Sunday, July 12, 2009

History of Tree Planting Labor Force

I found this when I was doing some research today.

Lots of them were still using Polaski like things. This was just when the D-Handle revolution was beginning.

I am a planter and have planted 4 years - through college, through an MA, and through moving to New York. I am making a film about Franz Otto, the legendary tree planter.

They Interview a guy named Pete Robson who had worked in reforestation since 1964. Are these Fitness babes?

haha above "flatulence reforestation."

"On the first planting projects I was involved in we used inmate labor, After that we hired whomever we could. we hired locals, hired off the reserves, got men off of Main and Hastings in Vancouver. We paid by the hour and few had much interest or much skill in it. Needless to say our production was low."

"By 1967 we decided to try letting a contract. We were not impressed with the results of the first one, but the next year we let a contract to two hippies - complete with beflowered volkswagen van. They camped under plastic and planted faster than we had ever seen."

'These two hippies were to revolutionize tree planting in the province.'

'They let the way for a new breed of planters, people pursuing what was once called "alternative lifestyles."'

'One big time contractor has a degree in religion. Another is a dropout nuclear energy engineer from the atomic energy commission of Canada. There are homesteaders. teachers, artists, craftspeople, lots of carpenters, and at least one potato farmer. '

'Tony Berniaz, mountaineer, world traveller and now gentleman farmer, has probably planted a million trees; he used to be a PhD chemist.'

'Holly Arntzen, a Vancouver musician, liked to wake up camp every morning with the golden sounds of Handel and Vivaldi played on her French Horn.'

'Clay Perry, legislative director of the IWA in Vancouver explains, "Because of the strategic importance of silviculture to the future of the industry, it has to [should] be organized in a rational way and give people a rational lifestyle. It is just not rational for BC to rely on 'counterculture' people for such important strategic work."'

'Dirk Brinkman, founder Brinkman reforestation, responds: "not only is it a logistical necessity to use tent camps and to move all over BC and Alberta doing short term contracts in remote places, it's also a part of our lifestyle."'

Article ends with planters finishing up a contract and drinking beer.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


just found out about Alec Soth's photo series Niagra

Shots of architecture and people in Niagara Falls. Lots of couples, whose honeymoon budgets probably do not allow them to get very far from home (bummer) but who are trying anyways (sweet).

Interspersed are images of handwritten letters: most of the grammar is bad. Some of the letters are romantic, love letters, and some are angry.