Seinen family woodlot receives 2023 Minister’s Award

Jon Seinen, W0126, of Houston, BC is the 2023 recipient of the Minister’s Award for Innovation and Excellence in Woodlot Management. 

Seinen was presented with a signed certificate and a $10,000 grant at the 2023 Woodlots Conference and AGM on October 28, 2023, in ʔaq̓am near Cranbrook.

“The Seinen family has been managing woodlot 126 since 1981,” said Mark Clark, president, Federation of BC Woodlot Associations. “Jon took over the role from his father in 2010 and has worked through the mountain pine beetle epidemic and now through adjacent wildfires. Jon’s story is an excellent example of the hands-on resilience that woodlotters use every day in managing their operations and it demonstrates that the forests are in good hands.”

Seinen stands out as both a leader in the forest industry and in his community. He is president of the Nadina Woodlot Association and a former director of the Federation of British Columbia Woodlot Associations. Seinen has a strong sense of social license and education, often inviting school and youth groups to the woodlot to learn about forestry, and handing out tree seedlings at the end of each tree-planting season.

Gord Chipman, General Manager of the Federation of BC Woodlot Associations, and Patrick Russell, Forest Tenures Branch (Ministry of Forests) were on hand to present the award package, which included a custom carved tree made of cedar driftwood.

In his acceptance speech, Seinen recounted his beginnings in the logging industry as a young man in his 20s with his first Cat line skidder, and the transition into fully managing the family woodlot. 

“I’ve been coming to these provincial meetings for more than 10 years now and a lot of you are always here. It constantly amazes me to be surrounded by so many extremely capable and passionate people who have inspired me in countless ways,” said Seinen.

“It was during my first Federation AGM I attended where I met woodlot licensee Wilf Chelle. Wilf was also a Life Member of the Federation who passed away a few years ago. At that time, he was the oldest person there, and I was the youngest. Lucky for me we got to have dinner together twice. In that short time together, he did an amazing job introducing me to the woodlot program.”

This year represents a change in the award with only one provincial woodlot award, instead of three recipients as in previous years. In 2022, the awards were given to the Carter family (Coast and provincial overall), Del Williams and Mike Cummings (South) and Cliff Manning (North). The award program was introduced at the AGM in Quesnel, September 2010.

Woodlot licensees and forestry stakeholders from across the province gathered in ʔaq̓am from October 26-28, at St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino for the annual joint conference of the Federation of BC Woodlot Associations and the Woodlot Product Development Council.

Read the news release here

View all past award recipients here

Categories: All News, Awards

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