New book tells how forestry contractors fought for BC
By Truck Loggers Association
Jan. 17, 2018 - The Truck Loggers Association (TLA) is commemorating its 75th anniversary by publishing a new book—Timber Forever!—that tells the story of B.C.’s first and largest logging contractor association through its 40 presidents.
The book will be launched at the TLA’s 75th Annual Convention & Trade Show taking place January 17 – 19, 2018 at the Fairmont Empress Hotel and Victoria Conference Centre.
“I learned a lot about the history of forestry in B.C. as we wrote this book,” said David Elstone, TLA executive director. “Early TLA members embraced the end of the steam-driven era of logging by rail in favour of trucks and rode the wave of mechanization in the woods. The TLA would become an influential voice for B.C. forest industry’s small business interests, advocating against the allocation of the public forest resource into the hands of a few since its beginning.”
The attached photo from 1939 really puts into perspective how long that fight has been. “In 1939—when this photo was taken—Bert Welch launched his first attempt at founding the Truck Loggers Association,” said Elstone.
Today’s coastal harvest levels (16 million m3) aren’t a lot higher than they were 75 years ago. However, the industry has change significantly. “Technological advancements minimize the impact of harvesting on the land and create safer working condition, while dramatically reducing the number of people working in the woods,” said Elstone.
“What has stayed unchanged over the last 75 years is BC forest industry’s role as a major player in international markets and a vital driver of economic activity in communities throughout B.C., all of which wouldn’t occur today without timber harvesting contractors operating in this province,” said Elstone.
The TLA (Truck Loggers Association) represents 489 independent forest contractors and their suppliers operating in British Columbia. Our membership supports thousands of workers and, along with other independent contractors, accounts for close to 90 per cent of the trees harvested in BC. The TLA promotes a thriving, sustainable forest industry in BC.