Big Timber

20 Jul 2021

"The reality show follows the struggles and adventures faced by a brave but ill-tempered logger, his family, and his quirky crew as they collect and transport lumber on Vancouver Island. But as entertaining as it sounds, one wonders if Big Timber’s relatability creates a somewhat glorified vision of an industry that many environmentalists would call inherently problematic."

"To many people, the logging industry is often used as a symbol for all the environmental problems our world currently faces, thanks to humanity. When left unchecked, logging can cause soil erosion, habitat destruction, and contribute to the climate crisis. On top of that, cutting and transporting that wood often involves heavy, gas-powered machinery and trucks, which emit more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere."

These are the exact thoughts that went through my mind when I watched Big Timber last week. My 10 yo daughter refused to watch it with me as she is extremely environmentally concious and did not like the idea of trees being cut. The "problem-solving" aspect of the show was great as the crew faces challenge after challenge. Although, I was left with a few questions after the last episode...

What do they do with the claim area once all the trees are logged?

Are there rules on how many trees on a mountain top can be cut and logged? The claim area looks like a giant scar on the mountain.

Do they replant trees? I would assume these trees have taken many many decades to grow to their size so are we short-changing and fooling ourselves by replanting? Will the damage be done by the time they grow back (if they ever do).

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