Interactions with wild life always makes for a great story, however, when it occurs it could sometimes be pretty scary. Noteworthy animals that I have personally seen while planting are black bears, deer, moose and even cows. Before submerging yourself into an environment that is so heavily populated with potential dangerous wild life, there are some things you should know.
Ever go camping for a weekend and by the end start to get sick of it? For myself and my summer work colleagues, that feeling either goes away after a couple weeks, or for some people can last a whole summer. The gear you bring is the biggest area you have control over when it comes to quality of living. It can be a deal breaker.
The first time I put my shovel in the ground was in “100 Mile House“, British Columbia. Never heard of it? Again, theres good reason. The town itself comprises of a couple gas stations, a grocery store, and a laundromat.
Planting in the Cariboo region however, can call for some amazing views and incredible drives to the block. Often times we drive through farmers country where we will have to stop the trucks every so often because the free range cows are crossing the road. It is quite a sight the first couple times. For how the beef industry is now, it made me happy to see free ranged animals.
High Level Alberta is home to Tolko, of one of the biggest logging companies in Canada. Them being located in a town with a population of 3,160 is no coincidence. The surrounding areas such as Rainbow Lake are known for their booming forestry industry and distribute lumber all over North America. Being on any highway near High Level, you can’t go long without seeing a logging truck full of freshly cut down lumber.
The cutting of trees has been the reason of my employment for the past three years. Due to the legislation that forces logging companies to replace the trees they cut down, we at Blue Collar Silviculture are subcontracted by Tolko to go in and plant trees in the blocks where they have cut down millions.
I remember my first day planting like it was yesterday. A 20 year old overconfident kid who realized he had bit off more than he can chew. It was a rainy morning, my now close friend Jed and I got driven to the block separate from the rest of our crew to have a “first day” chat with our head foreman. No matter how you put it, you truly cant explain what it is like out there and how difficult the work is.
I really don’t consider myself a quitter, but there were many times those first few days tree planting where I would be at the end of a 9 hour work day and realize I had made 50 dollars for so for some of the hardest work I have ever done. Quitting became a fantasy.