The Forest Around Us
‘Getting To Know You’
been fortunate in that I’ve been able to see quite a bit of Canada’s
forests. I’ve visited the Black Spruce country of Northern Quebec,
have traveled across the forests of Ontario and have seen most of the
treed areas of B.C. Certainly there are a lot of other places where
the forest economy is important — the Maritimes, New-foundland
and the northern areas of Alberta and Saskatchewan—and with a
little bit of luck I’ll get there some day.
only to the initiated—not to John Q. Public. Our daily newspapers are filled with the events of the cities but not often enough of the events of the backwoods.
....Chicoutimi, Hearst and Port Alberni are small cities in Canada that are dependent on the forest dollar. By proof, just have their mills close down or their forest workers on strike and see how long the local merchant can last with his line of credit. Canada has more small towns and small cities nearly totally dependent on the forest dollar than any other industry’s dollar. And with prolonged closures of our forest economy all our large cities will be deeply affected. Then the citizen knows that Canada has a forest. But what a heck of a way to have the point brought home.
....So what does this all lead to — to you the initiated. It leads to you doing something more than you are already doing if you want your city cousins to know you’ve got an industry you depend on — and that you damn well want them as city cousins to know about it.
....Promote forestry—just like you promote football or hockey or Little League Baseball. Just like you enjoy a home gathering barbecue, or a cocktail party, or a friendly beer in the pub—enjoy your industry for a change. Sure there’s lots to beef about—but we’re all only allowed one time round on this old planet—so if your life is in a forest enterprise turn some of those beefs around to some of the good things this forest gives us. And it does.
....Promote forestry while it’s on top—not when it hits the skids on a world depressed market. You won’t have time for it then because you’ll feel too gloomy. But promote it while the going is good for everyone. Get out and enjoy loggers sports at any one of
a hundred places across this land that are putting on demonstrations of our loggers skills. Sure the price of fences is high—too high—but remember you wanted and needed a bigger paycheck to get that new stereo or deep freeze and we’re all a part of the spiral. It will only stop when we all get ready to make it stop.
....Promote forestry. Go to your school where your son or daughter are being taught and find out what your kids are learning about forestry in grades four and five. If it’s as I have found, it’s not too much and some of what they learn is unfortunately out of date. If you find this so why not form a little forestry group of your own and see to it that within your limits your group takes some students and teachers for tours and explanations of how Canada’s forests are grown and har-vested. Arrange meetings with manage-ment and union leaders—with forest rangers or wildlife people. Mills will generally gladly open their gates for such tours. Promote forestry where it is needed—with our young people—for it’s them our forests will be run by some day.
....Maybe you’re in a rut yourself. Maybe you only see one side of the forest. Maybe you’re locked in on the educational side of forestry, or the logging side—or the mill side— or [whatever side] of the forest is really always open—you just have to find it. I think you’ll enjoy what you find and you’ll stand a good chance of climbing out of your rut.
....It’s the day of the great put down. We are all great critics, today. The media has taught us well. You just don’t satisfy people as much as you used to. I guess our affluence has brought us to this stage—and yet sometimes I find I eat those words. As an example—I watched a crowd of two thousand people at the Canadian
British Columbia Lumberman, October, 1974
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National Exhibition in Toronto this summer enjoying the skills of loggers as they performed at Logger’s Sports. They were city people but with a little explaining from an able announcer they caught right on to what the sport was all about. Here they are, in the heart of Canada’s number two city, watching, enjoying and cheering for the champion loggers as they axe-throw at the bulls-eye or buzz a chainsaw through a round of wood. I would say our loggers are really promoting forestry.
....Oh, but you say what little I could do wouldn’t mean all that to the promotion of my industry. Well then here’s a few examples for those who don’t happen to be able to hit the bulls eye or who don’t own a power saw.
Do like the Hoo Hoo Club does in Vancouver each August. Help put on
a downtown Logger’s Breakfast in one of your city’s main
streets. Get yourself out early one Saturday morning and join with your
colleagues and wives and cook flapjacks for the citizens of the city.
A few little demonstrations of Loggers Sports – a bit of lively
music and the whole town has a lot of fun. Thanks to fellows and gals
of the Hoo Hoo Club and men like Earl Wilcox who dive in and help –
Vancouver knows it has a forest industry – at least on one Saturday
Sports, or get some satisfaction by knowing you’ve shown a few young people and some teachers something about your industry by arranging tours and lectures.
....If you’re selling the products of the forest in a store or on the road – sell also the true image of our men of the forest and their skills. If you’re an executive of labour or management – drop your long face over negotiations for a day and join together to promote with dollars and “sense” and put some of that talent to work for the public of
Canada, that they might enjoy our industry. And of
course if you’re an advertising man or a public relations man
in this industry – forget about the great ingenious plan you have
for promotion of two by fours and promote our people. They need it.
........ Keep out of the bight,
|British Columbia Lumberman, October, 1974||