What is the Coastal Forest Industry Project?

The Coastal Forest Industry Project is an initiative to capture the images and stories of men and women working in BC's primary industry today, in the early 21st century. My goal is to produce a large format photo book on the subject, with publication sometime in 2016.

how can you be part of this project?

The scope of this book is large – matching the subject matter: BC's primary industry. I need to raise enough funding to support me for about 2 years of work. I also need travel and accommodation support, access to active operations (preparation/engineering, logging, planting). Already a couple of sponsors have stepped in to provide about a third of needed funding, and part of the logistical support. As more sponsors come on board they will will be prominently featured in all "products" and promotions. 

I am also looking for individuals and families who have been or are currently part of the industry, and who would like to "invest" in the success of this project. Your contributions – whether $5 or $5000 – will go a long way to helping tell an important story. Individual and family contributors will also be listed in the book. Thank you to those of you who already generously made contributions.

If you wish to make contributions please contact me, or if you're so inclined, send a cheque, payable to hans peter meyer, to Working in the Woods Today c/o 1640A Willemar Avenue, Courtenay, BC V9N 3M3.

Another way to support the project is to buy prints or license images for electronic usage by visiting the e-commerce site here and buying prints or products or licensing online. 

If you have an interest in supporting this project, please be in touch. I look forward to hearing from you. I can be reached at connect (at) hanspetermeyer.com. 

why this project, and why now? 
Because there is a need to create a professional photographic record of today's coastal forest industry. This project will capture the "story" of the forest industry on BC's coast in the 21st century. We have an abundance of images from the "glory days of logging," and we have an abundance of recent images of the industry as a destructive, negative force. We have almost nothing published since the 1950s about the industry as a place where real men and women work (in often dangerous conditions) to build not only their own paycheques and company profits, but a standard of living that the rest of us in BC enjoy.

In 2002 I started photographing the coastal forest industry on Vancouver Island. First for my father (he started setting chokers in the mid-50s, and retired after bucking on heli shows in 2004), then for Truck Logger Magazine. In 2005 and 2008 I was hired by Mike Hamilton Logging and BenWest Logging to produce crew books for their companies.

Almost all of us in BC have ties (direct or indirect, including a lifestyle and standard of living built on the forest industry). Very few of us have any idea what this industry looks like, even family members close to the industry. Who are the people are who work in today's forest industry? What are the physical challenges they face? What kinds of machinery are they using? How does the industry change the landscape? How is it responding to ecological and economic pressures? What are the various engineering, planning, and market conditions that shape the work?

sponsors and support
While I am committing personal resources (time and money) to the Coastal Forest Industry Project, I won't be doing this alone. Sponsors are an important part of it's success, and I'm grateful for those who are already stepping forward with various forms of support. A respected group of individuals within industry are acting as Advisors to the project, and already approximately a third of the needed funds have been raised. I would like to acknowledge Interfor's Coastal Woodlands office for their generous support as the lead sponsor and collaborator in the project. I am happy to say that the project already has a book publisher with a keen interest in handling the book product.

keeping up to date on the project
As I work on the book I will be posting photographs, interviews, and small articles to the project blog at www.coastalforestindustryproject.com. You can also view photo samples via this Flickr slideshow. Please check in regularly. Please share posts that you like.

contact information
email: connect (at) hanspetermeyer.com.
post: Working in the Woods Today c/o 1640A Willemar Avenue, Courtenay, BC V9N 3M3
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  1. Enjoyed reading this article, especially the concept of recording history in the making for one of our most important industries. Who will read this book 20 yrs from now?

    1. Thanks Hansen Team! I appreciate your support - always have :-)
      I hope you can join me for the "official opening" for the Campbell River Museum exhibition, afternoon of Saturday, February 18, 2012.