Rumour Mill Roundupdate Vol. 14-4

Western Silvicultural Contractors’ Association
Rumour Mill Roundupdate

March 21st, 2014
Vol. 14-4
United Nations International Day of Forests

Remembering MaryAnne Arcand

Too soon and too sudden is the only way to describe the sad passing of MaryAnne Arcand this week in Prince George. A community, business and safety leader she always campaigned with a vital mix of brass and heart. MaryAnne’s commitment to forestry, worker health, the environment and safety policy was so deep and extensive it may take some time to fully appreciate the forestry world without her. She leaves many friends and allies in the silviculture sector. The WSCA sends condolences to her family. MaryAnne was 59.

It’s Spring but Too Soon to Call 2014 Fire Season

There are just too many variables in play to forecast this summer’s weather and the fires that might go with it. Nevertheless, the prevailing informed hunch among managers is that in many parts of BC we are overdue. The BC southeast has gone an unprecedented five years with below normal activity. The BC southwest is setting up for fire at the northern end of the ongoing Western American drought. Even Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands are abnormally dry and likely to stay that way. Weathermen will start making fire forecasts soon, largely because people keep asking them. But what really matters is how wet June turns out (remember the monsoons last year). The other factor is how often wet weather will interrupt the warming and drying trends that develop over the summer (as we saw in last August’s short rainy stretch).

Briefly:

—The UBCM is making final calls for community wildfire management applications under the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative. The program provides funding, along with community contributions, for community fuel management operations and planning. The current program, which intermittently keeps forestry contractor crews busy, will run out of dollars this spring. The Wildfire Management Branch has applied to treasury for new funds.

—The Loyal Opposition spent last week in Estimates challenging the government’s credibility and commitment to forestry in the province. In a wide-ranging assault from area based tenure to grizzly habitat the NDP earned credit for the scope of issues they raised, even if it sometimes sounded like a summary of frustrations. Minister Thomson remained steadfast in his defense of his government’s record. In particular he denied that the area-based tenure discussion process was being unduly influenced by the lumber sector.

Spring Light Truck Driver Training Offered:

Each year the BC Silviculture Sector drives 10 million person kilometers on public highways and resource roads across the province. To keep all those workers safe on the way to and from work drivers need to be properly trained. The BC Forest Safety Council now recognizes the BC SAFE Silviculture Program driver training as a best practice. Training sessions are set for:

Castlegar April 11 & 12
Prince George April 22 & 23
Port Alberni April 28 & 29
Vernon May 1 & 2

To register or for more information call the registrar 604-736-8660.