By Cindy Pearce, Revelstoke Forest Workers’ Society
For almost 20 years the Revelstoke Forest Workers Society has supported worker training and communications about the local forest sector in Revelstoke.
The society grew out of the land use planning processes in the mid- 1990s, starting first as an advisory group for a study of forest workers in the community, to ensure worker interests and individuals were involved in the planning processes. In 1995 the new Community Skills Centre formalized an advisory group which involved many of the original study participants. Since 2004, the group has operated as a non-profit society, with a volunteer board of directors.
Over the years the Society has designed and organized worker training, issued regular newsletters, hosted speakers and organized the annual Timber Days celebration of our community logging heritage.
For the past few years, while the industry was faced with severe challenges, the Society did what it could with volunteer efforts and limited resources. As the industry begins to rebuild, the Society is doing the same.
The community has enjoyed our annual Timber Day celebration – and it will continue.
Over the past year the society has focused on assisting the industry to find and train workers and contractors that are up to the difficult harvesting and log hauling conditions in the local mountains. As well, directors have made presentations to city council to describe the current local industry – which is very different from the industry in other parts of the province. As well there is interest in re-instating the regular newsletters and expanding communications.
As our community grows and changes, the local forest industry will continue to be a key sector, and the Forest Workers Society will continue to support workers through training and communicate with the community and workers about this sector.