Winter cannot come soon enough for log haulers and mills in the Cariboo-Chilcotin.
“I wish it would freeze,” said Jeff Price of Jamax Enterprises as he pulled into Tolko’s Lakeview log yard Tuesday minutes before noon.
Driving from Lac La Hache that morning, Price said the roads were slick because of the snow.
Price echoes log haulers in the Cariboo-Chilcotin who have seen a dismal year for hauling because of persistent wet weather.
Tolko’s harvesting manager Jerry Mooney said 2016’s weather has impacted the industry.
The company’s Lakeview mill presently has six days worth of logs and the Soda Creek mill has 10 days worth.
“Normally at this time of year we would like to have 30 days worth of logs,” Mooney told the Tribune. “The log hauling workforce is probably at about 65 per cent of their year-to-date target for hauling days.”
With the snow beginning to fall and Environment Canada predicting cooler temperatures, Mooney said he is optimistic things will improve, that there will be limited rain, and they can catch up, even though the days are now shorter.
“We are at the mercy of Mother Nature right now,” he said.
Mooney has been with Tolko for 15 years and said this year has been the worst weather wise.
“I’ve talked to experienced people who say it is one of the worst years on record,” he said.
There has been no lack of effort on the contractors’ part, he added.
“They have been patient and committed. There were lots of days when they had to turn back, and were pushed and pulled in the mud while they were doing their best to keep the logs in front of the mills. It’s been a lot of heroic effort on their part without a lot of outcome.”