The forestry

.... North Americans seem to like revo-lutions and their gentler kin – protests. From the Boston Tea Party to the Riel Rebellion, to the suffragettes and the War of the Blue and the Gray – and on down to many marches on Ottawa and Washington for a variety of causes.
...No, protest and revolution are nothing

new to this continent, to the point that it
takes a pretty lively protest these days to get in print or on the tube.
....Sometimes the revolutions are not bloody but they force a change in the living structure of the community or country just the same. A bayonet can be replaced by a very sharp pencil and wreck havoc with an army of people.
....I believe it is fair to say that those people involved in the forest scene, in one way or another, have been experi-encing a revolution mixed with protests for the past few years. Possibly no blood has been spilled but the final effect of the revolution will bring a mighty change to the lives of all the survivors involved in every part of the forest scene in Canada and the United States.
....The revolution covers many battles. First there is the realization that we in Canada are overcutting our forests for the amount we are replanting. But worse, we are far behind in our whole silvicultural scene across this land. We will certainly harm our greatest natural resource – possibly irreversibly – if we can’t get the generals in the capitals to really understand the seriousness of the situation.
....It takes people to plant trees and to tend to their silvicultural requirements. We have the people – but instead we keep them on the dole when they could be in our forests doing their share, as most of them would want to do. Can we stand this mortality rate to our forests and keep lowering the morale of so many good Canadians who want to work?
....Look back in history and we find the over-cutting of forests in so many coun-

Little wonder the outbursts flare up every so often.
....We have seen protests of all descrip-tions, bordering on some bitter scenes of union versus union, teachers closing schools and policemen and firemen staying off the job. Some of these pro-tests  border on  riots with  ugly scenes

we never really thought possible in these so-called enlightened times.
....Yes, and even the large chaps here in B.C. got into the revolution – well, call it a protest – when they locked out the pulp workers in spring, 1984. I’ll bet the swords rattled in The Club the day the locks clicked shut on that one.
....Another aspect of the revolution in the forest scene is the rather sudden (in years’ time) expression from so many in high places in politics who make statements about the decline in forestry as the number one industry and the ascension of tourism as its successor. The term sunset industry has been used, but one could pass that off as spoken by someone who has not a glimmer of what a forest looks like or what you can do with it.
....Now who cares about titles – first or second – what does it matter? Not a damn, not a pinch, nothing! Except when it comes to Coca-Cola or Pepsi! Oh, they spend hundreds of millions to convince you they are first. Or how about Hertz and Avis throwing their money about for the title? Or who’s first in baseball or billiards?
....We are a continent of “firsters.” We love being first because that’s supposed to make us best. Who ever heard of a rotten firster? So, the politicians start thinking in terms of buttering up the tourist industry and tell them they are going to be a firster if they work hard.
....With an Expo coming on in western Canada it’s not such a dumb idea to get all the beds ready and the welcome signs out. That part of it is well and good. The politician gives the tourist work force a pat on the back. But I fail to see why the politician has to do it at
by: Bill Moore
tries. Those forests were used for fire-wood as is the greater percentage of forests in the world today. This wood was of course needed down through history to keep warm and cook by. But nevertheless, the forests were depleted, nothing was planted and the forests disappeared.
....Only now when one travels through parts of Italy or France, for example, will you see new planted forests begin-ning to green up the country again. But how long will it take? The lessons sit there in history but the generals do not need the lessons.
....There is another form of protest, nay revolution, going on in the United States that will definitely affect our forests and the people who live by those forests. The “free trade” issue is bandied about these days like a shuttlecock from one politician to another.
....But while Canada speaks – with a squeak – the United States Congress seems to be saying “Let’s put up the protest signs and keep out or cut down on all imports, including forest products from that bunch of Royal Canadian Mountains.”
....If one ever wondered where the good old Republican isolationists of the Second world War went after Pearl Harbour, it’s obvious they became democrats and took up the protest of “No Free Trade.”
....These are such touchy times. The recession is not an easy affair to keep a cool head over for extended periods of time.  And  the  time   is  growing  long.
18   ·    BRITISH COLUMBIA LUMBERMAN                  OCTOBER 1985

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Bill Moore
continued from p. 18

the expense of the forest worker who doesn’t need to be downgraded to number two just when things about him are going a bit sour.
....And speaking of the tourist industry, remember the winter season depends on snow for the skiers. Say, didn’t we have some snowless winters just a few short years ago? And how did the tourist season go with the devastating fires in the Interior this hot summer? How soon they forget!
....So be of good cheer fellow forest scene people, you’re still the firster, and until they eliminate Powell River, Prince George, Alberni, Williams Lake, Duncan, Port McNeil and a few dozen other towns that the forest resources built, you will stay the firster. Coke or Pepsi anyone?
....We read of the oversupply of forest products all over the world and of monetary devaluations and a troubled road ahead. That could well be the case, for a lot of experts have put their pince-nez on to have a good look at that road. They say they don’t like what they see in the forest industry. Too many pulp mills – too many old sawmills – tariffs – poor housing starts – substitute products.
....By the way, whatever happened to that housing prediction of about 15 years ago that single-dwelling houses would soon be a thing of the past? Funny how the young couples of today love ‘em and build ‘em just like Dad and Mom did back in the early fifties.
....But revolutions have a strange way of winding up sometimes. For instance, we were told we would be out of oil by 1992 and motorists all over this continent lined up for miles and hours to get their last tank of gas. Detroit – the bellwether of industry in the U.S. – laughed at the Volkswagen and Honda. They have since stopped laughing.

The Titanic was “unsinkable.” Neville Chamberlain said there will be “peace in our time” as Hitler’s troops began their march across Europe. President Wilson signed a treaty in Versailles to end all wars! Or how about moving pictures that talk! Impos-sible, that will never work (circa 1928 – everyone in Hollywood except the Warner Bros.)
....I am not trying to be coy about the deep problems the forest scene faces in Canada. But I have lived long enough in the forest industry to know that Canada still has the best supply of the most desirable trees anywhere in the world. If we get our act together we can turn things around with our planting and our silviculture problems. It’s a big effort on the party of many and everyone is going to have to give a little. But it can be done.
....Maybe what we need is a revolution in all the things we’ve been doing wrong. The waste of fibre we have been leaving behind must have a value if we research it and develop it. Or do we have to wait until we have depleted our forests so badly that we then turn to using our waste fibre?
....Certainly we can’t just go on elimi-nating people from our industry and at the same time ignore the replanting and silviculture problems that stare us in the face. Those two elements, if not atten-ded to, will run our future costs so high that we will not have a forest industry. Cream the forest now and sour milk later!
....Would someone please push the slow button so we can all take stock of what’s going on and start working together. That would be the start of ending the revolution and getting back on track.

Keep out of the bight,

Bill Moore

20    ·    BRITISH COLUMBIA LUMBERMAN                   OCTOBER 1985