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British Columbia Forestry Jobs – What It Takes To Cut A Tree

Updated: Sep 16

An Editorial Opinion – Right From The Stump, April 27, 2022


Too often, when it comes to reductions in timber harvest the focus is on the headline number of direct job losses, glossing over what that means or who is actually affected. I thought it would be helpful to add a bit more colour to this issue, so I have tallied up the different jobs necessary to cut a tree and deliver a log to a sawmill (or other primary manufacturing facilities).


The list below describes over 100 job types required to ensure timber is sustainably planned, harvested, and delivered to a sawmill (or primary manufacturing site) as well as regenerated. People that do these jobs are found in every community throughout the province, including in the urban areas of the lower mainland and southern Vancouver Island. The diversity and breadth of these job types clearly indicate that forestry in British Columbia is complex. It’s a dynamic ecosystem of professionals, skilled workers, service providers and suppliers which is needed to make the industry function. When the timber harvest goes down, job losses affect each of these jobs to some degree in addition to loggers with their chainsaws.


The number of job types involved with British Columbia forestry from the forest to the sawmill include…


MYTH: Job Types In BC Forestry

1. Logger


REALITY: Job Types In BC Forestry

1. Planning forester

2. Field forester

3. Area forester

4. Junior forester

5. Assistant forester

6. Timber cruiser

7. Stream/Riparian assessor

8. Wildlife biologist

9. Geotechnical engineer

10. Hydrologist

11. Ecologist

12. Engineering crew

13. Digital mapper

14. GIS department

15. Archaeologist

16. First Nations referral staff

17. First Nations liaison/relations staff

18. Visual quality landscape specialist

19. District Manager - Government

20. Government forester

21. Government forestry technician

22. Government specialist

23. Silviculture forester

24. Silviculture surveyor

25. Wildlife danger tree assessor

26. Inventory forester

27. Structural engineer

28. Road engineer

29. Fish biologist

30. Rare plant & ecosystems specialist

31. Carbon forester

32. Carbon offset credit auditor

33. Administrator

34. Account payable clerk

35. Account receivable clerk

36. Accountant

37. Controller

38. Tree climber

39. Tree faller

40. Feller buncher operator

41. Skidder operator

42. Log processor operator

43. Yarder engineer

44. Hooktender

45. Log loader operator

46. Production crew supervisor

47. First Aid attendant

48. Helicopter pilot

49. Mechanic

50. Bull cook

51. Kitchen staff

52. Camp helpers

53. Camp watchman

54. Water taxi staff

55. Road building crew general

56. Excavator operator

57. Rock blasting crew

58. Dump truck driver

59. Rock driller operator

60. Road grade crew

61. Lawyer

62. Compliance and Enforcement staff - Government

63. Logging truck driver

64. Scaler

65. Log stamper

66. Log tagger

67. Log broker

68. Log buyer

69. Log sort crew

70. Quality control staff

71. WorkSafe BC officer

72. Tug boat crew

73. Boom boat crew

74. Log barge crew

75. Sustainable certification forester

76. Tree planter

77. Brush cutter

78. Silviculture general worker and foreman

79. Logistics manager

80. Bridge builders

81. Explosive expert

82. Cultural awareness consultants/trainer

83. Safety coordinator

84. Purchaser

85. Welder

86. Fabricator

87. Bundler (in sort)

88. Wheel loader operator

89. Bander (for stems)

90. Dispatcher

91. Facility cleaner and maintenance staff

92. Wood waste grinder operator

93. Drone pilot

94. Communications specialist

95. Human resource manager

96. Shop steward

97. Environmental monitor

98. Signage traffic control staff

99. Motel staff

100. Restaurant staff

101. Equipment dealers and support staff

102. Fuel supplier

103. Wire cable supplier

104. Blasting powder supplier

105. Tire sales staff

106. Truck sales and rentals staff

107. Insurance salespeople

108. Coffee shop staff

109. Clothing store staff

110. Grocery store staff

111. Radio technician

112. Forest fire fighting crew


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Written By David Elstone, RPF

Publisher, View From The Stump newsletter

Managing Director, Spar Tree Group Inc.

david@spartreegroup.com

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