We have published or co-published histories of several major programs of the BC Forest Service.
A history of the BC Forest Service’s inventory program, from 1912 to 1940, was written in 1995 by FHABC member the late Ralph Schmidt and posted online in September 2015. A second volume covering the period from 1940 to 1960 was written by FHABC member Bob Breadon and posted online in June 2017. 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.
Four other reports appear below the Inventory Program reports.
Use the following links to access online versions of these publications:
- A History of the British Columbia Provincial Forest Inventory Program: Part Two, 1940 – 1960 R.E. Breadon, 1995, updated 2017 by John Parminter
- A History of the British Columbia Provincial Forest Inventory Program: Part One, 1912-1940 R.L. Schmidt 1995, updated 2015 by John Parminter
- An Early History of the Research Branch, British Columbia Ministry of Forests and Range R.L. Schmidt & J.V. Parminter, 2006, (link to Tech Report 36, FLNRO Research Branch)
- The Aleza Lake Experiment Station (1920’s and 1930’s) R.L. Schmidt, 1993, (link to Brochure 2, FLNRO Research Branch)
- The History of Cowichan Lake Research Station R.L. Schmidt, 1992, (link to Brochure 10, FLNRO Research Branch)
- A History of Forest Policy and Administration in British Columbia (1971). By Alan Moss. About the author.
Beginning in 2018, we started accepting content too long for our newsletter by publishing an abstract in the Newsletter and publishing the full file on our website. Here are the articles so far:
- Puttin’ on the Ritz – by Allen Hopwood (planned for issue 111)
- WWII P.O.W. becomes a BC Forest Service Ranger – by Karin Yarmish, Mike Meagher (Issue 109)
- Lardeau Valley Museum Steam Donkey Project – by Dave Florence (Issue 109)
- Gerry Wellburn and the 1300+ year trees – by Bruce Devitt (Issue 109)
- Canada’s First Mountain Helicopter Rescue – 1950, by Gerald and Ken Flowers (2020). (Issue 109)
- Woss Heritage Park Project By Dave Florence (Issue 108)
- Culliton Brothers: Pacific Northwest Railway Trestle Builders. By Eric Andersen (Issue 108)
- The International Foresters of British Columbia (2013). By George Nagle. (Issue 103)
- History of Eric W. Robinson, RPF 40, deceased (2012). Edited by Bruce Devitt and Jeannie Haug. (Issue 103)
We have sponsored five: Timber Forever!, Stewards of the Peoples Forest, and biographies of Tom Wright, F.D. Mulholland, and Alan Orr-Ewing.
In November 2021, John Parminter kindly donated the Tom Wright biography as a free download (more below)
Launched in January 2018, the Forest History Association of BC is proud to have provided financial support for a book celebrating the Truck Loggers Association’s birthday. Timber Forever! Standing Tall & Strong for 75 Years: The Truck Loggers Association is profusely illustrated. Its 124 pages are structured around the TLA’s past presidents, capturing their biographical details, and describing the family trees for their prominent coastal logging families. The book also provides context for the significant policy issues and debates between 1943 and the present. Originally costing only $20, this book is now long sold out. You could have ordered a copy of the book for yourself online, but now you will have to try your luck with used books stores.
New as of Dec 2014. Currently out of print. 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 an 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 also went on to be 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 used to be available as a “print on demand” title from Trafford Publishing. Unfortunately, that agreement has come to an end, but thanks to John Parminter, it is now available as a free pdf here. (12 Mb file, 63 pages, published in 2000). For those preferring hard copy, it still might be possible to find print copies in your favourite used book store. Some print versions were reported for sale online at Abe Books when that site was accessed Nov 12, 2021.
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 sending us a note via our Contact Page.
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 haunt your favourite used book store. Unfortunately, we are sold out ourselves.
Our Facebook Group
We monitor the Facebook group daily, post items of interest from other Groups, and use the page to research topics that may become Newsletter articles.