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






and a keen sense of competition.
....There are thousands of people in our industry who would have it no other way than to be good at what

....It is my good fortune, along with your champion loggers from our Log-gers’ Sports Association, to be invited to Oslo, Norway, in early September to compete and participate in the 12th annual World Chain Saw Contest for loggers. It is expected that 20 nations will send teams to compete in the five categories of skill with a chain saw.
....Those kind readers who turn to this page from time to time may recall a similar adventure in Finland three years ago when that country hosted the same contests. My teammates at that time were Gordon Hart, Allen Boyko, Owen Carney and the Champ of Champions Ron Hartill.
....We went to Finland, not knowing the international rules, but this did not deter big Ron from taking a gold medal in the bucking contest.
....This contest? Oh, it’s very simple. You just lay a four by eight sheet of one inch plywood on the ground, place a turned log of about 16 inches in diameter on the plywood, and proceed to cut a slice off the log without touching the plywood – at all!
Try it on your hardwood floor at home sometime.
....After receiving and accepting the invitation from the Norwegian authorities, I reflected on our encounter with the loggers from 17 nations in Finland. The mood of the entire enterprise was PROFES-SIONAL, and I’d like to put down a few thoughts about that word and how it concerns our loggers and our industry.
....Our little group was fortunate after the Finnish competition to visit a typical logging area in the southwest of Finland. We watched fallers and skidders working – not under competition, but going about their normal daily work. We were all impressed with the scenes we witnessed in this typical area.
....The fallers clothes were sensible, bright-coloured rainproofs, worn with proper regard for safety measures.

Hard hats, ear muffs and eye shields are always ON.
....Directional falling was the name of the game, with wedges used extensively. We enjoyed watching the chain saw air wedge being used very quickly. Here, a hydraulic style of small wedge was connected to he chain saw head, that allowed the wedge to expand and tilt the tree. No flying pieces of plastic or steel here, thank you!
....The limbing was particularly noted in that the loggers started at the base of the felled tree, carefully working their way up the trunk cutting tight to the bark of the tree. There were no protrusions left on the log, and the end result, as we saw later on, was a clean round load of logs on the hauling truck. A professional look: A Pro’s work.
....The really good directional falling allowed the skidders - or the harvesters we also saw at work - to move through the area with relative ease. Stumps were low, limbs were cut off clean and bucked cuts were completed, giving machine op-erators a proper chance to do a good job.
....The general attitude was one of safe, intelligent use of machines and as very professional attitude on the part of the loggers. This, of course, we had seen at the contests, but the real proof was out in the woods that we were fortunate to visit.
....It is of course to be remembered that our coastal forests in B.C. do not compare with the forests of Scandinavia in size of tree or terrain.
....But apart from our coastal area, the comparisons with other areas of Canada, interior B.C., northern Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes all could be relatively compared.
....I wonder if we are getting the professionalism needed in these areas of Canada to keep us in the lead in a world forest industry. I am sure in many cases we are. When I look at the chaps competing in our summer Loggers’ Sports programs I see quick reactions

they do. Professionalism is gained by experience and sound teaching. It is maintained by sensible rules, self discipline, intelligent supervision and a competitive spirit. Try that on sports, business or a trade and the same will apply.
....In our logging scene in Canada, the losses due to non-professionalism must add into the millions each month. The trees that are smashed each day be-cause of careless falling techniques; the lack of, or incomplete bucking, that causes breakage when a tree is hooked onto; the misuse of machinery in yarding or skidding of logs; the losses due to a lack of training or plain ignorance must be stag-gering.
....The point I try to make is not that other nations have professionalism and we do not. Rather, I believe we can show much more professionalism in our industry if we can instill a sense of pride in being a logger. I have seen other nations’ representatives with this pride, and it is great to behold.
....Our loggers who will accompany me to Norway will be well up on international rules this time. This professionalism will speak for itself, and it will do us well. For these four chaps represent the best in our industry, and they DO take pride in their achievements, whether in competition or at work.
We have not let our public see the loggers from so many other areas of the world show off their skills. Maybe – just maybe – we will be fortunate enough to host such an auspicious gathering when our “to-be” Forest Centre is completed in ’84 or ’85. How sweet ‘twould be!
So, here we come Norway – the Canadian Pros are on the way. Anybody want to bet we DON”T win a gold? Keep in touch, and in the meantime…

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

British Columbia Lumberman, August, 1980
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