Western Forestry Contractors’ Association Rumour Mill RoundUpDate Volume 18, Issue 02

January 25, 2018
Vol. 18, Issue 02

Warning: The possibility that some facts published in this issue may have appeared previously—or will again in the future—does not suggest that facts can be two places at once. If that were the case they would be quantum facts. Our facts are ambiguous for other reasons.

Twelve Days to WFCA 2018 Annual Conference,
Tradeshow and AGM Kelowna BC

Swimming may not be on the February conference program. But lots of other great stuff is.

We know you all are counting the days to this major forestry event of February 7th to 9th, 2018. We sure are. In fact we like counting so much we can tell you there are eight days to Ground Hog Day (2nd Feb.). But that has little to do with our conference. It just something we counted. Still the thrill of anticipation grows whenever we look at the three-day conference agenda. You can do that here. See, it really is a great program. And we really do look forward to seeing you there for all kinds of reasons besides the great program: like the great trade show, the hosted hospitality bars, the camaraderie and all the other good stuff people come to this event for. If you haven’t already signed up let’s make that something you do as soon as you finish reading this RoundUpDate. For more information get in touch admin@wfca.ca.

BCTS Considers Widening New Forestry Contract Tendering and Performance Options

It isn’t all pencil-pushing, or pulling, at the BCTS Contract Advisory Committee (BCAC)

For the past few years some tree-planting contractors have piloted a BCTS contractor rating system and a continuous bid deposit process. Both innovations have been voluntary. At the same time BCTS has changed how it holds planting contractors to agreements. In the past successful bidder performance may have been secured through cash or bonds. Under the new regime no upfront money is involved, but BCTS has the right to prohibit a contractor from bidding on work for two years if they “fail to promptly and faithfully perform the contract in accordance with the terms and conditions specified.” Innovations like these typically perform like waterbeds. If you push down here something pops up over there. No surprise then that the contracting pilots have produced a few unintended consequences in some cases—which we are addressing. Nevertheless the feeling among the government staff and contractors on the BCTS Contract Advisory Committee (BCAC) is that the changes have generally worked for the better. BCTS contract administration has become more consistent. Contractors don’t have as much cash tied up in bid and performance securities, and the rating system over time holds the promise of rewarding exemplary contractors by giving them a bidding advantage. The thinking now is that these options could be made available to other businesses that bid on BCTS forestry contracts including for example: multi-phase; brushing and weeding; and so on. In cooperation with BCAC the WFCA will conduct some polling later this winter to gauge how much interest there is among other forestry owners to participate in these kinds of contract options. So expect mail. Or send us your thoughts and queries now to info@wfca.ca.

Is Professional Reliance the Problem? The WFCA Position

In any strategic analysis there is a problem when you misstate the problem. Your answers will have problems as they miss the point. Meanwhile the original problem will persist, possibly even grow thanks to the solutions you’ve proposed. We can’t help but think this is the problem with our government’s ongoing review of professional reliance (PR). We even have a name for it, the fallacy of synecdoche*: mistaking the part for the whole. The WFCA has argued in its submission to the PR review that troubling failures in resource management more often come from the context in which professional reliance has to work rather than professional reliance itself.

We argue professional reliance is a practice (the part); a single component within a larger forest management regime (the whole). That regime also includes the rules that regulate forestry, the agencies that gather the information to support and enforce those standards, and the long-term vision animated by our elected government. We find deficiencies in these elements have been wrongly credited to professional reliance and to some extent professionals themselves.

With management failures, as shown by various PR task force conclusions, audit recommendations and watchdog reports, it is in some cases the agencies themselves with direct jurisdiction that have been found deficient in their competence and commitment. In other cases the rules and guidelines have been shown inadequate to support qualified professionals in making balanced decisions involving various interests and values. It is also fair to question our government’s wisdom back in 2002 when it thought we could in effect outsource forest management in B.C. through deregulation and reducing the role of bureaucracy.

To read more including our recommendations to solve to the actual problem click here.

*synecdoche: a figure of speech in which the part is used for the whole as in “lead-hand.”

Answer to the 2017 December RoundUpDate Christmas Card Quiz.

You will all remember the exciting question and the special prizes offered to those of you who could tell us correctly, How many people are standing in the 22 December RoundUpDate special Seasons Greetings photograph?

The answer is nine. Sorry to those of you who thought one of them was a dog. It was just a short person. Winners, your prizes are in the mail once you have answered our skill-testing question by factoring the following:

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