Editor, The Times;
Many kudos go to the hundreds of logging trucks and loggers who made the convoy to Vancouver to protest the NDP’s ridiculous handling of the many lost jobs in the forest industry. On July 1, Forest Minister Donaldson should have reduced the stumpage rate, not increased it.
If Donaldson thinks that by reducing the stumpage, he’d give the USA reason not to eliminate the tariff on lumber, then he’d better give his head a shake. Here we go again, right back to the early 1990s when approx. 15,000 loggers (including me) marched on Victoria to protest the ridiculous wait times for the approval of cutting permits and the mountain of NDP red tape.
Two things must happen if the logging industry in BC is going to survive: ban all raw log exports (that includes squaring four sides and exporting them as cants) and rescind all tree farm licenses. The tree farm timber license in Clearwater should stay in Clearwater.
The Camp 2 mill site, where the recycle facility is, should become a dry-land sort and have a co-gen operation that produces electricity with the residual wood waste when logs are produced.
This isn’t new technology. In 1990, I did a feasibility study on salvaging wood waste instead of slash burning it. I went to Morbark Industries in Winn, Michigan, to view their equipment. The sales manager showed me logging sites where their equipment was used.
The Model 30 chip harvester was capable of handling a 30-inch diameter full-length tree and chipping it in less than one minute. The merchantable wood was loaded onto logging trucks and all of the residual, limbs, tops, etc., were chipped into hogg fuel. In 1990, Michigan loggers were paid more for hogg fuel than what Weyerhauser in Kamloops was paying for #1 chips. That, Mr. Donaldson, is why the USA says that the logging industry in Canada is being subsidized!
That same year, I flew to Toledo, Washington, in Herb Doman’s helicopter, to view a dry-land sort operation. There were 54 off-highway loads of logs per day coming into that operation when Washington’s burning regulations became more stringent.
The company set up a drum de-barker and a chip harvester at a cost of $1.7 million. There was no burning, and the operation paid for itself in seven months. The technology today is far greater than what it was then. This kind of set-up would provide a great opportunity for local loggers, community forests, the North Thompson Indian Band, the District of Clearwater, the TNRD, and the province of B. C. as a joint venture.
Currently, the TNRD is hauling garbage from Blue River, Avola, and Vavenby to Clearwater where it is dumped, reloaded, and then hauled to Heffley Creek! Has anyone stopped to figure out what the carbon footprint of that boondoggle is?
The co-gen plants of today can produce temperatures in excess of 2,500 degrees F., hot enough to burn medical waste with no emissions. The time is here and now, but I guess we’ll have to wait for a change of government for anything to be done!
The Rambling Man
Clearwater, B. C.