Pemberton Museum hosts 100 years of forestry 

Retired BC Forestry Service workers up to 90 years of age expected to attend celebration

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Dozens of retired forestry workers are coming to Pemberton to meet old friends and tell their stories as part of the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the BC Forestry Service.

The Pemberton and District Museum is hosting a weekend of events on August 11 and 12 for approximately 100 visitors from the industry, including a banquet, display, presentations, and tours. The oldest participants are expected to be well into their 90s with experiences in BC forestry in the region going back to the 1940s and 50s, said museum curator Niki Madigan.

The event is one of dozens across the province to mark the centenary of the service, which was founded in 1912. About 70 per cent of the tickets for the weekend had been sold.

“They register with us and are coming for the weekend,” said Madigan.

“We will be taking their photos because after the event we are creating a souvenir booklet.”

In the build-up to the weekend the museum had put out a call for donations of equipment and memorabilia from the logging and forestry era and now had more than enough for their permanent display on forestry, which opened in the museum’s Soo Building in July.

Madigan said she has been learning more than she ever knew about forestry in her preparation for the weekend. She said the Squamish Forest District, which covers the vast region from Howe Sound to D’Arcy, has a 1.1 million hectare land base, 40 per cent of which is forest – with 12 per cent of that 40 considered to be available for harvesting.

“It’s a very small percentage of the 1.1 million hectare land base,” said Madigan. “I’ve done a lot of backcountry driving on logging roads, and when you’re there it looks like the whole backcountry is clear cut… but what you see is all that was harvested.”

This, she said, has made her appreciate more the management of the region by the forestry service. She noted that the Miller Creek Plantation, planted by the service, is 50 years old this year, and the Shadow Lake Interpretive Forest in the Soo Valley between Whistler and Pemberton, a demonstration forest planted by the service for public education, is 21 years old.

“A major activity (for the BC Forestry Service) is reforestation and these are two great examples of successes,” she said.

Read more in next Thursday’s Pique.

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