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How You Can Help the Carihi Forestry Program

Take a class of Carihi forestry students on a tour. More information below.

After a year break the forestry program at Carihi Secondary School in Campbell River is up and running again and they’re looking for help from the community. We’ve included the information from the latest Carihi Forestry newsletter below with all you need to know about how to get involved.

This year’s class includes 20 students in grades 10 to 12. “There is a lot of interest in forestry in this years group,” comments teacher Jason Kerluck.  “It is a keen group who are looking to learn more about forestry, and potentially gain entry into the industry through initial employment and/or pursuing post-secondary education.”

Jason Kerluck is in his 5th year of the program, which is heavily funded by the TLA and supported by many local forest companies and associations.  “We’re looking forward to working with people from our community who are passionate, experienced and knowledgeable in forestry!”

There are lots of ways to keep in touch with the progress of this program, and there are suggestions below on how you can get involved.

Take a Student to Work

We are looking for people working in our coastal forest community to take a student(s) with them to work. Many people don’t understand the type of work you do, so show us! Lots of you have wonderful jobs that lead to spectacular days. We need to show students what you do!

I’ll match you with a student who is interested in your field of work so you’ll get a keen student excited to see what you do. The school district has been organising job shadows for years and has their own WCB coverage.

If you have a cool day planned and you’re excited to share your work and experiences in forestry with a keen student, contact Jason at jason.kerluck@sd72.bc.ca. This can be planned in advance or potentially arranged with short notice.

Thanks in advance for your support!

Class Presenter

Rick Monchak presents to a class of Carihi forestry students.

Share your forestry experiences with a keen forestry class. This class runs every weekday from 12 to 3 at Carihi Secondary School. We are always excited to hear about people’s adventures in forestry and their pathway to where they are now. Bring some photos, equipment, maps, or just come in for a chat. Rick Monchak, right, is seen talking to a previous class describing the concept of a raw log and giving out toblerone chocolate as motivation.

Host a Class Tour

The students in this class learn so much by seeing actual forestry work sites. We are flexible with times and getting to different locations, but we’re mostly available in the afternoons during the week (day trips are possible). Some highlights of this class are taking students out to different forestry locations in and around Campbell River. Not only do they learn about forestry, but they learn about how these companies/associations contribute to our local economy.

If you are interested in hosting a tour, contact Jason at jason.kerluck@sd72.bc.ca.

Student(s) Mentor

This program incorporates inquiry and project-based learning. Students choose topics of interest, research the topic and then present their learning back to the class. Other goals of this class are to teach and build employable skills, including working with professionals in our local community.

How can you help? I will assist in setting up a communication link between you and the student(s), where you would be answering questions and sharing your field of knowledge. This can be done in person, through emails, over the phone, and possibly conference calls or Facetime. The initial step is to email me about your interest to help, give me a quick description of your background and knowledge of strengths in forestry, and then wait for a reply.

Invest in Forestry Education

Carihi foretry students with company logos on their cruiser vests.

The Carihi Forestry Education Program is looking for forest groups to invest in forestry education. For the past five years, this program has accumulated appropriate forestry gear and equipment necessary to teach students current skills and theories within our developing forest sector.

We are still looking for assistance in acquiring personal forestry equipment for every student in the program, and potentially donating this equipment to students who pursue a career in our industry.

Here is how you can help!  Through a $250 donation, the program will be able to purchase a cruiser vest, clinometer, and compass. For an additional $100, students will be equipped with caulk boots as well. Donating groups will get their logo stitched onto the class vests, which will be used regularly by students in the program. There may be a small additional charge if your logo needs to be converted for stitching, however this only needs to be done once and can be used again in the future.

Meet Island Timberlands’ Operational Logistics Manager

Melinda Morben

Melinda Morben, manager of operational logistics, Island Timberlands.

Logging and Sawmilling Journal recently published a story about Melinda Morben, manager of operational logistics for Island Timberlands, in their January 2016 edition, titled Diversifying the Industry Workforce—with more women.

We’ve included an excerpt of the article below, shared with permission, or you can find the original article here.

Melinda Morben knows all about saying “yes” to opportunity in the forest industry—and she is encouraging other women to look at employment opportunities in Canada’s forest industry.

This past January, Morben made a presentation at the Truck Loggers Association convention in Victoria, where she spoke on the topic of the industry employing more women, as a way of expanding the workforce.

Based on her own positive experiences, she is encouraging more women to look at working in the forest industry.

“I think the industry has been accepting of women,” she says. “People have been respectful and I’ve had really supportive people that have helped me.”

The perception about the forest industry is that it’s a logger’s world—and that logger is a big, burly guy. But to some degree, that is a stereotype, and it’s changing. When it comes down to it, if you can do the job, you can have a go at it, says Morben.

“You always have to prove yourself in the forest industry—that’s just the way it is,” says Morben. “People don’t care if you’re a man or woman—it’s all about whether you can do the job.

Melinda Morben has worked at Island Timberlands for five years now.

While she was considering getting an MBA at one point, she is probably now getting the equivalent of an MBA in timberlands management at Island Timberlands. “I’m really excited to be in timber production,” she says. “I’ve learned a tremendous amount.”

At Island Timberlands, Morben has mostly worked in quality control, and managed the company’s Northwest Bay dryland sort. These days, she is manager of operational logistics, and works with a cross-functional team, that takes in several areas of the Island Timberlands’ business.

“With my experience in quality control, I’m able to bring knowledge about sorts and manufacturing specifications and a lot of our timber types and distribution hubs all over the company’s land on Vancouver Island.”

The team works to manage the customer process for the company, specifically helping to schedule the harvest, fully utilizing logging equipment, the capacity the company has, and what they can harvest each year in each area, she explains.

“And we are looking at how we can be more efficient,” she added. “We’re looking at our dryland sorts closer and making sure we are supplying them with the capacity to manage what they are handling as efficiently as possible.”

To backtrack a bit, Island Timberlands was formed in 2005. Industry icon MacMillan Bloedel had been purchased by Weyerhaeuser Company in 1999, and in 2005, Weyerhaeuser sold all of their B.C. coastal assets. Island Timberlands was formed as a result of the purchase of the B.C. coastal private timberlands. It owns 258,000 hectares of timber land, most of it on Vancouver Island, and is the second-largest private landowner in the province.

Island Timberlands supplies both domestic and international customers with timber, which drives their harvesting and sort operations, explains Morben.

“Because our business changes so quickly with our customer demand and our customer mix, we really have to be on our toes making changes. We do really well with our logging to be able to change quickly with the equipment and the company/contractor mix that we have.”

Of the approximately two million cubic metres that is harvested each year, about 1.5 million cubic metres is done by contractors, and 500,000 by company crews. The contractors closely co-ordinate what they are doing in terms of equipment purchases with what is coming up with any timber type changes for Island Timberlands.

The new initiative that Morben is part of helps the contract managers for the seven Island Timberlands geographical business units schedule and flow their wood efficiently. “We are doing that on an ongoing basis, balancing our wood and what our boom out-turns are going to look like.

“It gives us a broader equipment perspective so we can use our contractors and home crew, and equipment, more efficiently,” says Morben. “We want to be making good business decisions with the equipment we have, and where we distribute it. Overall, the goal is more efficient timberlands management.”

That also involves looking at the future, and what timber types and sizes Island Timberlands is going to have down the road.

“For our home crew, we’re looking to buy the right equipment size for that timber type,” explains Morben.

This has already resulted in some equipment changes. The operation as a whole has now switched over to Southstar processing heads.

“We have three new Southstars—and we’re liking them,” says Morben. “We did a lot of analysis—it was a good change for us.”

With her background on the logging equipment side, Morben was part of the team that made the decision to switch heads. For Morben, it has also meant re-connecting with Marcel Payeur, whom she first met during her time processing in the B.C. Interior. She says Payeur and his group at Southstar are delivering top notch service. “Of course the equipment itself is important to us, but in terms of service, you call the Southstar people, and they are here.”

Uptime and ease of service are important to Island Timberlands, as is the accuracy of the processing their heads must do, day-in, day-out.

“We have some pretty intensive manufacturing practices and specifications,” says Morben. “We can process anywhere from seven to 11 sorts out of a timber pile. We are really keyed into some unique timber markets.”

There can be a large number of sorts at the dryland sort; they could easily have over 100 open log booms, which means 100 timber sort codes. “A sort can be running 150 open booms, and we can be scaling 55 to 70 different sorts daily. We want to be very, very accurate with what comes in from the woods and the sorting.”

The Southstar heads have a well-established, user-friendly measuring system, says Morben, but the company provided more. “Southstar came in and designed a complete system for us that is very easy to use. They hear what we’re saying when we’re asking for something, and they’re giving us the service we need.”

Morben says their production guys are excited about using the new Southstar equipment.

In terms of the carriers, Morben says they have stayed with the Cat 325 machines.

All of the work, Morben stresses, is done with safety in mind. In 2014, the operation went 100 per cent accident-free.

From the safety side to the equipment purchases, Morben feels her past experience in the woods has been instrumental in furthering her career. And she is going to continue to focus on the opportunities—and encourages other women to look at the forest industry. “It’s a great industry to work in,” she says.

You can find the complete article on the Logging and Sawmilling Journal website.

Tribute to Maxine Haley — Founding PFLA Chair

Maxine Haley

Maxine Haley, October 4, 1925 – July 26, 2014

On July 26, 2014 Maxine Haley unexpectedly and peacefully passed away. The PFLA owes a debt of gratitude to Maxine Haley and her family.

Maxine’s energy, tenacity and commitment to managing her land was a founding force in the early days of PFLA. It’s with gratitude, appreciation, respect and a healthy dose of fear we remember Maxine for her efforts, her contributions and the remarkable difference she made to private land forest management in B.C.

Rod Bealing explains, “In the dark days of the mid-1990s, everyone who had voluntarily put their land into the Managed Forest Program woke up one morning to a letter, from the then forest minister, saying (paraphrasing of course): “Welcome to the forest land reserve, we’ve effectively devalued your land over night by taking away any potential for higher-value, better-use opportunities your land might have had. Watch this space for more information as we develop regulations under the already heavily feared, complex and onerously prescriptive Forest Practices Code.”

Not surprisingly, this missive sent a shock wave through the entire forest owning community. Forest owners—large and small, coastal and interior, companies, families and individuals—were united in their common concern over the impact government could have on their land and their operations.

The regulatory proposals at the time were more ideologically driven than science based. The group quickly recognized the need to organize and send messages back to government about the willingness to protect environmental values, but at the same time seek balance and secure recognition for private property rights and the freedom to manage our land.

Early on, Maxine Haley distinguished herself as a strong-minded individual with a striking capacity to speak her mind and a seemingly insatiable appetite for combat. Maxine proudly stepped up to become the spokesperson for the PFLA and served as the chair of the association from 1995 through 2008. Maxine’s commitment to private property rights and her belief in equity for landowners was an inspiring reminder that regardless of how good a job you’re doing on the ground, sometimes you just have to fight for what’s right.

While some of us had the pleasure to watch experienced politicians tremble in her presence, all of us had the benefit of her die-hard belief in the importance of real sustainable forestry passed from generation to generation. Maxine was a force to be reckoned with and will be greatly missed. Our deepest condolences go out to David and family, and PFLA hopes to continue to build on our history with the Haley family.