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Senior forester group tours Haida Gwaii

A group of 12 retired and semi-retired foresters and academics toured forest sites on Haida Gwaii recently, says Bill Dumont, a former forester in Sewell Inlet who organized the tour. For the last 14 years, the group has been travelling to an area of BC or Washington to look at current forestry practices and reminisce about their careers and the changes over the decades, said Mr. Dumont."The oldest participants included Web Binion who is 91, and his former supervisor at BC Forest Products, former company vice president Gerry Burch, who celebrated his 90th birthday earlier this month," he said.The group, which also included three current and former professors from UBC, spent four days touring areas of interest and finishing up on Aug. 21.The tour looked at active forestry operations on Moresby and Graham Island in Teal Jones, BC Timber Sales and Taan Forest areas. The group also visited the Kay Center and met with Haida and BC government personnel responsible for forestry on Haida Gwaii and the Gwaii Haanas park superintendent and visited Reg Davidson's carving shed, said Mr. Dumont. Members of the tour group raved about the experience. Steve Lorimer, former senior forestry manager with Timber West and past President of the Association of BC Forest Professionals said, "I was particularly interested to observe that forest professionals and others in both government and industry were dedicated to meeting expectations which are achieving successful logging operations within the constraints of the Haida Gwaii Land Use Order."Dr. Sue Grayston, UBC plant ecologist and instructor at the Haida Gwaii Semester program, said the tour was "fascinating and informative.""A particular feature was the impressive amount of second growth logging underway on Haida Gwaii in forests that were logged in the last century," said Mr. Dumont, who said it was exciting to see the Sitka spruce stands that he arranged for spacing in the 1970s and 1980s now being harvested and delivered to the dryland sort at Alliford Bay. "We were always concerned about what might happen to these vast areas of Sitka spruce regeneration from logging before and after the Second World War." Mr. Dumont said participants said this year's tour was the "best ever." The group will be touring northern Vancouver Island next year.