Cam Rollins | April 11, 2012
The forest industry is very cyclic. There’s a lot of things that can only happen at a certain time of the year. Spring has sprung (kind of, it snowed almost a foot here last week) and the birds are chirping. So what’s happening in the forest right now?
Forest companies do most of their harvesting in the winter. That way the ground is frozen which minimizes a machines impact on soils. So right now, all of those giant logging machines have pretty much finished up and we’re waiting for the ground to completely dry out before we start bringing logs into the mill. It’s the operations foresters jobs to make sure that’s happening efficiently and isn’t impacting soil and water quality.
In the spring as a planning forester, I was usually doing cutblock layout. This means I was taking all of my plans (1 year, 5 year, 10 year and 200 year) and actually putting it into place on the ground. This is a pretty fun job. You get to run up and down hills, conserve sensitive soils, water and wildlife habitat, and the whole time you’re outside. The only downside is the trees are full of snow and it melts on you every afternoon. You get wet, but it’s spring time and everyone his happy, so who cares?
As a silviculture forester, you would be getting ready for your upcoming planting contracts. In Alberta last year, almost a thousand tree planters put over 80 million seedlings in the ground! It takes a lot of preparation from silviculture foresters to make sure all those trees go in the right places (with the green side pointing up). I found this great video about tree planting the other day. Definitely worth a couple minutes of your time to see how much of a good time tree planting can be.
I was driving up around Athabasca yesterday and definitely saw some wildlife signs of spring. Animal hormones are going insane right now and the bears are rolling out of their dens in starvation mode. Although it’s fun being outside in the spring, it can also be pretty dangerous. Here’s my favorite video of what a bear does in the spring, with music provided by Wool on Wolves (it’s still unknown if bears gamble, drink or online date, but they do go find mates in the spring!).
So that’s what’s happening in the forest. Next week I’ll let you know what’s happening in the mills!