The Forest Around Us



Bill Moore

“Here Come The Loggers”

....There’s two summers and one winter ahead of us—and that has to be good for logger’s Sports. The axes will zero in on bulls-eyes, the power saws will be tuned up to a fare thee well, and the log birlers will try to keep dry. It’s the Provincial Industrial Sport of B.C., as proclaimed by the government, and it’s the showplace of the heritage of our loggers.
....I keep hearing of our industry looking for a better image for the public to view, and it makes me wonder. People project a true image. The sailor is the image of his navy—not a battleship. The movie star projects the image of film, not the picture—so why wouldn’t the logger best project the image of his forests. So come on you executives and public relations people—project this man and you tell a big story of the forests. It’s a pretty exciting story too. Camps, towns, and cities across Canada are arousing to the idea that because the forests of our country mean so much to us all—then it follows that the loggers of our forests can relate very easily to the crowds that turn out to watch them perform the arts of the forest.
....I really feel sorry for the executives who manage our forests when they get burdened down with the problems about them. Labor turnover, pollution, union-management negotiations, exp-ort markets, taxation and a host of other knotty problems of the forest industries (no pun intended!). Not that Logger’s sports can solve any of the above worries, but I put it plain and simple that Logger’s sports can give the people of our industry a pride they could well use. And to have a pride in champion loggers and the contestants that vie to break records is a very desirable thing for not only our executives but for the mothers, fathers and people of our industry.
....The management, work force and people of Woss Lake on Vancouver Island take a great pride in their

Loggers’ Sports Day in early June. And well they should. To see the sports amphitheatre this Canadian Forest Products camp has set up in the middle of a forest of tall Firs and Hemlocks, is to see the result of a real pride of achievement by a group of people dedicated to showing off their forest skills. Crowds of over two thousand people come to this logging community from all over Van-couver Island to cheer on their heroes. It’s the kind of family fun day that pays results for all. Management gains by the support it lends to the efforts. The work force gain by the knowledge they have given outsiders a look at themselves and their surroundings. And the public gain by being entertained in a forest around them.
....A tour of five of B.C.’s champion loggers will visit the Ontario forests and communities in June. Like the group that showed off its skills in Quebec last September, these men will put on shows from Toronto to the Lakehead. With this form of encouragement it is hoped that the newly formed Ontario Logger’s Sports Association will gain in their knowledge of how to conduct the sport and the type of competition they will face, when, in a few years east will meet west.
....Grande Prairie in Northern Alberta has now formed their first Logger’s sports Day—so it can be now said that

Logger’s Sports has gone national.
....In the United States, as in B.C., loggers have for years gathered in certain communities to compete, but the larger centers there knew next to nothing of the sport—now, however, the cities are coming alive to the roar of power saws and the flashing of axes. San Diego was the scene of a most successful demonstration of Log-ger’s Sports when Jube Wickheim took a group of loggers to that city for ten weeks last fall and played before thousands of people. Jube is now ready to open a show on the outskirts of Cleveland with about ten loggers from Canada, the U.S. and Australia. A large capacity grandstand has been built and the men of the woods will show off their stuff to the city dwellers of the east. There will certainly be further shows in large cities as the promoters know a crowd pleaser when they see one.
....For certain this summer will see more television time being devoted to the loggers and the press keep coming for stories and pictures of the action. Interest has been shown in Finland and it is hoped that a tour by our champions to that country’s forest regions can be accomplished before too long. Tasmania will host the World’s Chopping Competition at the end of December this year and the funds are now being raised for a B.C.

British Columbia Lumberman, June, 1973

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team of choppers to go to the games.
....So there, you executives of the forest industry and public relations men—with your worried brows—you say you are looking for a good public image of the forests. You feel the forest industry is misunderstood. You can’t seem to get your message over to the public. Why not try a very natural way? Why not enlist your company’s support in something the public already understands and likes about our forests. The contestants—your loggers—stand ready at the gun al over this country—and elsewhere to show that public—and our own industry, the most interesting aspect of the forest industry—its people and their skills.
....Oh—and by the way—it may be interesting to note that as you hire young forestry graduates from the British Columbia Institute of Technology—or the University of B.C.—these young men will have already been indoctrinated into the art of Logger’s Sports. I was pleased to be able to attend the first inter-collegiate Logger’s Sports Day held at the P.N.E. grounds in Vancouver last month. There were contestants from six different north western universities hosted by the Forest Club of B.C.I.T We were very impressed with their effort, and time and experience will put this classification of logger’s sports to a real crowd pleaser.
....So, again, you see gentlemen, the way the Hemlock bounces. Right at your doorstep. You can give it encouragement and backing and you will be the recipient of the thanks from your industry.
....Here’s a little quiz for forestry exe-cutives, and friends, allies and suppliers of the forest industry. Try it—
Question I
....Does your company encourage and back Logger’s Sports?
Question II
....Does your company allow time off for legitimate Canadian Logger’s Sports Association members to compete at authorized Logger’s Sports Days?
Question III
....Do you as an executive of this industry attend Logger’s Sports and do you encourage your staff to do so?
....If the answers to the above are all in the affirmative, you are “with it.” And the thanks of many thousands in this industry are sent your way—If the answers contain a negative you just don’t know what you and your company are missing. Get away from the confines of that cement pillar you work in and join the loggers—Try it—you’ll like it.
....Keep out of the bight,

British Columbia Lumberman, June, 1973