Education –now or later

....In the past year there seems to have been a great soul searching on the part of those I would call “watchers of the forest scene.” The end result of all these reports is very similar.
....Simply put, the watchers say – stop playing games with our forest utilization because the odds are not in our favor and are getting worse. They also say stop talking about silviculture and do some-thing about it – now.
....More simply put – start being realistic about the depletion of our for-est growth and stop the political sing-song about this problem of immense proportions to Canada.
....We read and listen to the greats of industry tell us of the trouble that the forest is in. We watch the tube and marvel at the wrath of devils who will not pass legislation to cure our forest ills. How soon they forget!
....The unemployment lines grow larger but they are filed with qualified people who could be the work force to bring us back to a sensible forest growth pattern.
....Those who possibly know more about the true figures of just how badly our forests are being depleted, and not being restocked and tended, do not get the needed platform to speak from. I speak of Canada’s foresters. And when they do speak, their audience is not nearly large enough nor of the right people.
....And the public. What does the public think of the need for a revised forest policy? It’s reasonably safe to say that the public at large doesn’t give a damn. Most of them live in our large cities along the 49th parallel and find such thoughts far removed from their city
....Aldous Huxley, who never saw the inside of a logging camp or a sawmill said: “There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of imp- roving and that’s your own self.” The word is improve. Improve all the right things we are doing and start to disapprove of the noted wrongs in our forest policy.
....It is just too obvious that we need to improve – vastly – our means of edu-cating all Canadians to the importance of our forests. Without all voters under-standing and being sympathetic to the needs of our forest land we cannot expect the votes for the always con-tinuing legislation needed in forest policy. And it was always thus – that politicians respond to votes.
....Which brings a passing point. When will we get people from our forest scene running and winning in politics? But, onward!
....Education is the key to short term and long term policies. Education of the voters now – and education of the young, the voters to be.
....The education theme is a simple one. We have the best forest lands in the world. We could expand our cuts to double if we really got down to business and practiced Nordic refores-tation methods.
....No matter how the great voices may speak of subjects such as high tech to tourism becoming our number one industry, it will be through the wise use of our forests and forest land that these other industries will find success.
....In these columns for several years I have spoken of the hopes of a Forest Centre being built in Vancouver. This would  be a  learning  center  where the
by: Bill Moore
concerns of job, bringing up a family, social life and surviving. Their forest is one built of cement and their problems do not go beyond the city limits.
....What’s wrong? What are we who hew not doing that we should be doing to get our forests back on track? We have caring and intelligent people in every segment of our tree related lives – government, education, labor and man-agement.
....Those “watchers” tell us we are undercutting at a fast rate. They say we are not planting nearly enough seedlings and that we are not even near keeping up with the silviculture methods we should be using. We are still wasting fibre at an alarming rate and we are not putting anywhere nearly enough people and money into research.
....None of the above is really news to anyone who has been in the forest business for a while. Loggers can tell you of their company’s waste of fibre and lack of thinning and mortality of seedlings. That’s old news on the forest front.
....Politicians know or can find out about our very real forest problems. And there are people to show them the needed legislation to get our forests back on track.
....Our forestry union leaders well know from the shrinking dues paying ranks the problems our forests face. But can they convince an angry membership that the road to more jobs is going to be full of compromise? The log export issue is such an issue right now, but it’s keeping a lot of loggers on the job no matter what one thinks of the ethics.
26    ·     BRITISH COLUMBIA LUMBERMAN                 AUGUST 1985

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young particularly would come to learn of the forest in all its aspects. It would be in the center of a large city because this is where the bulk of our population lack an understanding of what those in rural life grow up with.
....Not a museum, not a playground, but a place where the inquisitive minds of young and all others can be given an explanation by expert teaching. And such forest centers are also needed in Toronto and Montreal and all our large cities if we are to embark on a true forest education process.
....We are possibly getting a better forest education thesexc days by the very means so many in the fcorest circles condemn – namely the media. There is an awareness by both video and print that the sunbject is news and that is the lifeblood of our media.
....Certainly there is junk news, and over-reactive stories about our forests or forest industry by persons who don’t
check their background. But the mainstream of information flowing to the public about our present dangerous forest situation in all Canada is reason-ably factual and is doing a better job than it is given credit for. I’m sure most of us in the forest scene find that we talk to ourselves too much about forests and forestry, and not enough to those who do not understand the sort of mystique of the forests.
....The several million words that have been repeated time and again on forest policy make us a bit bored with our own voices. We need new audiences of our public who will find interest in various subjects related to our forests. Those interested audiences could come from the young who have learned of the forests at Forest Centres across our land. If you don’t believe me, try it!
....A far wider scope of forest education is needed to explain the wonder, the beauty and the value of our forests to

to our young people and to our visitors.
....We seem sometimes reluctant to be known as hewers of wood. It sounds out of step with the swinging city talk of the day. But really, friend, “hewers are doers” – and you’re with it if you can hew!
....Can the forest society get together and in one arena of the times, work together for a far better forest education process – in time with the times – that can ensure this country’s continuing pride in her forests and all the benefits of those forests?
....The young will always be the future. Let’s make sure they grow up to appre-ciate this wonderful heritage of ours.

Keep out of the bight,

Bill Moore

30   ·   BRITISH COLUMBIA LUMBERMAN                 AUGUST 1985