Logging


My father logged Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar, using an old Tyee yarder, and an International Harvester TD-18 cat. The picture below is of a big fir hanging from the rubber tired arch. The tires and wheels on the arch are surplus parts from World War II bombers.

He ran shows on Read, Sonora and Maurelle islands over the years.

The show on Read was a skyline operation. This link refers to it as a North Bend; we referred to it generically as "Skyline". My father had been a high-rigger for Comox Valley Logging at one time, so he rigged both spars. The logs were hauled to the saltchuck with the cat. He use the same yarder at the Maurelle Island show, but there he used a stiff-leg configuration to swing the logs to the water. The stiff leg is essentially the same rigging, except the back spar is floating in the water, butt ended on the shore, with guy lines to stabilize it.

The Sonora Island show was a cat-logging side.

Other species, such as Western Hemlock, were not valued then as they are now, so my father rarely bothered with them. We occassionally harvested Balsam, and the odd Yellow Cedar. The picture below shows my father (he was six feet tall) with a good-sized Douglas Fir. Firs this size were referred to as "peelers," as they would be peeled into veneer for making plywood. These were the premium logs, fetching the highest prices.


When I left home to go logging on the Queen Charlotte Islands, some years after we left Read Island, my mother's last words to me, after "Goodbye", were "Remember, stay out of the bight.".

Logging will always be a risky occupation.

My brother, Gary, sustained a severe head injury on Maurelle Island. He had to be flown out to Campbell River, was stabilized in the hospital there, and was then taken by ambulance all the way to Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria. He survived.

His son has recently worked in helicopter logging, and in only a few years, two guys he knew were killed on the job.

If you are a logger, and follow every regulation in the WCB Logging Safety Regulations, you might make it. The general rule is walk to where you are safe, and then walk twice that distance.

My father was a gypo logger, an independent. As time went on, the rules were changed by the government, making it harder for the small operation to get good timber to cut in accessible places, and eventually he packed it up, and we moved to Maple Ridge. There was not a whole lot of time for a small operation to log and work with a bureaucracy that could issue a document like this TFL

Logging method pictures and drawing will also appear. I am having trouble tracking down pictures of a Tyee yarder, or TD-18. Also, can not seem to find any good B.C.-based logging information sites. Washington and Oregon sites can be found, however. VanNatta has a very informative site, with lots of logging information and pictures of equipment and tools.

This picture of a clearcut was borrowed from NRDC

clearcut

My uncle Ed Corbett worked with my father from time to time. He is driving this Caterpillar D8 with a cable-blade and tracked arch hauling a good turn of fir logs.




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