Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Williams Lake Tribune.

Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Williams Lake Tribune.

FOREST INK: Looking forward to 2023

Columnist Jim Hilton discusses some of the issues he hopes to tackle in the coming year

Since this will be my last article for 2022 I wanted to thank some of the readers that provided feedback last year and suggestions for future topics in 2023.

When the weather gets below -20 C wood pellets and other forms owf renewable energy becomes a hot topic (pardon the pun) but when any value added product from the lumber industry becomes scarcer because of reduced lumber output lots of questions arise.

Issues related to climate change, subsidies and carbon credits have to be taken into consideration which I will deal with this year. Another interesting article will be about Tree DNA and helping solve crimes involving theft of valuable trees like maple and walnut. Thanks to Gary from Quesnel we will look into some investigative reporting done in the northwest USA which will have consequences for us north of the boarder.

No doubt there will be some interesting issues around First Nations reconciliation associated with forest tenures, old growth and allocation of annual timber harvest.

I have also had some feed back about the production of biochar and its uses in agriculture, forestry and industrial applications. I will also provide some of my latest results from small plot work done last year with biochar and branch wood chips.

I am also reading a guide to North Western Wild Berries by JE Underhill which will complement some articles I have read about forest gardens and reclaiming degraded urban sites.

As usual there will probably be a number of interesting articles coming from the BC Community Forest monthly news letter as well as the woodlot publications. I can also count on Quirks and Quarks on the CBC radio to provide some interesting topics like the one last week about cougars and grizzly bears moving north into areas of Canada that they have not been seen for along time or not at all in some areas.

Not everyone is pleased to see them but for many it is good to see some expansion rather than the old news of another species going extinct.

For those readers that may be interested in nature related books, I could recommend a book about Kees Vermeer entitled Immigrant Gone to Heaven who worked on bird research in Alberta and B.C. An interesting note is that literature cited shows that local Leo Rankin co-wrote three research papers with Mr. Vermeer.

I also enjoyed an old book discarded from the local library about naturalist John Muir who lived from 1838 to 1914 during which time he covered a lot of the North America wilderness on foot, alone, without a sleeping bag or gun and often taking only a sack full of stale bread.

He made some trips into Canada but most of his travels were south of our boarder but he also climbed some mountains in Alaska.

He proved to be a very tough individual who was the first non-native to travel into many areas, many of which were named after him.

I am still in the process of reading a series of books entitled Raincoast Chronicles which are stories about the history of the B.C. Coast and describe many of the old logging exploits.

READ MORE: FOREST INK: Company invests $10M in biochar

READ MORE: FOREST INK: Life on the edge of ecosystems



monica.lamb-yorski@wltribune.com

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