I just returned from a trip to Dawson Creek to attend a CN Telecommunication/Northwest Tel reunion for those who worked on the landline and microwave systems on the Alaska Highway over the years. I left CNT a long time ago, 1963 I think, and left the Highway in 1965, but I did see a few familiar faces.
What was interesting on the trip up was seeing the extent of the devastation to the forests from the Pine Beetle infestation. You start seeing the dead and dying trees as soon as you get into the Merritt area and it just gets worse as you go north. The Prince George area has now gone from the ‘red’ phase to the ‘grey’ phase where the trees are completely dead. The kill continues north of Prince George up through the Pine Pass. It is one thing to read about the extent of the kill but another to actually see it. A friend tells me that you don’t really get the whole picture until you see it from the air.
One thing for certain, with all of that dead timber British Columbia is going to have a lot of forest fires over the next few years. Although there will no doubt be crying and sceaming from the general public to put them out, the fires are necessary to clean all of that dead timber out and start some re-growth. Hopefully the provincial politicans and the managers in the Ministry of Forests will have the intestinal fortitude do what is necessary and just let these fires burn wherever there is no real danger to the public.
Other than the depressing sight of all of those dead trees the trip north was good as it always feels like I am coming home when I get up into that part of the province. I haven’t been hunting up around Fort St. John for quite a few years but I think that trend needs to be reversed in 2007.