Anatomy of an economy

For many of us in the Nelson region, it’s sometimes easy to forget the backbone of our local economy. Though we’re surrounded by forest, today’s version of the idyllic community on the West Arm of Kootenay Lake may appear to have lost its industry edge. The beehive burner is no longer part of everyday life in Nelson, but make no mistake about it: without the forest industry this community would have a hard time standing upright.

In this story you can once again read about the Meadow Creek Cedar saga. It’s a story reporter Greg Nesteroff has blanketed for almost two years. His latest offering is a comprehensive piece that digs even deeper. With an array of excellent sources, Nesteroff provides a better understanding of just how important this industry is to all of us.

“We are simply attempting to rebuild part of an industry in an area that has a resource and a desire to create employment. Can we fail? Yes. Do we want to fail? No,” says Blue Ridge Timber owner Trevor Kanigan.

Simple sure, yet full of drama.

Blue Ridge Timber’s efforts to help clean up the mess left behind by the now infamous Dale Kooner is a relatively tiny blip on the larger industry radar. Yet it provides great insight into just how many working parts it takes to pull off the final product. From the mills to the ministry to the environmentalists, it seems as though there is always so much riding on any new development at Meadow Creek.

Like any complex machine, there are many voices who are willing to chime in with expertise and wisdom on how to best make forestry work. Today’s story is a great example. Many years of experience commented on Blue Ridge Timber’s plans, not all agreed.

Cutting down a tree is a simple and age-old act. But the tree itself is a complex work of nature with deep roots. The industry that depends on the fibre for its existence is much the same. It’s always important to remember just how important it is to life in the Kootenay.


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