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Can our sector prosper in the auspicious Year of the Wood Dragon?

February 12, 2024  By  Jennifer Ellson

Photo: Garnar / Adobe Stock.

Enter the dragon. Specifically, enter the wooden dragon. According to the Chinese lunar calendar, 2024 is the Year of the Wood Dragon. 

Wood represents vitality and creativity, while the dragon is related to success, signifying that the year will be brimming with ingenuity, prosperity and good fortune. It is seen as an ideal period for fresh starts and laying down the groundwork for lasting success. Sounds like a good omen for the forest industry! So, is the wood sector poised to embody the wood dragon’s symbolic vision, strength and good luck?

The TLA convention in January hinted at a promising start, with the B.C. premier voicing support for the sector. The real question though, as TLA executive director Bob Brash ponders in his column, is whether leadership is ready to seize them.

We feature two companies who are dragons in their fields. LOTS Group Canada and Sigurdson Forest Products went from being small family-run businesses to becoming major industry players. Companies are encouraged by pundits to seize opportunities for growth and innovation this year, but these two companies have already had a head start in turning challenges into triumphant successes last year, with plans to continue growing.


The dragon also represents boldness and we have a feature on the bold new era of forestry emerging in B.C., where contractors are focusing on innovative techniques for fire hazard abatement. 

There’s one aspect of the dragon’s mythical persona that gives the forest industry a cause for concern though – its association with fire. In light of the industry’s recent struggles, particularly the record-breaking 2023 wildfire season, the last thing we want is for the dragon’s fiery connotation to manifest in destructive flames. Can the dragon help us extinguish this threat? Perhaps not in a literal sense, but the symbolic essence of the dragon’s boldness and strength can inspire the industry to implement robust fire prevention measures, innovative technologies, and sustainable practices. By harnessing the dragon’s spirit in a proactive manner, the forest industry aims to quell the flames of uncertainty and ensure that the Year of the Wood Dragon becomes synonymous with not just prosperity but also responsible stewardship of our precious forests.

The dragon is believed to be able to foster growth and progress. Wood dragons are said to be full of energy and dream of changing the world – exactly what our column on page 36 in empowering women, womxn and all individuals for a sustainable, low carbon future is all about. 

The last Year of the Wood Dragon was 60 years ago, in 1964. That year, “Beatle-mania” gripped the world, Sony introduced the first VCR, the U.S. Civil Rights Act became law, and Canada’s fisheries department wrote in its annual report that “a tremendous expansion was evident during 1964 in B.C. forest industry … several of the many new pulp mills to be established in the interior of the province are now under construction at Prince George and Kamloops. The companies have agreed to incorporate the most modern facilities to reduce biological oxygen demand and toxicity of the effluent to safe levels for salmon.” 

Sounds to me like a fab year!

With history as our guide, we hope 2024 repeats the success. 

As the Year of the Dragon begins on Feb. 10, we eagerly anticipate the industry’s journey, and with the Year of the Green Wood Snake on the horizon for 2025, the future seems just as promising. Wood dragons and green snakes – a fortuitous duo for the forestry landscape.

Read the January/February issue now!

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