Education –now or later
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
....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
....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
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
....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
....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
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.
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
....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
....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.
BRITISH COLUMBIA LUMBERMAN
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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
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
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,
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