Now Where Did I See That?

It’s hard to believe men armed with only crosscut saws felled these behemoths up and down the Pacific coast. When Europeans first arrived on the Pacific Northwest Coast in the 18th century they encountered a magnificent rainforest, the result of favourable soil conditions and moisture-laden ocean winds. For centuries, the First Nations of the region had used western red cedar in the construction of houses, canoes and a range of other items. British sailors, including Captain James Cook, also recognized the value of timber. History records that Cook’s men cut logs for masts and spars on Vancouver Island in 1778. Ten years later, fur trader James Meares took a load of furs and spars to China, a delivery that marked the first European timber trading venture. (The Evolution of West Coast Logging, Richard A. Rajala).

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