Henry Ketcham, President and Chief Executive Officer of West Fraser Timber, is a visionary B.C. forest industry leader who gave up timber cutting rights to protect the world’s largest intact coastal temperate rainforest – the Kitlope.
The 317,000-hectare watershed on British Columbia’s central coast received permanent protection from logging and industrial development in 1994 in a trilateral agreement between the Haisla Nation, West Fraser Timber and the B.C. government. This agreement came on the heels of the West Fraser announcement that it would voluntarily relinquish all harvesting rights to the Kitlope valley.
The rugged terrain of the Kitlope – one half the size of Prince Edward Island – is home to a rich and abundant variety of wildlife, and trees of up to three metres in diameter and over 800 years of age. It is referred to as the “sacred site of the people of the rock” by the Haisla Nation, who consider the area their ancestral home.
Mr. Ketcham has been hailed for his leadership which allowed inclusion of the Kitlope in British Columbia’s protected areas – leaving a legacy for the citizens of the Province and the world.
A respected partner in B.C.’s premier industry, Henry Ketcham, was founder of the Forest Alliance of B.C., and former chair of the Council of Forest Industries.