by Bill Moore
I have been asked to speak to the question of intensive forestry as it might stand to benefit the forest industry – both in the short and long term.
....I think we can assume that intensive forestry is what all people connected with the forest industry would like to achieve some day. However, at this time I believe we are still in the “extensive” stage of forestry, and only so on our Tree Farm Licenses. My dictionary’s interpretation of the two words is as follows: “Intensive” – concentrated and exhaustive. “Extensive” – consider-able in amount.
....When one discusses intensive forestry it would bring to mind such forests as Germany’s or a great deal of Scan-dinavia. Our efforts are certainly considerable in amount, but they are not concentrated and exhaustive as in the areas mentioned.
....I’m a logger – I was raised on a small float camp of my father’s on the north end of Vancouver Island. I have spent nearly 50 years at my trade and have run my own logging operation for over 40 years. I have traveled throughout a good part of Canada’s forests and throughout the Scandinavian and German forested areas. I enjoy my work and the people I have met along the way.
....We are hearing the voices of many people these days relating to the over-cutting of our forests and the replanting of new forests. Not just here in B.C., but in all of Canada. I believe we have cause to listen to these voices if we are to keep all related matters of our forests viable. I am certain that if we are to keep a healthy forest industry, we must
make sure that all citizens learn to use their forests far more than they ever have before. In using them they can better appreciate the need for the forest’s protection, care and future.
....The voices of the critics of our forest industry are vocal and energetic. I’m sure their message will continue to be heard in the sanctoriums of the problem solvers.
....And those voices will say – “You are not practicing intensive forestry and you must. You are still leaving too much fibre on the ground after logging. You are not planting enough seedlings and you are not spacing or brush clearing or tending the young trees properly. And you control too large a base for the amount of trees you are growing. Intensive forestry would change all this.”
....These statements are true in a great many cases. They are not true in all agencies of our forest industry. I will come back to the topic of how intensive and at what cost, but first I would like to put forth a bit of history of forests and our forest industry and bring ourselves into perspective.
....I would remind you that our standards of intensive or extensive forestry have changed over the past 50 years, just as much as have all other things about us, be it hunting or fishing or music or social services or automobiles. We take change for granted and until we examine in retrospect, we don’t fully grasp the significance of change.
....Let’s look at the pleasures and business of hunting and fishing in our forests and how they have changed. In the past 50 years, roads have opened up this large province to enable our people to travel to very remote areas. To a great extent those roads were built by the forest industry. The buoyant economy this province has known since the Second World War until this recession, has enabled the populace and our tourists to utilize those roads in their pursuit of all matters of outdoor life.
....Since humans appeared on this planet they have used the forests. And in nearly all cases where large populations
|A16 British Columbia Lumberman March, 1986|
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have grown, the forests have been abused or practically disappeared. The forests of China, the Mediterranean, Spain, France and parts of northern Europe were cut to near extinction for the human need of firewood and housing. Firewood is still by far man’s primary product from the world’s forests.
....Here in this province, our pioneers found forests beyond their dreams and did just what humans have always done – cut them and use them. Their interpretation of intensive or extensive is not what we recognize the words to mean today. But it was “concentrated” to them and it employed “much effort.” Believe me, we can be sure that “intensive” will take on new meaning in 2010 and 2050.
....At the beginning they didn’t need to grow more trees because those pioneers really believed that we could never run out of trees. Until the Second World War, the intro-duction of silviculture was little done except for some very far-sighted firms and individuals.
....I’m sure it’s well known that 90 percent of the forest land in B.C. is Crown owned. The entire portion of private land amounts to about 5.5 percent. It’s amusing that we look upon Finland as a strong socialist state, but that their forest land is over 80 percent owned by the private sector. Whereas here in good old capitalistic British Columbia, the forest land is owned by the state. Who’s the socialist?
....However, only with the advent of the Tree Farm License system in B.C. did we embark on a real restocking and silviculture system for our logged off lands. This commenced
....Tenures such as timber berths and pulp leases owned by some companies were rolled into large areas of Crown lands to give the applicant a guaranteed supply of wood and fibre for constant production in his pulp or other mills. These TFLs designated on the coast and in the interior of B.C. took some years before all were granted, and some time before the process of restocking and silvicultural methods could be brought to bear.
....The B.C. government in the form of the forest service would gather the seed and plant it in nurseries. From these nurseries would come the new forests of a 70 to 80 year rotation that individual tree farms were designed for. The TFL holder would perform the planting and keep an accounting of these stocks.
....Payment for restocking and other agreed-to portions of the silviculture program was included in the assessment for stumpage of the tree farm license.
....The stumpages paid by all forest companies – large, small, tree farm holders and other tenure holders – since the 1950s have been enormous. And with a good share of it the forest ser vice could have initiated a strong program of logged off land rehabilitation. But that was not to be.
|British Columbia Lumberman March, 1986 A17|