“Williams Lake was at ground zero of the mountain pine beetle that swept through the lodgepole pine stands of the Cariboo plateau, turning the surrounding hills the colour of rust. The beetle created a temporary rush to turn the timber into lumber before it deteriorated. But the collapse of the U.S. housing market killed much of the demand for lumber.
Many laid-off forest workers left for the oilpatch. The rustcoloured trees have turned grey in death. Now they blend in with the fir and aspen that remain alive, providing visual relief from the destruction, says Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook. And the loss of the U.S. market has been eased somewhat by China’s demand for lumber.”