We have published or co-published several reports on the history of the BC Forest Service’s research program. A recent addition is a history of the BC Forest Service's inventory program from 1912 to 1940, written in 1995 by FHABC member the late Ralph Schmidt.
A second volume covering the period from 1940 to 1960 has been written and will be produced next. These two volumes contain the personal experiences, reminiscences and biographies of many of the people who worked in the inventory program during its first five decades.
Use the following links to access online versions of these publications:
- New as of Dec 2014. Stewards of the People's Forests: A Short History of the British Columbia Forest Service. Available for purchase in person at the Royal British Columbia Museum Gift Shop, 675 Belleville Street, Victoria BC V8W 9W2 Canada. Tel: 250-356-7226. Also available online. Historians Robert Griffin and Lorne Hammond tell the story of BC’s Forest Branch – renamed the Forest Service in 1947 – over a century of stewardship of the province’s largest industry. The authors relate not just the big stories involving the major personalities, such as H.R. MacMillan, Ernest Manning, C.D. Orchard and Ray Williston, but also the front-line foresters, rangers and firefighters who dedicated their lives – and sometimes risked them – to protect BC’s forests. This book is about a group of people who made important contribution to the growth of British Columbia as an economic force in North America.
The first person in BC to actually function as an “industrial” forester in the modern sense was Tom Wright, who was employed by Bloedel, Stewart & Welch, Ltd. as a consulting forester in the early 1940s. Tom was also the Dean of the Faculty of Forestry at UBC, Chief Forester of Canadian Forest Products and owner of Managed Forest Unit No. 1 – the first private woodlot on the south coast. The book may be ordered from this site: Tom Wright: recollections of a pioneer forester and tree farmer
In 2008 the FHABC published a biography of F.D. Mulholland, authored by members Gerry Burch and John Parminter – “Frederick Davison Mulholland P. Eng., B.C.R.F.: The Father of Sustained Yield Forestry in British Columbia.” Mulholland worked for the BC Forest Service for nearly two decades, designing many of the forest survey field procedures used during the 1920s and 1930s, and he compiled the first provincial inventory of BC’s forest resources in 1937. This book costs $20, and you can order your own copy by downloading the order form here.
The FHABC published a biography of Alan Orr-Ewing, authored by members Gerry Burch and Mike Meagher in 2012. Orr-Ewing’s first job with the B.C. Forest Service was as a summer research assistant in 1935. By 1950 he was specializing in forest genetics and the improvement of Douglas-fir. As a result of his success the program expanded to include all major commercial tree species in the province. He was recognized internationally and received the Association of B.C. Forest Professional’s first Distinguished Forester Award in 1970. To obtain a copy of Alan Orr-Ewing’s 134-page biography, please complete and mail the order form.
A bibliography of published works concerning B.C.'s forest history can be found here. The bibliography is current as of December 2009. Most entries are specifically about forest history, many are primarily local or regional histories with some forestry content. Please bring any errors or omissions to our attention at the email address at the bottom of this page.