Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sarah Mukai talks about her career in forestry, part 1

Sarah Mukai in Johnson Bay, Rivers Inlet (Part 1) from hanspetermeyer on Vimeo.

Sarah Mukai is a silviculture forester with Interfor, based in Campbell River. In this, the first of 2 short interviews I did with her in Johnson Bay (near Rivers Inlet), she talks about the work she is supervising in this remote part of BC's mid-coast.

I was in the Johnson Bay area in mid-August 2011, taking photographs and talking to people working in the woods. For more on the Coastal Forest Industry Project, please visit

To help build the book I'm working on, please visit Help Build the Book.

If you're in Campbell River between January 27 and April 24 in 2012, please drop in at the Campbell River Museum to view an exhibition of prints from the book project. Sales from the exhibition will help fund ongoing work on the project.

Thanks for your interest!

26 January 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Images delivered!

We drove up from Courtenay in the driving rain, watching a roiling sea all the way, yesterday morning. It was amazing, how the wind was pushing the truck around the highway. Our reason for braving the elements? Delivering the 56 large prints that make up the exhibition at the Campbell River Museum.

I've been looking at these pics a lot lately – maybe a little too much: I get weary of them and lose any appreciation for the story they tell. But, unpacking the boxes so carefully put together by Justin at Little City Signs (they printed and mounted the photographs), I got excited again. Here's one of my faves, from a shoot on Broughton Island in 2008 with BenWest Logging.

25 January 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

Artist's Statement - Campbell River Museum Exhibit, Jan 27 - Apr 24, 2012

Working in the Woods Today
An exhibition of photographs of BC's Coastal Forest Industry in the 21st century.

I started writing and doing photographic work for Truck Logger Magazine in 2004. In 2005 and 2008 Mike Hamilton and Don Bendickson, respectively, commissioned me to put together “crew books,” compilations of photographs and anecdotes about the men and women who were working in their logging companies. This gave me a close look at what “working in the woods” is about today. Thanks to them, and to the interest of Otto Schulte Sr. at Interfor’s Coastal Woodlands division, I started working on a book that is a record of the coastal forest industry in the early part of the 21st century.

why this project, and why now?
Almost all of us in BC have ties (direct or indirect, including a lifestyle and standard of living) to the forest industry. A generation ago, these ties were visible and visceral. Growing up in Black Creek, I knew my community was a forest industry community: my father, uncles, and friends worked in the woods. Within days of graduating in 1977 I too was working in the coastal forest industry.

Thirty years on, the situation has changed dramatically. Coastal communities from Campbell River to the Cowichan Valley have lost many of the visible ties to the forest industry. With the exception of Mike Hamilton Logging’s sign on Dyke Road, for example, there is almost no evidence of the industry in the Comox Valley.

Our community economies are more diverse than they once were. Yet growing and harvesting timber is still one of the principal economic drivers in our region. Working in the Woods Today is a reminder: there are still men and women working in the woods today. These people, the technologies they use, and the landscapes they work in, are all very much a part of our regional prosperity.

project fundraising
Working in the Woods Today is a self-funded project. You can help make the book a reality by buying prints from the exhibit or online. For more information about the project please visit

To purchase prints, cards, or electronic images online, please visit my e-commerce site.

To contribute online, please visit Help Build This Book

Thank you for your interest!

Support for this project

This exhibition was made possible through the support and participation of a number of people and businesses.

Exhibit Curatorial Support
Anh Le
Kathleen Laurel Hansen
Anthony McCloskey
Note: Anh, Kathleen, and Anthony helped me sort through some of the 1000s of project images made so far. For the purposes of this exhibit, their help was invaluable; the responsibility for the final choice of exhibit images, however, rests with me.

Campbell River Museum Staff
Sandra Parrish
Ken Blackburn
Catherine Gilbert
The enthusiasm of Museum staff for this project has been tremendous, as have their efforts to make the exhibit a success. You are an incredible asset to this community and region!

Coastal Forest Project Advisory (current)
Otto Schulte (Interfor)
Harry Barret (Interfor)
Mike Hamilton (Mike Hamilton Logging)
Don Bendickson (BenWest Logging)
Bill Dumont (RPF)
Dave Lewis (Truck Loggers Association)
Rick Wangler (United Steelworkers Local 1-1937)
Morgan Kennah (Island Timberlands)

Project Sponsors (to date)
Interfor - Coastal Woodlands
Mike Hamilton Logging Ltd.

Project Contributors (donations to date)
Elizabeth Meyer
Leeann Froese
Kris Krüg


hans peter meyer
23 January 2012
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Friday, January 20, 2012

Working in the Woods Today - at Campbell River Museum, Jan 27 - Apr 24, 2012

The Campbell River Museum has just posted their online announcement of the Working in the Woods Today exhibition: almost 60 large photographs of the coastal forest industry in the 20th century.

The exhibition will be open at the "Changing Gallery" at the Museum from January 27 - April 24, 2012. The "official opening" is being held on Saturday, February 18, 2012. Everyone interested in the coastal forest industry is encouraged to attend.

"Where's Waldo?" See if you can find the hooktender and chokerman in this image of Ironside Contracting logging in Hardy Inlet, in the River's Inlet region, August 2011.

Images are drawn from several shoots done by photographer Hans Peter Meyer between 2005 and 2012. They feature people working in the coastal forest industry in locations from Buckley Bay, Bear Bay / McCreight Lake, and Chamiss Bay on Vancouver Island, Broughton Island, Loughborough Inlet, Bute Inlet, Knight Inlet, and several locations in the Rivers Inlet region. Companies featured include Mike Hamilton Logging, BenWest Logging, Wakhash Contracting, Olympic Forest Products, Helifor Industries, Ironside Contracting, and Interfor (Coastal Woodlands Division).

The exhibition is a sample of work being done by Hans Peter Meyer for a book about the coastal forest industry, Working in the Woods Today. Meyer hopes that sales from the exhibition will help support continued work on the book project.

Current project supporters
Meyer would like to thank Interfor (Coastal Woodlands Division) and Mike Hamilton Logging for their sponsorship of work done to date. Meyer also acknowledges the support of an informal advisory committee to the project:
  • Otto Schulte (Interfor), 
  • Harry Barret (Interfor), 
  • Mike Hamilton (Mike Hamilton Logging), 
  • Don Bendickson (BenWest Logging), 
  • Bill Dumont (RPF), 
  • Dave Lewis (Truck Loggers Association),
  • Rick Wangler (United Steelworkers Local 1-1937), 
  • Morgan Kennah (Island Timberlands).

Want to help build the book?
If you would like to support the Working in the Woods Today / Coastal Forest Industry Project, please contact Hans Peter Meyer via email at, @CoastalForest (twitter), the Facebook project page at, telephone at 250-792-1408, or post at hans peter meyer / Coastal Forest Industry Project, 1640A Willemar Avenue, Courtenay, BC V9N 3M3.

You can also contribute online via Help Build the Book.

20 January 2012