Is there a tree in your economy?


lovely south island of New Zealand to the trees of B.C. to settle his family and to live by the tree. He’s not just a logger, he is a champion logger in the skills of Loggers Sports. Here in B.C. Loggers Sports is now a part of our forestry life. Towns and villages and logging camps throughout the province are now in the heat of battles for trophies to determine Canada’s best choppers, log birlers, tree climbers and power saw men.
....The young loggers that follow the trail of competition throughout this province typify the highest quality in today’s modern woodsman. They have found a new pride and a better reason than before to be a top logger. What’s in the economy of the tree for Ron Hartill? Just that he likes his work as a faller in the woods and the chance it gives him to compete with others like him for the honor of “The Greatest Logger of Them All: The Panicky Bell Award,” at the Pacific National Exhibition in late August in Vancouver. Ron’s life is a far less complicated one without the burdens of strikes and lockouts and poor economy. He likes those trees, he knows how to do his job and he’s the kind of guy these forests of Canada must have.
....Andy Smith is Regional District No.1’s Safety Director for the In-ternational Woodworkers of America. Andy has a home in Vancouver, but spends most of his time traveling to sawmills, logging camps, plywood mills and towns and cities by the dozen — halfway across Canada. Andy has been a boom-man, a logger,
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....Did you ever have the feeling you were being watched — like from in back of you somewhere? And you don’t know who’s watching, and you don’t know what they want? Well you are. You and all the rest of Canada are being well stared at these days and talked about too by other nations and peoples all over this globe. And you can’t blame them. Here we sit from Atlantic to Pacific to Arctic to the 49th, a big piece of high class real estate filled with a king’s ransom of nature’s commodities, and we bicker and squabble among ourselves over the goodies. Riots, strikes, walkouts, lock-outs and powerplays are the order of the day and while we perform these games of self destruction other people in other countries must look and wonder. Some are overpopulated, some need more food, and some lack nature’s resources.
....Among the resources we abound in is trees. The forests around us in Canada are the backbone of our economy, and not just here in British Columbia, but in many of our other provinces as well. How much do these trees mean to Canadians — across our land — “what is the tree in their economy?”
....The brothers Cecil and Louis Gibson own and operate a small effi-cient sawmill operation just north of North Bay, Ontario. They are active men who don’t mind getting their hands dirty. Their acres of well graded yard have been piled high during the winter with logs from what a westerner like myself would call “the Technicolor forest.” Red Pine, White Pine, Yellow Birch, Silver Birch, White Oak and Red Oak and so on — about 20 varieties of Ontario’s trees. They were ready to begin sawing their neatly stacked piles of sorted and graded logs in early May when I was there and they were hoping for good markets.


....They are not without their problems. Break-up time when the vehicles bog down, and thinned out forests where the prime trees were high-graded at the expense of the remaining trees. A fire that burned their mill down a year ago and which is since rebuilt with sweat and care. Louis and Cecil know about troubles. But they look at the forest situation with high hopes and the concern of a good operator. The tree in the Gibson’s economy is their living — they know it and they work for it. A couple of pretty handy Canadians to have in our land.
....Vic Hearth is the head of the forestry school at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. This fine school is a credit to the instruction of practical learning of industrial and manufacturing life in Canada. To this forestry part of the school come young men, and a few of the smarter sex too, and take a two year course in logging, engineering and other forestry options. The school turns out a graduate student ready to look at forestry with a very practical eye. Vic Heath opened the forestry school some years ago and is deeply involved in the economy of the tree in Canada. His hours of research, writing, instruction and looking for support are long.
....He’s not just an academic man but has used his hands to build sawmills in the north, run logging outfits and scan the scene of over-all forestry. What’s in the economy of the tree for Vic Heath? Just the responsibility of seeing that this forest industry gets a continual supply of good intelligent and qualified people to run its business. You may say he has his problems in worrying about the unrest he sees about him. But he’s one of the most enthusiastic for-estry men this country has going for it.
....Ron Hartill is a logger. He lives at Sooke on southern Vancouver Island. He’s big, he’s tall and he can handle a power saw in the forest as if it were a part of his body. Ron came from the

British Columbia Lumberman, June, 1972  

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BILL MOORE’S COMMENT Continued from 17  

a mill man. He has worked at IWA union affairs in a variety of respon-sibilities from shop steward to local president. He is now and has been for many years the IWA’s top safety man.
....Andy Smith draws respect wherever he goes in labor or management fields. He speaks a simple truth to the working force – “use common sense” and “you are your brother’s keeper.” He knows from a lifetime of dedication to sensible working habits that a forest worker does not have to be the victim of the multitude of traps and snags that await the unwary in the woods or the unmindful in the mill. This man has meant a lot to Canadian loggers and mill men and this forest industry could not have done without his special talents.
....There are others, of course, from Victoria to Gander. Men who have followed and worked at this great natural forest resource of Canada’s. From Presidents to Woodsmen they take their place in the economy of the tree. Vic Heath, Cecil Gibson, Ron Hartill, and Andy smith would not care to be known as so called Cana-dian flagwavers. They are men who ..


daily go about their work across the country, always giving their best and always hopeful of the future.
....The picture in British Columbia looks anything but good on the labor -management scene. The storm warnings are up and the stakes at the bargaining tables are big. A few men in the vast numbers of our forestry society hold the answers. How these answers will work out will possibly be known to the reader by the time he passes over these words. Let us hope that there is a solution to the problem. For the problem is bigger than the few players.
....The real answer — the one that will really tell whether we in this country can be looked on by the watchers of other lands, lies in the hands of the thousands of men like the four men of whom I have written. They are what makes the future of this great industry a certainty come what may. For those thousands — not the few — will continue to use their talents to overcome any rudimentary problems in this forest around us in Canada.


Keep out of the bight,

British Columbia Lumberman, June, 1972