Dunkley Lumber Ltd. was established by Bill Dunkley in Strathnaver, British Columbia in 1951. What began as a small planing operation quickly expanded, with the extension of the rail line beyond the mill site and the Dunkley family’s investment in sawmilling facilities.
Bill and his brothers and sisters put the foundations of the future in place, based on focused business practices, a strong connection to the land, and their belief in family, hard work and commitment to their employees.
Growth came through acquisitions of other operations through the 50s and early 60s. A mill redesign and modernization beginning in 1964 allowed the company to keep pace with an industry in transition through the late 60s and 70s.
The Dunkley legacy lived on in the name. But the business changed hands in 1977 when brothers Tony, Joe, Henry and Max Novak acquired the company.
Already a successful logging family from the region, the Novaks were schooled in the same work ethic as the Dunkleys. Turning their attention and business smarts to the sawmilling industry, the Novak brothers proceeded to make significant investments in modernization at the Dunkley facility.
They started by replacing the small log sawmilling line in 1980. That was followed by the replacement of the large log line in 1985 and further optimization of the small log line. A new planer facility was completed in 1989.
The modernization program continued through the 90s, with the replacement of the log bucking and log debarking areas of the sawmill, upgrades to the chip-n-saw and canter, and optimization of scanning technology to improve fibre recovery and increase mill efficiency.
The Novaks recognized early on that future success would rely on product integration and full fibre optimization. So they began improving residual recovery and sorting processes, added precision end trimming and trim block retrieval, and expanded drying capacity and efficiency.
Dunkley Lumber doubled its sawmilling capacity in 2004 with the completion of two additional small log lines. Efficiency was also increased with the addition of more dry kilns and expanded and paved lumber yards.
A significant expansion of the planer mill was completed in 2008. A fully automated lumber grading system was installed, along with additional trimsaws, a second sorting system, autostacker, banding and paperwrapping stations.
True whole-log utilization arrived in 2009 with the shutdown of the beehive burner and the implementation of a hogging system. Residuals are now separated, sorted and used for energy production, and to supply fibre for the pulp and paper, bio-energy and wood pellet industries.
In early 2019, Dunkley acquired two sawmill/planermill operations – Foothills Forest Products, located in Grande Cache, Alberta and Edgewood Forest Products, located in Carrot River, Saskatchewan. Dunkley is very proud and excited to welcome these operations to the family. We look forward to working with all of the new folks to make our Company and everyone we work with successful.
Interested in a career with purpose in a location that offers an unparalleled quality of life?
Interested in finding out more about the products we make?
Interested in how we manage our forests for future generations?
Environmental mission and strategy (ESG)
As a family-owned company, Dunkley Lumber Ltd. considers stewardship of the forests under our management to be one of our primary responsibilities.
We believe the forests should be healthy and productive for generations to come. By retaining a positive environmental balance, the forest will continue to provide economic and social benefits for our company, our employees and our communities.
Our forest management practices reflect this belief.
Dunkley manages Tree Farm Licence # 53, an area based tenure, as well as two volume based forest licenses in the Prince George Timber Supply Area. Dunkley is also proud to help co-manage the forest management activities of both the Aleza Lake Research Forest associated with the University of Northern British Columbia, and the College of New Caledonia Research Forest. The research forests are area based forest tenures also located in the Prince George Timber Supply Area. All of the forest tenures that Dunkley manages consist of government owned land where the right to harvest and manage the forest resources are granted to the tenure holder by the province of British Columbia.
In addition to containing some of the finest stands of timber in the British Columbia interior, an abundant variety of flora and fauna thrives within the forest tenures that Dunkley manages. Biodiversity of the land base is key to sustainability, and we strive to ensure that all aspects of our forest management promote a healthy environment.
The forests under Dunkley’s management are a resource shared with the people of British Columbia. As public land, the areas are open and accessible for a wide variety of uses. Therefore, our management goes far beyond its value as a timber resource, and extends to integrate range, recreation, fish and wildlife activities. By integrating non-commercial forest activities, we believe we are helping to enhance the overall use and enjoyment of the area by all.
In addition to tenure volume, Dunkley purchase a significant portion of the fiber needed to supply the sawmill. The purchase volume includes wood from other Sustainable Forest Management certified organizations, including other forest companies and British Columbia Timber Sales. Dunkley also purchases wood from non-certified sources including, for example, woodlots, community forests and First Nations.
Dunkley is a participating member in the Western Canada Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee (WCSIC). The WCSIC has developed programs to promote and assist in the implementation of sustainable forest management practices within the purchase wood program.
Our commitment to the economic and environmental sustainability of TFL 53 is demonstrated by our Environmental Policy and our adherence to the rigorous certification standards of the Sustainable Forest Initiative program.