Forestry had a good showing at the 7th Annual BC Aboriginal Business Awards last month which is good news for the whole sector. Lincoln Douglas accepted the Business of the Year – 10 or more person enterprise award for his company, K & L Contracting/Links Contracting. Quatern Limited Partnership, a logging company co-owned by Quatsino First Nation and Western Forest Products, accepted the Joint Venture of the Year award.
“The TLA recognizes the rights and title of First Nations and our members are working to build mutually beneficial partnerships,” said David Elstone, TLA Executive Director. “So these awards highlighting First Nations successfully building forestry business are inspiring. In fact, one company— K & L Contracting/Links Contracting—is a TLA member.”
Cathryn Wilson, Executive Director of the BC Achievement Foundation that presents the annual awards, said both K & L Contracting and Quatern were selected by an independent panel of judges representing Aboriginal business expertise throughout the province.
“The jury was looking for successful and sustainable businesses that exemplified good corporate citizenship,” said Wilson. “Each of the recipients demonstrated accomplishments in both social and environmental responsibility along with positive employee relations.”

More about K & L Contracting/Links Contracting

Douglas started his company in October 1998. “One of our first contracts was supplying equipment to manage the Cheam landfill,” said Douglas. Soon he diversified into the gravel business and in 2012 branched out into forestry—Douglas’ father and grandfather both worked in logging so he has history with the industry.

“In 2012 we started doing clearing for BC Hydro’s Interior-Lower Mainland (ILM) power line,” said Douglas. Now K & L Contracting/Links Contracting does full phase logging—using high lead cable logging technology—for Aspen Planers in Boston Bar, Merritt and Lillooet. But the company is still headquartered in Rosedale where Douglas lives with his family.

“I’m proud to see a TLA member honoured in this way,” said David Elstone, TLA Executive Director. “BC’s forest industry needs to attract a new generation of workers into the woods and Lincoln’s business award is evidence of that success. He’s creating jobs within the working forests that support his community and the local economy.”

Douglas currently employs 50-60 people, half who are First Nations. “We hire a lot of young people—both First Nation and non-First Nation—and give them a chance to develop their skills and get some work experience.” Douglas understands the importance of supporting the next generation. He was Chief of the Cheam First Nation from 2009 to 2013, during which time he worked to support youth.

More about Quatern Limited Partnership

“Annually Quatern harvests 60,000 m3—30,000 m3 from Western’s tenure and the same again from Quatsino First Nation’s tenure,” said Robert Duncan, one of Quatern’s six board members and the Economic Development Officer for Quatsino. “We’ve been profitable every year and so we’ve been able to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into our local community projects.”

Quatsino Forestry, a separate forestry company run by the Quatsino First Nation, is a member of The Truck Loggers Association (TLA). “I’m encouraged to see the Quatsino First Nation diversifying their forestry business,” said David Elstone, TLA Executive Director. “The TLA understands that working cooperatively with First Nations will strengthen the forest industry in British Columbia and several TLA member companies are First Nations owned.”