Provincial Funding Gives New Life to Deadwood

A company that transforms trees damaged by the mountain pine beetle and other elements into added value engineered wood products is expanding, thanks to a boost from the province.

Province has provided Deadwood Innovations, a joint venture with the Nak’azdli Whut’en First Nation, $200,000 over the past two years to support job creation in rural communities and accelerate Indigenous participation in the sector forest.

“Strengthening BC’s forest sector means meeting the challenges of today, while ensuring that we seize the opportunities of tomorrow,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “This will require us all to work together – the provincial government, First Nations and the forest industry – to advance innovation and greater sustainability, support greater Indigenous participation and create more jobs for every tree harvested. . The work carried out by Deadwood Innovations is a perfect example of this vision in action.

Deadwood Innovations used the funding to assess, design, purchase and build a pilot-scale manufacturing plant on the site of the former Tl’Oh Forest Products plant in Fort St. James. Funding is provided through the Indigenous Forest Bioeconomy Program.

Province is working closely with Deadwood Innovations to finalize new funding so it can commercially produce engineered wood products in its plant thanks to the new accelerator component of the Aboriginal Forest Bioeconomy Program.

Plant design is scheduled to begin in September 2022. The Deadwood Innovation facility will transform poor quality, damaged and underutilized fibers into value-added engineered wood products. Its technology creates new market opportunities by producing engineered wood products that can be customized to meet specifications for industrial wood products and solid biofuels. The use of forest waste decreases the need for burning slash piles, thereby reducing carbon emissions.

The forest bioeconomy focuses on using leftover materials from logging and forestry, such as bark, shrubs, branches and berries, to make everyday products. This is helping to move the forestry sector towards a high value-added, waste-free circular economy that reduces the use of petrochemicals and helps fight climate change.

The Indigenous Forest Bioeconomy Program supports increased Indigenous participation in the forest sector and the development of an Indigenous-led forest bioeconomy in British Columbia. The goal is to increase the use of fiber and create economic opportunities. Supporting BC’s forest bioeconomy is part of CleanBC: Roadmap to 2030, BC’s plan to expand and accelerate climate action, while creating new opportunities in the clean economy.


Owen Miller, President, Deadwood Innovations Ltd. –

“Deadwood Innovations and our partners have the expertise and technology to modernize BC’s forest industry and create new opportunities in communities like Fort St. James. Programs like the Indigenous Forest Bioeconomy Program and its new accelerator stream are helping fill a gap in the seed funding that companies like ours need to bring these new products to market.

Chief Aileen Prince, Nak’azdli Whut’en –

The joint venture with Deadwood Innovations is an example of our nation’s growing involvement in forestry in our traditional territories. Commercializing this technology will create more economic opportunities in our community and find new uses for waste, protecting our forests and wildlife for future generations.

Fast facts:

  • The province is investing nearly $4 million over three years to expand the existing Indigenous Forest Bioeconomy Program.
  • This includes a new acceleration stream offering additional support for projects in the pilot, commercialization or scale-up phase, helping to overcome barriers to Indigenous leadership in the sector.
  • Since 2019, the Indigenous Forest Bioeconomy Program has successfully completed 41 projects with 24 Indigenous communities and organizations across the province.

Learn more:

Learn more about Deadwood Innovations: (

Learn about other steps the BC government is taking to modernize the forest sector:

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