In partnership with the City of Quesnel and their Forestry Initiatives Program, UBC’s Faculty of Forestry hosted its Master of International Forestry (MIF) field school for the third year in a row.
This year, 16 students and their professors spent two days in Quesnel to give students the opportunity to speak with: land managers, small businesses, government reps from the local First Nations, the municipality, provincial government, as well as industry experts.
MIF Cohort from Many Parts of the Globe
“The field school gives students the opportunity to learn about the relationships between people and forests and how these influence economic development and ecological sustainability,” explains MIF program coordinator James Langston. “The group of students we had with us this time are from so many different parts of the world including the UK, China, India, Indonesia, Cameroon and El Salvador.”
Langston explains further the group’s collective research interests lie in strengthening their local economies while also ensuring a healthy relationship with the land.
“We have become particularly passionate about fostering innovation through small and medium forest enterprises; and exploring how inclusive decision-making between First Nation and non-First Nation peoples results in better land use practices,” Langston says further.
During the trip, the group visited numerous sites including the City of Quesnel’s Forestry Innovation Centre, the devastating 2017 Plateau forest fire with BC Wildfire Service, West Fraser’s operations, Moose Meadow Farm. The MIF group also spent time around Williams Lake with Zirnhelt Timber Frames, and Alkali Resource Management of the Esk’etemc Community.
UBC Forestry Collaboration Helping With More Resilient & Innovative Economy
The MIF program is part of the larger UBC Vibrant Forest Landscapes Lab, which has been collaborating with the City of Quesnel since 2020 to support research focused on identifying policy constraints and opportunities for small tenure holders and secondary wood manufacturers in BC.
The collaborative work between the Forestry Initiatives Program and the UBC Vibrant Forest Landscapes Lab is reported to be helping Quesnel transition towards a resilient and innovative forest economy that aligns with broader goals of landscape management and reconciliation.