Western Forestry Contractors’ Association
Rumour Mill RoundUpDate
18 March 2022
Volume 22 Issue 04

Warning: Many of the recently appearing fanfiction versions of the RoundUpDate may contain facts set in imagined circumstances that have been narratively embellished by their authors. 

Rising Inflation’s Cascading Costs Shock Contractors

Canadian Inflation

Not all inflation rates are equal (see above) as compounding world disorders continue to disrupt supplies and services dampening prospects for forestry enterprises still busy dealing with ongoing COVID risks.

Now with the worst inflation in 30 years, punctuated by spikes like fuel rising 30% since Christmas, forestry contractors fear they’re losing money before they even begin their 2022 field season. With Canadian inflation predicted to reach 5.9% soon, owners are finding that operational necessities like fuel, food, accommodation, and rentals are rising at even steeper rates. Planting contractors, seedling producers, consulting foresters, and wildfire fighting service providers are particularly exposed, holding seasonal or multi-year agreements bid or negotiated last year. Those outdated margins are vanishing in the face of this year’s extraordinary inflation. After two years of pandemic uncertainties the sector now faces another dimension of risk—one that contractors are just beginning to make sense of as the 2022 tree planting and forestry season gets underway. 

We Need Limits For Working In Extraordinary Heat Says Forestry Safety Advocate

With climate change, working safely in the heat has to be a priority. We do consider temperature’s effect on seedlings. Now we need to consider its effects on us. 

There are limits to our bodies’ ability to cool down. During last summer’s heat dome it’s likely some forestry workers were active at the margins of human endurance. The limit to our heat-adapted capacity to cool through evaporation is measured as a wet bulb globe (WBGT) temperature of 32 °C (90 °F), equivalent to a heat index of 55 °C (130 °F). WBGT amounts to the level of stress we feel, subject to ambient temperature, humidity, wind speed, cloud cover, and the angle of the sun. This was all very much on the minds of members of the BC SAFE Forestry Program Strategic Advisory Committee (SAC) when they met last week to set their annual work plan priorities for keeping workers safe. Extreme heat damages vital organs, the brain and can cause death. Fortunately, there were no reports of such severe outcomes from last year. But Forestry Safety Advocate Jordan Tesluk stated that, along with taking preventative measures including frequent and proper hydration with increased rest breaks, appropriate clothing, refraining from diuretic energy drinks, working shifts avoiding the hottest part of the day, and shutting down during heat waves, there has to be a clear threshold requiring work to stop because it is too dangerous to do otherwise. SAC intends to work with WorkSafeBC, BC Forest Safety, and the sector to set that limit and develop recommended work-heat best practices. 

New Digital Incident Recording App Now Available 

Field workers and supervisors can now record and report incidents and close calls on their mobile devices using the Forest Industry Reporting System (FIRS) Quick Add App. It is now available free to firms supported by BC Forest Safety. Developed jointly by the BC SAFE Forestry Program, BC Forest Safety, and EHS Analytics, the app is a first step in creating a common forest sector digital incident reporting platform that can eliminate paper work and reporting redundancies, store records, capture report information, and be used remotely in the field. The WFCA is encouraging all operators and their staff download the app to try it out this spring. Although the system is simple and straightforward to use, training workshops will be announced soon. Stay tuned.
You can download the app on Android APK or the Apple App Store.

For more information or details on how you can integrate this digital app into your current regime, please get in touch by emailing admin@wfca.ca.

Consultant Survey of BC Silviculture Industry Seeks Input For New Communication Strategy

Our BC SAFE Forestry Program Strategic Advisory Committee (SAC) is the driving force behind many of the health & safety resources that you now use in your everyday work. 
It advocates for the meaningful evolution of our industry—and we need you to help us shape the future.
We are extending an invitation for you to share your valuable insights, experience and vision.

Click here for the survey
Deadline for submission: March 23rd, 2022

We Are The Landscape: Tree Planting Film Festival 2022

Thanks to our sponsors and host Blue Green Planet Project, the event is now free! 

If you have already purchased a ticket,
please reach out to film@bgpp.earth for a refund!

About this event

“Tree planting transforms us. These are our stories.” On March 19th The 2022 virtual Tree Planting Film Festival entitled We Are the Landscape, provides an inside look into what it takes to be a tree planter, sharing stories of passion, purpose and perseverance.

It features 26 short films and documentaries, each under 10 minutes in length, as well as an appearance by Paul Stamets, an American mycologist, and musical entertainment by Clayton Joseph Scott, The Boom Booms and Shred Kelly. This the third year for the virtual Film Festival, produced by tree Blue Green Planet Project Inc. (BGPP), a collaborative carbon solutions company.

Event organizer Tim Tchida says 600 million trees are planted in Canada each year by approximately 8000 tree planters. The work requires tremendous skill, devotion and endurance. For many, it’s a calling as much as it is a job.

“Planters share physical traits with high-performance athletes,” says Tchida. “In between the millions of trees being planted each day, in every moment there is a lot happening. In the space between trees there is friendship, initiation, and giving back…. and tough, grueling, rewarding work. It’s a profound alignment of personal endurance and collective fulfillment; it is an initiation into your own potential.”

The shorts streamed during the Festival provide a glimpse into the life of a tree planter, connecting the industry’s history (one documentary takes viewers back to the 70s) to its future potential, all while providing insights into the impact of their work.

Trees are an essential mechanism of most ecosystems and a stable climate. They mitigate temperature, act as a buffer to forest fires and flooding, provide homes for flora and fauna, and are one of the most efficient and proven ways to capture and store carbon.

For climate change mitigation advocates, planting additional trees is an effective way to reduce carbon emissions and contribute to a net carbon future. Tickets are free and available by clicking the link below. Show starts at 6:30 pm.