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






“Chestnuts in Bloom”

There is a lovely Cole Porter song –
April in Paris, whose second line is “chestnuts in blossom” – well – guess where this inlet logger found his way to in April. You got it! Paris – and a forest of beautiful giant leafy chestnut and platan trees.
....You say this has nothing to do with such vital topics as grapple-yarding or dry land sorts or logging sports? Ah, you are correct – but then – trees are trees wherever they are. And to view the very broad avenue of the Champs Elysses from the famed Arc de Triomphe and that famed avenue of giant shade trees is, my friend, an elegant forested sight.
....I was impressed with Paris as I always am with Helsinki, because of the abundance of tree lined streets and innumerable small parks throughout both cities. In both places, planning to include all types of trees is an old story – showing the wisdom of visionary people many decades and centuries ago.
....One looks and wonders at the concrete purity in planning such cities as the downtown parts of Vancouver (or did they really plan it?) Here is a city that is the heart of a vast forest empire in British Columbia. All the head offices of the timber giants are located in great concrete bastions in its downtown quarter. The forests’ powerful union – the I.W.A., has just completed another ode to concrete, with its new head offices on Vancouver’s near treeless waterfront. Yes, they have a beautiful wooden boardroom table!


Vancouver is a city that was once covered with giant Douglas firs and red cedar, just a short 100 years ago. What is left now is a nice Stanley Park.

....This is a city that lives and breathes forest dollars, but can you stroll at lunch time to a little Helsinki type park, or walk under Paris type shade trees while you munch your lunch? Not so – instead one gazes up at the fortifications that would have made Alexander the Great proud.
....I bring this point out – and there are other guilty ones besides Vancouver – because of the real need for such a city to have its city dwellers always familiar with the beauty of trees and their important place in this province’s livelihood.
....Here is a city that was once covered in giant Douglas fir and great red cedars. Really just a short hundred years ago. What is left now is a nice Stanley Park, certainly too far for the majority of downtown workers to stroll to at a lunch break. Admittedly, the West End of the city has a few lovely tree lined streets.
....A sorry plight for a former great forest. And a sorry plight for the thousands of young people growing up

in its sanitary cement atmosphere. How will they ever appreciate their province’s dependency on its forests?
Trees and parks are not just meant for the suburbs of a city. That’s a cop-out on city planning. It is in the downtown core of a city, where the heavy office and business populations work, that trees and shade are needed.
....One may well say that a good bench is a good bench anywhere, shaded by trees or buildings. Not so say I, for it is too easy for our crunching downtown populations to forget what comfort there is to a small park in the center core. How truly unhealthy to mind and body for our skyscraper workers or our dungeon shoppers to have to sit about on concrete abutments to gain a bit of sun at lunch hour and not have the cool swishing of green leaf about their heads.
....There are song birds in those Paris trees, lots of them. I see the odd seagull and black crow begging for morsels on our pavements. Oh yes, there are pigeons in both cities, but I remind you that the great blossoming chestnuts and platan of Paris protect the walkers from the French bird. Not so the west coast gull – no umbrella – voila!
....People tend to be greater walkers where there are tree lined streets and avenues. I suppose it stirs one’s smell and sight to stroll along under a delightful green canopy of leaf. Of course it’s good for joggers too – but then who pays attention to runners anyway? All bank robbers do it!


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....I have grown up and lived in what was once called a remote forested area of B.C. that took five days by steamer to come to. Now it takes three hours from the big city and sometimes it’s not remote enough! I was always told about how “far ahead” of us the Europeans were in forestry, particularly the Scandina-vians. I never questioned what “far ahead” meant. I just thought it meant “better.” But even inlet loggers beget jet wings these days and are able to see the wonders of the old world. And while visiting the many beautiful countries of Europe one finds out what that business of “far ahead” really meant.
....It takes a while to appreciate the number of years and centuries that Europe’s forests have been harvested. Germany, for instance, has had plan-ned forestry for over five hundred years. Have we in the west had planned forests for fifty years? – about that.
....It does not take too long to discover that vast areas of Europe were gutted of their forests by poor planning just like we in north America have done before we saw the light, of necessity! Unfortunately there are still too many who are yet using a dull candle in their regeneration programs over here.
....I kept thinking of the “far ahead” syndrome of my earlier years and gradually pieced it together. They are ahead in their great planned forests because they have to be. Italy and France, for two, did not care for their forests as did the Germans and Swedes, and later the Finlanders. The result is apparent today in the planting programs one finds in their forested areas. And the German Black Forest is a sight to behold that I shall get to next month.
....The “far ahead” attitude could be stated simply. It is the feeling that most Europeans have about forests and trees, and their growth and their care. They have learned the lesson of uncaring, years ago, while we in North America were savagely attacking our forests.
....Some countries there are well up to their potential of tree growth and they realize that only by adding the fine tuning can they get a bit more fibre. We are still flooding valleys full of growing trees to make more hydro lakes. We don’t replant enough, and our research monies and encourage-ment of better forestry and more forestry, are not by any means a priority with our governments.


....We are told we need 8,000 new foresters in our near future to tend our forests in Canada. They are so close to commitment in Finland, that out of 3,000 that apply to Helsinki University for its forestry course, only 80 are accepted.
....The Europeans – in general – have a closer feeling to their forests and their trees, and it gives them an edge on us when the politicians talk forestry. There is backing for their programs. While we are all for extracting money in taxes and stumpage from our forest resource, our governments are not too quick to plow enough of that money back into the needed research, education and experiments to keep our trees in the number one spot of our economy.
....No, in the good young New World it’s – “Grab the chainsaw, Charlie, and let’s cut all these trees down so they can build some houses here and plant ivy around them.”
....And as I started this story about the Champs Elysses and the “chestnuts in


blossom,” it’s a different feeling for trees, you might call it a slight European love affair with the tree.
....And that feeling is needed here by our people. We can have the best fibre in the world, the biggest trees in the world and the most modern of mills, but the people have to care about their number one industry!
....You see, the people vote and become the work force and become the leaders and the politicians. We need a people who start off by – knowing the tree – and caring for it – and looking after the trees’ future.
....Well, you guessed it, there’s nothing like April in Paris and chestnuts in blossom. Wood I fool you – wood I!

Pardonez la bight,

Bill Moore