There are four wood product manufacturing operations in the South Peace.
Louisiana-Pacific Dawson Creek plant has been producing Oriented Strand Board since 1987. In 2017, LP began a $161 million project to convert the plant located on Dawson Creek’s western edge to produce SmartSide Lap Siding. The company celebrated their grand re-opening of the converted plant in August 2019.
West Fraser and Canfor both operate sawmills in Chetwynd. West Fraser’s mill also includes a bio energy facility and Canfor’s has a pellet plant as part of the operation. In early 2022, Peak Renewables Ltd. acquired the Chetwynd Pulp Mill formerly operated by Paper Excellence, which had not operated since 2015. The company is working with local First Nations in developing new opportunities at the site. There are also a number of independent custom sawmill operators in the area.
The majority of timber processed at local mills comes from the Dawson Creek Timber Supply Area. The current Annual Allowable Cut, which took effect October 30, 2014 is 1.86 million cubic metres, of which a maximum of 978,000 cubic metres is attributable to conifers.
Harvesting of the forest resource is undertaken by both company and contract loggers. Many of those that are employed in the industry are local residents. The active logging season generally runs from July through March. Opportunities exist in small diameter pine harvesting and processing, remanufactured products, engineered wood products, panelboards, furniture and housing products.
B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development: