........Comment by Bill Moore

...The forest around us

Support your
Local logger

....We are asked to support all types and sizes of organizations, nationalistic endeavors and theories these days. Somebody gets an idea and they turn to the community or the country or the world for help to make their idea work.
....The health field is a good example. “Support the Heart Fund” or “Support the Red Feather Campaign.” Excellent organizations and certainly worthy of the public’s backing.
....Then there’s the real heavies like “Support the United Nations” or “Support world Women’s Rights.” Well now, if you think for one minute I’m going to buck them you’re crazy. They’re just too big for this lad.
....But then who’s really against “Supportin” – all those wonderful bumper sticker causes and Little League Grass Hockey and Girl’s Volleyball. They’re all great if you’re the one looking for support.
....Now then, all this leads up to what I consider to be a very long overdue campaign to “Support your Local Logger.” Hold it! Before you start sending contributions by the millions in to this magazine, please be informed that we are asking for no dollars, cents or marks. Just your feelings, man – Just your feelings! And inflation has
not hit this commodity yet.
....I am not going to rattle on about the poor downtrodden logger. Nor am I calling for student riots on behalf of his never ending struggles to make a buck. (Just a minute – that may not be too bad an idea – no, it won’t work. I know one or two who still drive Cadillacs.) We shall just not get into the realm of the poor beleaguered logger.
....Instead, we shall discuss the poor beleaguered public’s view of modern day loggers. And that view has been formed by such things as silly motion pictures, media coverage of salmon streams versus logging, the profit pic-ture mystique of large forest corpor-ations, union-management’s continuous bargaining table warfare and ever exposed stories of the loggers’ wild nights on the town. There are other views that have distorted the public’s picture of the logger – but the above will work for starters.
....It’s what the public relations boys on the fifty-first floor would call – a poor image. An d these good lads too often find themselves plugging holes in the dyke after the fact instead of being given the time to really show the industry off for what it is. And that is, folks, one of the best peopled indus-
tries in North America and an industry that is in need of a better and proper image in the eyes of the public.
....Why? Why does this industry need this public support? Because of the times my friends, because of the times. You see, away back in the good old days there were different times. There was no unemployment insurance, so the logger stayed on the job – maybe longer than he should have, for logging is a tiring job. The boss was the boss – no criticism or down the road you went. “Hey - you and you – take a partner and pick up your time at the office.” No more dear friends, no more.
....Salmon streams – lots of them were dirtied by logging debris, and many loggers had only one release after six months in a lonely inlet bunkhouse – good old $25 rye from a bootlegger. Times were different. Hell, the companies didn’t know what a public relations man was – who needed them anyway!
....Well we’ve changed – as all things change – and I believe that, apart from the very real problem of high costs, the change in how we log and conduct l or ourselves has been better handled here in B.C. than in our neighbors’ to the north, Alaska, or to the south in the
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British Columbia Lumberman, February, 1977

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While our guidelines have been tough and while we have had our hands full of environmental issues, it would seem we have fared better as an industry than have our neighbors. The environmental issues lay more heavily on the minds of loggers in Alaska and California than do the problems of actual logging. It seems an obsession in those places and great bitterness exists.

Here in British Columbia, while the issues are strong, we seem to have weathered the environmental impact with a bit more calm. This must be to the credit of many sources without naming any. Let’s just say it is to the credit of calmer minds that prevailed. We’ll keep it that way I hope.

Logging takes place in outlying com-munities – well, where the heck can you find any logs on Burrard St. and Georgia in Vancouver except for those nice cedar logs in the beautiful Timber Club of the Vancouver Hilton Hotel! So, as logging takes place in the outback, we find that the logging companies, large or small, show a great interest in the hundreds of communities they are attached to.

Does anybody (meaning the city public) ever stop to consider what loggers do to help their communities in their daily progress? Somebody wants a ball park – get the local logging company to loan its cat or grader on a weekend! The Boy Scouts need a new clubhouse – ask the local lumberyard for some free lumber. The taxes paid by local logging companies go a long way to help local municipalities.
Local logging companies are a part of so many communities and in a great many cases are the predominant part of the local economy. Port Alberni is a good example of a fair sized town nearly dependent on the economy of one company. Prince George is another –and there are many in B.C. and in all parts of Canada.
It is the shame of our times that the problems of management and labor have to, every so often, culminate in work stoppages. These things harm the local scene in small communities far worse than is noticed in the bigger cities. I suppose someday in the future people will look back and wonder what the devil was wrong with our society that we couldn’t find ways of settling things without work stoppages. But, that’s life! At the present at least.


.... The environmental issues, for all the good they have done, have possibly presented the public with a far worse image of the logging industry than did the tough times of the hungry thirties. It seems a more moderate image is now emerging as the companies go along with environmental improvements and as the environmental people realize that plain economics will just not allow a perfect world.
....So much is yet to be done to make this industry a better industry – but it appears that here in B.C. we are giving it a good try. And a “Support Your local Logger” campaign is certainly not out of order.

....So come on you quiet citizens who depend so much on this industry – get out your banners and badges, start up a “Support Your Local Logger” week. Run some contests in the schools on how to do it. Get the public to understand this industry better. Get the message out chaps!
....Support your local logger – he’s the mainspring to the economy of this forest around us.
....Let’s hear it now! Ring dem bells! Support your local logger!
..............Keep out of the bight,

British Columbia Lumberman, February, 1977  
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