Vancouver, British Columbia – Western Forest Products Inc. (“Western” or the“Company”) announced today its contribution of five parcels of land for the proposed Community Unity Trail, a multi-use 25-kilometer trail to connect the communities of Zeballos and Tahsis. The property contributed by Western is located within Zeballos’ municipal boundaries and provides an ideal access point to the Community Unity Trail.
The Uniting 4 Communities Society (U4C), a non-profit society with equal representation from the Mowachaht Muchalaht First Nation, the Ehattesaht Chinehkint First Nation and the Villages of Tahsis and Zeballos, is developing and constructing the Community Unity Trail.
“Thanks to this generous donation from Western Forest Products we are one step closer to our vision of connecting the communities of Tahsis and Zeballos with this trail,” said Meredith Starkey, CAO, Village of Zeballos. “This donation will encourage tourism in the region, benefiting visitors and residents for generations to come.”
The nearly three acres of land contributed by Western is made up of five contiguous land parcels. The steep, forest land is ideally suited for the Community Unity Trail as it will allow trail users to enter and leave the planned trail directly from Zeballos. The Community Unity Trail will become part of a larger trail network, the North Island 1000, that connects small towns across North Vancouver Island.
“We are pleased to extend our long-standing commitment towards supporting recreational opportunities for visitors and residents by providing this land for a multi-use trail,” said Don Demens, President and Chief Executive Officer of Western. “The Community Unity Trail will provide a continuous trail for safe recreational activities and Western is proud to play a part in supporting people to get outdoors and experience the local forests. We recognize more people are heading outside on local trails as a recreational option during the pandemic and Western is pleased to have the opportunity to support options to do so.”
“We have the opportunity to create a trail in our own backyard, passing with much respect through the territories of the Ehattesaht Chinehkint First Nation and Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation, that will showcase the beauty of this area and bring a tourism boost along the way. We have been working with the Province on making this goal a reality since 2016, so we are excited to have this access point secured,” said U4C Society Board Member and Mayor of Zeballos, Julie Colborne.
Today’s contribution continues the Company’s long-term commitment towards investing in community needs in the areas where its employees live and work. Through Western’s Community Enhancement Fund, the Company provides support to local community events, organizations and initiatives. Western takes pride in its contributions to sustainable and stable communities in the areas in which it operates, including through community contributions, the purchase of local goods and services, local employment and taxes.
About Western Forest Products Inc.
Western is an integrated forest products company building a margin-focused log and lumber business to compete successfully in global softwood markets. With operations and employees located primarily on the coast of British Columbia and Washington State, Western is a premier supplier of high-value, specialty forest products to worldwide markets. Western has a lumber capacity in excess of 1.1 billion board feet from eight sawmills and four remanufacturing facilities. The Company sources timber from its private lands, long-term licenses, First Nations arrangements, and market purchases. Western supplements its production through a wholesale program providing customers with a comprehensive range of specialty products.
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Senior Director, Communications
CAO, Village of Zeballos