The Morice Forest Salvage Society (MFSS) is a group of salvage loggers that pick up all the areas that the major logging companies don’t want to operate on.
“We are in the salvage operations, so the wood we look for is dead or dying. The major licenses usually do not want to salvage one hectare here and there because of their operational costs,” explained Steve Wright, treasurer of Morice ForestSalvage Society.
For every meter harvested, 25 cents is given back to the community of Houston by the MFSS. On Nov. 1, MFSS met at the library to hand out $4820 in donations. The Houston Public Library received $1460, The Houston Hikers Society received$1060, another $1060 was donated to the Morice Mountain Ski Club, Houston Search and Rescue received $400, and Bulkley Valley Exhibition in Smithers received a cheque of $300 for logger sports.
“The annual allowable cut for the district has been recalculated because there is not enough timber available. So we do not have a 10 year [plan]. We are essentially being squeezed out, and no volume is being allocated to us,” said Wright.
This recalculation makes it so that it becomes the responsibility of the larger licenses to take care of these salvage areas,which is not economical for them, and MFSS is fighting to keep it so that the society can continue to oversee those areas.
“I really feel that there is a need to salvage these things, and big players do not want to operate it themselves because it is not economical for them. Until a site is logged, there is no responsibility to the site.” commented Wright. “If no one logs the wood, no other funds are available to action these stands, but mother nature will slowly convert it back to a forest.”
MFSS is working with the Ministry of Forest, Canfor, and Dungate Community Forest to try and keep some activity going on and continue work for the society.
“The good thing is that the ministry [of forest] has said they will work on all the permits we’ve already spent money and process on, to give us those sales,” said Wright.
The future is uncertain for MFSS whether the Ministry of Forest will support an further contracts, but the society is hopeful.
If the members of MFSS are pushed out of business, then they will no longer be able to continue to contribute back into the community.
People interested in helping the society continue their work can express in a letter, the need of this society, and its job to remove dead and damaged timber to reduce fire hazards, to the Ministry of Forest Box 999 Burns Lake, B.C. V0J1E0.
“We did talk with the forest minister, and discussed it as an area. We do realize the value [MFSS] adds to the community,and it’s a great want to keep the money within Houston. We do understand their struggle and are currently looking at a few ways to help. We have previously asked the ministry for 10,000 cubic meters to be added to the Dungate CommunityForests, but were denied. Last September we asked again, and they said they would look into it,” commented mayor Shane Brienen.
To contact MFSS about donations and more contact 250-845-0024.