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Green Timbers photos by Hugh Weatherby

August 3, 2014

Green Timbers - Pacific Highway - 1947 - Hugh Weatherby photo

In this panorama looking west along the Trans-Canada Highway from about 144 Street, the cleared land in the foreground is Green Timbers and the forest on the horizon is Whalley.

Hugh Weatherby took this photo in 1947 for an article he wrote in the Canada Lumberman.

The formal name for the 665-acre Green Timbers plantation was “Green Timbers Forest Experiment Station.”

It was also quite an experiment in public protest.  As before noted, at the opening of the first paved sections of the Pacific Highway in 1920, leaflets were handed out in an effort to sway officials to preserve the famous forest as a natural asset and tourist attraction. 

In December 1920 Columbian newspaper headlines told of an offer that was too much to accept.

“Green Timber" could be acquired by Province for sum of $350,000

King-Farris Lumber Co. Willing to Dispose of Famous Tract for This Amount

  Could be Preserved as Natural Beauty Spot For All Time

Premier Oliver of Opinion That Legislature Will Not Consent to Appropriate Money

Press editorials and public support for preservation grew over the next few years, but failed to sway the government to purchase the tract. The cost to the government would also include loss of taxes on the timber and elimination of many jobs.   There was the widely held view that government money could be better expended on other programs and projects.

That roads were ever and always a priority for settlers in this district was a sentiment echoed in the statement of DH Sutherland in 1923, “I am in favour of building roads, but do not approve of buying scenery.”

Logging Green Timbers began in the spring of 1927 and concluded in the summer of 1930.

After the forest was cut down, the Province instituted the nursery which supplied two-year old saplings — covered in peat moss from local bogs and wrapped in wax paper –  to reforestation projects throughout the province.

Shown below is a Weatherby photo of the works yard of the forest nursery.

Green Timbers works yard 1947 - Hugh Weatherby photo

Weatherby photos of Green Timbers also appeared in a BC made film called “Timber is a Crop.”

It appears that Hugh Weatherby (1908- 1985) was a journalist, photographer, script writer, author, map-maker, political cartoonist and artist.

In 1971-72 some of Weatherby’s paintings were used as covers on the BC Teacher magazine. Below,  a scene on the Fraser River near Mission, Day’s End.

Hugh Weatherby cover illus BC Teacher 1972 03

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