News & Updates
By John Beaton, Supervisor/ Coastal Coordinator
The Fir Camp. 2013. Prince George. The sun is coming up as the steam rises from your 3rd cup of coffee. You’re about to load up again, but you’re ready. It was a good season and already, though you may not have admitted it to yourself, you look forward to the next. Your mind loses focus when you think about the hard days, and seems to gain a crystal clarity when you remember the good, projecting those days to otherwise unreachable status. You are a planter in the Fir Camp, and life is good.
By Erik Brinkman
So much is in the camp; this cannot be underestimated. It provides the planters with a hearth, a home, respite from the often tempestuous block. In The Planters Guide Book, (yet to be written) Rule #423 states, “Hotel shows should never last, while a good camp should never be passed.”
By Timo Scheiber, BC Operations Manager
For me each ‘season’ is split into three overlapping phases: securing projects, plan & prepare, and operational. With that in mind each yearly cycle starts with our fall viewing / negotiating / bidding, rolls into the winter of planning and preparing for the upcoming work, and kicks off with the first trees in the ground at the end of February. However, the real emotional start is the mid-February western gathering-of-the-clans / project manager meeting usually held somewhere around Vancouver.
By Marc Robillard
Since 2007 I have been the lucky person to work with the First Nations people of Gilford Island. Several clients have hired us to remove browsing protectors also known as cones.
Gilford has a very large population of deer. The plantations we put in after logging were soon eaten up by ungulates. They especially like western red cedar. On Yeo Island you could sometimes see deer screefing and eating trees right behind you as you were planting. You often came back on your line and could not find the tree you just put in or it was just laying there out of its hole.
By Baba Brinkman
The life of an aspiring artist requires a fine balancing act between dedication to honing a craft that doesn’t pay much just yet, and working a “day job” to pay bills in the meantime. If only you could dedicate all your time to music/painting/jewelry/writing, the promised land of financial self-sufficiency would come so much sooner! That’s why artists have always been attracted to the seasonal magic of tree planting.
By Andrew Courtnage
Working in my home province has always been a dream of mine and I vividly remember many a night off somewhere in BC sitting around the fire drunkenly whispering in the ear of Dirk or John, “Bring Brinkman to the prairies. We are the center. We are the heart. We are the province that will bring the whole company together geographically." So when Robin McCullough informed me that she was running a planting show in the Sandilands, and that they were in need of a tree runner, I felt my proud prairie heart soar, finally my prairie prayers were answered.
By Pier Ouellette
The block that day was one of the best I had ever... BEEP.BEEP.BEEP
With my eyes still shut, I reach around to turn my alarm off. 5:55am. I unzip the door to my tent. A thick fog makes it impossible to see anything around me.
“Tabernacle!” (en.transl. “oh shoot!”) Now, a bit of fog in the morning before going to work usually does not inspire me to yell out religious profanity. However, we were working on a heli contract which meant we would not be able to fly out to the blocks.
By Ola Szczecinsk
One day was bad in particular. It began with the sun beating down on me, burning the back of my neck, top of my head and exposed forearms. The land was a giant slab of rock, into which I was forced to dig holes and plant, like in some cruel ancient Greek afterlife. There were also the tunnel bushes, as I called them, that covered seventy per cent of my piece: long giant things, seemingly from the Jurassic era, that snapped at me and whipped me in the face, smacked me in my thighs and threatened to gouge my eyes out, as I struggled to plant in the rock from which they miraculously grew.