Bill Pollock volunteers because he needs something to keep him busy since retiring from forestry engineering.
But Pollock doesn’t give his time for notoriety.
“I wasn’t going to go and then I decided that it wasn’t going to do CESO any good if I didn’t go,” Pollock said. “I decided to go to more promote CESO than anything else.”
Pollock was first introduced to CESO 20 or so years ago when met a volunteer who was working on a project in a Mohawk community. The volunteer needed a forester and Pollock recalled thinking “Well, I’ll do that.”
Since then he has travelled to Russia, Guyana and twice to Honduras as well as across Canada to Indigenous communities lending his expertise as a forestry engineer.
The award recognized his two most recent projects.
One was assisting a community in Honduras with southern pine beetle management.
Pollock had to tell them that there was no cure for the epidemic, but rather they had to try and control the infestation by cutting lines around it.
“I wrote a manual for them on how to do that,” he said.
The second project was working with an Indigenous community in Thunder Bay creating a forest management plan for the Ogoki forest in Northwestern Ontario.
“The most important thing I think I told them was ‘go slowly’ because the forest industry is very competitive and if you are going to invest a lot of money in logging equipment and trucks and so on you’re going to have to work 24 hours a day logging in order to make any money at all,” Pollock said.
Though the most recent project he was involved in through CESO was two years ago, Pollock remains on the volunteer roster. If they need a forest engineer, they will call him.
In the meantime, Pollock started Revelstoke Paddlesport Association when he moved to the city almost five years ago and organizes the David Thompson Paddlesport Classic every year. He also volunteers with the Elks Club in the city.
“I have to have something to do,” Pollock said with a laugh.