Wally Knott on saw and his partner Red Meyers at Meades Creek Oct. 1945 by W.H.Gold PhotoMOFM Logo
Howard Smith

Howard SmithI started working in the forest industry in 1946 when I was 15 years old and continued working in it until I took early retirement in 1990.  I worked in the Cowichan Valley from 1962 to 1990.  I worked for Crown Zellerbach with the dozer boats and then for Pacific Logging at Mesachie Lake from 1965 on.  I also felled for BCFP at Caycuse for a short time. 

I started out as a whistle punk and worked part-time during the summer holidays during the summers of 1946 and 1947.  The whistle punk relays the message from the chokerman to the machine.  In the old days, when you worked on the steam pot, it was what they called a jerk line.  It was quite interesting because you would string your wire from the old steam pot right out around the claim where the crew was working.  You would set your line up and you would have a little stick, and the "go-ahead" was usually three “toot, toot, toot” and “come back” was two signals “hi, hi”.  So, you had a little stick and would hit this straight line and you would hear it down on the old steam pot down on the hill, and the steam would go in the air…it was really neat!  The steam pot was a wood burning machine…they went to diesel after the steam pot.  It was a big monster and they had to fire it by wood to get power.  It had steam for power and it had big drums on it which was the main line.  The haul back would pull the main line out to the woods, and then the main line would bring it in.  It was all wood trees at that particular time, so the main line would go to a wood spar and then the line would go out into the woods.

I was a whistle punk just the two summers when I was starting out.  I worked up the coast for some small gyppos on Minstrel Island near Alert Bay.  Two of my brothers had a logging camp, called Smith Brothers logging.  A gyppo is a real small operation that was usually located along the coast – there were lots of them.  After the gyppos, I worked in Camp 5 which is north of Campbell River.  Then I worked for 'Kelsey Bay' logging which was PB Anderson at the time. 

Loggers related to each other mostly by swearing!  I learned a whole new vocabulary and most of it wasn’t in the dictionary.  We called a piece of cable that ran through the blocks, instead of the shackle, a hindu.  It had a little clip on it, and you could run lines through the block. The lines would run all the way from the tree out to the woods, through the block, and back to the main spar tree again.  A school marm was a tree that branched out into two shapely legs. 

We also used to play a lot of jokes on one another – especially if we had a new chokerman.  We would say “Punk, go get some chokerholes.”  So, they would look at you and ask, “well, where do I find them?”  Of course there wasn’t such a thing, but everyone would get a big laugh out of that!

I remember one time when I was working on a gyppo float camp up north.  I was working for my brother at the time on the boom, and we had this Scandinavian boomman who was hung over all the time on Monday mornings…but he was a helluva good boomman!  Anyways, he sent me to get a boom chain and it was the middle of winter…pretty cold!  So, halfway back I stepped on a small log and down I went – boom chain and all!  Well, I came up a bit later and the first thing the boomman says was “Where’s the chain punk?”  I looked at him – I was lucky to even come up and here he was worried about the boom chain!  I couldn’t figure out why he was so worried about that damn boom chain because my brother owned the camp.

Another time I was on Minstrel Island working with two Swedes on the boom, and one was named Charlie Palmquist.  So we got back to the camp, and the boat was out aways; and Charlie made a jump and went overboard with a case of beer in his arms.  His partner made it and yelled out “how ya doing Charlie!” and Charlie yelled out “I’ms gonna drown!  I’ms gonna drown!”  His partner yells back “Drop that beer Charlie!” and so he let the beer Archie White & Howard Smith 1949go and yells back “I’ms okay… I’ms gonna make it now!” 

I grew up in Courtenay with Archie White.  He is a great guy - lots of humour, man we had some good times…there was never a dull moment!  We logged together, hunted together, and we lived close together out in Courtenay.   I shot a cougar when we were hunting together once and his younger brother shot the other one.   It was a mother cougar with three kittens.  He was hunting with another guy up the hill, and his younger brother Ralph and I were hunting together when I saw a tail twitching.  So, I started looking around and I could hear a young kitten, then I saw the mother cougar with her mouth open so I shot her.  There was a bounty on her in those days, like $20 or something like that because they ate a lot of deer.  So, we killed the mother and her three kittens… I think I was about 18 at the time.

I’ve worked in most of the logging camps – all the Beaver Cove camps:  Nimpkish and Camp Vernon was the last one, and Camp Woss at Beaver Cove.  I spent one winter falling in Prince George with snowshoes. I was working for Fraser Mills out of Macgregor.  We worked in as much as seven feet of snow, and then we had to dig down to try to get the low stumps… it was impossible!  It was quite an experience – a whole different experience from falling here on the Coast.  Many a day we would have to go home because Compensation would go out and we wouldn’t be covered when it got colder than -28.  And -28 with the wind chill is even colder!  It was altogether a different thing – to mix the power saw gas… the oil would be just like syrup, and you would have to fuel the fire to warm the oil up to make the gas.  Once your hands held the handle, with our big gloves on… they would stay that way all day long – all crumpled up.  We never had a lunch room or a covered place to eat either – we ate right out in the woods. 

We hadn’t been there very long and I was watching the other guys pack their lunches in the morning, and it was stuff that wouldn’t freeze.  My partner that I was working with, Al Schute from Lake Cowichan had packed a pear in his lunch.  Well, I was sitting across from him watching him chewing on the pear and I was picturing a little rat chewing on a pear.  He was chewing on it for half an hour and wasn’t getting anywhere – so he picked up that pear, threw it at me, missed, and it bounced off a stump… It was still frozen, it never hurt the pear at all! 

We could drive right across the Fraser River – it was an ice bridge!  I drove my car right across into camp, that’s how frozen it was.  It was all contract, so we would work from daylight to dark, and we didn’t have travel time like we have today.  We also didn’t even have our own crummy – we had to go out with the rigging crew.  The rigging crew’s day is strictly eight hours, and us faller's days were not as long, so after a lot of complaining we finally got our crummy!  Apparently I was the only one with a valid BC license – the rest of the crew was mostly from Quebec, so I was the driver.  It was interesting, though – we had a lot of good times… especially on the weekends when we would go to Prince George, whooping it up with the rest of the gang.  In the early days, Prince George was quite a wild place!

In 1961, I hooked and rigged for T.W. McKenzie at Mesachie Lake, using the wood spar trees.  Originally T.W. Mckenzie was in partnership with Pacific Logging and Pacific bought T.W. McKenzie out.  The T.W. McKenzie crew came mostly from Courtney.  As a hooker and a rigger I was in charge of the crew.  We all got along, but we had an image to keep up.  It was a game to run across the logs and try and get to the chokers before the other guys - it was a game that they played all the time! 

First of all we had to look at the rigging on the spar tree, and make sure that everything was running right up there – make sure the blocks are on properly, and that the lines aren’t burning or crossed.  Every now and then, when we were logging we had to go up the tree and swing the blocks around.  Then, after the blocks are all swung you’re ready to log, you string your lines out into the woods with the strawline.  You have a little block, you pack out up the hill, to bring the haul back line out, which was usually a ¾” line that you run through the blocks, and back to the machine.  After we got the haul back out,we would hook on to the main line which went up to the big block on the spar tree, which was called the bull block.  It was all rigged up to the haul back, and hooked on to the main line, and the butt rigging, which would consist of three or four chokers.  A choker was a twenty foot piece of cable, that would go around the log, with a knob and bell on it.  There was usually a crew of three or four chokermen, who would set the chokers.  Once everything was hooked up, and the road was made, you started logging.  Tthere was the rigging slinger and the three chokermen, and the rigging slinger would spot the rigging coming back, hanging up in the air quite a ways, and the three chokers would be hanging down so each chokerman would take a choker.  Once they had the log hooked up, the rigging slinger would relay the message to the whistle punk once they were in the clear, and the logs would go ahead until they logged the whole thing up to the back. 

I remember one particular rainy day: I was working as a hooktender, and we had just started wearing hard hats.  I was sitting back relaxing, and watching the crew logging - there weren’t any “hang ups” so things were running smoothly.  I was a pretty heavy smoker in those days and didn’t roll my cigarettes at night like the rest of the crew. So, I thought it was a good time for a smoke – I hadn’t had a smoke Howard Smith Fallingfor two or three hours, and I was just craving that cigarette!  So, I had that cigarette pretty near rolled and was just ready to lick the paper and a big drop of water came down off my hard hat right in the middle of the cigarette – so that was the end of it!  I swore and threw that damn cigarette as far as I could heave it.  A little while later I went back to the rigging crew, and they were watching and laughing at me.  So I said, “Don’t any of you ever give me a cigarette – this is the end… I’m going to quit smoking right now!”  They said, “Okay, we’ll make sure you don’t get any tobacco from us.”  Well, I toughed it out and toughed it out, and finally I went over to the whistle punk, who was a little farther away and hadn’t heard all the goings on. I said “Hey punk!  Got any cigarettes on you?”  Just then, one of the crew came over the hill and yelled, “Don’t give that bugger anything, he said he would fire us if anyone gave him a cigarette!”  You know what?  I went into the commissary and bought a carton of gum and chewed gum ever since!  That was the end of my smoking days.

I went falling after that at Mesachie Lake.  I was glad to switch to falling because I didn’t care for heights too much… I had quite a few scares up the tree!  I wasn’t a big person, and when I was rigging I had to spend quite a bit of time up the tree and I didn’t really care for the height.  I had done quite a bit of falling for gyppos, so I got a full-time job with J.R. (Jack) Cole from Lake Cowichan - he was a falling contractor for T.W. McKenzie

It was funny what they would do with the new guys:  This new greenhorn kid would come out with a brand new set of gloves, and the crew would get a big block of wood and an ax.  They would put one cut in the block and everyone would see how close they could come to the cut.  Finally, when it came to the new guy they would say, “okay, punk, let’s see how close you can come to it and we’ll blindfold you.”  Well, the poor kid as soon as he was blindfolded they put his new gloves on the block! 

At Len’s Logging (they had taken over from J.R. Cole), which is where I was falling, my boss was Duke Bell.  Then there was Carl Carlsen and he was a Norwegian – he had hands on him just like a baseball mitt!   He worked right up until he was sixty-five, and still in good health.  Well this young guy, who was a scaler, wanted to be a faller so he kept bugging old Carl - “Hey you old bugger, when are you gonna retire?” so he could get his job.  Well, Carl had listened to him quite a few times and had finally had enough, so he put one of those big hands on his shoulder and said “Kid, with any luck you might reach my age!” 

Some of my falling partners were George Waugh, Bill Waugh, and Bob Waugh, three brothers I worked with. Tom Miller was another fallerClarence Tjensvold, but, he died on the job when he was bucking a log, and it rolled on him.  And Louis Kay,  Al Leary, John & Lyle Mckenzie, Norm Brooks, Ken McDonald, Reg Strang, Clay Shaw, Larry Davis, Louie Witt, and Gord Knott.  There were sixteen of us Howard Smith putting in the Undercutbut those are the ones I can remember.

A typical work day when I worked for Salmon River Logging north of Campbell River in 1956:  The whistle would blow about 5:30 a.m. to wake us up, we all lived in bunkhouses, and we would all go to the lunch room to make our lunch for the day.  The cook would take a piece of steel and hit the gut hammer (a big metal triangle on the side of the cookhouse) and you could hear it for miles.  That would be our signal for breakfast time.  Man, they had every kind of cereal, bacon and eggs, hotcakes… heaped right up!  It was unreal - I don’t know where it all went! 

I remember my first time eating in one of the cookhouses – I was just a kid.  Usually we wait at the door until someone showed us where to sit. The fallers all ate separately.  Anyway, for some reason I got placed amongst these two big Scandinavian fallers – and I was just a runt of a kid, like seventeen or eighteen.  Well, those guys were just glaring at me as if to say “How in the hell did you get here?”  They knew I was in the wrong place and I could tell I was in the wrong place.  Well, there were steaks in the middle of the table, and those two big Scandinavians reached for the steaks at the same time – All the steaks ended up on my plate!  Those guys didn’t even bat an eye; one of them just said “Hey, punk, you look kind of hungry!”  That was my first and last meal eating with the fallers – I went and ate with the rigging crew after that! 

After breakfast, we caught a crummy to the woods. I was working for the rigging crew at Salmon River.  Bob Winters was the head rigger, and Albert Woods was running the rig-up machine or the goat.  They used the method of the flying gin pole to raise the big 150 ft. spar tree.   This was the big wood spar tree that would go up and the flying gin pole would come down afterwards.  Anyways, this wood spar tree would have six top guyline, a big bull block for the main line and a haul back block farther down.  Halfway up it would have four buckle guylines on it to sturdy it so it wouldn’t buckle.  So, after we had finished rigging up that, the same tree would be used for loading logs to the railroad car or the logging trucks.  The heel boom was twenty-five to thirty feet from the bottom of the tree – they would swing a big wooden frame around the tree and the machine that operated it was called the loading pot and that would swing the boom around the tree.  That boom was called the heel boom and they would have lines from the drum, up the tree, and down onto the tongs on the log.  The tongs would hook onto the log, and then they would heel it with the boom and then put it onto the truck or railroad car.

After work our rigging crew would stop in at the Salmon River Lodge and have a few beers.  We would always quit work a little early so we would get in before the other crews and have the place to ourselves.  Then we would go back to the bunkhouse and get cleaned up for supper – the gut hammer would ring for supper around 5:30 p.m.  That supper was huge – it was a real smorgasbord of just about everything!  Those cooks were unreal – they knew their job!  They were mostly all men because it was pretty tough to survive in those out-of-the-way camps…it was pretty rough going.  The cook ran the whole show – he was the head and he made no bones about it.  He was the top of the list!  When it came to the logging camp, if they didn’t have a good cook, the crew wouldn’t stay.  So, the cook knew that and he was the boss of the camp.  After supper we had no TV to watch so we would read a book, play cards, and get to bed early…early to bed and early to rise. 

We had a laundry room with an old washing machine and a drying room to dry out the wet laundry – most of us were young and didn’t worry about it too much.  Our typical gear was what they called dry bones which is what we would wear for water gear – it was canvas and you would treat it… it was like oil skin.  You had a big coat and it would stay the same when you took it off – with your arms out.  You didn’t need to worry about hanging your pants up – they would stay the same and be waiting for you in the morning… like stove pipes.  We always wore good socks and caulk boots – boy you took good care of those boots!  We would use bear grease and keep them well-oiled.  I tell you, some of the stuff in the drying room – you couldn’t hack it!  All those sweaty clothes and the caulk boots with bear grease… you didn’t want to spend much time in there!

When I was working for Len’s Logging we had our own power saws – there were McCullochs and Canadien… that was before the Huskys.  So, we had to keep our chain greased and sharpened, and we would have a spare chain or two.  We used gas and oil mixed to power it.  Later on the company supplied the saws and equipment when Len’s Logging took over at Mesachie Lake – they supplied all our saws and they were all Husky saws, the best equipment.  It was something to do with the union contract, that the companies wanted consistent equipment so all the companies went to company saws.  Each individual was responsible for his own saw.  I worked with Duke Bell for a long time and he would really play those games!

When I worked for Bloedel’s in 1949 we used the old railroad speeders.  We would start off from camp, right next to the cookhouse, and it was all railroads.  We would get into this old box car and that was the crummy – it was just a great big old box car on wheels on the railroad.  It had open doors, and it had a big old barrel with wood in it for heat. It was pulled by this little speeder, and away we’d go!  They had wooden seats on each side.  Later on, they provided good crummys in trucks which were heated. 

Howard Smith finishing undercutWhen I was falling for Jack Cole, which was Pacific Logging on Mesachie Lake, my partner was Duke Bell.  One day it was getting close to lunch, and he was running out of gas for the saw; so he said to me, “if you go get the gas tins I’ll finish falling the tree before lunch.”  So, I went to get the gas tins. Our lunch bags were in the same place as the gas tins and I noticed a mother bear and a cub sniffing out our lunch bags.  So, I picked up a big stick, chased the little cub up a limby hemlock tree and the mother down to where my partner was working.  He had a saw going on one side of the tree and the bear came down on the other side of the tree – he was standing there and let a big roar out of him and a few curses… and the bear went right by him lickety split!  Anyway, he got the tree down and the cub was still up that limby hemlock.  Well, we had heard the story that when the tree falls if there is a bear up it, the bear will jump off the tree before it hits the ground.  So, my partner says “well, this is a great time to try that out!”  so he starts up the saw and begins falling that limby hemlock.  Well, the little fella got so excited it peed on him!  So, he soon finished falling the tree and sure enough before the tree hit the ground that cub jumped off the tree!  Well, the superintendent, Dick Bailie, was out on the road, not too far away, and he said “what the hell were you guys up to today?”  We were always playing some kind of tricks on each other.  He said, “A little cub came running out of your woods right by my pickup, and I could see two miles down that road, and that bear was still going!” 

Another time, one of the guys, Louis Kay, got his saw stuck; when we got our saw stuck we had to go over to the crummy and get another saw.  Well, Duke thought he would play a joke on him, so when the guy was getting to the crummy Duke drove a whole bunch of wedges into the log and pulled the saw out and left it there.  It must have been lunchtime, so we all went back to the woods and hid to see what would happen.  Well, Louis came back, and he was a Frenchman so he got pretty excited… he looked at that saw and said “Sacre Bleu!”  He couldn’t figure out how that saw jumped out of that log and was sitting right there… we couldn’t stop laughing!

We would shut down when there was too much snow in the winter, and the summers would be hotter than hell so we would have to shut down because of fire season.  It worked out good for me because I was a fisherman and it gave me more time to go fishing – so I enjoyed the hot summers!  Lucille was teaching - she taught school all the time so that helped pay the bills when I was out of work.  Lucille enjoyed going fishing too, when she was free, and we often took the kids with us.  I also got two weeks paid holidays every year… it was a good life!

I remember one time when I was working on the rigging, and it was a steep hill - with big powerful machines you had to put a twist on your stumps to hold the tail so that stump wouldn’t pull out.  So, anyway it was wintertime and there was a bear around, you could see its footprints and it hadn’t gone for hibernation.  So, it was the weekend and we were all off so one of us had the idea to tie an apple to the end of a stick which we called a twister – it was a piece of strawline that was wrapped around a piece of stick and it holds the stump so it won’t be pulled, then you stick the one end of it into the ground… it’s just like a hair trigger!  Well, when we got up there first thing on Monday morning – the twister was gone, the apple was gone, and all that was left were bear tracks all over… it would have been neat to have seen what happened - I’m sure he had a sore nose! 

I had four brothers who were killed while logging… it was tough.  It takes a little while, but you eventually get over it.  In one of the accidents, my younger brother was pushing the tree, which you are not supposed to do, and the tree came back and went on top of him.  My nephew was with him at the time and he is still alive – but it shook him up.   I still have five sisters. 

I was also quite seriously injured one time, when I was up the coast on Minstrel Island. It was close to the end of the day in the middle of winter… snowing heavily.  So I felled this great big fir tree, about four or five feet through, and the ground was straight up and down.  Earlier in the day, I had looked at it and remember thinking, “I’m not going to touch that” - It looked unsafe.  Well, later on in the day, I started looking at it, and put a cut in it. My old brain was not working, because, when you first look at a log or a tree, and feel it is unsafe you shouldn’t look at it again.  But, it was the end of the day and I looked at it again… and put a cut in, only getting half-way through, when the whole thing came down the hill over top of me.  It had knocked me out and I didn't know how far it came. But, when I came to there was another tree, just a little thing, crossways underneath it – and that is the only thing that saved me!  I tried standing up, but my foot was in the opposite direction and I couldn’t see out of one eye – I passed out again! 

When I came to again it was close to the end of the day, it was cold so I got a fire going because I had a gas tin.  Well, I got too big of a fire going and I thought “oh no… I can’t move or anything and I might burn myself up!”  As luck would have it, I could hear my partner coming down the hill jingling his gas tins so I yelled and he came over.  The only thing he could do was stoke the fire up, and then he had to go all the way down to the beach to get help. He got all the way down there with the rest of the crew, and found out that they didn’t have the proper stretcher.  In those days, we had to have an aluminum stretcher and most crews still had the folding canvas type.  They could see that I was in pretty bad shape, although I wasn’t really bleeding or anything. But I couldn’t move, and none of us had first aid. Ray Atkins was the owner and he said, “Well, it’s getting dark and maybe we had better not attempt to get him out at night.  I’ll go get a good stretcher and you guys go up there, build a fire, and take a bottle of rye and stay the night up there.”  So, that’s what they decided to do – they put the night in and it was snowing heavily but they got a fire going and I drank most of the rye during the night!  However, I did leave a little bit of rye in the bottle for the trip down.

The Columbia Coast Mission was a boat that worked out of Alert Bay, and had a doctor on it.  There is a big stiff 'leg' that held the float out.  The doctor that came was new, and she didn’t have caulk boots, and the thing was up in the air out of the water – she attempted to walk that with her little heels!  So, she finally sat down before she fell in, and two loggers came along helping her back into the boat.  As soon as she saw me she gave me a jab trying to knock me out to help with the pain.  When they dumped me out of the stretcher the bottle of rye fell out too, she went sky-high!  She said “Do you realize that after drinking all that alcohol, I can’t give you enough drugs to knock you out!”  She had already tried to before she saw this bottle of rye!  So, she grabbed the bottle and was just getting ready to heave it into the salt chuck.  Ray Atkins said, “I can see you are new here – I’ll tell you what we do with that bottle.”  First, he took the cork off it and offered her a drink and she went haywire again!  So, he said “In that case”… and he downed the whole works!  “Now you can throw it away” he said. 

So, I ended up in Alert Bay with old Dr. Pickup. He took one look at me and knew that he couldn’t knock me out with medicine, I had had too much alcohol inside me.  So he and his partners decided to try and set my leg. They were both on top of me trying to pull my leg and I’m still wide awake screaming, swearing, and using logger's lingo!  I could see a whole bunch of faces in front of me and so I hauled off and took a swing at one.  I don’t know if I hit him or not but he said, “Young fella, we are going to ship you to Vancouver” and I said, “Thanks”.  So, they got me over to Port Hardy and the stretcher couldn’t get in the damn airplane – they had me half-way into the plane and they were taking seats out of it at the last minute… it was snowing like everything!  Now, they finally got the seats out and got me to Vancouver.  I made up my mind, somewhere along the way, that Victoria would be the place to go – because my wife’s parents were living in Victoria at the time.  They transferred me on the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria and I got in the hospital there.  I’ll never forget this RN named Grant - he asked me “Sport, what have you been doing for this?” and I said “Mostly alcohol, I pretty much drank a whole bottle of it in the last day or two”.  Well, it was already the second day by the time we got to Victoria and he asked me “How would you like a good drink now?” and I thought he was bluffing and so I said “Sure!”  The last thing I remember was him saying to the nurse “Mix him a good one.”  Well, I could smell that thing coming down the hallway - it must have had a tailwind behind it!  I gulped it down and that was the last thing I remembered… it did the trick and knocked me out.  When I woke up the next morning I had all this rigging contraption hanging from me in all directions.  It turned out that I had broken my femur, and I had back problems, so I ended up there in traction for two to three months.  Then I went to rehab on Gorge Road, and finally ended up with a pin in my back - they had to weld all the vertebrae together in my back, it was called fusion.   My eye had just been injured temporarily, it healed.  Regarding the injuries I sustained there… I healed quite well.  Here I am at seventy-eight, and I have only had to have a right knee replacement.  I learned to take my time and look the situation over – never be in a hurry.

After a few months in there I began doing my rehab, by working on a dozer boat for Crown Zellerbach, on Cowichan Lake for a year.  That was around 1961 or 1962 - it was a good experience…in fact it was the best job I ever had!  They dump the logs off the logging truck into the water, and I had to sort them into what they called “pockets” with my dozer boat – the fir goes in one pocket, the hemlock into another pocket, the cedar into a pocket, and so on.  I did that job until I got feeling well enough to go back to falling.  But, the stuff I pushed out with that dozer boat… I tell ya!  There were big old growth fir and hemlock logs, some that were five to six feet through.  

There were two of us with dozer boats, so we would be playing cards until the logs came – then we would both jump into our boats and head for the logs.  Well, I was always trying to get something on the other guy, so one time I tied the other guy’s boat to the dock.  He jumped in the boat with his motor wide open trying to take off – and of all times to do it the boom foreman came down on the dock… it almost pulled the dock out from under his feet!  “SMITH!!”  he says, “never mind, never mind!  I can see what is happening.”  He never fired me, but I got a good reprimanding, and we had to behave ourselves after that.  Clarence Hanson was the boom foreman, and was a great guy to work for.

One Happy FallerThe turning point in the forest industry for me, was when they started shutting down our mills and exporting our logs – that was the beginning of the end!  Then, once they started bringing in the tree snippers, that was the end of the falling jobs right there!  You could see the writing on the wall – when you have a machine doing a man’s job…it’s just not the same!  It shouldn’t happen.  The other thing was the night logging – they worked all night long with these strong lights, different shifts, it wasn’t safe but the guys put up with it.  It just shouldn’t have happened!  They could work all night, put a whole crew out there, and then shut the camp down… there were no more jobs because there were too many machines taking jobs.  From then on it went to hell in a hand basket!  Also, the stockholders got greedy and raped the land by taking their tree farm licenses and exploited them to the hilt, and then left. 

If I had to do it again, I would probably do the same thing again without all the mistakes… it was the best of times! I have always believed in the environment and conservation.  Animals need trees for shelter and food to eat, and the streams have to be protected for spawning purposes; but without the jobs in the forest small communities are having a tough time.  Poor logging practices in the past have helped to destroy all the fish returns. There has to be a balance held between conserving natural habitat for wildlife, and providing forestry jobs for people who want to live and work in these communities.  There has to be cooperation between the game department, fisheries, and logging companies to create sustained yield in forestry products and bring back conditions that will nurture and support the salmon industry.