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.