The board of the Valemount Community Forest (also the board of the Valemount Industrial Park) have purchased a mill and have the intention of running it. It is wonderful news for our village. If the board is successful there could be up to 8 new decent paying jobs. In a community of 1000, that’s nothing to sneeze at.
It’s a good move because it uses wood that isn’t easy to sell and it creates a special product that isn’t being manufactured by multinational conglomerates.
Valemount’s major mill has been shut down so long it may seem strange that we could have an economically successful mill while so many massive mills are shutting down, but there is a good example that both explains and demonstrates how it can work.
Hauer Brothers Mill.
Remember that? It only closed a year ago.
The mill closed down because their beehive burner was the last to belch smoke in the province and was no longer allowed to run. Fixing that puzzle piece would have meant an unimaginable investment, despite the fact that the other aspects of the business case still hold together.
The puzzle piece of what to do with waste wood remains. Hopefully the community, granting agencies and governments will rally behind our community to find an innovative way of using the waste wood created by the mill.
IMAGE: Arthur Tanga, Rocky Mountain Goat