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Expanding Our Roots

Canadian Women in Timber Celebrate Twenty Years in BC

Submitted by Sandy McKellar, CWIT Past President

More than 40 people came together in October to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Canadian Women in Timber (CWIT) at the Predator Ridge Golf Resort near Vernon. This non-profit volunteer organization works to encourage sound management and wise use of forest resources in Canada for the benefit of all, focusing on public education through schools and community organizations.

The CWIT board poses at their Fall AGM, along with founder, Myrtle Siebert. (Center, front row)

The group was formed in 1989 when founding director Myrtle Siebert led the first meeting of the CWIT in BC. Today, after 20 years of commitment to fostering forest education in their communities, this group of women and men are still hard at work.

To celebrate this landmark achievement, the CWIT arranged a 20th anniversary public luncheon event alongside their annual general meeting.

Prior to the luncheon, the new board of directors was voted in, including Alison Anderson from Prince George as the new chair and Makenzie Leine from Nanaimo as the vice-chair. In her later remarks to the audience, Alison spoke to the history of the organization, referring several times to Ms. Siebert, who was an honoured guest at the lunch.

Members of the CWIT Shuswap Branch then took the floor to present a sample of their classroom program for kids. Dressed in logging clothes, and using a fabric teaching tree and a toy chest of props, the gals enthusiastically demonstrated the complex process of harvesting and processing the unique products that come from our forests - from 2X4's to bubble gum!

The highlight of the afternoon's program was a panel presentation on the theme, "Looking Forward- Innovations and Changes for a Positive Future”.  Representing the local industry perspective were two familiar faces from the forest community, Nick Arkle from Gorman Bros. Lumber and Randy Chan from Tolko Industries. A broader national picture was presented by Ian de la Roche, past president and CEO of FPInnovations, based in Vancouver. This panel of visionary experts was moderated by BC forest sector icon, Mike Apsey.

The CWIT looks forward to another 20 years of service to the people and communities within which they live and work.

For more information about the CWIT, their resources and programs and to view the photo gallery, see www.canadianwomenintimber.com


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