About the Woodlot Product Development Council (WPDC)


About the WPDC

The Woodlot Product Development Council (WPDC) was established in 1997 following a vote by woodlot licensees in support of forming the Council. Corky Evans, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food at the time, appointed the executive of the Council in October 1997.

Today the WPDC represents approximately 841 woodlot licensees in BC and operates at Woodlots BC.

WPDC Development Plan 1997
2018 – 2023 WPDC Strategic Plan

The WPDC’s Purpose

The primary purpose of the Council is to promote a positive image of the woodlot industry and its products throughout the province. The Council educates both the general public and buyers about the woodlot industry and the benefits of woodlots and small-scale woodlot management; and initiate and/or support research and extension programs for the development and enhancement of the woodlot industry in the province.

The Council provides support for programs and activities that simplify administrative procedures and regulations for woodlot licensees and enhance the woodlot industry.

The Council collects and administers a $0.25/m3 levy on Crown timber from each woodlot licensee under the authority granted under the Farming and Fishing Industries Development Act.

Although the Council is a separate and distinct organization, it works in direct association with the Federation of BC Woodlot Associations to provide support for goals and initiatives for all woodlot licensees in the province. All registered holders of a woodlot licence are members of the Woodlot Product Development Council.

WPDC Board of Directors

Current WPDC Board of Directors are:

President: Kevin Webber

Vice President: Mark Clark

Secretary-Treasurer: Samantha Carter

Director: Dean Daly 

Director: Ken Dodd

Director: Lee Pond

Director: Gernot Zemanek

Non-Voting Director: Lisa Zabek, Ministry of Agriculture and Foods


Annual General Meetings

WPDC 2022/23 Annual Report
WPDC 2021/22 Annual Report
WPDC 2020/21 Annual Report
WPDC 2019/20 Annual Report

Annual reports prior to 2019/20 are available upon request.

Our Next Level of Success – Woodlot Business Development

Report – The Next Level of Success
Next Level Project Closure Report May 2013

The point of contact for this project is the WPDC coordinator, Cathy McClary.

2018-2023 WPDC Strategic Plan

You can view the 2018-2023 WPDC Strategic Plan document here:
WPDC Strategic Plan

In March 1997, the Woodlot Licensees of BC passed a plebiscite by a vote of 78% in support of developing a Council to collect and administer 25 cents per cubic meter of Annual Allowable Cut (AAC) from each licensee. The Council was established in January 1998 and developed a Memorandum of Understanding cementing a strong working agreement between the Federation of British Columbia Woodlot Associations and the Council. The purpose of the Council is to provide financial support for Woodlot Licensee initiatives in the Province of BC.

The levy is the only sustainable fund for woodlot licensees in BC. It supports work on stumpage appraisal issues, streamlining administration and communications.

Annually, a questionnaire is sent out to all woodlot licensees in the province, asking for input and direction as to how to prioritize spending of the levy money. The survey results are presented to the directors of the Council and the Federation of BC Woodlot Associations. A joint steering committee, with representatives from the FBCWA and the WPDC, develops an annual work plan and budget.

The Woodlot Product Development Council Levy Direct Benefits to Woodlot Licensees

Seven volunteer directors who are all woodlot licensees administer the fund. To ensure that the Board of Directors is composed of members representing all areas of the province, Council seeks directors from each of the six old Forest regions and a director from the Peace. The forest regions are Cariboo, Kamloops, Nelson, Prince George, Prince Rupert and Vancouver. In addition, two staff personnel from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Forests provide supportive advice to the Board. A paid coordinator provides support to the volunteer executive of the WPDC, the FBCWA, and all woodlot licensees.

It is important to recognize that for years, the FBCWA has been functioning on the hard work and dedication of some very committed volunteers. As with any volunteer group, the desire, dedication and mostly the energy of those people is limited due to other commitments for their time.

With the growing size of the Woodlot program (850+ licensees), increased regulations and bureaucracy, and a decreasing Federation bank account balance, it became very clear that a means to remove the burden on the volunteers was required.

In order to ensure that woodlot licensees have a strong and united voice in the province, and a more effective means of getting things done, the fund was established. The funds provide financial support to identified areas that are crucial to the viability of woodlot management in BC.

There have been a number of changes to the organizational structure of the Woodlot Product Development Council (WPDC) over the years.

Originally when the WPDC was formed in 1998, the Board of Directors was comprised of eight voting directors, six selected from the woodlot licensees, one appointed member from the processing sector and one appointed from the government. There was also an appointed non-voting government liaison. The position of the appointed member from the processing sector has been vacant for a number of years.

In April 2003, government made a decision as follows. “Cabinet has decided that government will no longer make appointments to most agencies, including industry development councils.” What this means to the WPDC is that government representatives are no longer officially appointed to the Council. However government has continued supporting the WPDC in a non-voting capacity by having a representative attend their meetings. As a result Council decided to add one more woodlot licensee as a voting member to the Board of Directors.

To ensure that the Board is composed of members representing all areas of the province, Council has decided to include directors from each of the six old Forest Region boundaries and a director for the Peace. The Forest Regions are Cariboo, Kamloops, Nelson, Prince George, Prince Rupert and Vancouver.

Each directorship is for a two-year term. In any one year, half of the directorships will be filled and half will remain, ensuring continuity from year to year.

The primary purpose of the Council is to ensure that levy funds are spent on woodlot licensee priorities that will benefit and promote the woodlot industry throughout the province of British Columbia. Funds are collected through the powers granted to the Council under the Farming and Fishing Industries Development Act.

The Council Board is always looking for woodlot licensees to provide leadership to the executive management team of the WPDC in meeting the Council’s mandate.

The next call for nominations will be prior to the next AGM.

WPDC Project Proposals

About Extraordinary Project Proposals

For the 2017-18 fiscal year, the Board of Directors for the Woodlot Product Development Council (WPDC) is commencing a pilot initiative to allocate funds to Extraordinary Projects that are not included in the joint work plan with the Federation of BC Woodlot Associations (FBCWA). Eligible proponents must be one of the following: Woodlot Licensee, Woodlot Association, WPDC Board of Directors or FBCWA Board of Directors. The total amount allotted is $100,000. Initial intake for submitting applications began November 1st with no cut-off deadline for the pilot year. After the first intake of November 1, 2017, applications will continue to be received until the end of the fiscal year. In the event of competing proposals, the Board will assign the highest priority to Provincial projects that benefit the most woodlot licensees, a medium priority for regional and a lower priority for association level projects.

For more information, please contact WPDC Coordinator Cathy McClary.

Extraordinary Project Proposals

Completed Projects

PDFs Accompanying the Guide

AGM Advisory Resolution Form

WPDC Resolution Form
WPDC Resolution Guidelines

More Information

For more information on the Council contact hello@woodlot.bc.ca

About the FBCWA

The Federation of BC Woodlot Associations (FBCWA) is a non-profit society established in 1988 to represent the interests of woodlot licensees and woodlot owners throughout BC. The Federation is the umbrella organization for BC’s 17 Woodlot Associations whose membership are united in an effort to achieve exemplary forest and natural resource management.

Our membership plays an important role in rural British Columbia. Woodlot operators contribute stability and leadership within their communities, create local employment, produce a wide variety of products from the forest, offer environmental protection, and generate additional landscape values from the pride they take in their operations.

The FBCWA supports its members and woodlot licensees through meetings, field trips, extension services, and conferences as well as works with all levels of government to ensure public forest policy is relative to small-scale forest management.

The FBCWA has also supported education through scholarships since 2001 by awarding two scholarships each year.

FBCWA Scholarship Recipients 2001-2022

The FBCWA’s Mission

The FBCWA promotes the economic and social interests of woodlot licensees, woodlot owners and others involved in small-scale forest management in British Columbia. The FBCWA’s mission is for all woodlot licensees and woodlot owners to practice exemplary forest and natural resources management in a socially, economically and environmentally responsible manner.

The FBCWA’s Guiding Principles

The FBCWA subscribes to the following principles and values:

  • Excellent stewardship of the forests and natural resources.
  • Ecological sustainability.
  • Economic viability and prosperity that contributes to and supports communities.
  • Continuous improvement and innovative forest management.
  • Transfer of knowledge and skills through training, education and extension.
  • Multi-generational family involvement in forestry.
  • Opportunity for individuals to manage forest lands.
  • Safe workplaces and environments.
  • Fair and just treaty settlements.
  • Fair tenure governance and administration.
  • Recognition of crown tenure holder and private landowner’s rights.
  • Diverse and competitive markets for woodlot products.
  • Increased public awareness and understanding of woodlot licenses and woodlots.
  • Good governance

Historical Resources

An Oral History of Woodlots

In October 2023, David Brownstein interviewed Brian McNaughton, woodlot licensee and former FBCWA General Manager, in Williams Lake, about his decades in the British Columbia forest industry. Included are two different versions of our conversation. The first is the full 1h 23min account. While the second file is a shortened version, with a focus on woodlot licences, at 39 minutes. The interviews are also posted on the Forest History Association of British Columbia’s website.

The Brian McNaughton full version:

The shortened “woodlotters” version:

Forest Life
Forest Life: British Columbia Woodlots (Wim Tewinkel, 2009) coffee table book showcases BC’s woodlots, woodlot licensees and their families. To order a copy, contact hello@woodlot.bc.ca

The Federator
The Federator: The Federation Celebrates 25 Years (September 2012)

Ten Rings
Ten Rings: The First Decade of the Federation of BC Woodlot Associations (September 1988)