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Association of British Columbia Professional Engineers fonds Forests and forestry--British Columbia
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Association of British Columbia Professional Foresters records

Records of the Association of British Columbia Professional Foresters comprising the minutes of executive council meetings (1947-1984) and annual meetings; general, Board of Examiners' and Presidents' correspondence; and files relating to acts, by-laws and legislation, associations and institutions, committees, education, employment, exams and courses, financial matters, government/union relations, policy, referenda, Royal Commissions and tours. Two photographs have been transferred to Visual Records. The development of the forest products trade came only after the fur trade and the gold rush had lost their importance. The first foresters might have been the timber surveyors or "cruisers" as they were known, who scouted, located and estimated the volume and value of commercial timber stands. Due to the prevalence of forest fires, legislation was passed providing for forest guards and, later, forest patrolmen, lookoutmen, rangers and assistants and the development of the science and art of fire protection. As the timber industry expanded and the revenue so generated became more important to both government and industry, the measurement and proper accounting for cut forest products called for timber inspectors (later called scalers) who were licensed to scale the products according to the new BC Log Rule adopted in September 1895. In 1905 the government, under Premier Sir Richard McBride enshrined all remaining vacant Crown (Provincial) lands to public ownership, forbidding the disposition of such lands for forestry purposes. The Fulton Royal Commission of 1912 and its implementation by the Provincial Government of the day resulted in a strong, dictatorial Forest Act. This act provided for the development and expansion of the BC Forest Service, under its first Chief Forester, H.R. MacMillan, into an effective, authoritarian organisation. Regional Offices or Districts were set up and staffed and professional forest practice in BC was on its way. In 1920 a forestry course was included in the Faculty of Applied Science of the University of British Columbia (UBC) at Vancouver, and its first graduates in 1922 were E.E. Gregg and John Jenkins. After World War II a spate of foresters graduated from UBC and most joined the growing number practising in the Province. Many foresters also came from other parts of Canada and the world, and forestry became increasingly accepted. Industry was still dragging its feet on their use, but a growing number of professionally trained men were working their way to seniority and authority in the forest industry. During the late 1920s and early 1930s, professionals and associates began to join and expand the efforts of professional forestry associations. The Western Section, Canadian Society of Forest Engineers (CSFE) formed in 1929, was active in Vancouver, followed in 1936 by the Victoria Section (formerly the Victoria Forestry Discussion Group). Later the CSFE became the Canadian Institute of Forestry. Many UBC forestry graduates, being members of the Engineering Faculty, joined the Association of Professional Engineers of BC. For many years they fought to expand the rigid engineers' requirements for professional registration which, in effect, limited membership of foresters to Engineering Faculty graduates. Through Fred Mulholland the frustrating attempts to gain a broader acceptance within the engineers resulted in attempts to form a professional forestry licensing body by way of provincial legislation. On 15 February 1945 a draft of the proposed "BC Foresters Act" prepared by Mulholland accompanied a letter in which he stated "It seems to be certain that following the report of the Royal Commission, circumstances will require a much greater number of qualified foresters in this Province, both in government service and private employment, and it is not too early to take steps to see that we are properly organized and take our place on a level with the other professions." This was followed by a printed "Circular to the Forestry Profession in BC" which included the draft of the Act. The Bill, in essentially its original form, was presented to the 1946-1947 Legislature and was sponsored by the Hon. H.J. Welch, and passed its 3rd reading on 3 April 1947 (BC Foresters Act, R.S. 1948, c. 127, s.1). The first council of the Association of BC Foresters was named in this Act as Frederick D. Mulholland, Chauncy Donald Orchard, John E. Liersch, Roscoe M. Brown, Leonard E. Andrews, John D. Gilmour, Hugh John Hodgins, Elwyn Emmerson Gregg, Marcus W. Gormely and Hector A. Richmond. They met for the first time on 14 April 1947 at which time F.D. Mulholland was elected President. A revised Act entitled the "BC Professional Foresters Act" (Bill no. 38) was passed by the Legislature on 25 March 1970. This altered the name of the Association of BC Foresters to the Association of BC Professional Foresters. Please note that the preceding information has been condensed from A history of the Association of British Columbia Professional Foresters by M.W. Gormely. The complete text can be found (both in final form and in several drafts) in the records of the Association of BC Foresters, box 30, file 261. The records consist of files relating to acts, by-laws and legislation; associations and institutions; committees; education; employment; examinations and courses; financial matters; government/union relations; policy; referenda; royal commissions and tours; the correspondence of the Board of Examiners and various presidents plus general correspondence; and the minutes of annual meetings and the Executive Council meetings (1947-1984). Photographs transferred to Visual Records, accession 198811-1.

Association of British Columbia Professional Foresters