Theo Wiering, Canada’s Log People Inc. owner, has discovered log homes can last a long time, centuries actually.
He travelled to Norway to assemble a new log home, and while there, he toured a number of old log buildings, some dating as far back as the 1200s.
Wiering says he also learned the reason he’s in business these days is chainsaws; the ancient buildings in Norway were built just with an axe. He adds modern chainsaws are very fast for cutting V-grooves, which keeps labour costs down.
“It also taught me you have to have a lot of value for those big trees in the forest.”
Wiering says he’s always believed in thinning the forests, but the Ministry of Forests and Range (MOFR), for economic reasons, doesn’t like to do that.
When you take out the larger trees by
thinning the forest and let the smaller ones grow, he adds, they become larger faster.
“I kind of look at the forest as an orchard.”
Wiering says he has learned a lot from MOFR staff in 100 Mile House and thinks they do a good job with what they have; however, he also thinks the provincial government needs to make some policy changes to allow more value-added products to be produced because wood is a very valuable commodity.
“When you lose that first-growth, tight-grained wood, the second or third forest growth is never the same.”
Rather than trying to create wealth in the short term, he says it needs to be a long-term view of the forests.
“Sometimes that can cost you more money in the short term, but in the long term, would be far more advantageous for future generations.”
Wiering saw the effects firsthand not only in Norway but previously in Germany and Croatia.