WSCA 2007 Conference Looks at Role of Silviculture Sector in Future Forest Restoration

Prince George, B.C. 30 January to 2 February 2007 will be four days dedicated to anticipating the future demand for forestry work in Western Canada, dealing with today’s capacity challenges, and complying with B.C.’s new safety and training regimes.

Western Silvicultural Contractors’ Association

12 December 2007

Prince George, B.C.
January 30 through February 2, 2007
Coast Inn of the North

Speakers list for the WSCA Annual Conference and Trade Show:

(Full program schedule to follow.)

Jim Shepherd: CEO Canfor
What will CANFOR look like in ten years? Where does Jim see the forest sector headed strategically? What will the largest firm in the province expect from its contractors in the future?

Greg Anderson: MoFR Provincial Ecosystem Restoration Manager
Greg probably has the one of the most demanding positions in the province today: he has to convince government that we need to restore key forest and range ecosystems after the ongoing assault on forest health and he needs to demonstrate we can do it. Two obstacles in the way of getting the program running include, the precariousness of political will and whether there is an industry with the skills and capacity to actually treat tens of thousands of hectares with prescribed burns, fuel management treatments and reforestation. That industry, by the way, is us.

Al McDonald: BCTS Seed and Seedling Planning Officer
Provincial sowing requests are obviously a reliable indicator of future reforestation programs. But only up to a few years. Al will provide those figures at the conference and take at look at the long term projections based on present trends.

Bruce Blackwell: B. A. Blackwell and Associates
Tens of thousands of hectares of ailing and beetle-killed wood has to have implications for future wildfire behaviour. Bruce will examine the potential for land scape scale wildfires in the future. He will also talk about strategic silviculture remedies and the possible conversion of this bio mass to something more productive than wildfire smoke.

Robin Dawes: Nursery Manager K & C Silviculture
Silviculture contracting and the nursery business have more in common than just seedlings. Robin will offer some practical advice and commentary on how contractors can work better with the nursery side of things. She will also explore how we need to challenge many of the current assumptions regarding how we grow and plant seedlings in this province as the future takes us in directions we have never experienced before.

Jordan Tesluk: Consultant and SFU Masters Student
Jordan has orchestrated two major field studies on the silviculture workforce tracking attitudes towards safety and job satisfaction as well as the ongoing demographic shift in the workforce. He will discuss his latest study and its implications for recruiting and retaining a high performing workforce in the future.

Dean McGeough: Chair of the Wildlife Danger Tree Committee
Dean will explain the contracting and safety ramifications of recent work by his committee regarding working in and under disease, fire and bug-killed stands. He will also clarify what is expected in general regarding wildlife danger trees on silviculture project blocks.

Jim Snetsinger: Chief Forester
Jim will describe the challenging work of anticipating the future effects of climate change and the current assault on forest health here in B.C. He will outline how these complex imperatives will affect future forest policy.

Roger Harris: BC Forest Safety Ombudsman
Roger will discuss his recently completed Review on Training and Certification which goes to the heart of the capacity challenges the harvesting and forestry sector face today. He will also outline his mandate as ombudsman and how the silviculture sector can make use of his special office.

Bob Gray: Gray Consulting Ltd
Bob has completed work for the BC SAFE Silviculture Project designing standard training for contract fire fighting and prescribed burn crews. He will introduce these proposed programs and how they will fit into future restoration work and the ongoing contract fire suppression sector.

Other invited speakers include ministry of forest executives (still waiting confirmation) as well as consultants to discuss a proposed inter-firm comparison program for silviculture contractors. At the conclusion of the conference, once we have nailed down the future, a critical strategic session will be held to point the WSCA in the appropriate directions. No minor undertaking considering the various imperatives in play. We hope to see you there.

Make your plans now to attend this conference. For more information contact our office in Vancouver 604-736-8660.