BC’s interior is the heart of the forest industry with 81 sawmills (2009 MOF est) and ten pulp mills. Over 80% of BC’s lumber production comes from the interior of BC.
To see the location of COFI member mills, visit our Member Mill Map.
For more information about major timber processing facilities in BC visit the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Fibre and Mill Information Page.
The Southern Interior region is highly diverse in its geography and economy.
From high mountains to fertile valleys to broad plateaus and even desert, it comprises an area of approximately 25 million hectares or 25% of the provincial land base. The region stretches from the City of Quesnel in the North to the US border in the south and from the Rocky Mountains in the east to the District of Lillooet and Anahim Lake in the west.
Home to more than 700,000 people, it is famed for its historic gold rush, the beautiful Okanagan orchards, burgeoning wine, hi-tech and tourism industries, an important ranching community, world class skiing and a strong, diverse & resilient forest industry.
Kelowna is the region’s largest community, but there are many communities throughout the region where forestry is a major contributor to the economic well being of the area, including; Kamloops, McBride, Quesnel, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, 70 Mile House, Castlegar, Vavenby, Cranbrook, Elko, Canal Flats, Golden, Grand Forks, Kelowna, Lumby, Lillooet, Lytton, Merritt, Midway, Nakusp, Nelson, Penticton, Okanagan Falls, Radium, Slocan, Creston, Princeton, Revelstoke, Westbank, Salmon Arm, and Vernon.
Quick facts (Source: BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/rsi/ )
- Area: 25 million hectares – approximately 60% is productive forest land
- AAC: 32 907 975 m³ (approximately), 40.53% of provincial total
- Harvest: 20 660 857 m³ cut and billed in Fiscal 09 (41.1% of provincial total)
- Revenue: $124 468 953 revenue generated in Fiscal 09 (54.3% of provincial total)
- 15 Timber Supply Areas
- 12 Tree Farm Licences, 404 Woodlots,
- 263 Forest Licences; 17 Community Forest Agreements
- 86 First Nation Bands and Tribal Councils
- 1016 wild fires in 2009 with 67 068 hectares burned
The Northern Interior is the largest of the forest regions with an area of about 55 million hectares, or 58% of the province’s 95 million hectares. From the great plains of the north-east, to the Rocky and Omineca Mountains in the east-central portion, to the plateaus of the west and south-central segments, the topography is diverse. The region stretches from Quesnel in the south to the BC and Yukon border in the north and from the BC and Alberta border in the east to the City of Terrace in the west. The population of the Northern Region is estimated to be approximately 260,000 people.
Prince George is the region’s largest community, but there are many other communities throughout the region where forestry is a major contributor to the employment and economic well-being of the area, including: Burns Lake, Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, Fort Nelson, Fort St. James, Fort St. John, Houston Mackenzie, Smithers, Terrace, Valemount and Vanderhoof.
The most important commercial tree species are SPF (spruce-pine-fir). There is also growing interest in and use of deciduous species, particularly aspen.