When I first read the story about Rick Farr’s firewood woes in KTW last September (‘Man’s ‘retirement’ fund tied up in massive wood seizure’), I thought, “Well, good for you, Rick. Here is a guy who shows some initiative and common sense, cleans up some of the mess in the woods, works hard and makes a few bucks.”
I also thought some other guy probably got envious and ratted him out to the Ministry of Forests.
To be honest, I was almost envious myself, not because Farr made a few bucks on a good idea, but for the fact I had not thought of it myself.
Good grief, I thought, the forests ministry should put him on its payroll for cleaning up some of the mess in the woods and for all the hard work he put in, trying to make a modest living.
I thought somebody in the vast bureaucracy would see this as a perfect teaching tool for young forestry students
I thought they would bring them out to the mill at Heffley, show them that fine pile of firewood, all 500 cords of it, and say: “See, boys and girls, this is what a little initiative will do, combined with a bit of hard work and some common sense.”
I thought someone in the vast bureaucracy, here in Kamloops or even down in Victoria, would use common sense and say, “All right, Rick, keep up the good work. I wish there were more guys like you”.
Then I sort of forgot about it, but always kind of wondered every time I drove by the spot on the highway from where you can see the pile.
Then I read the follow-up piece in KTW in January (‘No relief for man who lost ‘retirement fund’ of wood’).
All the common sense has left everybody, probably the result of too much staring at computer screens.
I thought of all the hard work Farr had put into it and how he showed initiative and common sense and made a modest living for himself instead of going on the dole.
Now that whole pile of firewood, all 500 cords of it, is just going to rot there — or the ministry will one day put a match to it.
What bothered me even more was the fact nobody seemed to give a damn.
Let’s hope that the guys and gals at their computers in the forests ministry will find some of that common sense.
Let Farr have his firewood, let him make his living and have the bureaucrats get back to more serious issues in B.C.’s forestry sector.