............THE FOREST









Do you remember when Danny
Kaye played the role of Walter Mitty in the movie of the same name? Walter Mitty was a dreamer, a fantasizer, and in the middle of performing a job just walking down the street he could suddenly venture off into his dream world.

because we know if we’re bad your newspapers will headline – “Logger on Drunken Spree Breaks Window.”
....But all this would be different, dear reader – If I Were King. . .
....“How do you do? Are you the forestry folks from up country that would like a little tour of our city?

States all over Big City – and we need bright smiling young people hired to assist and direct our thoughtful tourists in our forests and near our streams.”
....This is fun – ‘cause if I were king . .
....“To the people of British Columbia, Our loyal subjects. We hereby pro-claim that any citizen employed in any manner, shape or form, in the forest
“If I Were King!”
. . . Big City vs. Logger
....Sometimes he would be a fearless ace pilot about to do in the famed Red Baron in a frantic aerial dog fight. Or he would fantasize being a famous surgeon performing the one-chance-in-a-million operation to save a life. I’m sure many of us have a bit of the Walter Mitty in us at one time or another. I know I have.
....So, says I, one frosty morning while taking in the sounds and smells of the forest around me – What if I could be king for just a short while and had the power to change things? What would I change? I’ll tell you. Now that you insist!
....I’d change the attitude of too many people who live in the high rise cement world of the “Big City” toward their country cousins, such as:
....“Listen here you logging camp types and you small forest town characters, this is Big City and we’ve got the Art Galleries, the Museums and all the culture – and you people get a free ride when you come here. Some of us chaps in city hall figure we should charge you double for what you see when you come to pay homage to us. You don’t pay city taxes, and our humble folk in their humble penthouses have to foot the bill for all these wondrous cultural things you come to see – free.”
....“Oh, thank you kind-civil-chap, thank you. And we promise to be good people when we visit your wonderful
....Bother? It’s no bother at all. We’d like to show you our cultural places that are meant to be shared by all the people of B.C. Of course we know you don’t pay city taxes, but then again if it weren’t for people like yourselves, living out there where the action is, how would we survive down here in Big City? You are the hewers of wood and the drawers of water that provide Big City with its jobs and its big buildings for manufacturing and distribution. Why really – we owe you something for living out there where you don’t have all the amenities that city folk take for granted. Here, may I get you another cup of tea? Perchance a crumpet?
....Ah, if I were king.
....And what’s all this stuff and things about the Tourist Industry becoming B.C.’s number one industry? It goes like this . . .
....“Now this morning Convention Delegates, I’d like to speak to you about the need to give our tourists a better break in this province. I think we should give them special rates at our hotels and motels and especially on our ferries. And, oh yes, I think we’ll take off our northern ferry that carries a lot of goods to the up coast logging communities and put it on the tourist run between White Rock and Blaine.
....“ Also I’d like to see flags dedi-cated to all the states in the United
industry or its by products, shall hence-forth be known as a five star citizen. With this honor goes the right for reduced rates at hotels, motels, and ferry boat rides.
....“Forestry people shall be kind to all tourists except when same tourists are found littering our roadsides, grumbling about our weather or catching and canning abnormal amounts of fresh fish or hunted animals – or being careless with cigarettes and campfires. I proclaim we look after ourselves first and visitors second if we want to keep our real economy moving. Hear ye! Hear ye!
....How sweet it is.
....Bureaucracy at the loggers’ level could stand a lot of rescripting. It now goes something like this . . .
....“Now look here logger. I’m from the Federal Department of fisheries (yes, we have a nice eastern minister looking after west coast streams) and I want you to clear that very bad log jamb out of that there river, because my little salmon are having a bad time getting up that stream to have their babies.”
“Now look here logger, I’m from the Provincial Wildlife Department and I hear you’ve been inquiring about what to do with that log jamb on the river that you now have your logging equipment handy to. Well, logger, don’t you touch a sliver of that log jamb ‘cause my department wants it
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for our steelhead fish to hide under.”
....Now look here logger, I’m from the Provincial Department of Forestry and I don’t give a damn what you do about that stupid log jamb. And I’m the real authority around here too, logger!”
....Ah, gee, fellows – you’re all such wonderful fellows – which one of you would mind kicking this silly stool out from under me so I can hang freely?
....And, so: If I were king . . .
....“Oh, hi guy, is that the C.O. O.C.S.F.? Yes, I mean the Combined Office of Common Sense Forestry. Well this is Logger, and I see a prob-lem coming up on a river near our logging show, and I wonder if you could send a chap out to discuss this situation with me.”
....“Yes, Logger, I’m from the C.O. O.C.S.F. and after a good look at all the salient factors in this case we would like to see you do the following things. Oh no, no trouble at all. This, like so many other problems of our forests and streams today, calls for good common sense, and that is why our C.O.O.C.S.F. was formed to train people in well rounded For-Enviro planning. It was terrible before with so many chaps attempting to solve these problems and all with different ideas and causes.
....“But good old Common Sense prevailed at last and I, Logger, am at your disposal to assist you in finding the overall correct answers to your forest-environment problems. Here’s my card – Friendly Fred – a Fountain of Forestry Facts. At your service.”
....Dream on, oh King.
....About loggers’ sports and the leaders of our industry . . .
....“Why yes, Farnsworth, about this memo concerning loggers’ sports. Now really Farnsworth, this is a public activity, and a commercial thing and I really don’t see why this giant forest company of which I am president or chairman of the board, should get involved. Certainly, loggers’ sports is a nice thing, but then so is basketball., and you know how commercial that is these days, Farnsworth.
....“We simply can’t let those champion loggers make too big of prize money or they might not work for us anymore as a logger. No, I think if we donate to an industry cause we should spend it on tours of our toothpick factory. Now there’s some-thing to stir your blood and make you proud to be a logger.”
....And if I were king . . .
....“I say Farnsworth, this is the life, eh what? Makes you proud to be a part of this great forest industry. Now Farnsie, just pass this bag of peanuts down the row of seats to all those other presidents or chairmen of the boards, and let’s sit back and watch

those loggers compete. And, oh yes, Farnsie, be sure to tell Finance Chairman that we’re going to double our contribution to the loggers’ sports fund this year. And send a not to all those other companies too. Why, Farnsie, these loggers that compete at loggers’ sports events all over North America are the best ambassadors this industry ever had. Come on you loggers – keep choppin.”
....Good reader, don’t wake me up. I’m enjoying this too much. But all dreams end and reality takes their place. And with this bit of tongue in cheek I only try to point out a few human foibles. No, if I were king I don’t think I’d change too much, for we live in possibly the best piece of

land on this earth.
....We are untouched by the ancient vendettas of other lands and by the fanatics who are so powerful today. We are reasonable, sensible people who sometimes shout and make faces about things that are trivial in other lands.
....Our forest economy is healthy and will stay healthy if we walk with common sense up the paths ahead. For with all our critics and criticisms this is still the garden of eating.
....So, Holmes, fear not – for if I were king I’d keep these things pretty well the same way they are – but I’d

.........................Keep out of the bight,
..........................................Bill Moore


British Columbia Lumberman, April, 1980  
page 59