Collection RBSC-ARC-1754 - Western Forest Products collection

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Western Forest Products collection

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2.2 m of textual records and other material

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Administrative history

Western Forest Products Incorporated is a major harvesting and lumber manufacturing company operating in the coastal regions of British Columbia. In 1980, a joint venture of three B.C.-based companies, Doman Industries Ltd., Whonnock Industries Ltd., and British Columbia Forest Products Ltd. acquired the B.C. holdings of Rayonier Canada Limited. The three companies, with equal shares, organized Western Forest Products Limited (WFP) as the purchaser. By 1992, WFP was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Doman Industries Limited, but in 2004, Doman restructured and Western Forest Product Inc. was formally established as its successor.

WFP continued their expansion in 2006 with the purchase of Englewood Logging Division and Cascadia Forest Products. At the time, Cascadia was an integrated lumber producer and the largest Crown tenure holder of coastal British Columbia. Western Forest then went through a number of major restructuring activities in the late 2000s, including the amalgamation with their subsidiaries, WFP Western Lumber Ltd., Western Pulp Ltd., and Mid-Island Reman Inc.; the closing of New Westminster sawmill in 2007; and the integration of timberlands operations of Duncan and Campbell River to its Vancouver and Nanaimo offices.

As of 2016, Western Forest Products consists of acquisitions from a variety of other forestry companies such as MacMillan Bloedel, Weyerhaeuser, Canadian Pacific, and Canfor. The land acquisitions of Western Forest Products stretch from the lower mainland to the northern coast of British Columbia, making it the largest investment company in Coastal manufacturing with currently nine milling facilities located in Nanaimo, Cowichan Bay, Ladysmith, Chemainus, and Port Alberni. The principal activities conducted by WFP and its subsidiaries include timber harvesting, reforestation, sawmilling logs into lumber and wood chips, and value-added remanufacturing.

Custodial history

Material was housed in storage lockers in Campbell River. In 2015 Western Forest Products contacted Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) about the possibility of donating the records. The RBSC Archivist and David Brownstein from the UBC Geography Department reviewed the records in the storage facility and selected records to acquire. The records were acquired by RBSC in 2015 with aerial photographs being transferred to the UBC Geographic Information Centre in 2016.

Scope and content

The collection reflects the forestry operations and projects undertaken by Western Forest Products and their predecessors. The majority of the material dates to the 1980s, with some material dating to as early as the 1950s and as late as the early 2000s. Much of the contents relates to MacMillan Bloedel Limited, in particular their tree farm licenses (TFLs), silvicultural practices, and some corporate information.

Tree farm license records include: project reports, working and management plans, and maps. Silviculture records include: growth and yield reports, environmental reports, literature, and summaries of silvicultural projects. Corporate records include meeting agendas and minutes, publications, and microfiche.

There are three main types of material in the collection: textual records, maps, and microfiche. The initial acquisition also included aerial photographs which have subsequently been transferred to the UBC Geographic Information Centre.

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RAD compliant finding aid prepared by M. Hunter, 2016. Revised and edited by J. Tung, 2016.

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