Qualicum Beach

It’s well known that Qualicum Beach is a renowned lifestyle destination. But the beaches and charming boutiques aren’t the entire story – this community of 8,500 people is also a center of sustainable coastal forestry.

qualicum-beach

“Where the Dog Salmon Run”

On Vancouver Island’s coast at the mouth of the Qualicum River, Qualicum Beach enjoys an abundance of natural resources. Before European settlement, local First Nations peoples would travel to the area to fish, hunt, pick berries, and dig for clams – a legacy reflected in the city’s name: Qualicum is a Pentlach word that translates to “Where the Dog Salmon Run.”

Today, Qualicum Beach attracts thousands of visitors per year to enjoy the same lush environment and village town center; in fact, it’s a top destination for so many retirees that the city has the oldest average age in Canada. Restaurants, cafes, boutiques, parks, and golf courses are packed with locals and tourists alike, all enjoying what BC’s coast has to offer – and the amenities go hand-in-hand with the economic opportunity provided by local forests.

Anchoring Jobs and Opportunity

As with neighbouring Parksville, Qualicum Beach today is still home to the logging industry that powered the region’s economy from the early 20th century.  Island Timberlands harvests 2nd-growth timber on 25 hectares between the Hamilton Marsh and the Inland Highway. Island Timberlands takes pride in enabling public access to their lands (outside areas being actively harvested), and in helping facilitate the annual Brant Wildlife Festival – a celebration of Vancouver Island coastal wildlife.

Coastal BC communities are home to dozens of wood manufacturing businesses, putting British Columbians to work exporting value-added products around the world. Qualicum Beach is no different.

Long Hoh Enterprises expanded from Taiwan to Qualicum Beach in 1998, opening a 2nd on-site mill in 2001. Today, its two mills produce wood for traditional Japanese architecture, conventional timber framing, and finishings. The abundance of high-quality timber in the region allows Long Hoh to manufacture products at elite standards, even supplying specialty timber for elaborate Shinto temples. It directly employs around 60 people, and is currently constructing a planar mill.

Planting a Record

History was made in 2015, when Island Timberlands helped set the tree planting world record at Qualicum Beach as part of a continent-wide initiative that spanned from Qualicum Beach to New York. In just 1 hour, teams of 25 to 100 volunteers planted over 200,000 trees, vastly surpassing the earlier record of 52,598.

The event was organized by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), a non-profit that promotes sustainable forest management through research, conservation partnerships, and community building. Part of its mandate is the certification of forestry businesses that conduct their operations in accordance with best sustainability practices – and it’s a certification that Island Timberlands proudly maintains.

About the Forestry Friendly Communities BC Program

Learn more

Forestry Friendly Communities was started in 2016 as a way to celebrate the proud history and rich future of BC’s coast forest sector.  The term “Forestry Friendly” is intended to recognize pride in, and an ongoing commitment to BC’s forestry sector. In fact, the forest sector supports 1 in 16 jobs in BC. It also contributes $12.4 billion to the provincial GDP and injects $2.5 billion in taxes and fees to the three levels of government.

For more than a century, the forest sector has fueled our coastal economy and shaped our communities. Today, people and businesses across BC’s coastal region depend on transportation networks and other services developed for our forest sector. Families are able to earn a living while enjoying a unique West Coast lifestyle.

Forestry Friendly Communities is proudly brought to you by Coast Forest Products Association, the Truck Loggers Association, and their members.