going on?

Those were the days, my friend, and we thought they’d never end.
....Nice phrase, but the words don’t ring quite true in these strange times. I’m sure we really thought it would never end. Those nice comfortable, profitable

by Bill Moore
to appreciate this fact and try to under-stand the position of American political leaders.
....And while we’re at it, how are we progressing with our springtime deal of commotion lately?
....Summer seems like a good time for
cozy seventies – forestry’s golden days!
....But end it did and the slide goes on. How far? Tune in during the 1990s and catch the results. You never know, you could wind up being a winner and wind up surviving.
....Ridiculous? No siree, just remem-bering days past and watching the players and the cast of thousands. Also being reminded of a time when we treated our forests rather shabbily and wondering if we are watching another installment of those inglorious times.
....What’s going on? Well for starters our industry is under the smoking gun of our friendly neighbor to the south. They cut us off at the pass with the shake and shingle industry here in B.C. and it’s probably just a dress rehearsal for the big act – the imposition of tariffs on our softwood lumber going into the United States.
....What’s going on! Well, as this is written in late June, we seem to be in a sort of a dilemma, that is forestry-wise. There are a whole bunch of things going wrong and it’s going to take some cool heads and long thinkers to handle what’s on our plate.
....The forest industry is in negotiation with the IWA for a new Master Agreement and one can only hope that both sides will find a way to hold off on their bottom lines until the Ameri-cans have come to a decision regarding tariffs on our lumber.
....How anyone could ignore the seri-ousness of that decision to our lumber economy and try to negotiate a labor contract is more than this logger’s mind
could ever understand. And the state-ments coming forth, first from two of our top management people that we could afford a modest tariff and the IWA statement that we should charge ourselves more stumpage to appease the congressman is like shooting one-self in the foot. What’s going on?
....Maybe somebody better tell our able leaders of management and labor that we observers of the scene expect the decision makers to get together at a crisis like this tariff situation could entail, instead of listening to their various declarations of war on each other. Or has everyone forgotten that we are all Canadians – in a low pop-ulation country – up against a very tough, large population in which the majority thinks we all dress as cow-boys in our snow-capped mountains.
....Seemingly intelligent people in the United states have been quoted as saying of Canada: “I just see billions of pine trees, am I right? – Tony Randall. Or novelist Gore Vidal: “Canada one thinks of the Queen and cowboys!” Or maybe Dyan Cannon, American actress: “My image of Canada? I don’t know – blinking cold, cold weather. I see Canadians in a healthy outdoor way.”
....The above are people who form images through film and books. Little wonder the statements that come out of the American Congress about “our friends to the north!” There are a lot of people out of work or getting very low wages in the U.S. forest industry right now and I believe it behooves us here in the Canadian forest industry
thinning and brushing out. And in so many cases we need that even more than new seedlings. We have vast areas of natural regrowth on our Coastal areas that beg for good thin-ning and a clearing of brush.
....Are we being stopped from this by too high union rates that restrict the a-mount of money that can be spent? If so, has anyone talked seriously to the IWA about a plan to put unemployed people to work on a vital and needed project at a decent wage but possibly not as high as the logger rate?
....We are doing to our forests in 1986 what we did in 1936 – taking the cream of it and leaving high volumes of fibre on the gro0und to rot. It is being done, of course, because of difficult economic times. But being a parti-cipant of this logging scene for a lengthy time, it is a sad state of affairs to witness.
....And what’s going on with log exports? Some of our forestry people are ready to stand and die for this quite paradoxical cause. The IWA says no exports, but its members are out of jobs if that comes about.
....Management knows it can get good prices for quality logs, but should our sawmills have these logs?
....The government has set up new guidelines that were so popular they caused a protest march on the legi-slature in Victoria, and a new forest minister was caught off guard by some of our best coastal logging contractors.
....I can’t help but get angry with the manner in which the Lyell Island situation in the Queen Charlotte Islands
A6                                                                                                                        British Columbia Lumberman August, 1986

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        Bill Moore . . .
(Cont’d from pg. A6)

has been conducted by our governments.
....After a lengthy committee investigation there is still, at this date, no action. The logging operator there, who is a con-tractor for the Tree Farm License holder, has heavily invested in camps and equip-ment to legitimately log an area assigned to him. That equipment sits idle while the provincial government, on the one hand, says it is all right to log the areas defined, but will not hand out the necessary cutting permits the contractor needs before he can commence logging.
....If vested groups, be they Native Indians, illegal strikers, or dissident Douk-hobors and such gathering of citizens, can be allowed to violate the law of the land at the expense of legitimate business, then we have sunk to new lows in government management. What’s going on?
....Some sense must be made out of the impossible native land claims. Sense is not going to be made with Ottawa sending out uninformed people from all parties and only confusing the issue more. Nor can our native Canadians expect sensible results by breaking Canadian law.
....British Columbia has had one great plus – the World’s Fair. Without it our Lower Mainland, that holds three quarters of our population, would be in very shaky times.
Where are the long thinkers and cool heads? Are we only to listen to politicians crawling over each other, or strike talk, or rebellion in the forest? Is this what a lot of fathers and grandfathers worked for, to provide us with the best land on earth? What’s going on?

Keep out of the bight,
Bill Moore

A12                                                                                                                       British Columbia Lumberman August, 1986