by Bill Moore
For sure forestry, forest policy and loggers are taking a beating these days in British Columbia. oh, you say it’s happening in eastern Canada too! How jolly for us all!
....I haven’t heard of the fishing industry or fishermen being attacked by the editorial pages or by anyone wanting water claims to the fishing areas. Haven’t heard a murmur out of the critics of the mining group. I guess they figure that the mining policies have been beaten down so far there’s no use in flogging a poor horse any longer.
....I watch the papers for some form of attack – or even comments – on the agricultural industry or farmer, but nary a demeaning phrase. So I guess folks are happy with the price of potatoes and figure the farmers won’t rip them off. So be it.
....Well then, tell me, what the heck did we who are involved with trees do to get taken apart and dissected by every newspaper, magazine, and ill-informed television reporter? Whatever it was, it must have been pretty bad.
....We have been accused of just about every crime in the book, from “raping the forests,” “desecrating the valleys and mountains of Canada,” “Clear-cutting and leaving a desert behind” – and of course being responsible for the disappearance of wildlife.
....Then the forestry politicians and officials are “gutless,” they “sell out B.C. to the greedy loggers” – and they “refused to settle some Canadian land claims.”
....What’s gone wrong? Who’s at fault? Why do “they” turn on us and how in hell can we straighten things out?
....Good questions. The answers are not easy – for the times are not easy.
....There has never been a love affair between the public and our forest industry when it comes to issues like slash areas or logging debris. This matter is too often brushed over by industry – and of course we simply do leave too much fibre on the ground – and the industry must take the criticism for it. And until the day when research methods

to use up this valuable fibre, we can expect more criticism. You see, a lot of other countries clean up their ground.
....Clear-cutting, slash, slash burning, and allowable waste are tender subjects with a great deal of the public, and I don’t believe the forest industry has ever really come to grips with this problem.
....But, has anybody in this industry explained to the public why we do the things we do – that they, the public, don’t like or understand?
....Has clear-cutting ever been discussed so they will understand why selective logging is not the suitable method? And even though we do waste fibre in our slash, has anybody explained that the slash will rot and make soil for the future forests? I’ve heard these things talked about in closed forums or conventions, but the public is never there to hear. We talk to ourselves too much and always have.
....We are a “visible” industry – even though we are a mystique to the public. The fishing industry is not a mystique and it leaves no scars on the ocean. The mining industry digs big holes, but they print pictures of nice grassy areas where those holes once were.
....The forest industry tends to throw its hands up over slash and say “take it or leave it!” Great classroom technique. I’m simply saying we don’t take the time or give the effort to explaining ourselves to a public that could be on our side, which is better than the other way round.
....This theatrical television exposure of loggers trying to destroy our native Indians’ sacred forests has really gone far enough. The native rights must be addressed by the proper government officials – and at the same time, the rights of the logging companies to log their legitimate signed and sealed crown areas of forest must be upheld by our government officials. To allow anyother course of action is sheer injustice to our democratic system.
....Here are a few thoughts on what this writer would like                                                          (Cont’d on pg. A8)
A6                                                                                                                     British Columbia Lumberman February, 1986

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    Bill Moore . . .
(Cont’d from pg. A/18)

to see done and soon.
.... Top priority to proper handling of the native land claims issue. To get it out of the “theatrical” stage and have the government and natives meet in quiet discussion.
....As for stopping legitimate government approved logging on Crown land, arrest any and all people who break the law by obstructing totally innocent people from going about their regular jobs. This includes whites, browns, blacks, longhairs, shorthairs, Senators, MPs, MLAs, do-gooders, nice guys and bad guys.
....We’ve had enough theatrical displays and we need the laws of our land to be upheld for all. We see these horrible dramas of hostage taking in the Middle East and would have to wonder if our way of life is to be ruled by complete disobedience to the law. Surely we cannot fall prey to flaunting laws that our people before us brought forth in the name of justice.
....Justice has not been done to our native people – and it must be. But let’s not confuse justice with the theatre of illegal confrontation we have witnessed on the evening news.
....On the other issue of emotionalism and realism, our forests need better looking after. We can’t keep cutting as much prime timber as we have without a great deal more growing of seedlings, planting of seedlings, thinning of young forests, and tending in many ways to the proper silvicultural methods so badly needed.
....High profile committees need to be put together to include labor, and a provincial and national policy must be sought, announced, executed and relayed to the public.
....Last, let’s stop this nonsense about not allowing whole logs to be exported. With a limit on what can be sent abroad in a year, we can keep a lot of loggers working. It would be very interesting to see how many logs we import into Canada each year. Out here in the wild west we sometimes forget that there are forests in the nice calm east and that lots of logs are trucked across the border into eastern Canadian mills from the U.S.A. Just maybe we are importing more than we are exporting – look it up and tell ‘em I told you so.
....Well, that’s what I would wish for and I feel we’d all be better off if those wishes could come true. Anyway,

Keep out of the bight,

Bill Moore

A8                                                                                                                     British Columbia Lumberman February, 1986