This past April, we had unexpected visit from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. Three Natural Resource Officers (NROs) – in full uniform – drove into our parking lot. Turns out they were looking for agents of logs. How did they figure we dealt with logs? Well, we’re listed in the Victoria Yellow Pages under ‘Millwork’. True story!! They thought we were a mill.
Nevertheless, this prompted us to ask questions and this is what we discovered. Compliance & Enforcement (C&E) is the law enforcement arm of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. Its main purpose is to make sure that a variety of resource management laws are being followed on and in BC’s public lands, water and forests and to take action where there is non-compliance. They also have been designated as Special Conservation Officers, Land Officers, BC Parks Rangers and Fisheries Inspectors with the authority to enforce the associated legislation.
Logger – usually refers to a number of workers whose job it is to harvest timber and bring it to a mill. The term “lumberjack” is similar to logger but is not used in BC. It is an eastern North American term.
Faller – Fallers are specialists who may have voluntarily become certified for this dangerous position. They are specifically trained to hand fall trees and are highly skilled.
Forester – usually refers to a Registered Professional Forester (RPF). Foresters have university degrees, or equivalent, specializing in forestry and have spent at least two years articling before passing a rigorous registration exam.
Tech or Technologist – usually refers to a Registered Forest Technologist (RFT). RFTs have a two-year college diploma, or equivalent, in forestry and have spent at least two years articling before passing a rigorous registration exam.
Accredited Timber Cruiser (ATC) – a cruiser is a specialist who is trained to accurately figure out how much and the quality of each tree species is available for harvesting. A cruiser has on-the-job training and must demonstrate competency before being allowed to use the title ATC. Note that RPFs & RFTs may also be ATCs.
Accredited Timber Evaluator (ATE) – a timber evaluator is a specialist similar to an ATC however, the timber evaluator has more experience and is able to supervise a team of cruisers. Like ATCs, ATEs must demonstrate their competency before being allowed to use the ATE designation. Note that RPFs & RFTs may also be ATEs.
Wood is my world; the world that gives me an opportunity to exist; to raise a family; make my mark in life. The cycle of dependence is large and varied. It’s a world of relative grace and comfort thanks to that wood in those trees. Yet the term ‘wood’ is rather loosely used, and I often wonder what defines ‘wood’ in other people’s worlds.
How do we find wood useful? Could a rough board or an old stump qualify? Some suggest it would best be served in its original ‘tree’ state. Loved but untouched.
(left) Culturally modified & will live to see another day. (right) Culturally modified in a very utilitarian, one-time fashion.
In a woodworker’s world is there an expectation that ‘wood’ needs to be re-manned; touched by human and/or machine ‘hands’ to be valued? Its form altered; enhanced? Or is wood……..trees…….best left alone; yet even mammals and birds; insects and amphibians do not leave trees unmarked. What is natural?
(Right) Ballet on Water – Pas de Poisson – Photos by Jan and Shelley Nielsen
Jan and I have traveled north – beyond on the rapids – to The Broughton Archipelago on three occasions since 2004. We have always been the smallest, oldest and most wooden boat up there. It is a go-to destination for yachts, mega-yachts and super-mega yachts without a doubt.
Being ‘bookie’ people, we have quite a library aboard. We collect books on natural and cultural history, on local stories – from then and now and of course, the various boating bibles on the go-to destinations. If you read my articles, you’ll know we love to mix travel and timber-talk as much as possible…..and what better occasions to see the industry in action. These books spin a tale of hard work and the pioneering spirit, industry growth and decline…..and reinvention. Up in the Broughton’s, you can ‘live’ history.
We had the privilege of having some photos sent to us from the Solomon Islands of some locals harvesting a Narra tree. These guys sure are good at what they do, as the photos prove!