In 2020, NACFOR facilitated the development of a Nakusp weigh scale, chipping and log handling facility, in partnership with Mercer Celgar Limited Partnership.
The partnership was developed to set up a log scaling, log handling, storage, accumulation, and chipping facility in Nakusp. Mercer has other log yard locations including Castlegar, Midway, Lumby, Erie, and Okanagan Falls.
The Nakusp project will facilitate increased volume and efficiencies in fibre flow to Mercer in Castlegar, and create employment and other business opportunities for the Nakusp area, including an outlet for some low-grade logs and fibre that are not currently utilized. Approximate annual volumes will be 60,000 to 100,000 m3 of logs going into the yard (8-10 logging truck loads daily) and initially about 6 super B-train loads going out of the yard daily to the pulp mill in Castlegar. The B train traffic would not be incremental to the current condition as the yard is being moved from Lumby to Nakusp to improve transport efficiencies. The log yard and scales will also be used by NACFOR for scaling and improved merchandizing of NACFOR logs.
A suitable property for the log yard was developed on private land near the Nakusp land fill site at a nearly depleted gravel pit area. The 10-acre site is zoned industrial and well-suited to log yard activities. It is located approximately 2 km from the NACFOR scale site and relatively close to Nakusp and industrial suppliers.
A weigh scale site with 90-foot scale capacity was installed at the NACFOR log yard on Hot Springs Road. The scale is used as a remote scale site for the Mercer log yard as well as other forest operators in the area. It will also be possible to weigh other vehicles and highway trucks as a fee for service.
Considerations including access, traffic, public safety, noise and zoning were taken into account during the conceptual and planning phases of the log yard and chipping project.
- New business for Nakusp community which will create good jobs.
- The partnership between Mercer, the Community Forest (NACFOR) and the Village of Nakusp offers mutual benefits.
- Geographic location of the log yard extends the economic fibre reach for Mercer, and provides efficiencies over present fibre transportation routes (logs and chips).
- Synergies with NACFOR and other local companies should increase potential future volumes of fibre, creating opportunities, economy, and reducing waste.
- Good potential to dovetail with local Wildfire Risk Reduction efforts to utilize low value fibre more economically.
- More potential for “Full Forest Utilization” from local forestry operations within the Nakusp catchment resulting in less slash burning.
- Scaling and log yard would more easily facilitate supplying other local operators with logs.