A logger in the Riske Creek area. Photo submitted

Forestry Ink: Recent government reports should help logging contractors and truck drivers

Columnist Jim Hilton looks at recommendations from a logging contractor sustainability review

Jim Hilton

Observer Contributor

During a recent CBC talk show about the proposed tax on exported logs on the coast, it was apparent that the logging contractors and truck drivers would likely be impacted by this proposal.

Most of the people phoning in supported the tax despite the rationale of the guest representing the truckers and contractors. With the recent mill closures and market problems, contractors across the province are also feeling the impacts.

On the plus side, the recent recommendations from a lengthy logging contractor sustainability review should be a good starting point to solving some long-standing issues. Problems have included an aging work force, long delays in processing plans and permits by government agencies, and difficult relationships between contractors and licensees.

Some of the recommendations involved the government working with contractors and licensees to help improve the overall efficiency of the industry.

For example: encourage licensees to support contractor purchases of equipment, and work with industry associations to develop best practice models and options. The government should also work with licenses and contractors on planning and permitting in order to schedule work for 12 months ahead, as well as taking the necessary steps to facilitate this through improvements to the permitting process. Finally, the Ministry of Forests should gather information on the quality of contractor/licensee relationships and publish it annually.

Government was also to encourage B.C. Timber Sales to offer a greater number of smaller blocks within its mix of blocks for auction, as well as acquire the most advanced version of LiDAR (2.0) and make province-wide topographical and inventory data freely available to all partners on the Crown land base.

The B.C. government is currently working on a report that will be completed by Dan Miller, a former premier and provincial cabinet minister who was hired back in August as a third-party facilitator. Miller will be responsible for bringing the province’s contractor and licensee associations together to identify where there is consensus, whether or not action can be taken on those recommendations, and where there may be differences of opinion. If readers want more details, they can read the following article by S. J. Trotton: Achieving Contractor Sustainability.

The next stage is the implementation of the new approaches with the government and industry, starting with management and proceeding down to the field staff. Another recommendation is for British Columbia’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development to work with contractor associations in developing a government/industry-funded training program beginning in 2019 and that the program be delivered in the field around the province.

I would hope that any training would involve some sort of apprenticeship and summer work experience for both industry and government students. While I had some valuable training courses during my time with the Forest Service, my hands-on experience following retirement, handling logs and lumber, as well as maintaining equipment as part of my portable sawmill business, gave me valuable insights as to what contractors do on a daily basis.

Jim Hilton is a professional agrologist and forester who has lived and worked in the Cariboo-Chilcotin for 40 years. Now retired, he volunteers his skills with local community forests organizations.

Just Posted

Military called in to remove inert practice round found in Quesnel industrial park

A maintenance worker mowing the grass found the round, which turned out to no longer be explosive

Ranch Musings: No-till pasture rejuvenation and sivopasture trials

Columnist David Zirnhelt is hosting a field day Aug. 29 in Beaver Valley

Meet Tour de North cyclist Chris Fedoruk

Quesnel man is a community rider with this year’s Cops for Cancer team

Forestry Ink: Forest tenure changes are occurring throughout the world

Regular columnist Jim Hilton writes about forest tenure and ownership

Quesnel Safeway honours its volunteer shoppers

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Safeway’s volunteer shopper program

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

Most Read