Some Migrant Memories

Dave Holmes (bio)

“Tears in the Rain” 1


In the past year I celebrated the 40th anniversary of my migration to Australia with a small group of family.

It is a story that actually began 50 years ago when two friends and forestry students at the University of British Columbia (UBC) talked and dreamed about travelling adventures in New Zealand and Australia after we finished our degrees - John Fuller and I. John had taken a gap year and hence was a year behind me in his studies, but we hoped to meet up "down under" if our adventures overlapped.

I headed off about six months after finishing my degree and spent about nine months in New Zealand and the same in Australia. It was very much a working holiday with jobs anywhere from two-weeks to three-months in length, living in boarding houses or forestry camps while saving for another travel leg. Travel was mostly by hitchhiking and staying in youth hostels. In N.Z. short-term forestry jobs were easy to find as they had a shortage of foresters at the time. Forestry employment was much more difficult to find in Australia. I did have one 3-4 month job with the New South Wales Forest Service Research Division at Taree. All of the forestry jobs involved either inventory or re-measuring research trials. The rest of the jobs were unskilled, such as builders' labourer, factory hand, fruit picker, etc. It was a great adventure, and one that taught me a lot about people, life and self-reliance. I certainly learned a lot more than an ordinary tourist by working and living in various places – and that if you showed local people a genuine interest and an open mind, they were usually very generous with their knowledge.

John did travel to the southern hemisphere after finishing his studies, but it was about the time I was heading back to Canada.

John and I both met our future wives while travelling in Australia and, coincidentally, both were from Melbourne. John stayed in Australia after his marriage and worked for the Forests Commission Victoria (FCV) at Orbost and Marysville, before moving with his young family to Canada about 1980/1. My wife Helen and I lived in Canada for seven years after our marriage, where I worked for the British Columbia Forests Service. Helen and I returned to Australia in 1978 with our two young sons, both of whom were registered as Australian citizens – I was the migrant. There was a period of about a year when both John and I worked for the FCV and we had the opportunity to visit with one another and renew our friendship.

When I arrived in Australia in September 1978 with my family, it was for fourth time for me, so I was not a stranger to Australia like most migrants. We also had critical support from Helen’s family during the first few months while we settled in and I found a job. My parents arrived three months later as migrants. My sister had died tragically in a car accident a few years before and they were willing to follow. Both of our immediate families were all in the same place at last, living a few blocks apart, where they could enjoy seeing their grandchildren grow up.

Some Observations on Visiting the State of Victoria for the First Time

On my first visit to Victoria I was struck by how different it is to British Columbia (B.C.) in almost every way. Most of the land forms here are unseen in B.C. The northeast was the most familiar, but yet different, with rounded peaks and intricately dissected slopes. The coastlines of western Victoria struck me the most the most beautiful coastlines I had personally seen anywhere. Un-glaciated coastlines are rare in B.C. – confined to Long Beach on Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii (called the Queen Charlotte Islands by Captain Cook).

Almost everywhere is evidence of a more ancient landscape than B.C.’s, where the last glaciations ended only 10,000 years ago. The native vegetation is totally different too which, in B.C., is dominated by coniferous forest. The diversity of genera and species is also much greater - having evolved over a much longer time in the absence of catastrophic glaciations. The far greater frequency and extent of fire in forested landscapes is strongly evident as well.

Another striking difference is how heavy the hand of man is on the State of Victoria. The majority of the State is covered by plains and hills suitable for agriculture in one form or another, and is in private hands. It is also strongly evident that the remaining forests in and near the settled areas, with a few exceptions, are regrowth forests. Victoria appears a very much occupied and utilised landscape (with the some exceptions in East Gippsland, the highlands and desert country).

To a first-time visitor from B.C. Victoria’s colonial era is still very much evident. The vast wealth generated by the goldfields and the wool industry in this era is still seen in the quality and architecture of many government buildings in Melbourne and country Victoria - in schools, pubs, Mechanic’s Institutes, wool stores, fine city houses and squatters mansions in western Victoria. It is also evident in the layout of inner Melbourne, with wide city streets and boulevards, large parks near the city centre, and public transport. Victoria looks like a place that got off to a flying start economically and has never looked back.

The diversity of Victoria’s economy is also noticeable, with large agricultural, manufacturing and importation components. The contribution of the forest industry appears relatively small. In contrast, in the 1970s, the forest industry dominated B.C.’s economy, generating about 50 cents in every dollar.

Employment with the Forests Commission Victoria

I had no expectations of finding employment in forestry when I migrated to Australia in September 1978. However, about 7 to 8 months after my arrival the FCV advertised for several foresters on one-year contracts. I can still remember being interviewed by Gerry Griffin and Athol Hodgson and parts of that interview. In particular I can remember being asked if I knew John Fuller, another Canadian, who was working for FCV at Marysville. I explained that we had been classmates and friends at the University of British Columbia and I’m sure this helped my cause, as John was a good operator.

Some time later I received a job offer and after acceptance was advised to report to Beaufort on a particular date to meet the District Forester – Robert (Bob) Allen. (Mal Tonkin, an ANU forester, was also offered a job at the same time.) I was fully aware that I now had to learn and adapt as quickly as I could, and to prove myself worthy of a job with the FCV. The one-year contract was an added incentive.

The following are some observations and experiences of mine as a migrant forester assigned to the Beaufort Forest District (FD). These are grouped into three categories – Eucalypt forest, the FCV, and what it was like to be a migrant forester in the Beaufort FD. In a number places I have included comments about British Columbia to show you the contrast. 

Eucalypt Forest

As a forestry student my majors were forest management, silviculture, forest ecology, forest pathology and evolutionary botany, and I had worked four summers as an undergraduate and two years as a graduate for the Inventory Division of the B.C. Forests Service (Sampling, Volume and Decay, Growth and Yield and Forest Classification and Mapping). Hence I looked at the landscapes, forests and trees of Beaufort FD through those lenses.

The local tree species were totally new to me so learning their names and characteristics was the first challenge. At first I peppered my District Forester Bob Allen, the overseers and crew with "what tree is that?" Then, when I had the opportunity drive anywhere on my own in the District, I used the FCV’s publication An Introduction to Victorian Forest Trees 1961 to quietly study the species I didn’t recognize, until I became reasonably proficient at it.

Once I was able to recognise tree species reasonably well then it was possible to move on to trying to understand the landscape – what components of the landscape did these tree species, and their associated understory species, occupy. I was interested in the trees in all the landscapes, not just forested ones.

An essential component of understanding the landscapes was learning the history of the Beaufort area - its settlement, mining and agriculture and forest utilisation history. Almost everyone, from my District Forester to older crew and old-timers in the community, happily and often proudly shared their knowledge when asked.

Understanding the silvicultural characteristics of forests in Beaufort FD was essential to learn quickly too.

  • Shade tolerance - It was readily observable that the Eucalytus spp. on the wetter, high-elevation sites were towards the shade-intolerant end of the scale, but not so intolerant that a shelterwood system couldn’t be used - whereas the Eucalytus spp. on the drier, lower elevations were towards the other end of the shade-tolerance scale and selective systems could be used. The same pattern is found in the forests in the interior of B.C. (the region east of the divide of the coast range of mountains). The most shade-tolerant tree species I saw on Mt Cole was Acacia melanoxylon. It was very restricted in distribution due to past utilisation and fire history – so forest succession (from pioneer shade-intolerant species to climax shade-tolerant species) was absent whereas, in B.C., it is a common sight because fire frequency is measured in centuries.
  • Regeneration - The flowering, capsule formation, maturity and seed-fall characteristics of Eucalypt spp. were new to me, however they have much in common with coniferous and deciduous genera everywhere – being in the botanical order of Fagales. Serotinus (Autumn-blooming) seed-bearing structures were not new – they are also found in some Pinus spp. in B.C. The seed bed requirements were not new either – they are the same as for some species where natural seeding is used as a regeneration technique in B.C. Operationally, the only things new that I had to learn were seed collection, drying and direct sowing techniques which are not that tricky. Lignotubers and epicormic buds were new to me as well as coppicing operations in the low elevation forests. However, coppicing techniques were quite well known to me.
  • Growth stages, rates and crown development. Eucalytus spp. go through the same growth stages (seedling, juvenile, immature, mature and senescence) as all other tree genera in the Fagales order, and crown development is much the same as many deciduous genera. What was interesting to me were the growth rates and size and age of trees at maturity – all of which were readily observable (by ring-counting stumps, etc). It was readily observable that Messmate in the wet, high-elevation sites grew very quickly in height relative to any species I had seen in B.C. - to a sizable girth in about 80 years - with a good length of straight bole beneath a broad crown – which made it highly suitable for sawlogs. (I had seen the E. regnans forests on Mt Dandenong which are truly among the most impressive forests in the world.) Observation of senescent Messmate was difficult on Mt Cole as they were quite rare due to past utilisation history.

Another essential to learn as quickly as possible was the fire characteristics of the eucalypt forest. It was readily observable that the Messmate species on Mt Cole survived the loss of their leaves and small branches in a fire and that epicormic buds hidden deep beneath a highly insulating bark was stimulated to grow by a fire. It was also readily observable that the whole ecosystem was fire tolerant – even tree ferns survived a cooking and sent out new fronds the next wet season, and the invertebrates seemed to be mostly ants which could scurry to safety underground. It was also observable that in places there were accumulations of dry branches, leaves and bark which had not broken down into a humus layer. This is where Bob Allen gave me a full picture of fire characteristics of Eucalyptus spp., filling me in on the accumulation of fuel on the forest floor, the flammable fibrous bark that carried fire into the crowns, the oils in the leaves and in crown layer air on a hot day, burning leaves and bark starting spot fires in front of the main fire, etc., and the competition strategy of burning out competing tree genera. It was only then that I understood how far the Eucalyptus genus had evolved with this strategy, and whole ecosystems with it. The species that has advanced down this evolutionary path the most in B.C. is Pinus contorta with highly resinous bark, needles and cones and large reservoirs of serotinus fruit with viable seed held high in the crown - and it does become a fire climax species in drier parts. However, it is way behind the Eucalyptus genus on this evolutionary path.

Some of the useful, but not essential things I observed were that the injuries on mature trees were basal scars from fire and there were often large dead branches and branch stubs just below the crown – a pattern similar to mature forests in B.C. but from climatic causes. It proved very useful when I was challenged several times by saw-millers on defect allowances – the patterns of decay were similar to those in B.C. and I was able to pinpoint the end of decay fairly accurately – much to their surprise.

None of the timber harvesting techniques I saw was new to me. The harvesting seasons were similar to coastal B.C. with the winter rainy season causing a retreat to the drier sites and then closure if conditions warranted.

The Forests Commission Victoria

Every place is different, hence management agencies adapt to the challenges they have to deal with. By that I mean that the scale and history of the coniferous forests of British Columbia are very different from the eucalyptus forests of Victoria and the B.C. Forest Service and the Forests Commission Victoria (FCV) evolved down different paths in response. Royal Commissions had been a major driver in both places – in Victoria the Royal Commission following the 1939 wildfires and in B.C. the Royal Commissions in 1945, mid-1956 and mid-1976. After four to five years of experience at Beaufort, and in the context aforementioned, these were some observations.

Fire management was the greatest strength of the FCV. From top to bottom it was a well-trained and organized army, with a professional full-time command centre in Melbourne, well trained, experienced and resourced first-attack units in Districts, and support in Forest Divisions. The use of medium to heavy water bombers was behind their use in the Pacific Northwest but this was recognised and beginning here. Fuel management programs were a large part of this management, even though resources and enough burning days were, and always would be, limiting factors. Fuel management potential was just starting to be recognised in B.C. and was way behind the FCV in this area.

Plantation establishment was also strong, well backed by research, with a clear strategy and thinning regimes to maximise wood production for Victoria’s future wood needs. I understood this from my eight months working experience in New Zealand for the NZFS and Fletcher Timber Company, and from the good fortune of being able to attend the Forest Research Institute’s ‘1970 Pruning and Thinning Conference’ in which the colourful Bob Fenton played a big part.

It was also clear that the Commission placed a high value on being a good citizen in country Victoria – assisting the farming community with establishing trees on farms through its nurseries and subsidy programs, and its landscape and recreation management programs.

However, it was also clear to me that native forest management, apart native forest silviculture, was not a strong point. I actually found this quite surprising because at university I had studied Jack Opie’s articles on STANDSIM in the Journal of Forestry with great interest because the use of mathematical models to simulate growth was a significant advance over the use of yield tables, and at the forefront of thinking at the time. (Note: I did have the pleasure of meeting and having a conversation with Jack and was surprised to find he was working for Treasury.) I was also surprised to find that sawmills were on quotas instead of long-term licences, that the local sawmills were using pre-WWII technology and that first-class hardwood logs were being cut into house framing and air dried – with the end result being timbers of highly variable size and shape. I was surprised that there had been no systematic and standardised inventory of the State’s forest resources. I was surprised that there were no State-wide sustainable yield policies. There were permanent sample plots in the Wombat and Mt Cole forests on which to base yield regulation in those areas, yet I understood that annual quotas on Mt Cole were something like twice the volume of the current annual increment shown by the permanent sample plots. (Later I did find out that there were some yield regulation strategies in the 1939 regrowth ash forests and in some Red Gum forests on the Murray River.) An assistant District Forester is not privy to the thinking of the Commissioners; however it seemed inconceivable that they didn’t know full well that the quotas across the State were well above what could be sustained. The only answer seemed to be that there was not the political will to endure the pain of cutting back.

It was apparent that the FCV was a strong, well trained organisation, but it didn’t have much diversity relative to the forestry community in B.C. During the 1956 invasion of Hungary, the Canadian Government invited the whole SOPRON forestry faculty and all of its students to Canada and UBC, and supported them while they finished their studies. There were also foresters from East Germany, Czechoslovakia, USA, Korea, Turkey and New Zealand. The ethnicity of UBC-trained foresters was diverse too and included Russian, Japanese, First Nations and others. These foresters made a huge contribution to diversity of thought and well-being of the forestry profession and to forestry in B.C.

The FCV was a hands-on organisation that did most things internally. This allowed the organisation to maintain large work crews in each Forest District who, in a fire emergency, were the front-line troops and fire-fighting equipment operators. In contrast the B.C. Forest Service was primarily a regulator. It was very much an organisation that did as much as possible by contract – planting, timber harvesting, roads and bridges. Some exceptions were fire-fighting handled by its Ranger organisation, forest inventory, and scaling (log checking and forest produce accounts) – all of which were large organisations in their own right.

What it Was Like to be a Migrant Forester in Beaufort Forest District

I often wonder if Bob Allen thought he had drawn the short straw when he learned that his next Assistant Forester was a Canadian. However, he didn’t show it and was very patient with my questions, especially at first, when I was on a steep learning curve. It wasn’t all one way though. Bob was interested in how some things were done in B.C. too, especially in regeneration methods as browsing by animals was such a vexing problem on Mt Cole.

In my first two to three years with the FCV, my biggest challenge was, undoubtedly, fire management. I had had very little hands-on fire-fighting experience and no fuel reduction experience. Fortunately Bob recognised this early on and set about giving me as much training and experience as possible. I was sent to my first fire training course several months after starting (and every year after). In those days the Fire Management Branch held fire training courses for Assistant Foresters at Thornton in the off-season. These were excellent training courses for me and they had the added benefit of meeting other foresters. Bob also tried to give me as much experience at fire fighting as possible. So, at every opportunity, Bob put me on fire fighting duties locally and elsewhere within the State (with the Beaufort crew). It took about three years of fire fighting and fuel-reduction burning experience to get to that part of the learning curve where I had some innate feel for fire behaviour in various fuel and weather conditions; how to successfully go about a fuel reduction burn and control a local fire; and what to expect when sent to a large fire in another Forest District. I was no expert, but was no longer an apprentice. In the 1983 fire season the personal responsibility of bringing home the Beaufort fire-fighting crew safely to their wives and children (nearly all of whom I had met at one time or another) weighed heavily at times. During my five years at Beaufort I came to understand and respect the depth of fire fighting experience and skills of many of the District Foresters and appreciate that fire management was one of the great strengths of the FCV.

The importance of local politics was among the many things that Bob taught me. He was a good advocate for the FCV in Beaufort – with good personal working relationships with local fire brigades, the Shire Engineer, Lands Departmentt and others. He also understood the value of providing recreational opportunities on Mt Cole to the local community – always finding some part of the District budget to improve them. Over my time in the District he involved me with all of these aspects and I came to know quite a few people in the local community and from the head office support groups.

Over my five years at Beaufort Bob educated me in FCV’s organisation and Forest District duties – always with a gentle rein - giving me the opportunity to meet and interact with people in the Divisional and head office support groups including Mike Leonard in forest recreation, Richard Hammond in landscape management, Tony Manderson in silviculture, Peter Ford in planning, and others.

Some things weren’t easy in Beaufort, especially for my family. The uncertainty of annual contracts, the somewhat primitive FCV house, and my family not knowing where I was occasionally when the Beaufort fire crew was sent from one FD to another were negatives.

About a year after I started at Beaufort John Fuller left the FCV and went with his family back to Canada and several years after that I had the feeling there were expectations in some quarters of the FCV that I would do the same. After about three–and-a-half years some frustration began to set in and I started applying for other jobs, looking for a more permanent position. However, Bob Allen and Jeff Brisbane did some lobbying on my behalf, a permanent position was advertised and, after application and appointment, I was on the inside of the Public Service at last. We still have some good friends in Beaufort and I look back at my five years there as some of the happiest of my career – with so much freedom to spend much of my time in the forests of Mt Cole. I personally loved the hands-on forestry, the interactions with the District personnel and living in a rural community. It was a lot more enjoyable than the legalistic approach that was necessary in the B.C. Forest Service.

I must also say that I enjoyed immensely the newness of it all, the learning and the adventures. I have many vivid memories of close calls with snakes and fires, the simply awesome sights of fires in the Big Desert in 1981 and East Gippsland in 1983, and the camaraderie within the Beaufort fire crew and with other District fire crews when we met again in East Gippsland.

My time in Beaufort ended in 1984. It was a year of great change for us all and the end of the Forests Commission Victoria – culminating in farewell to FCV Chairman Ron Grose. The loyalty and respect for him - from the float driver to the most senior of personnel – was clearly evident at the event and is an enduring memory. The FCV had been a strong organisation, but the winds of political change had swept it away. The Timber Industry Inquiry was soon to follow.

In all I worked as an employee for the amalgamated Department for another twelve years and as a contractor for another ten years. Over that time I worked for and with many people, most of whom accepted me, despite being a migrant. A number of people went out of their way to teach me things about Victorian forestry, befriend me, back me or give me work opportunities – including Athol Hodgson, Bob Smith, Richard Rawson, Barrie Dexter, Kevin Wareing, John Wright, Gary Morgan, Mike Leonard, Bruce Kilgour, Ross Penny, Jeff Brisbane, David Flinn and Peter Fagg – some whom are no longer with us – and others in Flora and Fauna, Finance and other sections of the Department. To All - Thank You.

I undoubtedly owe the biggest Thank You to Bob Allen – my teacher and mentor - for his enduring patience, his gentle guiding hand, and backing me in those early years when I had so much to learn. I would not have had a career in Victorian forestry without his help.


Dave Holmes

1. Blade Runner 1982


1. British Columbia (B.C.) is the western most Province of Canada with an area of some 944,000 square km (about four times the size of the State of Victoria) lying between the 49th and 60th parallels. It is 95% crown land, 75% mountainous, 60% covered in forest and 5% arable, with 27,000 km of mountainous coastline.
2. Climate is highly variable with 6 Ecozones. Forests are diverse in 14 Biogeoclimatic zones with some 42 tree species.
3. Sustainable yield policies and long-term licencing began in B.C. following the 1945 Sloan Royal Commission into forest practices. This was followed up by Royal Commissions in 1956 and 1976 to review and recommend improvements.
4. The Province’s forests were divided into 80 Public Sustained Yield Unit (P.S.Y.U.s) and a number of Tree Farm Licenses managed under licence by private companies.
5. The administration model used in B.C.'s forests was based on giving private industry as much responsibility (especially for costs) as possible while the B.C. Forest Service’s role was the regulator. Legal contracts between industry and the B.C. Forests Service were the basis of regulation. The B.C. Forest Service did other major tasks by contract as well, including planting, roads and bridges. Exceptions were forest Inventory, nurseries and research.
6. By late 1970 the Forests Service had completed a 2nd inventory of the Province’s forest resources which had taken 15 years to complete. It had been a massive task employing an estimated 300-400 people at peak field season times. Each year the B.C. Forest Service sent out five or six, 25-30 person, survey parties consisting of forester classifiers (foresters) who mapped each forest stand (identifying its species composition, height class, age class, stocking class and site class) on stereoscopic pairs of 20 chain-to-one inch photos, 4-6 sampling crews (mostly university students) and support people (cooks, mechanics). A small army of people in Victoria did the mapping and compiled area statements, sample plot data, volume statements and sustainable yields. Each year Volume and Decay crews were sent out to sample for tree volume tables and decay allowance tables (based on a visible indicator system – i.e. scars, fungal fruiting bodies, etc). Growth and Yield crews re-measured existing permanent sample plots and established new ones for the preparation of growth and yield tables.
7. P.S.Y.U. licensees operated under 15-year renewable licences with considerable responsibilities including the preparation of Cutting Plans proposals and the detailed assessment of cut blocks for assessment. Some licensees carried the responsibility for regeneration but most did not. Licensees were given areas of influence, much the same as quotas systems.
8. Cutting Plans were a legal contract between the licensee and the B.C. Forests Service.  Legislation required that Cutting Plans (and Tree Farm Management Plans) could only be signed by Registered Professional Foresters. This applied to both the licensee and the B.C. Forest Service – with the result that forest industry employed most of the foresters in the Province. Cutting Plans usually consisted of enough cut blocks to provide a licensee with wood from a particular species group to supply their sawmill for several years. Licensees had to take all the wood between a 1 foot stump and a 4 inch top. All of the wood that was not sawn had to be chipped and sold to a pulp mill. Laws were enacted early in the century that prohibited the export of logs from the Province.
9. The Board of the Association of B.C. Professional Foresters controlled registration. There were two pathways to becoming a Registered Profession Forester (RPF). The predominant one by far was a Bachelors Degree in Forestry from a recognised University, followed by an internship of two years, the passing of one or more Board exams, and good reports from two referees. The second one was studying and passing individual courses set by the Board, which often took 10 years or more.
10. A Cutting Plan, once signed off, was a legal contract with enforceable provisions. It was the role of the B.C. Forest Service to receive Cutting Plan proposals, field inspect them, ensure they met silvicultural, environmental and other standards and negotiate changes when they did not (the norm), assess the stumpage, prepare the legal documents and enforce the contract. Forester(s) (called Zone Foresters) were assigned to each P.S.Y.U. to do the tasks up to preparing the contract documents for signature, which involved significant liaison and negotiation with the licensee’s RPF. Ranger staff handled the contract enforcement provisions – particularly for breaches of utilisation standards. Sometimes the licensee’s RPF and the Zone Forester became involved
11. The B.C. Forest Service was organised into three tiers with the third tier being Ranger Districts, staffed and managed entirely by in-house trained Forest Rangers. This part of the organisation was responsible for fire fighting, administering Cutting Permit and Planting Contracts, maintenance of Forest Service roads as well as other duties. The 2nd tier was responsible for the preparation of contracts, including Cutting Permits, planting contracts and road and bridge contracts. This work was done by professional foresters and engineers. Another larger group was the scaling group responsible for the measurement, invoicing and payments for forest produce. Weigh scales were located at every mill entry point and regular load sampling was required because of seasonal variations in weight/volume ratios. Other professional support staff were located in the 2nd tier office as well, including a planning officer, soil scientist, research liaison officer, Ranger Supervisors, range management staff, etc.
12. Fisheries and Wildlife were a separate organisation. F&W field staff accompanied the Zone Forester, and industry RPF on field inspections of Cutting Permit proposals and made formal recommendations to the Zone Forester. Winter ranges for ungulates (deer and moose) were a major consideration in many parts of the Province as well as fish habitat protection. Strategic multiple-use forest planning commenced in the mid 1970s (at a P.Y.S.U. level).
13. Stumpage was assessed for each Cutting Permit. It was calculated on the market value of the timber less the logging, haulage and sawmilling costs plus an allowance for profit and risk. Economics branch in head office determined the market value of timber and average sawmilling costs. The Zone forester determined the logging and haulage costs, put it all into the equation and determined the stumpage. Licensee RPFs had the opportunity to dispute the stumpage determined and often did.
14. Planting was the usual method of regenerating sites after harvesting, except for the dry-belt Pseudotsuga menzesii, where selective systems were employed, and Pinus contorta where a natural seeding system was usually successful.
15. The following are statistics from the B.C. Forest Service 1976 Annual Report. Over 90% of the Province’s timber was exported to other parts of Canada, USA, Europe and other places. Copy of the report attached.

Provincial Totals
Total volume scaled/billed - all tenures 2,455 million cubic feet
Total area harvested – all tenures 408 thousand acres
Regeneration surveys – all tenures 494.4 thousand acres examined
Area planted – all tenures 155.7 thousand acres
Trees planted - all tenures 72.8 million trees
Cones collected - bushels 8.0 thousand bushels
Forest inventory 5 P.S.Y.U.s
557 maps classified
1,018 sample plots

Stum P.S.Y.U. – an av. P.S.Y.U. I was Zone Forester of this one for four and a half years.
Date of survey 1963/66
Productive area 3.0 million acres
Licensed commitments 29.9 million cubic feet

David Holmes (CV)


May 1969 Bachelor of Forest Science, University f British Columbia, Canada
May 1972 Registered Professional Forester (No 726). Association of B.C. Professional Foresters. (note: required 2 years work experience in BC at a professional level, 2 referees, passes in all subject areas set by the Board, and a pass in the entry exam set by the Board – only a registered forester could legally sign or approve a forest harvesting plan or a forest management plan under the Forest Act)
Sept 1987 Member of the Institute of Foresters of Australia


Summers of 1965,6,7,8 4 month summer periods employed as a tallyman by the BC Forests Service, Inventory Division in forest inventory, growth and yield studies, and volume and decay studies in various locations in the Province.
May - Aug 1969 Faculty of Forestry UBC. UBC Research Forest. Research assistant (MSc student)
Sept. – Oct. 1969 Allwest Resources. Timber cruiser mid-coast, British Columbia.
Nov. 1969 – May 1971 Travelled and worked in New Zealand and Australia with a number of short term jobs in forestry, as a builders labourer, etc. - 3 months with NZFS at Riverhead State Forest as a leading hand re-measuring permanent sample plots, 6 weeks at FRI (Rotorua) as a leading hand, 3 months for Fletcher Timber Company at Taupo as a forester establishing permanent sample plots and 3 months for the NSW Forest Service at Taree as a general hand assisting with the re-measurement of various research trials.
June 1971 – Oct 1973 BC Forest Service. Inventory Division. Forester, Volume and Decay Studies and Forest Classifier (mapper) in various locations in the Province.
Nov. 1973 – Mar. 1978 BC Forest Service, Williams Lake. Cariboo Forest District (one of six in the Province at that time). Zone Forester for the Stum Public Sustained Yield Unit (approx 1.2 m. ha with a sustainable yield of abt. 750,000 c.m.)
Apr. – Aug. 1978 BC Forest Service. Williams Lake. Cariboo Forest District. 2IC silviculture/reforestation.
Sept. 1979 Migrated with family (including my mother and father) to Australia.
Oct. 79 –May 79 Juicy Giant Company. Door to door sales and delivery. Preston & Thornbury
June 79 – Mar. 84 Forests Commission Victoria, Beaufort. Assistant District Forester (annual contracts til 1983)
April. 84 – Mar. 87 FCV/DCF&L. Melbourne. Forest Planning Branch. Project Officer.
Mar. 87 – Mar. 90 DCF&L. Melbourne. Forest Division. Senior Planner – Programming.
Apr. 90 – Sept. 91 DCE. Melbourne. Regional Management Division, Regional Support Branch. Manager - Program Development and Monitoring.
Oct. 91 – Sept 92 DCE. Melbourne. Corporate and Executive Services Division, Finance and Administration Branch. Manager – Regional Support Unit.
Oct. 92 – June 95 DC&NR. Melbourne. Forests Service. Acting Manager and Manager, Forest Management Branch.
1996 – 2005 Independent Forest Consultant.