The Forest Around Us



Bill Moore

‘Getting To Know You’

....I’ve 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.
....I’m sure the average city in our many cities does not realize the vastness of these forests—nor the role they play in the everyday dollars and “sense” living of so many people. The people in downtown Montreal, if asked, would say—“Oh, yes, the forests, well, if there’s so much forest why do I pay so much for a bit of lumber for my rec room or my new fence?” In Halifax at the dockside great quantities of forest products from pulp to lumber are being shipped each day, but I’ll bet you that most citizens in the same city—or Vancouver for that matter—are not really conscious of it. Who cares if the trees are fifty percent of the B.C. economy, as long as the traffic isn’t too heavy on the Lions Gate Bridge at 5 pm. The citizen has something else on his mind — That’s Life!
....We are all locked into our own worlds and with the pressures of modern living there is just not enough time to think or worry about some other fellow’s problem or some other industry’s problems. Oh yes, the citizens read the headlines of great forest fires in northern Quebec or of a big labor strike in B.—but they don’t, or hardly ever read of the day to day happenings of the thousands of people working in Canada’s forests. Periodicals such as the B.C. Lumber-man and many other good ones, speak

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

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - (. page break )

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.

Simple Start

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 in August.
....Or take Earl Craig of North Bay, Ontario. This fellow’s a busy man for the Ontario Forest Industry Accident Association and yet he finds time to promote loggers sports in his business, knowing that a safe logger is a man who respects skill, sharp tools and has a competitive spirit. Earl saw to it that five Ontario loggers came down to the C.N.E. Loggers show in Toronto and for the first time ever joined with the loggers from B.C. in competition. No, they did not beat the B.C. men, but that was not the game. The game was to get something started in Ontario that might develop in the years to come. Marcel Bois of Thunder Bay was the top Ontario logger at the show and I’ve never seen a better expel of promoting an industry than Marcel showed to his Ontario citizens. Keep plugging Earl.
....If you’re a logger or a millman get out and enjoy your industry at Loggers

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.
....Get to know that other side of this forest around us – you’ll like it.

........ Keep out of the bight,

British Columbia Lumberman, October, 1974