........Comment by Bill Moore
...The forest around us
Is it true that they
....I had the pleasure recently of gath-ering together with about a hundred friends to celebrate the tenth anniver-sary of the Festival of Forestry pro-gram. Time goes by so quickly in this jet age and it was fun and a certain amount of satisfaction for all of us, gathered together, to recall some of the events in that 10 year history.
....Festival of Forestry was born with one purpose in mind. It still retains that purpose. Simply put, it was meant to inform people of an industry that too often in the past had an ostrich style of living. What is a logger – and what exactly does he do? What does one look like? Is it true that they go around desecrating the forest?
....These and other questions brought a number of concerned people toge-ther in Vancouver over 10 years ago who felt that the ostrich must sit up and show its face. Representatives from logging management, the Inter-national Wood-workers of America, the forest faculties of U.B.C. and B.C.I.T., the provincial forest service, the federal forest service and allied manufacturers to the forest industry sat down together and adopted a plan to “show off” the forest industry’s people to the public.
....The two-phased program included the promotion and co-ordination of loggers sports and the setting up of
forestry tours for senior forestry students.
....With the co-operation of the Pacific National Exhibition in Vanco9uver a site for an annual logging sports show was chosen. From the first show in 1966 this program has developed into a highly successful event attracting a quarter of a million people each year to watch loggers from not only Canada, but the U.S.A., Japan, New Zealand and Australia show their skills.
....In order to encourage loggers to
“come out of the bush” and do their stuff at tree climbing,
axe throwing etc., smaller shows were organized in towns, camps and
cities throughout the province. Organized under the umb-rella of Festival
was the Canadian Loggers Sports Federation, to pro-mote and encourage
logging sports across Canada. B.C.’s finest cham-pions have been
sent by the Festival Committee to Quebec, Ontario and lately to northern
Alberta. Every-where they have gone they have delighted and taught loggers
who were eager to learn the “tricks of the trade” in logging
middle of the town. The mayor told us that the city’s traffic was all snarled up because of the demonstration. It was a lovely evening – and never did B.C. send finer ambassadors to the east than our champion loggers.
....It was not a case of “up-grading” the logger. It was simply a case of showing modern day loggers as they really are - skilled fast-reflexed and proud to show off their industry. Log-ging sports is now an established form of sports entertainment – and the mothers and fathers and aunts and uncles of the men who work the bush are able for the first time to get a glimpse of what a power saw can do, how an axe can fly at a bulls-eye and how the old time high riggers needed stamina and strength to climb the mighty spars of the west coast.
....Along with loggers sports, our committee felt there was a gap in the education system, whereby graduating foresters and graduating teachers in our colleges were not seeing all the problems face to face, of the world they were about to enter. We found that these young people had never been exposed to the management union scene that is so real in our work-a-day world. We therefore included in o0ur week long tours not only the
British Columbia Lumberman, July, 1976
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mills, logging and research aspects of forestry – but we sat these people down with union leaders for an evening and let them rap. We took them to streamsides where logging and fishing have a problem, and we let them listen and question the forest ranger, the fish and wildlife man, the federal fisheries person and the logger himself.
....We have shown these many, many, tours of young men and women the real day-by-day side of our industry – with no whitewashing. Why is there slash? Why are there wildcat strikes? (both side’s views) How bad is the forest industry’s pollution? In all the letters I have had back from these people who have taken our tours over the years, not one has ever said they failed to learn something or that the tour had not benefited them for their life ahead.
....Two men of our committee have led the forefront of these tours through the years and their dedicated work to the itineraries has been responsible for the tour successes. Prof. Oscar Sziklai of the Faculty of Forestry of U.B.C. and Victor Heath, the head of the forestry school at the B.C. Institute of Tech-nology have laid out all our B.C. forest areas, and similar tours to western and northern Ontario, northern Quebec and northern Alberta. The recipients, our students in education and forestry have been given an insight into Canadian forestry they could not get from daily classes.
....We have in these later years found
it most necessary that graduating education students get out and see
our industry. Because forestry plays such a large part in Canada’s
life, it is essential that our children be taught by knowledgeable people
– of the places, problems and people of the industry. When myth
turns to fact the student is well informed.
officials, foresters, stenographers, ply-wood workers, wives and mothers,
bullcooks and presidents. We live and work in different provinces and
we have different politics – but we all owe our daily bread and
butter to the tree.
the Vancouver Hilton Hotel,
and truly many others.
Keep out of the bight,
|British Columbia Lumberman, July, 1976