Sitka Silviculture replants forests through out the Alberni Valley, and employs many local workers.

Deep roots and fresh growth for local silviculture company

From tree planting to wildfire management, this company is proud to call Port Alberni home

Many silviculture companies are spread thin across the province with temporary workers who don’t always connect to local communities. But for Sitka Silviculture, Port Alberni is home.

Co-owner Paul Agnew has had a fantastic relationship with Western Forest Products in Port Alberni for over a decade, planting millions of trees for the mill every spring and fall.

“They’ve kept us going through thick and thin, through the recent WFP strike and the Mosaic curtailment,” says co-owner Scott Lemkay.

READ MORE: Forestry strike, curtailment have far-reaching impact in Port Alberni

When Lemkay bought into the company in 2018, Sitka Silviculture committed to Port Alberni in a bigger way, purchasing land for truck parking, worker accommodation and seedling storage. That commitment solidified relationships with Mosaic (formerly Island Timberlands), B.C. Timber Sales, and local First Nations. They’re growing a local workforce too, employing skilled workers affected by the strike and curtailment, and encouraging itinerant workers to take up residence in the Alberni Valley.

“I’m proud to say I just bought a house here in December,” Lemkay says. “I’ve worked in the Valley for over a decade and I’m so excited to finally have a situation where I don’t have to leave to stay employed throughout the year.”

Speaking from the warehouse, Lemkay has a great view of his new hometown and some of their recent work.

“We really enjoy getting out in the Valley, and we take a tremendous amount of pride in the work we’re able to do in the community. I’m looking out at the burn on Arbutus Ridge right now and it’s already starting to green up with the trees we planted last year.”

Wildfire risk and fuel management

In recent years Sitka Silviculture has expanded their services to include wildfire risk assessments, and works to remove brush and deadfall before fires happen.

“Wildfire risk has dramatically increased due to climate change and other factors, but there’s work we can do to mitigate that risk,” Lemkay says.

Using S100 fire training and skilled chainsaw operators, Sitka Silviculture is eager to bring their experience in other regions to homeowners in the Alberni Valley.

“We’re passionate about preserving the forest in Port Alberni any way we can,” Lemkay says. “If you’ve got a 10-acre property or a cabin with forested areas give us a call and we can do a fuel assessment.”

Visit sitkasilviculture.com once the website launches later this May, or call Scott Lemkay at 250-650-3506 or Paul Agnew at 250-204-4261 for more information.

bc wildfiresforestrySmall Business

 

Scott Lemkay (left) and Paul Agnew of Sitka Silviculture in their new workshop in Port Alberni. Call to learn more about wildfire risk and fuel management on your property.

An experienced chainsaw operator with Sitka Silviculture. Clearing brush is one way to mitigate wildfire risk.

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