the 77-page study states the need to branch out in or­der to re­store an eco­nom­i­cally vi­able in­dus­try.

New op­por­tu­ni­ties to as­sist di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion in cen­tral in­clude a sort­ing ter­mi­nal, biore­fin­ery and/or pel­let mill, and value-added wood prod­ucts, amongst others.

“We are per­fectly po­si­tioned in cen­tral be­cause we have re­sources and the stock right here,” said Bartlett. “There are op­por­tu­ni­ties in all of it, for sure; how­ever, it all re­quires money, part­ners and cap­i­tal … so we need to go out and find will­ing part­ners, which is the chal­lenge.”

With data to backup what the cen­tral re­gion has to of­fer in tim­ber re­sources, the Grand Falls-Windsor coun­cil­lor says it bodes well for po­ten­tial in­vestors.

“Things don’t hap­pen im­me­di­ately and spur of the mo­ment – it takes time, and this re­search pack­age that we have here will pro­vide the re­search for any busi­ness look­ing to bring new in­dus­try to the area,” she said.

The full re­port can be read here.

http://grand­fall­swind­sor. com/news/458-for­est-di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion-re­port.html

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