NORTHERN ONTARIO BUSINESS — Westwind Forest Stewardship received $18,671 from the Ontario government to conduct a market analysis on underused wood in the French-Severn Forest.
Westwind is a forest management firm and the sustainable forest license holder for the French-Severn Forest. The company is responsible for timber harvest planning in this Crown Forest unit.
According to a provincial news release, the market analysis will examine methods to improve wood supply use and create local forestry jobs. Westwind will work with Magnetawan First Nation, and other local First Nations, municipalities, and area industry partners to identify and assess potential economic opportunities.
Funding for the study was delivered through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund.
The French-Severn Forest management unit is a 1.3-million-hectare piece of Crown Forest of hardwood and softwood, bounded by Algonquin Park to the east, Georgian Bay to the west, the French River to the north, and the Severn River to the south. It takes in the communities of Parry Sound, Sundridge, Huntsville, and Bracebridge.
In a news release, Steve Munro, Westwind projects manager, welcomed the funding to go about exploring opportunities to identify potential niche business activities using low-end wood fibre.
“Ultimately, we are seeking to help diversify the regional economy and create jobs for local residents.”
“This investment demonstrates our commitment to stimulate economic growth and ensure Northern Ontario businesses can thrive, expand and prosper,” said Norm Miller, MPP for Parry Sound-Muskoka in a news release.
“Our government’s targeted investments are helping local non-profits create jobs, stay competitive, and attract new investment,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “Investments such as these create tangible positive effects in our communities.”
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