This is a freight ship currently taking on cargo on the waterfront in Port Alberni B.C. It is being loaded with thousands of logs cut from second (or third) growth plantings, probably fir and hemlock.
Many years ago, the logging companies planted these trees after clear cut logging large swaths of Vancouver Island. The trees they planted were, as they told us, for the forest industry of future generations. They were to be harvested when they were mature in 50 years or so, to sustain jobs in the lumber industry. A renewable resource! Jobs for generations!
As you can see from this photo, these trees are no larger than a telephone pole, no older than maybe 20 years old. Boatloads of them leave our coast every day to be processed elsewhere, while our lumber and paper mills sit idle.
This is how our governments and industry leaders treat our natural resources. The harvesting of these trees provide very few jobs, but provide a profit to the large companies. We stand by and watch this happen, and we have for years.
The forestry industry was a huge cash cow for many years, and in the boom time of the 70’s and early 80’s, it provided good jobs for many families. My family was one of them. It seemed that there was a never ending supply of trees, and it would never end. Forests were cut at unsustainable rates, and when lumber and plywood markets were soft, many mature softwood trees were sold unprocessed and conservation never seemed to be a major concern.
But end it did. Literally half of all Vancouver Islands forests have been logged off. Now here we are today, struggling to hold on to a few forestry jobs while cutting what little is left of our old growth forests, and selling off our second and third growth for scrap.
Can’t help but think about how we treat our our raw resources.
Now about those Alberta tar sands…