Canada Takes Pepsi Challenge: Redefines Green Industry

While the USFS has chosen Coca-Cola to help promote its efforts to create passively managed landscapes from our nation’s forests and grasslands (see: https://forestpolicypub.com/2013/09/14/marlboro-signs-5-year-agreement-with-usfs-to-improve-air-quality/), Canada’s Forest Products Industry used a Pepsi Centre Studio to announce greater forestry employment opportunities for its youth via modern communications, new technology, and new forest products. Apparently there are greater differences between Canada and the US than just spelling, secondary languages, and choices in soft drinks — we are now apparently using different definitions of the word “green.” Personally, I like the Canadian definition much better, although I do prefer our spelling conventions, Spanish over French, and Australian Fosters over either of the colas. Other thoughts?

“Forestry industry launches program for greener future”

Adam Harnum
Published on September 17, 2013

David Lindsay, the executive director of the Forest Products Association of Canada, addresses the Canadian Institue of Forestry annual conference on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 at the Pepsi Centre Studio.

CORNER BROOK — The forestry industry has experienced some rough times over the past few decades, but it is beginning to restore the previous wealth in the industry in recent years, says David Lindsay.

This, in turn, is opening doors for more youth to become employed in the forestry sector.

Lindsay, executive director of Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) said at the annual conference and general meeting of the Canadian Institute of Forestry on Monday the industry is transforming itself through investment in new technologies and new equipment, which is ultimately leading to the creation of new products.

One example he discussed was a product created through the extraction of fibre from a tree, which is then used in the process of making rayon, a replacement for cotton.

“We’re going to need more employees in this next evolution of the forest industry,” Lindsay said before his keynote address at the conference.

The biggest market for the forestry industry today seems to be aimed at a younger audience.

Lindsay says a study with the Conference Board of Canada estimates over the next seven to eight years there will be a need for about 60,000 new jobs to replace those who are retiring and for new growth and economic opportunity.

“We need foresters and people who understand the science of the industry to ensure that it is managed in a sustainable way so that involves a lot of technical knowledge and a lot of scientific knowledge,” he said.

Lindsay said Newfoundland and Labrador is well-situated with a good infrastructure and a healthy, vibrant forest, which places the province in a position for growth, as trees are abundant throughout.

The biggest difference between oil and minerals in contrast to forest products is the resources used to create forest products are renewable — essentially meaning that trees can be grown and harvested repeatedly.

As a renewable resource, Lindsay said the intent is to promote more involvement in the industry throughout the country, and said a second project of the Green Dream internship being launched at the conference is targeted at recruiting more young people.

In the first edition of the Green Dream internship, it was limited to seven positions but the newest version opens the door to eight more internship opportunities.

The website created for the program will serve as a portal for youth to access application forms and learn about the 15 different jobs available, then a contest will be executed and later an announcement of the winners will be made.

According to Lindsay, the individuals who are selected will be invited to post blogs about their working experience while on the job and then be made available to the public through the website — a format which he claimed to be a successful tactic from the previous program.

The forestry industry is taking much the same approach as most modern industries, as it is striving to make use of social media platforms to reach out and communicate with the rest of the world.

“What we are trying to do is say, ‘Look, there are products, there are other opportunities; the forest industry is changing,’” Lindsay said.

Lindsay used the analogy often portrayed of forestry industry as being lumberjacks dressed in plaid jackets, when realistically, the industry has changed and there are more people involved behind the scenes wearing white lab coats than plaid jackets.

“We want to rebrand the industry — not the old forest industry of the last century — but it is a new biotechnology, biosciences of the 21st century,” he said.

11 thoughts on “Canada Takes Pepsi Challenge: Redefines Green Industry”

  1. Meanwhile, the Forest Service uses temporary employees to do timber jobs, offering jobs that have no career ladders. They seem to prefer the fast food model which I like to call “Federal McForestry”, where there is a revolving door on jobs that involve “boots on the ground”. It is very common for Ranger Districts to hire young people with ZERO experience in forestry-related jobs. Some permanent employees sometimes complain about this reality but, they are often reminded that their jobs might be in jeopardy, as well.

    We aren’t in danger of losing “institutional knowledge”. Indeed, we have already lost it when the people operating the paintguns are always in the midst of “on the job training”.

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  2. We have two fundamental problems with getting young people into the profession and the SAF:

    1) We have been defamed and have a serious image problem. It used to be that we weren’t good for doing much other than sitting in fire towers, helping tourists in our forests and parks and counting trees (my wife’s viewpoint). Now we have let ourselves be defined as environmental terrorists.

    2) Industry needs people not bogged down in academic philosophical arguments about what is good forestry. What industry needs is people who believe in forestry as a good thing and are well trained in the rudimentary skills and ready and eager to hit the ground running such as they get from a good two year technical forestry school.

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  3. @Gil DeHuff
    Gil: I got most of my forestry education working with some of the world’s finest foresters from 1970 to 1990 and by religiously reading the SAF Journal during the same time span. Then I went back to college and maintained my membership for a while at student rates. But when they started doing all of the Jerry Franklin/Norm Johnson nonsense in the late 1980s through the 1990s (at least), I quit and really haven’t returned. The “academic philosophical arguments” were fine before 1990 or so because they were being conducted by educated people with actual experience. Once the Franklins of the world took over and started recommending planting trees in a “pattern like a drunken sailor” and promoting nonsense like “non-declining even flow naturally functioning ecosystems,” I got out. For the past 10+ years there has been no compelling reason for me to be a member, although I like their commitment to education. I just didn’t like what they were teaching.

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  4. @bobzybach

    Yea! They seemed to forget that there were certain underlying scientific principles that hadn’t changed and sold forestry out to the fad of the moment. Unfortunately, I still see very little understanding of the basic scientific principles and zero willingness to confront the environmentalists when they spout faux science. About ’77 they also accepted blame on behalf of all foresters for all of the atrocities that had ever been done in the name of forestry rather than pointing out that greed counter to sound forestry was responsible for those atrocities.

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  5. @Pablo Korach
    HELLO SHARON
    Has my comment been found? if it has pleaselet me know if it will be publishec or not should there be any problem in it I am willing to remove but for me it is really important to have it published. If your decision is not to publicize it Iwill resend it to PEPSI.
    ANYWAY YOUR EFFORT IN FINDING IT IS APPRECIATED I do not have a copy
    so if found please remail it to me. You know that we have our moments when we write
    and we are in the right mood and we write.
    Shana tova!
    Pablo
    i

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  6. Pablo.. comments usually show up and need to be approved..I did not see any of your that had not been approved. I would like to publish it if you can find it again… or rewrite it. Just email it to me at terraveritas at gmail dot com.

    Reply

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