Can Quesnel’s Bob Simpson chart a sustainable future for timber-dependent communities?
by Chiara Milford at The Tyee
Quesnel is one of those towns, like many others in British Columbia’s Interior, where surprisingly little has changed in decades. The surrounding landscape is dominated by pine plantations and service roads that lead to old gold mines.
Home to 12,000 people, the community lies 630 kilometres north of Vancouver along the highway that follows the Fraser River through central B.C. It’s a forestry town, and you could be forgiven for assuming that local politicians would want to see logging continue in the same old way.
How, then, to explain Mayor Bob Simpson, who sounds like a Green Party candidate and wants nothing less than to revolutionize the biggest industry in the province?