B.C. forestry sector scrambles to recruit tree planters
Friday 25 Oct 2019
The veteran tree planter zig-zags across the mountainside in Fraser Canyon near Boston Bar, B.C., dodging stumps and branches, with 300 seedlings tucked into pouches strapped around his waist. Without losing a beat, Dickson pierces the ground with his shovel and slings a seedling into the ground. Then he's off to the next spot he eyes several metres away.
Dickson has been tree planting in B.C. for 24 years, and skilled workers like him are in extremely high demand right now. And that's before the ambitious campaign promises by federal parties to plant billions more trees across Canada are even factored in (Sound familiar?).
B.C. alone needs to plant an estimated 48 million more trees in 2020 than it did last year in an effort to restore massive areas burned in the province after two record-breaking wildfires, and to promote carbon sequestration.
The Western Forestry Contractors' Association estimates the increase may be the largest leap in planting volume in the industry's 50-year history, going from 270 million seedlings this year to as many as 318 million seedlings next year. The industry estimates it employs roughly 4,500 workers. It will require 500 to 1,000 more planters to sow all those extra seedlings next year.
"It's going to be a challenge for sure, [with] a lot more trees coming to market this year than past years," said Timo Scheiber, CEO of Brinkman Reforestation.
Source & Photo: ca.news.yahoo.com
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