by Bill Moore
Money was needed by other agencies of the govern-ment and the forest service was left with very low budgets to perform a task that was impossible to meet. Namely to bring us to a state of intensive forestry.
....There were other large and small forms of tenure granted during the 1960s and 1970s such as pulp harvesting licenses, but these forms did not ask the licensee to do the replanting or silviculture. These amounts were calculated into stumpages and paid out by the holder. But a great deal of these stumpages went to general revenue and saw the light of day in some other agency such as social services or road building.
....This is where the fall down has really occurred and why we are not into intensive forestry in this province – nor will we be for some time to come. The tree farms have – for the most part – kept their part of the program, and that is where good progress has been made into extensive forestry.
....The supply of seedlings has been a big problem and many of the tree farm holders have built their own nurseries as the government ones could not supply enough from theirs.
....Our problem of intensive-extensive forestry is with the other tenures and a difficult path lies ahead to catch up and restock the lands fallen behind. Many speeches will be made and many words written. But it will take time to get caught up. Undoubtedly the federal-provincial program will be of great help but it is not enough.
....There is no question that we must work toward intensive
forestry. But how to get the funds to achieve it, especially in these recession times? Right now we are still experiencing up to a 35 percent mortality rate in our seedlings and young growing stock. We lose this stock through not tending to brush clearing after planting, planting in poor soil, through poor seed stock and careless planting.
....I have been told that China’s new forests are planted with a 2 percent mortality rate – and they planted 4 billion seedlings last year compared to Canada’s slightly over half a billion! Think ahead on that situation.
....Provincial governments have been besieged over the past 25 years for more and more social revenues – more roads and betterment for the people. A large amount of that betterment came from forest related monies across this land. From stumpage, corporation taxes, forest workers’ taxes, sales taxes.
....When 45 to 50 percent of the economy of a province such as B.C. is derived from the forest industry, it is obvious that tremendous amounts of money are taken into government revenue. The shame is that while times were so good in the 1970s, so much of this forest associated revenue was used for so many purposes other than the restocking and tending of our forests.
....I don’t say these things as a criticism of our governments. The demand for better medical care (we have the best in North America) schools, highways and all forms of social services was heavy in those years. It was a buoyant time and the forest industry was this province’s leader.
....I have found in my experiences in and around B.C. that, in general, politicians of all parties really never take or took as much interest in our forestry matters as the immensity of the subject deserved. We are a very politically oriented group out here in the wild west and the politicians’ platforms are seldom found in forests, but more likely in this little southwest cement corner of B.C. (Cont’d on pg. A5)
|British Columbia Lumberman April, 1986 A3|
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|Although Sweden’s forests were desecrated several hundreds of years ago by using huge amounts of firewood to melt rock to obtain copper, the country has since recovered and has a thriving forest industry.|
Bill Moore . . .
(Cont’d from pg. A/3)
....We lack and have always lacked good forestry educational programs for our young people. Yes, there are a few great volunteer groups such as the Junior Forest Wardens or a high school course now being implemented. But we totally lack any form of sensible outdoor, forest-oriented program for most of our population stuck down here in this southwest corner of B.C. Maybe that’s why they grow up to be untrained hunters or become get-lost-climbers and forest-fire-setting-idiots. It is simply unrea-sonable that young people can be catered to with great gymnasiums, fine football fields, beautiful swimming pools and yet not be taught of their forests that play such a great part in bringing them all these recreational values.
....I would go back to the beginning and speak again about intensive-extensive forestry. I stated we are not into intensive forestry here in B.C. Nor do I think we will be for some time. Possibly one of the main reasons is the problem of the mix of forests that grow here in B.C.
....I could stand to be corrected but I would say that 90 percent, or more, of the trees harvested in B.C. are from old-growth forest. (I refuse to use the media-loved word virgin. Somehow it does not relate to old Hemlock snags or twelve foot diameter Sitka Spruce. When was the last time you heard of a 12-foot-diameter virgin?)
....Onward, we are new at this business of utilizing forests, not old-timers like the Scans or the Germans. That doesn’t mean to say we can’t do a good job. We can. But those folks are dealing with third and fourth generation forests that they have tended. We are dealing with our first one. And like all first-born we have a lot to learn and a few mistakes to make along the way.
....The Scandinavian and German public have spent generations being used to forests, to using them for their hunting, fishing and pleasures. A whole sense of feeling about forests exists over there. We have a hard time stopping people from setting fire to our forests! And we
still waste more fibre than they harvest from some of their areas.
....The regulatory and managerial systems of our forests is much different than that of our European friends.
....I visited a young friend of mine who managed a section of the Black Forest in Germany. He was in total charge of his section. He issued the hunting and fishing licenses and gave permits for the gathering of fuel sticks. He issued permits of tiny plots of forest land called blanket plots where people wanted to tend a few trees and administered the purchase of seedlings from private seed orchards that competed for the business. He administered the removal of poles or logs from his sector. He also saw, built and issued permits for hunters to use as hunting blinds.
....We don’t seem to have anything so simple as that in our administration of forests – but maybe some day we will. We have many agencies looking after things pertaining to forests and sometimes the bureaucratic cross-fire of dealing with these various agencies would turn nice young loggers into nasty old men.
....I don’t say we need the European system here, but their system lends itself very much to real intensive forestry. There is very little interference from political parties on the regulatory or managerial system in Europe. One must remember that their system has been in use for a long time and their public understands and appreciates the varied uses of forest land.
....In Germany I was shown Douglas firs, big ones, that were grown from seeds from our British Columbia forests by German foresters in the early 1800s. Remember Captain Cook only found us toward the end of 1700 and it did not take those German lads long to get out here and gather some seed. As I say, they have been at intensive forestry a long time but our time will come.
....The people I have met in these countries from corporate leaders to woods persons, all have a deep respect of their forests and have a clear knowledge of their forests. The wealthier people pay a high price for their shooting areas and the working man and woman know
|British Columbia Lumberman April, 1986 A5|
instinctively the types of mushrooms they can or cannot eat without a guide book.
....I found it interesting in central Sweden to be told of how the Swedes had desecrated (another much-loved media word) their large central forests in the old days and of the recovery of those forests. In the 17th and 18th century Sweden produced ¾ of the world’s copper from its central region. The copper was in high demand and it was mined by placing firewood from the forests in the mining shafts and setting the wood on fire. This would melt the rock and the ore would be free to gather up.
....Great forest areas were totally used up in the pursuit of copper and the land that now boasts of intensive for-estry once saw its forests desecrated. I hope the critics of our policies will keep this Swedish over-cutting in mind.
....Again to the attitudes of the Euro-peans and the results they achieve with their intensive forestry programs. I recall vividly standing with my friend in Varkaus in East Finland – a Port Alberni style town, very integrated – and watching the effluent of his pulp mill flow into a large pond.
....There were nice fat trout swimming in the pond and I asked him if this was a government regulation. He laughed and said of course – “We do it because we care for this land and its waters and its forests.” That was over ten years ago and it told me better than a textbook the value Finland puts on its forests and land.
....Here it is different. People complain about gates being put on logging roads in tree farms, yet I have seen machines shot up, stolen and fires deliberately set by idiots that call themselves Canadians. I am appalled by the fibre left on the ground under some of our new Small Business Program timber sales. I am also appalled by some of the fibre left on the ground now by our larger logging firms.
....But I am disappointed mostly that our federal and provincial politicians haven’t had the foresight to correct some of the native land claims until the latter stop a legitimate logger from going about his legitimate business of logging. We are a long way from such futuristic words as intensive or even extensive forestry when our politicians stand helpless at the edge of the forest.
....Talk to Europeans who are practicing real intensive forestry and they will tell you that you have the finest forests in the world – in the right place at the right time. We have rail and roads and waterways that put us ahead in forest products transpor-tation, that the Soviets cannot equal for decades, if then. And we have an industrious people.
....The Europeans are pretty well up to their cut while we could double or triple ours if we put real effort into it. We have it all right here but we must change our attitudes about forests.
....We must teach all our young people about our forests as well as teach them about high tech. This must be a priority.
....We must ease off the politics in our
forestry and let professionals run our forests without interference
and with proper funding.
Keep out of the bight,
|A6 British Columbia Lumberman April, 1986|