Voices of Vaagen: Dan Macmaster, Fibre Manager
Updated: Apr 21
At Vaagen Fibre Canada, we are proud of all the team members that dedicate their time to sustainable forestry, helping us build strong partnerships in the community that lead to remarkable projects. We amplify the voice of Dan Macmaster, Fibre Manager at Vaagen Fibre Canada.
Since the beginning of his career, Dan has been passionate about the natural environment. As a former high-school teacher, he taught students about outdoor education subjects like biology and ecology.
“I was a high-school teacher for 15 years in Ontario and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. I certainly enjoyed teaching; however, I was ready to try a different career.”
In 2009, Dan enrolled in university for the second time and started taking courses that would prepare him for the next step in his Forestry career. He would later start his Master's Degree in Sustainable Forest Management at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Back then, the forest industry was in an idle time. With a poor lumber market and the closing of many mills, Dan actually saw this as an opportunity to get into the field.
“I was looking for something that had different components. I didn’t want a job with only one specific duty. Working in forestry, I have the opportunity to engage with people, share ideas, learn about values, and make key decisions that so many people depend on.”
During his time at UBC, Dan had the opportunity to work with Vaagen on a project to create the land management plan of private land that Vaagen had purchased. Vaagen had just opened their mill in Midway, searching for Master’s students to work on a land profile to help determine the condition of the land. In 2013, after receiving his Master’s in Forestry, Dan was hired by Vaagen as a Forester.
“Vaagen was trying to figure out their forest management process and I was determined to work in a place where I could be involved in all aspects. It was challenging, but I was attracted to the area and wanted my family to be part of this very welcoming community.”
Today, Dan is the Fibre Manager at Vaagen Fibre Canada. In his role, he manages all forestry activities and procures logs for the sawmill. His involvement in the community is an essential part of Vaagen’s commitment to sustainable forestry. Dan believes in managing multiple objectives across the landscape, developing new and strong relationships with First Nations, and stabilizing local rural communities with employment and sustainable economic opportunities.
He is committed to Vaagen’s vision to make the mill an essential part of the greater picture for the community and a valuable asset in the region. Along with the West Boundary Community Forest (WBCF), the team is involved with local schools, inviting students to the mill and the community forest to learn about sustainability.
“I am proud of all our Vaagen employees and contractors. It's the hard-working people that create successes for Vaagen and I admire their skill and applaud their hard work.”
Dan Macmaster is Vaagen Fibre Canada’s Fibre Manager and Forest Manager for the West Boundary Community Forest and the Osoyoos Indian Band’s forestry licences. He graduated with his Master’s degree in Sustainable Forest Management from UBC and is active on numerous boards including the BC First Nations Forestry Council, BC Community Forest Association, Interior Lumber Manufacturing Association, and the Okanagan Nation Alliance’s forestry working group.