There are these problems

....Our forest industry in B.C. seems to be taking a real Joe Louis beating these days. I can’t remember a time when so many diverse problems have plagued the entire industry – from giants to small loggers.
....What’s wrong? For one thing, the experts forgot to tell us that this recession would last a lot longer than

the little mini-recessions we used to en-joy. And that reminds me. Where are the experts when we really need them? I hope they’re holding their collective breaths waiting for the world’s oil supply to dry up. They were sure all over the woods when the goose was flying high.
....We’ve got problems. The silviculture mess across Canada gets messier each day and we have a good share of it in B.C. The decision of the large pulp companies here in B.C. to go it alone in bargaining with labor. Then there’s the bully tactics being used against Mac-Millan Bloedel over the Meares Island issue.
....The very recent Forintek study just released states our second growth forests will produce poorer quality lumber in the future than our prime forests have given us. And if that’s not enough bad news, it is obvious that the leader of the International Woodwor-kers of America is having some pretty serious problems with a large segment of organized labor in the province.
....Then there’s the log export issue and the most important issue of all – the number of unemployed loggers now on the dole due to the recession.
....Well, that’s the bad news – or at least all I can think of at this time. Now before we get digging into some of this let’s have the good news. Would you rather be living in Afghanistan, Nica-ragua, India, Poland, Libya or Ethiopia – just to name a few! So, pal, remember – let’s keep cool and get out of some of these uglies. We’re a good mixture of the world’s citizens here in B.C. And I don’t see a rush at the ticket office to go back from whence we or our granddaddies came!
....I’m not familiar with all the reasons
seems the native rights issue was a bit late in coming into this case. There are many issues yet to be wisely solved over native rights and they will not be solved by hasty roadblocks such as Meares Island.
....Surely there’s some form of decent accommodation over this issue bet- ween company and natives without the
circus performance of mob defiance.
....In listening to the CTV news from Vancouver concerning the Meares Island issue, I was appalled to hear the
headline news of the day being read as “the trees of Meares Island are the last great virgin stand.” Well!
....When will our news people stop playing on the heartstrings of their listeners or readers and tell it as it really is? Nearly every tree logged today in B.C. – 1984 – is from a virgin forest. We just haven’t been here long enough to have many second hand trees. It takes 70 or 80 years to grow a tree of usable size. And how many of us were here in B.C. in 1900 logging in the fashion we are today?
....Nonsense. Call it virgin forest if you will, but call them all virgins, not just the hemlock, balsam, cedar West Coast trees of Meares Island.
....Let me remind you, those virgins have been putting daily bread into the mouths of B.C. folks for a lot of years, and will continue to do so if we give our forests tender loving care.
....The trees of Meares Island have had taxes paid on them since 1905. They form a part of MacBlo’s Tree Farm Licence. My own feelings are that if this company is not allowed to properly plan and log those trees, after paying its dues, then the rest of the industry better take warning.
....The silviculture situation in our pro-vince and across Canada is crucial. Are we going to keep our unemployed people across Canada standing idle when our forests are in real need of being tended? We need a big input of people and money across this land to make up for the abuse of past years.
....Here again we need a collective voice and we are only getting that in fits
by: Bill Moore
behind the large pulp companies’ deci-sion to bargain individually – mill by mill – with the two pulp mill unions here in B.C. One could be safe in saying that there has not been a very conducive atmosphere to real understanding be-tween the companies and the unions for years. It’s a big step to take, to go it alone, and it seems to reverse the path built up over the years.
....What seems wrong, at the outset, is the announcement by the companies of their decision at the height of all our other problems. And to top it off – at the very time that all of B.C. organized labor is meeting at its annual stormy convention.
....If there’s togetherness like that, where are all the friends when Mac-Millan Bloedel, our largest forest company, has been pushed into a corner over the Meares Island issue? The plain bully tactics of a would-be vigilante group driving iron spikes into standing trees and obstructing work crews that are performing their legitimate job is a long way from the protests of the whales and nuclear holocaust issues.
....I can’t recall a government official – nor for that matter any other industry official – standing out from behind his desk to condemn this vigilante bogus tactic. Whatever happened to good old fashioned basic justice? Did we drop it, too, when the recession hit?
....I have no fight with the native rights issue that is, at this writing, before the courts of B.C. But I would remind those folks that a lot of their lads have earned a pretty good living from that company and others in the area. It
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and starts. There are thousands of able bodied people ready to do their part in this vital forest work. It is up to management and unions and govern-ment to quit the wasteful dialogue and get down to business.
....It is to be hoped that Bill Young, who is now president of the Canadian forestry Association of B.C., can arouse a following that Victoria and Pottawa will listen to. Bill should know what he is talking about when it comes to our forests’ needs. He served B.C. well as its chief forester.
....Again on the subject of trees, I am confused, like I’m sure a good many others are, by the recently released study of the Forintek group concerning our second growth forests. They state that our next crop of trees, particularly Douglas fir and hemlock, will average 25 percent less strength of lumbedr than our prime forest trees and will be prone to longitudinal shrinkage and warping.
....I guess what I’m really confused about is the suddenness of the announ-cement and the headline news it makes in our daily papers. The public have always been led to believe that “Canadian Trees Are The Best In The World.”
....Something is wrong with the soup here. It should be known by now to any well established forest oriented group or association that if you want to scare people, just hand the press a bomb like this release and watch the misinterpretations fly. I’ve talked to several people who are quite upset by this sudden news – coming on top of so many other problems today in our industry.
....In a majority of cases it’s time for some better and more intelligent public
relations on the part of our industry and its consumer, the public. We have never been an industry that really cared what the public felt or reacted to. It’s time to change that habit real soon.
....There has been quite a hue and cry about our industry’s increase in the amount of logs being exported to Japan, China and Korea. Spurred on by the International Woodworkers of America the demand was to “Stop exporting jobs from B.C.”
....That phrase translated into basic English would read “Stop exporting logs from B.C. and shut down still more logging camps.”
....Here again the lack of proper public relations between the industry leaders and their public [which also includes the workforce] is to a great degree at fault. Log export has been sort of a hush-hush business in our industry for years. Not that we shipped great quantities, but it seemed to be a very grey area. Then when companies have their backs to the wall in this recession, they find a bit of relief in log export prices. Remember those same logs would not be used, nor would they be logged if it weren’t for log export.
....Look – when times are tough, you scrounge, pal. No company big or small is of any use to its community or its employees if it doesn’t these days. But next time let’s get people used to such possibilities. Let’s talk about it before the fact!
....The news from the B.C. Federation of Labor annual meeting should have given a lot of management people in our industry a bit of cause for alarm. Jack Munro, the IWA president for many years was defeated in his bid for the first vice-presidency of the Federation. When  what  was  recently  the  largest
union in the province finds itself at odds with its fel-low unions, it is time to worry a bit. Not that anyone in man-agement can do anything about it. But, it’s another reminder that the “old order sometimes changeth,” and we are witnessing a whole raft of changes in our industry.
....The point in question – can we stay on top of the changes and keep this industry in the forefront of the economy of this province? To listen to other voices it would appear that tourism or high tech industries should be number one. These voices, of course, don’t realize the depth and scope of our industry – its second-aries and its offshoots.
....Anyway, what matters now is that the forest industry finds ways to meet the competition, keep its mills modern and gets management and labor working together. In a little over a year a new master agreement will be ready for negotiation and nothing could help the atmosphere of that event better than some constant dialogue at all levels of the management-labor scene.
....We’ll come out of this poor time we are in simply because we are an area in this world that is full of raw resources yet untouched and we have talented and energetic people to handle those resources.
....Problems. There will always be problems in this forest around us, and really that’s what makes life interesting in this wide-scope industry. So look ahead. But, of course -

Keep out of the bight,
Bill Moore

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