A family known for their longtime work managing woodlots in the Powell River area have received provincial honours.
Ron and Doug Fuller received awards at the Federation of BC Woodlot Associations annual general meeting in Kelowna on Saturday, October 3 for their commitment to managing two woodlots near Hammil Lake and Duck Lake. The area is comprised of approximately 1,000 hectares of crown land and 244 hectares of private land.
“We weren’t expecting it, so it was quite a nice surprise and honour to be chosen as the top woodlot owners in the province,” said Ron, who accepted the award on behalf of himself and the vacationing Doug.
The Fullers received a total of $5,000 for two Ministers’ Awards for Innovation and Excellence in Woodlot Management, one for the coast area, which they were aware of in advance, and another for the province overall. The awards recognize the family’s 30-year commitment to forest stewardship since the brothers’ now-deceased father, Garry Fuller, received his first woodlot license in 1986. Garry died in 2007 at the age of 71.
“Dad would have been very happy and thrilled with the award. There’s no doubt he would have been a very proud man,” said Ron.
The Fullers’ woodlots support a variety of uses, including commercial use, such as cedar and fir pole production, and recreation use, such as horseback and quad riding and mushroom picking.
The provincial government funds the annual woodlot awards, which are administered by Federation of BC Woodlot Associations.
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson presented the award to Ron and complimented the brothers on their work in the Powell River region.
“Ron and Doug Fuller have led the way in building a viable, thriving business without compromising forest stewardship values,” said Thomson in a press release. “For 30 years, the Fuller family has been a positive force in Powell River and in the woodlot community throughout the province.”
Ron said he has not had a chance to speak to his brother Doug since receiving the awards, but he looks forward to Doug’s return from vacation and a modest but necessary family celebration.
“I don’t think it will be a big thing,” laughed Ron. “We’ll probably just take our wives out for dinner, but we’ll definitely do something to celebrate.”
Ron attended the woodlot annual general meeting and convention with his wife, Laurie. He hadn’t been to one of the woodlot federation’s gatherings for several years and said he enjoyed the experience immensely.
“It was an eye-opener for all the work the federation does for each and every woodlot owner in BC,” he said.
BC has over 860 active woodlots that generate approximately $200 million in economic activity every year. The annual awards recognize and acknowledge woodlot managers’ support of innovation and professional development in the industry.
“Forestry is in our blood, we were born and raised into it, so I feel very privileged and I really enjoy what we do,” said Ron. “I also enjoy other people being able to enjoy the forests around us and it’s provided our family with a really good living over the years. I feel blessed, honoured, thankful... and all the above.”