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Drushka, Ken.

Vancouver, Douglas & McIntyre, c1985. 280pp, paper, $14.95, ISBN 0-88894-419-5. CIP

Grades 7 and up
Reviewed by Hugh Cook

Volume 13 Number 6
1985 November

This is an overview of the forest industry of British Columbia as seen by Ken Drushka who presently operates a custom sawmilling business on Vancouver Island. He has been a logger, tree planter, firewatcher, silviculture worker, and fisherman as well as being a former journalist. He is author of Against Wind and Weather: A History of Towboating in British Columbia (Douglas & McIntyre, 1981). With this kind of background, one can better judge the author's bias when he writes about the forestry business of British Columbia.

Drushka gives an historical summary of stumpage and other logging practices as used by various companies and the government of British Columbia. It would appear that the British Columbia forestry business is in hopeless disarray. There appears to be no way that anyone can accurately cost the value of the province's forests. Using the present stumpage charges to determine the revenue from the resource is almost a joke. When the stumpage charges are increased, the logging company increases its sustained yield costs, and the net result is no real increase to the logging firm. The government uses these charges to help increase its coffers, but it would appear the rates are much too low. Tenure, forest management, sustained yields, silviculture, unions, multinational companies, and independent loggers get all mixed up with provincial and federal governments, bureaucrats, economists, ecologists, public lands, timber famine myths, competing ministries, and multiple land-use theories. Drushka states that there needs to be a distinctly different approach if the present mess is to be resolved.

Five pages of appendices give tables relating to stumpage rates, logged species, and cutting permits or licences. There are notes for each of the twelve chapters. Anyone interested in the logging and timber farming operations of British Columbia would find this a valuable resource.

Hugh Cook, Calico P.S., North York,Ont.
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