Super Loggers
by: Bill Moore
....It’s January – that time of year when television and newspapers are full of sports events. It could be your favorite hockey team, stumbling about in near obscurity! Ah, but a win over one of the biggies could put the dear lads back in your hearts. Or it could be some young lad out of the hills of West Virginia who sends the hair up on your neck, as he quarterbacks his team to a deadline finish of 21 – 22.
....Sports are a big part of the North American scene in today’s living, and the young men who rise to fame on the field, ice or courts are possibly more talked about than were the great movie starts of yesteryear. With such palaces to play in as the new Stadium at B.C. Place in Vancouver it’s no wonder young fellas today look to sports as a great way of life.
....A pitcher from the New York Yankees is signed for over $9 million by a team in sunny San Diego. Another young one is breaking every record in the book as he hockey sticks his way to fame and fortune for a prairie town in Canada.
....Young men are handled by agents that hover over their stars and would-be stars, seeing that they get the best in life that mega-bucks can buy. They are today’s young gladiators – admired as were the young gladiators of Rome in it’s great days.
....We the public play a constant tune to these muscular young chaps, and our love-hate relationship with them is of course well orchestrated by the faithful media writers. Hail the conquering hero! And et tu Brutus!
....If you’re wondering what all this has to do with a subject such as the forest around us, please give this humble
writer a moment to explain. I am not against such exiting events as are seen by 80 million viewers – live and direct from somewhere.
....I cheer, get miffed and argue with umpires through a glass tube also (silly, isn’t it). But wait half a mo’ – what’s going on here – just who are these multi-millionaire buck heroes that you and I are yelling for?
....Just what have these thousands of tv jocks done to make our living a little better? Are they produces or are they expensive toys that we the public pay through the nose for? Haven’t we got our priorities a wee bit mixed? Let’s look at it.
....Our basic industries here in Canada will never get enough highly skilled people to really make a great change to operating costs – or our management – labor relationship or our handling of safety matters, unless, we start to divert of this mass attention from our million dollar heroes to our bread and butter chaps, who toil their days in quiet unnoticed heroics.
....I’ll keep more specific and stick with our forest industry across Canada and try to make my point.
....Companies today will buy a $.5 million to $1 million rig to harvest trees from the stump. These machines take on may forms of sophistication but they are all expensive and they all need people to run them and maintain them and to serve their every desire.
....We need good coaches, er, foremen to keep all these iron monsters in hand and to make sure they don’t get in-volved with that evil word “downtime.”
....We need highly qualified mechanics to doctor these giant iron spiders of hydraulic hoses and maximized horse-
power. And, not being satisfied with just day-light work, because of their high cost, we load them up with expensive candlepower and let them do their thing like a Frankenstein monster in the moonlight.
....The forest industry – its big and its small – is not seemingly prepared to recognize the need for higher qualified people, better training establishments, and an approach to searching for talent that is found in the so-called “big leagues”. Oh sure there are those few standout companies that go a step farther than the rest – but I speak of an industry that is still not ready to put down the bucks for our needed forestry education systems.
....The sports industry knows the value of sports education. They know you can’t have a well co-ordinated hero unless you start spending when he is young – real young too!
....Look at it this way. If you have one or a closet full of these wonderful iron aides that produce terrific results, if handled properly, shouldn’t you want only the very best people around that multi-monster? Shouldn’t you feed it with the talents of highly trained personnel to cater to its maximum comforts while it whirls its wheels.
....When these chunks feel ill and need prescription potions, and oils of vim and vigor for their vitality, shouldn’t you be able to call on a doctor or mechanic who know the prognosis and can stir up the needed elixir.
....Doesn’t this seem reasonable? Then let’s take a look at what this industry is doing to train its people of the forest for the high-tech logging of tomorrow. ....Forest faculties, such as our University of B.C. has, are being cut

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with the government grants. It simply does not make any kind of sense that the big bucks can go for sports and sports facilities – and then cut the needed monies for education of future foresters. Add to this the fact that forestry has never even been given any form of a priority in government monies to our education facilities. Whatever happened to that statement about 50 percent of B.C.’s economy being dependent on our forests?
....We are certainly a mixed up people in our priorities. Instead of our kids idolizing the “Great Cranston” as the hero of manhood because he can kick a pigskin 40 yards between two uprights, or shoot a little black rubber thing into a net, etc., we should be putting the Madison Avenue boys to work in convincing the kids that a real live logger is a super guy too.
....Let’s call him Super Logger Farns-worth, the guy who can get the wood out of the woods, beat the opposition’s costs and be Johnny-on-the-spot in a logging crisis.
....Is it asking too much – or are the Gladiators in the arena a part of the rise and fall of the second Greatest Show on Earth?
....Should we continue to holler louder, “He Scores!” or should we learn a bit more about back to basics with “Timber”!
....Have a good year, and –

Keep out of the bight,

Bill Moore