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Western Silvicultural Contractors’ Association
Rumour Mill RoundUpDate

July 4, 2014
Vol. 14, Issue 11
Warning: Some facts may be fictionalized for dramatic effect

Wildfire Tools and Suppression System Guidelines for Forestry Crews:

It’s been six years since a WSCA-sponsored working group drew up recommended best practices for high hazard forest activities defined by the B.C. Wildfire Act and Wildfire Regulation. As we head into the summer fire and field season they may be worth a look at today. The guidelines are intended to apply to vegetation management work, silviculture activities and other industrial operations working with reduced road access, mobile operations and remote worksites. Click here to view.

Minister Denies Silviculture Inclusion in Protection Scheme:

It looks like it will take more work to convince government that silviculture service providers deserve the same relief from going unpaid by licensees as the logging sector. Forest Minister Steve Thomson stated in a letter to the WSCA recently that government is no position to include silviculture contractors and seedling nurseries under the definition of Forestry Service Providers as laid out in the Forestry Service Providers Protection Act. Instead the minister recommended that silviculture firms take into consideration on their own, the business risk that some of their clients may fail and be unable to pay for services. This is wise advice in any situation, and may over time prove the most reliable strategy. The fund that supports the Act is not yet fully funded and still needs some strategic thinking. Somewhat circularly the substantial reason given for not including silviculture service providers was that the Act was intended originally for the logging sector. This of course was the very thing the WSCA wanted government to consider changing. The Minister has asked senior staff in the Timber Tenures Branch to engage the WSCA in more discussions.

Beetles survive Alberta winter:

It may be bad news for the boreal forests, and good news for beetle probers, fallers and pit kickers. A government of Alberta survey has shown that “beetles continue to survive the winter across much of our pine forests, meaning populations are unlikely to naturally decline in the near future. Aggressive action remains our best option to fight beetle infestations in Alberta.” Having eaten themselves more or less out of house and home in BC, this province now has to contend with the beetle-caused unnatural forest fuel build up and the massive wildfires experts are forecasting.

New Tree Box Design Proposed:

Silviculture researchers are considering a new tree box for storing and transporting seedlings. The experimental pyramid-shaped containers are anticipated for field trials next spring. Proponents say the boxes’ unique design will aid in maintaining seedling vigor during storage and shed water more readily on rainy days on site. The used boxes could also be worn by planters as amusing hats during rainy or sunny weather. Special glow-in-the-dark boxes are being developed to guide the Mothership to walk-in blocks in order to conduct routine alien abductions of workers.

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