Western Silvicultural Contractors’ Association
Rumour Mill RoundUpDate
June 12, 2015
Vol. 15, Issue 12
Warning: Due to constraints related to editorial time and space some of the facts contained in the following articles may appear shorter than in previous editions.
Forest worker death reveals hazards of clearing blow down trees from resource roads.
A low bed operator was struck fatally last month in the Prince George area while directing the removal of trees that had blocked a resource road. There is a lesson from this unfortunate death for silviculture crews who frequently find their way to work blocked by blow down. Trees fallen across roads, even when not apparently bound, or under obvious tension, can be loaded with lethal force. This may have contributed to the Prince George truck driver’s death. (Full disclosure: the author of the RoundUpDate fractured his tibia last summer while cutting an innocent looking log suspended gently across a track. The log had a hidden (to him) twist and snapped suddenly batting him backwards ten feet under his truck.) Proper training is needed to operate a saw (or winch or mobile equipment) to remove blow down safely. If the solution is to run a saw the operator needs to know which cuts, in what sequence, and where to make them to release any load and tension in a controlled and predictable way. You also need to know when you are out of your league in size and circumstance of the wood involved. In that case get capable help.
Wildlife habitat review pending this monthAt the beginning of this year the Honourable Steve Thomson Minister of Forests, Lands and Resource Operations asked his recently appointed Parliamentary Secretary Mike Morris MLA Prince George Mackenzie to undertake a review of wildlife habitat management in the province. Mr. Morris is expected to present that report to the minister at the end of this month. The review is in response to concerns from wildlife user groups over wildlife habitat and the changes in the abundance and distribution of wildlife populations. Natural resource development and its cumulative effects across the landscape may be having impacts on wildlife. The review, which will include looking at general policy frameworks including provisions in the Wildlife Act, Forest and Range Practices Act etc. is expected to give government a better understanding of the interactions between resource activities, climate change and environmental impacts like the mountain pine beetle. Directors of the WSCA met last month with Mr. Morris in Prince George to discuss the ambit of his review and to offer their silviculture perspectives on reforestation, wild fire and habitat restoration.
Government training fund fully subscribed for year two
The Canada-BC Job Grant Program’s training fund of $19.5-million for this fiscal year 2015 has been completely taken up by employers in the first months of government accepting applications. The employer-driven program, which sees government contributing two-thirds of training tuition costs, allocated funds on a first come continuous flow basis. There obviously has been no shortage of interest from provincial employers in taking advantage of the funding. Year three of the program commencing in 2016 will expand to $39-million. Notices regarding applying for those funds will appear in early 2016. Interested employers can track developments at the WorkBC Official Website at https:www.workbc.ca The RoundUpDate will provide information to its readers so that they can take advantage of dollars available to train their workers including supervisors, saw operators, light truck drivers, ATV/UTV operators etc. to industry-recognized standards.