Red Bluff Band to join pellet industry

December 16, 2009
Dec. 16, 2009, Quesnel, BC – The province of British Columbia has signed an Economic Development Agreement with the Red Bluff Indian Band that will allow Red Bluff to salvage mountain pine beetle-killed timber in the Quesnel area. “This Economic Development Agreement strengthens the positive working relationship between the province and Red Bluff,” says B.C. Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell. “This agreement paves the way for new investment and jobs while improving the use of beetle-killed wood that otherwise would be left to waste.”

The agreement will allow the Red Bluff Band to harvest 75,000 cubic metres/year of mountain pine beetle-killed timber in the Quesnel Timber Supply Area for the next 15 years. This timber has been dead for several years and consists primarily of pulp-quality stands. The Red Bluff Band, working with National Choice Bio Fuels, will build a new plant to process this low-grade timber into wood pellets. The plant is expected to be operational by May 2010.

“This agreement will hopefully show what First Nations can accomplish when we work co-operatively with government, industry, and other Nations,” says Red Bluff Chief Geronimo Squinas. “Agreements like this one will hopefully free our Nation from government handouts and become more self-sufficient.”

The Red Bluff Band, which is also known as Lhtako Dene Nation, partnered with National Choice Bio Fuels Industries to form Lhtako Energy Corp. “This agreement will allow the First Nation to take a direct, hands-on approach towards long-term forest management, maximum use of forest waste, and accelerating reforestation,” says Denis Pelletier, president and CEO of National Choice Bio Fuels Industries.

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