November December 2005



Highlights & Heli-Logging PLC Review

By Diane Mettler

There were a number of great moments at 2005’s Pacific Logging Conference held this October in Victoria, BC.

"Our theme this year was Education Has No Bounds," says Rikki Wellman, Executive Director. "And that was really brought home by the presentations."

One of the well-received presentations involved the media and educating the public. Journalists from the Western Journalism Center, Vancouver Sun, Oregonian and the Wall Street Journal sat around a table and answered questions posed by Tom Tevlin of Greenspirit Strategies. The big question on most forest industry professionals’ minds was ‘How do we get better coverage in the media?’

The answer may have surprised some. "Keep after us," they said. Don’t just rely on press releases — get journalists behind one of the machines, get them in a truck and out to a site. Don’t take no for an answer, keep following up and don’t stop until you get on their calendar.

A second presentation focused on educating a younger audience. Hosted by Bruce Vincent of Provider Pals, still in the "talk show" style of sitting around a table, the attendees got to hear from kids. They heard how kids’ lives changed and their minds were opened when east coast met Montana. They also talked about what adults need to do to get the message heard by them.

PLC attendees had a full agenda from listening to presentations to seeing heli-logging up close.


In addition, teachers from Canada, New York, and D.C. discussed educating youth, their concerns and what might help teach in their part of the country.

"For three hours, no one left the room," says Wellman. "I think Ralph Torney from Canadian Air-Crane summed it up best — we can have major disputes over softwood, but not education. We’re in this together facing the same issues. It has no borders."

There were other highlights. Over $44,000 was raised at the auction, 100 percent of which will go to the Pacific Forest Foundation. The nonprofit foundation helps fund educational programs such as Provider Pals, It Takes a Tree and PLC grant programs.

On the last day people were educated in the ways of heli-logging. They not only got to view the helicopter up close and talk to the folks at Air-Crane about what they do, they also got to witness the tree monkeys prepping the trees, the helicopters at work and the final product.

The PLC’s mission is education. And judging by this year’s conference, they succeeded in more ways than one.



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