Western Forestry Contractors’ Association
Rumour Mill RoundUpDate
8 October 2021
Volume 21 Issue 12

Warning: Some facts contained in this publication concern the future and as a result of quantum mechanics those facts may actually be influenced by the future which makes checking facts concerning the past, present, and the future, well, tense.

WFCA Establishes Fund to Support
Lytton Wildfire Fighters

Here is the best estimate for future planting with data to date. The shape of things going forward is subject to a variety of unknowns including the total losses due to wildfire and the post-COVID position of our government to fund reforestation, the federal 2 billion tree program, and the possible US demand for Canadian nursery space due to their disasters. To name a few factors. 

Amidst the prevailing forestry sector business uncertainties for next year, a few things seem assured: COVID is not going away for the 2022 forestry field season and unvaccinated workers pose a health hazard to camps and crews. As forestry consultants, contractors, firefighters, and seedling producers heard at last month’s WFCA Annual Business and Market Summit, COVID may continue infecting the unvaccinated provincial population to the point where infections might start to plateau this winter. But that will depend on no notable variants emerging before then. Meanwhile, so far, on the West Coast, the last of this year’s planting is winding down with no infections reported. Nevertheless, in industrial camps and resource processing plants across BC, unvaccinated workers remain the main source of infections. in some cases, health authorities have mandated vaccinating workers in order for operations to resume. In others, owners have mandated vaccinations for contract crews to avoid project disruptions due to illness and quarantines. Just where the forestry contracting sector will head between hiring the unvaccinated or not next season remains to be seen. Slides from the WFCA Business & Market Summit are available below:

Seedling Demand Forecasts (Knowns and Unknowns)
Presented by Caitlin Harrison, RPF, Resource Practices Branch

Managing COVID in 2022
Presented by Jordan Tesluk, Forestry Safety Advocate

COVID 19 – The Path Forward
Presented by Dr. Allan Holmes, Iridia Medical

Managing Uncertainty and Job Costing in a COVID World
Presented by Scott Overland, Quastuco Silviculture

You can also re-watch the Summit below:

WFCA 2021 Summit Recording 1 of 2

WFCA 2021 Summit Recording 2 of 2

Wildfire Fighters Relief Fund Off to Strong Start:
Goal Set For $10K

More than three thousand dollars have so far been donated to raise funds for the wildfire-fighting crews who lost possessions and, in some cases, their homes as they fought the Lytton wildfire this summer. Our goal is to triple that to $10,000 by asking all of our generous readers and members of the forestry contracting community to contribute. You can help reach our goal by donating below:

Donate Now

Forest Fuels Management Works:
The Underreported Story of This Summer

Nicomen Indian Band Chief Donna Aljam says ten years of investing in fuels treatment kept her community safe from a wildfire this July.

With so much of the landscape blackened across BC this summer media coverage tended to be as bleak. But we have heard numerous reports of how investments in fuels treatment adjacent to communities, as well as FireSmart practices followed at homes inside them have reduced losses when wildfire threatened this summer. If there is to be any encouragement from our latest provincial wildfire emergency, the apparent effectiveness of land management as a way to reduce the risk of wildfire disaster has to be told. A good example is the work undertaken through the First Nations’ Emergency Services Society of BC. Learn more here.

Annual WFCA Conference and AGM Will Be Virtual
February 9th to 11th, 2022

If you read the headline, then you know where this article is heading: like last year we will be broadcasting our 2022 conference and AGM across the world wide web in early February. Wednesday, February 9th will lead with workplace safety, Thursday, February 10th with policy, and Friday, February 11th with strategy. The program may sound a little Old Testament as we focus on fire, heat, and drought and their effects on workers, forests, and our future together in the forestry sector and on this planet. Expect the usual perspectives careering through the particular to the practical to the panoramic from our usual range of fascinating presenters and workshop leaders. Stay tuned for more details as the program takes shape.

Check Danger Tree Assessor Certificates for Fakes

This summer as the wildfire season warmed up Danger Tree Assessors (DTAs), who are integral to the safety of firefighting crews, were in short supply. Around then we began to hear reports of fake DTA documents being sold to people looking for work. Worse, we heard these dangerous frauds were being hired. Authorities soon got involved after hearing complaints. Investigations are ongoing including BC Wildfire Service and WorkSafeBC. It’s a low class of cretin who would traffic in these things with some, we expect, low enough to still try to use them. The University of Northern British Columbia looks after the training and registration of assessors. Employers can verify if they are being presented with legitimate certificates by getting in touch with UNBC at cstudies@unbc.ca